Affiliate marketing is critical to generating revenue and sustaining your business in a competitive and crowded marketplace. Many companies spend a lot of money on marketing but never get the high ROI they think they deserve. If you have been struggling with the same problem for years, it’s time to try something new – add an affiliate program through a SaaS provider, such as Scaleo.
SaaS affiliate programs are currently among the most profitable and easy solutions. Simply put, SaaS is a business model where you pay a monthly subscription fee for access to software that is often stored in the cloud, with zero development work on your part.
The SaaS business is expected to generate $623 billion in global sales over the next three to five years, so you are not the only one making a shift towards cloud-based services in 2022.
Table of Contents
- What is SaaS affiliate marketing?
- Why Should You Invest In Affiliate Marketing?
- How to Create a Profitable Affiliate Marketing Program?
- Create your payment structure
- Materials for your affiliate partners.
- Choose an affiliate program or an affiliate network.
- Look for affiliate partners.
- Track affiliate performance
- Reward top performing partners
- SaaS affiliate marketing software: Scaleo
What is SaaS affiliate marketing?
SaaS affiliate marketing is a prevalent form of referral-based collaboration in which publications such as deal sites and blogs are compensated for directing traffic to you. Referral-based partnerships like these help to establish and encourage communities to spread the word about your technology.
Companies in the software industry, whether they are new or old, have known for a long time that partnerships are one of the best ways to grow faster.
A SaaS product’s customer journey is approximately equivalent to a consumer purchasing a car, with each step along the road presenting the opportunity for marketing partnerships. Here’s an illustration:
- The person who wants to buy starts by doing their own research and looking at reliable media sources like Edmunds and Consumer Reports.
- They talk to social influencers who make YouTube videos about cars to find out what they think about different brands and models.
- They drive to work, and their employer has made a deal with a dealership (or a manufacturer) to provide car service as an employee benefit.
- People also look for deals and discounts on the internet, and traditional affiliates like deal sites help get their attention.
Why Should You Invest In Affiliate Marketing?
Since you know how affiliate marketing works, it’s time to learn why you should consider it as a promotional approach for your SaaS company.
Increase trust among your target customers.
Word-of-mouth marketing increases sales and brand exposure, but affiliate marketing provides an additional reason for your existing customers to suggest your products and services to others.
Effective affiliates deliver accurate information about your brand and leverage their audience’s trust in them to increase the credibility of your brand. A trustworthy partner’s affiliate link looks more like a suggestion from a reliable source than like an ad.
In addition to increasing traffic to your site, affiliate links from high-quality partners have an impact on your SEO. A high-authority site that links to your home page or product page “passes on” its authority to your site. This leads to improved search result performance and increased organic traffic from Google queries.
Reduce CAC while increasing ROI.
Affiliate marketing programs are cost-effective since you only pay a commission when your affiliate partners make a sale. Affiliate marketing can lower your CAC because there is little or no upfront investment. Thanks to your affiliates, you can reach more clients without spending a lot of money, which will boost your return on investment (ROI).
Affiliate marketing: reselling or referring?
While resellers are included in the wide category of partnerships, affiliates are referral-based partnerships. Resellers are transactional channel partners, a third party with whom your organization may form a partnership to offer your product or service. Among these third parties are:
- Value-added resellers (VARs) are businesses that offer extra services like consulting, setting up, or customizing your software.
- Managed service providers (MSPs) are outsourced IT services and often help clients choose the technology that best fits their business needs.
- Systems integrators (SIs) are companies that deal with the difficult chore of ensuring that all of your technologies perform well together in a unified architecture. They frequently recommend vendors when there are unfilled holes in their clients’ technology stack.
Partnerships based on referrals are less directly related to your company. Referral partners suggest your product or service in exchange for something valuable, such as a discount for members of your organization or a commission on a sale made as a result of their recommendation. That valuable “something” could not even be monetary.
How to Create a Profitable Affiliate Marketing Program?
You can’t afford to wing it when it comes to running a successful affiliate marketing strategy. You must be strategic in your approach.
The following are the steps that most effective affiliate campaigns take:
Create your payment structure
Before beginning your SaaS affiliate marketing campaign, you must build your payment mechanism. Choose whether you want monthly payments, one-time payments, or both.
Many sellers choose recurring payment models because they provide a consistent source of affiliate money, especially for SaaS products with short subscription periods. Hove, many marketers prefer one-time payments, especially if you’re running your first affiliate marketing campaign and haven’t established your company’s name as one that pays on time.
This form of payment pays much more per sale but requires a lot more labor from the affiliate because they must constantly create content for their site.
Aside from the payment structure, you must also pick what you will pay for. Consider the following models:
- CPA (cost per action): You pay for each action your prospects or leads take – a purchase or signing up for a trial.
- CPM (cost per mille): You pay based on how many people you reach.
- CPC (cost per click): You pay for backlinks to your website.
Choosing a payment structure early on can help you avoid confusion when your affiliates begin making sales for you.
Materials for your affiliate partners.
A good affiliate will not simply publish a link to your website or product and hope that someone clicks on it. Making creative items will assist your affiliates in determining the optimal areas on their site to include an affiliate link, making it easier for them to spread the news about your brand. You can also provide your affiliates with information about your products and services.
For example, supplying marketing collateral to your affiliates, such as banners, movies, or photographs, will help attract people to your site. Multiple studies have shown that the human mind processes and understands visual information better than written language. This means that a visually appealing piece of content will do better than a paragraph of text that says the same thing.
Aside from sending marketing information to your affiliates, you can also provide them with a product demo. This is especially crucial in the SaaS space, as content writers will only write about a service if they have personally used and tested it. This helps them keep their reputation as a reliable source of information about SaaS products.
Choose an affiliate program or an affiliate network.
After determining your payment structure, you must decide whether to use an in-house affiliate program or an affiliate network. Choose a model that allows your affiliates to promote your products or services easily.
You and your team handle everything in an in-house affiliate program, from partner recruitment to payment. Affiliate networks, on the other hand, make everything easier, including partner payment and registration.
Many brands prefer to run their own affiliate programs since they avoid dealing with third parties and can set their own pricing. On the other hand, affiliate networks connect brands with affiliates, making it easier for everyone involved. On the other hand, affiliate networks charge brands a one-time fee upon signup and additional fees each time they make a sale through an affiliate partner.
If you want to kick-start your marketing efforts, signing up with an affiliate network will provide your brand exposure to affiliates who will know how to promote your business. You can run your affiliate program in-house if you want complete control over the entire affiliate process.
If you simply have a few affiliate partners, running your own affiliate program will be simple. However, when your program expands, you’ll need a mechanism to keep track of transactions and correspondence with them. Using Gmail extensions will allow you to monitor scheduled emails and ensure that everything runs properly for you and your affiliates.
In comparison, using an affiliate network is simpler because the network handles everything. However, before you sign up for a network, double-check the rates and fees to ensure that you are not spending more than you can afford up front.
Look for affiliate partners.
You may begin looking for partners after deciding on an affiliate network or an in-house affiliate program. Many firms that use affiliate marketing look for people who are already selling similar products. This helps them reach out to those who are interested in what they have to offer.
You should also look for affiliates who rank highly in Google searches for your industry. Studies show that a lot of affiliate site traffic comes from organic searches, which means that affiliates make more money.
You must contact these affiliates either through your affiliate network or by email.
Track affiliate performance
As a digital marketer, you need to make sure that your campaigns are going properly and that you are receiving your money’s worth. When you handle things manually, you are more likely to make mistakes in your calculations, and the risk increases as your affiliate program grow.
However, most affiliate networks have automatic reporting and their own performance tracking systems. The affiliate referral URL is the most basic of these tools. You can use the tracking URL to establish the source of the traffic to your site, whether it’s through social media or blogs.
A typical tracking URL looks something like this:
Whether you run an affiliate program in-house or through an affiliate network, it’s a good idea to use any AI-powered business intelligence reporting tool to examine how your affiliate marketing campaigns are functioning, how they’re helping the growth of your business, and to locate your top-performing affiliate partners.
Reward top performing partners
Many businesses mistake viewing their affiliates as marketing assets rather than people. But if you treat your affiliates well, you’ll have better relationships with them, better affiliate connections, and more sales.
Why should you recognize and reward your best performers? For starters, they do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of promoting your products. They bring in more money for you by getting your brand in front of a larger audience.
Second, if you treat them poorly, they will think that working with you is not worth their time and effort. They may even opt to deal with one of your competitors instead. People in the affiliate marketing world spread rapidly, and if they hear that you don’t treat your affiliates well, they may refuse to deal with you in the future.
How do you recognize and reward your top affiliates?
Of course, paying them on time should be your main priority. Affiliates rely on commissions to keep their websites running, so if you don’t pay them on time, you risk losing access to their platform.
Being open to their suggestions can also motivate them. If your affiliates are having difficulty promoting your product, something must prevent it from selling. Listening to what your affiliates have to say will help you come up with a better plan for how to position your product or brand.
Finally, providing incentives to top-performing affiliates, such as rewards and certifications, will give your partners the push they need to advertise your products more effectively. Recognizing your top affiliates will help you create stronger relationships and motivate others to apply to be your affiliates, providing you with even additional promotional channels.
How can Affiliate Marketing Software help you Manage your Partnerships?
Because most SaaS partnership programs are still quite manual, specialized tools might greatly help your efforts. According to Forrester, a lack of automated communication and a failure to create repeatable processes out of relationships cause 65 percent of partnerships to fail.
However, a customer relationship management platform (CRM) will not be enough, and a referral management platform (PRM) may be insufficient for your referral partnership requirements. Having a platform for managing referral partnerships and keeping partners around is more important than ever.
Partnership management tools such as Scaleo can pay you for discovering, recruiting, contracting, tracking, and compensating the partners who push their networks into your sales funnel. With this service, you can find and connect with more partners, keep in touch with them in less time, and get more qualified leads.
SaaS affiliate marketing software: Scaleo
Scaleo is the first SaaS affiliate marketing product on the list. It is simple affiliate marketing software. There are no transaction costs, and you may reward, track, and incentivize your affiliates as you see fit. It provides a 14-day free trial period. You can quickly build your own affiliate program and integrate it with your website using Scaleo, which is a SaaS platform.
Customers can then recommend your products to their friends and family. This will assist you in increasing website traffic, leads, and paying customers.
- Bulk payouts and billing
- Several commission options
- Third-party tool integrations
- Tracking coupon codes
- White label: make your affiliates’ dashboards look and feel like your website.
- Set up multi-tiered commissions (MLM)
- Provide performance incentives to your affiliates.
- Direct URL tracking allows you to track referrals without using an affiliate link.
- Protection against fraud from suspicious leads
- Leads management addon
- Set different dividends and commissions for affiliates.
- Affiliate classification
- Management of smart caps
- Custom goal creation
- Geo-targeting campaigns.
Scaleo SaaS affiliate marketing software has three plans – Professional – $299/month, Enterprise – $499/month, and Custom – $999/month.
The time has come to invest in SaaS affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways of reaching out to new audiences and generating purchases from new customers, whether you’re aiming to increase sales, subscriptions, or click-throughs.
Running an affiliate marketing campaign requires you to have a goal in mind. You can run your affiliate program in-house, sign up with a network, or set up your affiliate program using seamless integration with a SaaS provider such as Scaleo.
Scaleo.io is a SaaS solution for businesses to customize their own partner programs. With a customizable dashboard and interface, guided workflows, and instant access to a free trial, Scaleo allows businesses to tailor the platform to their needs.
If you take the right actions with an affiliate marketing campaign, you can get maximum clicks and leads, improve your revenue, and take your business to new heights.