How to Recruit Affiliates to Grow Your SaaS in 2020

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  • Meghan Stafford

How to Recruit Affiliates to Grow Your SaaS in 2020

Apart from convenience, a lot of companies bet on the advantages of SaaS due to the scale of impact, faster service and performance improvements, and low infrastructure costs and flexibility in subscription plans. With the continuously growing interest in hiring third-party SaaS, along with striving to develop almost "all-in-one" solutions, you as a SaaS provider should also build under this interest by providing incentives to your traffic for every specific action they make with the software. This will make them feel that they are getting more than what they signed up for.

This is one example of an effective marketing strategy.

Marketing strategies have, over time, adapted to the ever-changing market. Although traditional media (print ads, tv, radio, etc.) are a way to go, the emergence of social media and online marketing, in general, has put in a new standard for product recommendation.

The example above is part of what we call as partnering with affiliates. Basically, you commission people (affiliates) to sell your product(s). According to a 2015 report by the Business Insider, 16% of US eCommerce orders were done through affiliate referrals. Though it wasn’t the highest performing referral channel, it illustrated the highest growth in sales within one year (values of other top performing referral strategies in 2015 actually decreased). A 10% annual growth in revenues via affiliate marketing is projected to continuously grow, at the slightest, until 2021 (Hosting Tribunal).

Why is affiliate marketing important for your SaaS company?

The basic question is, can affiliate marketing really influence or result in a stable long-term growth in business? If you’ll find the right balance in your operating costs and remain consistent in making your affiliates happy, your business will be on the right track. Always remember that you can only be successful when your affiliates are successful.

1. Affiliate Marketing Costs Are Cheaper Than Most Traditional Marketing Strategies

Affiliate marketers commonly generate profits through a cost-per-sale basis. This means that you, the SaaS merchant will only pay your affiliate every time they make a sale. But of course, to which action you’ll have to pay is up to you (you can provide incentives even to non-paying referrals).

Compared to traditional marketing wherein you’ll have to pay for labor, materials, communication portals, and mobilization to name a few, affiliate marketing requires lesser monetary capital.

According to a 2001 study on media marketing acquisition costs versus their related revenues (Azeez, 2011), radio media incurred the highest cost of acquisition, followed by print, public relations, e-mail, online ads and finally affiliates. During such time, affiliate marketing costs 99.38% less than radio media

marketing whilst generating about 99.02% more revenue than the said traditional media. With the constant developments in the technical efficiencies of affiliate marketing, the relationship between costs and revenue are even at a much better ratio today.

2. Affiliates Generate The Revenue For You

It’s like a cornerstone for passive income at which you don’t really need to work that much (or all the time) in order to have sales. Your affiliates will do this for you even without your supervision.

3. You’ll Be Able To Capitalize On The Psychology of Price Perceptions

Affiliates can exist as huge companies that can offer better deals/packages for your customers. Take for example coupon sites. Secondary research by Forbes indicated that avid coupon buyers rarely think about actual prices anymore (even if they can be lower at times), reiterating that since coupons seem to come off as savings, people subconsciously feel that this is the smarter choice.

4. You'll Be Able To Take Advantage Of Your Affiliates’ Influences

Affiliate marketing websites, influencers, etc., all have their own following. Needless to say, you will have exponential exposure should you be able to have affiliates that are very influential.

Imagine speaking only to three (3) highly influential persons and gain visibility to millions of people.

Imagine speaking only to three (3) highly influential persons and accumulate customers who are worth more than the effort you put in.

Wouldn’t you bet on it?

5. Low Chances of Traffic Decreasing

We have what we would like to call a chain affiliate program. This means that customers automatically become affiliates themselves once they buy your software (without penalty should they choose to exist as users only).

With this program, you no longer have to talk to every new affiliate who wants to avail of your program. This can be a smart strategy, and more advisable for when you’ve grown your SaaS already, as it requires being prepared to hand out more commissions.

How do you effectively recruit affiliates for your SaaS company?

Recruiting people who will refer you might take a bit of time and effort. Not only do you need to prove to them how advantageous your company is for their own benefit, but as well as, make them decide that your business is worth putting in a good word for. You’ll have to dive deep into your potential affiliate’s perception and behavior if you want to hit the bullseye with your offer and your pitch strategy.

Tip #1: Directly Send Personalized Recruitment Offers Within Your Niche

You’ll have more chances of obtaining conversions if your affiliates are really (or somehow) engaged with your niche. If your SaaS is more on the financial industry, for example, it would be best to recruit financial advisors, bankers and the like, as affiliates.

People who are already engaged in your SaaS niche will right away understand the usefulness of your product and will be able to market it (or explain it) more effectively than affiliates who don’t have any orientation towards your target industry.

It is then more logical to give further effort when recruiting these types of people.

Tip #2: Offer Different Incentives Per Performance Level

Different types of incentives will draw more variety of affiliates. Examples of such offers are the following:

  • Welcome gifts for new affiliates

  • Pay-per-Action for existing affiliates (different prices per action)

  • Recurring compensation for affiliates who achieve a certain level of sales

  • 20%-30% commission for existing affiliates (as suggested by Post Affiliate Pro)

  • Higher and stable incentives for top-performing affiliates

Whilst it is important for an affiliate to prove themselves first before gaining better rewards, make sure to not leave your new affiliates feel left behind. You should regard every type and level of an affiliate as an equally important component in your SaaS business.

Tip #3: Provide Money Back Guarantees or Product Trials For Your Customers

Even without affiliates, your SaaS should be client-centered which includes decreasing their risk of dissatisfaction. The hesitation, that comes with deciding whether to buy your SaaS product or not, will mostly spring from a lack of trust. This is very normal and expected among first-time buyers. Who wouldn’t want to buy your SaaS if they knew there were no risks involved should they prefer not to pursue?

Likewise, this feature can be a good bait for potential affiliates. It illustrates how sturdy your SaaS company is – the kind of stability which they can equate to long term opportunity.

Tip #4: Proactively Invest On Your Affiliate Program's Exposure

Advertise not only your SaaS product but as well as, your affiliate program. Consideryouraffiliates as the heads of your buying clans. Invest in their recruitment and take care of them as much as you would with your buyers.

Maintaining the visibility of your affiliate program will not only expand your reach but as well as, make potential affiliates see that you are serious in moving the program forward.

Tip #5: Provide An Easy-To-Use Tracking Software For Your Affiliates

According to a 2012 study on consumer perception towards affiliate programs (Haq, 2012), people gravitated more towards programs that present usefulness and give them more control over.

Affiliate “portals” can be where they can track their commissions, incentives, client inventory, the status of activities, as well as, offers and promotions. Make your program a business where your affiliates can engage in anywhere, anytime.

What affiliate management software can you use for your SaaS business?

Affiliate tracking tools are basically one-stop-shops for creating, managing and growing all affiliate- related programs, activities and transactions. You don’t have to open separate portals to interact with each of your affiliates, thereby giving you savings in costs, time and energy. Examples of efficient affiliate tracking software are Tapfiliate and LeadDyno.

Tapfiliate exists in six (6) affiliate languages and automates workflows (like triggered emails to your affiliates every time they earn a commission or reward) for your convenience. Their subscription plans are divided into three (Essential, Pro and Enterprise) which mainly differ in the number of affiliates you can manage, the number of team members who can manage, premium support, banner impressions and many more. Plus, you can avail of a 14-day free trial period!

LeadDyno, on the other hand, features a dashboard mobile app for your affiliates. It is dubbed as an easy affiliate management software where you can create product content that your affiliates can easily share on social media with just a click. LeadDyno offers cheaper subscription packages than Tapfiliate and even lets you cater to an unlimited number of affiliates with their basic plan!

Nonetheless, when choosing which affiliate tracking software you will grow your SaaS business with, you should choose according to your projected targets. There is no need to invest in the most expensive plans right away especially when you’re just starting your SaaS business - - remember to remain cost-effective.

How Everscript Helps You Grow Your SaaS Company

As a SaaS Founder, you may not have realized when you were creating your product that at some point your job duties were going to consist of mostly sales. For SaaS founders looking for ways to grow and scale their product at the lowest possible cost, consider content marketing your answer.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing endeavors and generates 3x the amount of leads according to DemandMetric.

At Everscript, we help you with your content marketing by pairing you with a talented, hand-picked, writer you can work with through our platform throughout the month. Request articles, newsletters, press releases, eBooks and more from a writer that knows and understands your business and use your content to grow and promote your service.

If you would like to learn more about our service, you can schedule a demo with a service expert that can explain how our service works.