How to Create an Affiliate Program for your SaaS

How to Create an Affiliate Program for your SaaSThe CEO of a vertical-specific SaaS vendor with a relatively high priced offering emailed me the other day with a question about creating an Affiliate Marketing program to accelerate growth.

I gave him a fairly detailed answer and I thought I’d elaborate on that answer even more and share it with you… enjoy.

“Hey Lincoln, we’re thinking of starting an affiliate marketing program for our SaaS company to help accelerate growth.

From what I’ve read and the examples I’ve seen they’re commonly offered by lower priced SaaS apps, sub $200/mo, but our app is higher priced at $1k, $5k, or $10k/mo.

I’m thinking of offering an affiliate commission of 1 month of Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) after month 2 for all converted referrals. And maybe double that for an annual subscription.

I know you’ve talked about Affiliate Marketing for SaaS apps before, but do you know of any successful B2B SaaS affiliate programs with similar subscription prices?”

Below is my significantly-elaborated response…

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SaaS Affiliate Marketing: How-To Supercharge Your Growth

I’ve been asked if you can “quick start” a new venture or reinvigorate an existing offering with SaaS affiliate marketing?

Here’s the answer I generally give… “it depends.”

Okay, let me dig in a little deeper.

SaaS affiliate marketing can really super-charge your growth, BUT if you don’t have everything in alignment (or your ducks in a row), you won’t super-charge anything!

Think of it like this… if you have a super-charger and no engine to put it on, the super-charger doesn’t really help, right?

For SaaS affiliate marketing to work, you have to:

  • Be clear about your target audience
  • Have your value prop super-powerful and targeted to that audience.
  • Ensure the rest of your marketing is on target for that audience
  • Make sure your Free Trial is optimized, especially to keep affiliates interested if you pay only on conversions!

Not to mention your Pricing Strategy, landing pages, sign-up process, etc.

Plus you have to have a way to manage and communicate with your affiliates, keep them excited and above all… ensure they get paid for  what they bring and get paid on time… every time.

The SaaS Affiliate Marketing Catch-22

The pushback I often get from that is “if I do all that, I might not need affiliates”… which is correct.

You don’t *need* a super-charger on your engine – the engine will get you down the road – but the super-charger makes you go FASTER… which is awesome.

I suppose that analogy could play out fast, but the bottom line is, you can waste a lot of time/money/resources chasing affiliate marketing too early when your time might be better spent optimizing your base first.

Put another way… if you don’t know what you’re selling or to whom, it will be hard for others to sell it for you!

Curious how we could Accelerate your Profitable Growth – including by creating or optimizing an Affiliate Program for you? Contact me and we’ll setup a time to discuss your options for improving and accelerating customer acquisition.

– Lincoln
(972) 200-9317

SaaS Affiliate Marketing: Your Virtual Salesforce

One benefit of SaaS Affiliate Marketing is knowing exactly what your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) will be!

Whether you’ve considered creating an affiliate marketing program for your SaaS or Web App – or not – or even if you currently have one, you NEED to watch my interview with Jack Born.

BTW, here are three vendors that will allow you to easily offer and manage an affiliate program for your SaaS or Web App:

Leveraging a massive SaaS Affiliate Marketing salesforce

Do you prefer to listen on the go? Download the .mp3 audio file (29.1MB) here.

The awesome folks at Wistia hooked me up with premium business video hosting!

Think of SaaS Affiliate Marketing as Leverage

I’ve wanted to get Jack in front of you for… well, since I met him because what he knows about Affiliate Marketing can absolutely change your SaaS or Web App business.

Jack is the king of Affiliate Marketing and he shares a TON of awesome information with us about how to get a MASSIVE online Salesforce working to send you customers.

Did you know companies like AWeber, Evernote, Loop11, BigCommerce, SuccessFactors, LessAccounting, SurveyGizmo, and Unbounce are leveraging the power of the affiliate sales channel to accelerate sales right now?

So there’s got to be something to it, right?

But in my experience, far too many SaaS and Web App companies haven’t even considered affiliate marketing as many equate it with “Internet Marketing” and write it off as “it won’t work here.”

But that isn’t the case and I hope my conversation with Jack Born not only changes your view on Affiliate Marketing and how it relates to B2B SaaS & Web Apps, but takes it a step further and fires you up.

Jack is the go to guy that many of the top marketers turn to for finding and recruiting an affiliate salesforce. For example, he is the affiliate manager for World-Renowned Google Adwords expert, Perry Marshall.

Jack earned the nickname “The Alchemist” for his ability to transform average promotions into six figure campaigns.

Jack also pioneered the Tactical Triangle concept for rapidly growing conversion, traffic and profits. We talk about the Tactical Triangle concept during our conversation.

Once your done watching this video, head over to Jack’s site – Affiliate Sales Channel – and download his Tactical Triangle Marketing report.

When you do that you’ll also be notified of the webinar he and I are going to do that goes into specifics on the ideas we cover in this AMAZING conversation.

Curious how we could Accelerate your Profitable Growth – including by creating or optimizing an Affiliate Program for you? Contact me and we’ll setup a time to discuss your options for improving and accelerating customer acquisition.

– Lincoln
(972) 200-9317

SaaS Growth Hacking Experts Resource Guide

Growth Hacking isn’t a set of tactics or just about getting cheap traffic to your website… Growth Hacking is a mindset.

It’s not just about getting traffic on the cheap; it’s about understanding and exploiting customer behavior, technology, and distribution.

Real Growth Hackers use their imagination to pull all of that together to drive growth, however growth is defined (revenue, users, etc.).

It’s nice to finally have a term for what I’ve been doing since 2006 for SaaS vendors – Growth Hacking.

I put together this list of my best Growth Hacking resources to help grow your SaaS business and reach your goals.

Growth Hacking Resources for SaaS Vendors

You’ll note that some of these are focused on customer acquisition and some are focused on retaining customers. Growth Hacking can – and should – be applied across the entire customer lifecycle.

Let’s Grow your SaaS Business

For immediate consultation and advice on leveraging Growth Hacking to scale your SaaS business, schedule a 60-minute meeting with me via Clarity. If you feel a more involved engagement is required for me to help you, email me with the specifics of your situation (as much detail as you’re comfortable giving) and we’ll setup a meeting to work through the particulars.

– Lincoln