SaaS Affiliate Marketing

Antonio author

Antonio Pršec

Content Writer

⏱ Reading Time: 5 minutes

An affiliate program is defined as a venture in which a company pays a commission to its referrals or affiliates for promoting companies’ products or services. These commissions are received every time a customer purchases something through an affiliate link or completes a specific action. Affiliate marketing is estimated to grow at an annual rate of over 10% through 2020. Furthermore, the industry is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2021. This means there are a lot of opportunities for affiliate marketers to choose from these days. That’s part of the reason why affiliate marketing is becoming popular in the SaaS industry.

What is SaaS?

SaaS or Software as a Service is a delivery model in which software is cloud-based, and it’s licensed on a subscription basis. Once you purchase, you can access or use the product online, using a desktop computer or mobile phone. Before cloud technology and SaaS, if you wanted to install a certain software you could do it only from a CD. SaaS applications run on provider servers, as users only require internet access to use it.

What does this look like in real life?

Let’s say you have an online store and you want to have an install a live chat software. You gather your options and choose to try out Paldesk, sign up for a trial version to try it out, snooping around the software. Happy and satisfied with it, you pick a payment model. By finalizing that purchase, you agree to be charged on a monthly basis or to pay yearly upfront. In exchange for the recurring payment, you are getting access to the desired service for a period of time, until cancellation. It’s also important to start using the proper SaaS metrics in order to track growth and make sure you don’t miss any business opportunities.

Related: Live Chat for Business Guide

Tweaking Your Affiliate Program

If you are a SaaS company, there is a good chance you have an affiliate program. More than 81% of brands use affiliate marketing programs. Statistics say that a majority of companies in the near future will run purely on such a model. As the picture shows, 73% of organizations say nearly all of their apps will be based on SaaS by 2020.

affiliate marketing the popularity of saas

Picture 1. The popularity of SaaS by 2020

You already realized that the risk involved when it comes to affiliate marketing is not very high. On the other hand, they do show great ROI. You pay affiliates only when a customer does something significant, like purchases something.

Therefore, there is no need to pay a big amount in advance for a marketing campaign. The problem is finding the right affiliate partner for the job. This can be hard to deal with, and there is no shortcut around it. It takes time to find the right partner that’s a perfect fit for your affiliate program.

SaaS affiliate marketing can really be helpful but takes practice. If you don’t tweak and align everything, you won’t have the desired results.

Want your SaaS affiliate network to perform well?

You’ll have to define your target audience and pricing strategy, optimize your landing pages and your signup process.

Benefits for SaaS Companies

There are a number of great uses for affiliate marketing, especially for startups and small businesses. As mentioned before, affiliate marketing is quite affordable and low risk – since you pay affiliates based on performance. If they don’t perform, the money stays in your pocket.

For a small business with limited marketing resources, it can mean a rapid increase in exposure. Most struggle with their own difficulties from the start, especially when trying to sell SaaS software. Having a solution like an affiliate program on standby is a great way to get that extra boost in traffic and sales.

Benefits for Affiliates

The main benefit is a steady stream of passive income. SaaS companies mostly work on a subscription model.

Therefore, an affiliate can be paid multiple times by bringing just one customer.

This is what you call a recurring commission. Even if the monthly commission rate may seem to be less desirable than the flat commission, it can be more profitable in the long run. Next up, marketing. It’s easy.

Your job is to persuade people to register for a free trial, which is a must-have option for a SaaS product. After that, you leave it all to the onboarding process. You don’t need to anything, just sit back and relax. As you see, SaaS products can be quite easy to sell. Cloud applications are easy to install and implement without having any burden on maintaining anything.

That’s not all, they are also easy to use. You can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection. SaaS products offer users instant gratification. In contrast to physical products, you don’t need to wait for it to come to your door.

Best SaaS Affiliate Programs in 2018

1. SEMrush

SEMrush offers marketing toolkit for SEO, traffic, social media and content. Their SEMRush affiliate program offers a commision of 40% and lots of other benefits. This is the partnership based on revenue sharing where you as an affiliate drives traffic to their site. And once a visitor completes a purchase from your link, you get commision.

2. BlueHost

BlueHost is a well-known web hosting service. The BlueHost affiliate program offer lets you earn $65 for each sign-up you bring. Another benefit of joining their affiliate program is the ability to track and customize your affiliate campaigns. You can compare campaigns by clicks, conversions, and more.

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce made an e-commerce solution for you to customize your site, manage shipping and payments. What the BigCommerce affiliate program offers is the chance to earn 200% of the customers first monthly payment or $1,500 per enterprise customer!

4. HubSpot

Hubspot’s affiliate program will give you the opportunity to earn up to $1,000 for each new purchase you drive, depending on the product you advertise. Products they offer differs for your needs. Since they offer inbound marketing and sales software, you can choose from marketing tools or sales tools. Along with that, they have a special affiliate team that will help you to succeed.

5. Sprout Social

Sprout Social affiliate program will give you $50 for each person you refer that successfully subscribes over an affiliate link.


SaaS companies experience rapid growth each year. A lot of them also have trouble finding the right channel to promote their product. That’s where affiliate marketing comes in, with a  great opportunity for passive income. With a little bit of help, any company can build up their user base easily. The only price is sharing part of the profit with others.

Increase travel & tourism sales

Ebook guide omnichannel travel and tourism

More from our blog

SaaS Affiliate Marketing was last modified: September 11th, 2019 by Mislav Raguz
Omnichannel marketing strategy ebook

Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Download E-book

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This