SaaS Affiliate Marketing

Antonio author


Guest 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%. Furthermore, the industry is expected to grow to $8 billion by 2022. 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.

🚀Read: Omnichannel Guide for Digitally Advanced Brands 🚀

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 and users only require internet access to use them.

How does this look like in real life? Let’s say you have an online store and you want to 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 Marketing Program

If you are an SaaS company, there is a good chance you have an affiliate program. According to research affiliate programs generate 15-30% of all sales for advertisers. 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 they will be running purely on SaaS in 2020.

Affiliate marketing popularity of Saas to 2023

Picture 1. The popularity of SaaS by 2023

You already realized that the risk involved when it comes to affiliate marketing is not very high. On the other hand, it does 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 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 it 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 numerous benefits of 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 an SaaS product. After that, you leave it all to the onboarding process. You don’t need to do 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 Marketing Programs in 2021

1. SEMRush

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

2. AWeber

AWeber is an email marketing platform which is great for newsletters, drip campaigns, etc. Their in-house program for affiliates guarantees a lifetime 30% commission. The plan costs between $20 and $150 per month, so the amount can add up. Payments are sent monthly.

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. The products they offer depend on 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 succeed.

5. LeadPages

LeadPages enables you to create customizable landing pages to collect contact information and turn clicks into customers. Their affiliate program can earn you 30% recurring commission on all sales generated. They also run special offers and support you with marketing education, marketing content and tech support.


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 a part of the profit with others.

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SaaS Affiliate Marketing was last modified: February 8th, 2021 by Mislav Raguz
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