AffiliateINSIDER recently sat down with Kate Makulova from Sendcloud to discuss trends in SaaS affiliate marketing. Why affiliates should consider SaaS affiliate programs and what they need to succeed? Lets take a look.
The SaaS (software-as-a-service) niche is getting more and more popular in the world of affiliate marketing. Why do affiliates tend to love SaaS affiliate programs?
SaaS affiliate programs might be less known than eCommerce or gaming programs but they represent a great income opportunity.
We at Sendcloud and many other SaaS companies offer a choice between an upfront (one-off) and recurring affiliate commission. While an upfront commission is usually higher, affiliates who opt for a monthly recurring commission earn as long as their referral stays a paying customer. The ultimate goal of any affiliate marketer is to build smart passive income and SaaS is one of few niches where payments continue to roll in for the work youve already done.
If you need proof that its profitable to work with SaaS affiliate programs, look to the success of Adam Enfroy, who made $1 million in under two years by promoting SaaS products. While not every affiliate marketer will be able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, there is definitely a great financial opportunity in the SaaS niche.
What should affiliates new to the sector know before diving into SaaS affiliate marketing?
If you are just dipping your toes into the SaaS niche, you may be tempted by the thought of signing up for affiliate programs of popular software companies that have been around for a while. These affiliate programs offer a high commission, but they come along with two problems for newcomers: they are likely to be very competitive, and many users have already tried the software. Most SaaS affiliate programs pay exclusively for referring new customers and affiliates wont be rewarded if an existing free account user purchases through their links.
Joining at the beginning of a program in a fast-growing software niche newcomers can actually grow their affiliate revenue faster. Theyll be exposed to way less competition and can easily get lots of top rankings on Google. As an affiliate manager, I have witnessed a lot of newcomers succeeding by laser focusing on just one or a few products, learning them inside out and persistently creating great helpful content.
If you have an eCommerce blog or YouTube channel and looking for new affiliate programs to monetize it, feel free to check us out at sendcloud.com
Why do SaaS companies choose to work with affiliate partners?
At Sendcloud our goal is to help e-commerce businesses turn shipping into an accelerator for growth. We know shipping can be time-consuming, expensive and complex and want to help as many businesses as possible to transform shipping from a bottleneck into an opportunity for growth. To do so, we want to get access to as many potential customers as possible and partnering with affiliates is a great way to do so.
Software users today rely heavily on social proof of a products reputation: before purchasing a new software subscription they do their own research, consult trusted business publications and industry blogs, and check in with influencers who share software reviews and tutorials on YouTube.
SaaS companies invite relevant publishers and influencers to become their affiliates also to enhance social proof. Because affiliates earn revenue share, they have a vested interest in the product’s success, they become loyal brand advocates and help build trust with prospect users.
What types of affiliates have more chances of success with SaaS affiliate programs?
No two SaaS companies have the same goals and set up for their affiliate program. However, the most popular type of affiliates that partner successfully with software companies are content creators (bloggers, review sites, software directories), social media and YouTube influencers, and course creators.
Content that ranks organically on Google for relevant search terms still brings a huge portion of revenue to both affiliates and SaaS affiliate programs.
We also see that more buying decisions including the software products are moving to YouTube and video content. Affiliates who dont promote on YouTube are missing a huge opportunity.
How do you think SaaS affiliate marketing will evolve in the future?
Affiliate marketing in the SaaS space is shifting towards niche, expert content and away from affiliates who provide superficial product information just to add affiliate links.
To be successful, affiliates should dive into the software they want to earn a revenue share from. They should demonstrate they know the product inside out and can provide unique and very useful information about it.
When choosing new software, users are searching for reliable extra information, not something they can read on the company site. Only affiliates who can give great and very genuine advocacy for a product will win their audience and search engines over.