The die is cast: you're launching an affiliate program. From setting up the commission methods to creating affiliate assets, the to-do list to start a SaaS affiliate marketing can be long and challenging, especially in affiliate program promotion.
In today’s marketing landscape, promoting an affiliate program with a simple banner ad won’t suffice anymore. You need to combine and conquer. Here are some brilliant affiliate marketing strategies to make your affiliate program stand out in a crowded space.
Related: Who are your ideal affiliates? This blog will guide you in finding the best affiliate types for your brand.
13 Creative Channels to Promote Your Affiliate Marketing Program
1. Podcast sponsorships and shout-outs
Texts and pictures are not the only way to promote an affiliate program. Try to capture the attention of your target group through podcasts. Podcasts are the new frontier for reaching engaged audiences, and it works great for affiliate marketing promotion.
Here’s how you do it: identify podcasts your target affiliates will likely listen to. Then, contact them to see if you can be a sponsor. This can not only get you a mention (shoutout) but also associate your brand with the host's credibility.
For instance, if you sell productivity software, sponsoring a popular productivity podcast and offering exclusive affiliate opportunities to listeners can be highly effective.
2. Get listed in relevant integration directories
Let’s say you’re looking to promote a SaaS affiliate marketing program. If your SaaS product integrates with other popular tools, ensure you're listed in those products' integration directories. Often, these directories allow you to mention your affiliate program.
3. In-product discovery
Set up a pop-up message on your product and website. As users engage with your product, they’ll be notified of the affiliate program opportunity.
For example, once a user reaches a certain level of proficiency or milestone (e.g., using the product for six months), an in-app message could pop up inviting them to share their success with others and earn rewards through the affiliate program.
Integrating these pop-ups in the more advanced stages of the user’s journey makes sense, as you’re more likely to encounter knowledgeable and enthusiastic users there. Someone who just sets up their profile is not familiar enough with your brand to become an affiliate, and you want to avoid repeating your message too many times.
4. Be included in tool and resource lists
The next affiliate marketing strategy is to get your affiliate program featured on 'best tools' lists and 'resource' pages relevant to your industry. Reach out to the curators of these lists with compelling reasons why including you on the page will benefit them.
Provide them with data-backed success stories that can't be ignored, as well as anything else that can get you added to the list easily. Consider a comprehensive list of features, use cases, and updated pricing info. Generally, the more providing you are, the likelier you’ll be featured.
5. Leverage networking events
Affiliate marketing doesn’t only run online. Networking events, conferences, and seminars offer opportunities to promote your program in person. For instance, you could sponsor a session at an e-commerce conference, allowing you to introduce your program to hundreds of potential affiliates in one go.
When doing this affiliate marketing best practice, focus on adding value in a simple way. A QR code with a short copy like ‘Done learning? Start earning by becoming an affiliate’ in the corner of your presentation slides will do the trick.
6. Dive into online communities
To integrate your affiliate program into online communities, such as Reddit, offer value first, answer questions, and solve problems. Don't start pushing your affiliate program from the get-go. Establish yourself as a credible, trustworthy member of the community, and then consider reaching out to people individually who have potential.
Bonus: Create your own affiliate community!
Once you've rounded up some affiliates, you can start growing from the inside out. Create a dedicated space, like a private Slack channel or Facebook group, where your affiliates can share strategies and successes, and get exclusive insights.
This helps retain your affiliates and serves as a testimonial to potential affiliates. They can immediately see your affiliate lists, their journey with you, and the values you offer.
7. Engage with positive customer reviews
Post-purchase surveys can do more than just collect feedback. It also helps you recruit affiliates.
The perfect affiliate is someone enthusiastic about your product, which can be identified through surveys or product reviews. Use high ratings to invite satisfied customers to join your affiliate program. They are likely to be the most authentic promoters of your brand. The same goes for reaching out to people who mention you on social media.
Related: The best marketers are happy customers. Learn how to turn brand fans into affiliate marketers by following these nine easy steps.
8. Increase your focus with targeted advertising
Paid ads on search engines and social media platforms can target individuals interested in affiliate marketing. The trick here is to create ads that stand out and can communicate the benefits of your program quickly. Therefore, besides focusing on the ad budget, invest in great copy and eye-catching banners.
9. Be present on review websites and communities
When someone is considering joining your affiliate program, they’re likely to Google things like:
🔎 [Product Name] affiliate program reviews
🔎 [Product Name] legit affiliate program
🔎 [Product Name] Reddit
Therefore, it’s smart to go through the steps potential affiliates take before signing up for any affiliate program and ensure those channels are covered positively by highlighting your program's unique selling points and benefits. This will increase the trust of those actively seeking new affiliate opportunities.
10. Partner with affiliate marketing courses
Like before, you need to own visibility on relevant places where your potential affiliates are located or do their research, such as on training platforms. Including your affiliate program in affiliate marketing courses can introduce your product to new marketers who are eager to practice what they learn.
11. Write guest post articles
Writing guest blogs for industry articles and websites can help you reach a broader audience who are already genuinely interested in your product’s niche. These articles can be educational with a touch of promotional message about your affiliate program. For instance, writing a piece on 'Trends in SaaS Marketing' can include a section about the role of affiliate marketing, with a call-to-action to join your program.
12. Buddy up with co-marketing promotions
You can reach more audiences by partnering with other SaaS providers or high-profile affiliates to create co-marketing campaigns. This could involve joint webinars, bundled offers, or shared cross-promotional content. There might be some overlap in audiences, but seeing familiar names endorsing each other can increase curiosity and trust.
13. Include your affiliate program in your email marketing
Do you have a running newsletter program? Mention your affiliate program to keep it in your readers’ minds. You could incorporate a subtle banner or share success stories for more traction.
Which Affiliate Marketing Strategies Should You Choose?
Now that you have some ideas about where and how to promote affiliate marketing consider the following factors to decide which channels are best for your SaaS business.
Affiliate profile alignment:
- Does the channel cater to your ideal affiliate profiles?
- Are these affiliates likely to have an audience that aligns with your target market?
- Is there evidence of active engagement on this channel from potential affiliates?
- How responsive are users on this channel to affiliate program promotions?
- Are your competitors using this channel to recruit affiliates?
- What can you learn from their presence (or absence) on this channel?
- What is the cost of using this channel for recruitment efforts?
- Does the potential ROI justify the cost?
- Can you track and measure the success of your recruitment efforts on this channel?
- What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use to assess effectiveness?
- Is this a channel that will provide ongoing opportunities for affiliate recruitment?
- How sustainable is the channel in terms of your long-term affiliate strategy?
Integration with marketing strategy:
- How well does the channel integrate with your existing marketing strategies?
- Can you leverage your current marketing content or campaigns on this channel?
Compliance and brand fit:
- Does the channel align with your brand values and compliance requirements?
- Are there any potential legal or ethical considerations to be aware of?
Complement Your Affiliate Marketing Strategies With Rewardful
Affiliate marketing promotion is an ongoing process. Besides promoting it on external channels, take advantage of your existing affiliate marketers' network by mentioning it in the regular emails you send.
Leverage the email marketing integration Rewardful offers with Customer.io, ConvertKit, and Mailchimp. This allows you to streamline the information sharing while tracking the results from one platform.
Start your affiliate program with Rewardful today and watch your program flourish!