Hack your SaaS growth with these 3 simple strategies
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Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to build an audience before starting your SaaS business. SaaS affiliate programs provide access to other people’s audiences. You’ll gain access to tons of early adopters in a matter of weeks that would otherwise take years. Of course, there are some costs that this article aims to help you get ahead of.
SaaS affiliate programs work so that when an affiliate refers a prospect who buys your product, the affiliate receives a commission in return.
Related: How SaaS is changing the way we work
Three Strategies for Launching Successful SaaS Affiliate Programs
If you’re planning to launch your SaaS or want to grow your customer base quickly and you’re short on cash and not a marketing fan, pay close attention to these strategies.
1. Play the long game with your funnel and pricing structures
Before deciding on your affiliate commission structure, you need to decide on your SaaS pricing structure and profit margin. Do you want one-off prices or recurring prices? Since we are all about growth hacking for a new Saas launch in this piece, a proven strategy is to combine both pricing strategies. Yes, it’s counterintuitive!
But SaaS entrepreneurs who have launched successful SaaS products in a nitro-speed mode know that this is the secret sauce. The development of this strategy will be done in your funnel structure, where affiliates send traffic. Your front-end funnel will be a pay-once-access-for-life offer or lifetime contract (LTD). Lifetime offers are limited paid promotions.
But communicate and enforce usage limits or restrict access to certain premium features for the LTD package. Then put a subscription sale in place. This is very important to have to compensate for costs incurred by offering LTD. Also remember that your recurring income must outgrow your LTD income to keep the model sustainable. Here are some tips to keep it locked:
2. Offer a limited number of lifetime accounts
Use in-app prompts to encourage users to upgrade to an annual subscription when they reach LTD usage limits. Use LTD customers’ first-party data to optimize ads for the subscription offer. You need a viral loop, as your LTD is a promotional strategy. This is where affiliates come in.
Lifetime deals sell fast and affiliates jump on it very quickly. This fact is what the million dollar SaaS LTD platforms and their vast affiliate networks thrive on. When you throw in recurring commissions (on the back of your LTD sales commission) to affiliates whose leads take up your subscription offer, you get a treat of quality leads.
3. Find niche affiliates
Next up is finding affiliates that will form your viral loop. You have two options:
- Reach out and recruit affiliates. Think of this as doing cold affiliate outreach. So, where should you fire your cold shots? It is best to start with blogs and review sites, content creators and influencers, online communities or brands with complementary products.
- Tap an existing associated network. This is the growth hacking route. Of course, you must be prepared to part with some of your earnings.
It is possible to launch on these platforms and have zero affiliate sales. This is where affiliate managers come in. They help you onboard the major whale affiliates and manage your launch in exchange for some percentage of the launch revenue.
Here are some tips to ensure you get the best affiliate companies for your saas affiliate programs:
- Make sure they have access to your target audience
- Go for those who have experience in marketing SaaS
- Verify that their traffic sources are genuine
- Ask how they intend to market your SaaS to ensure your interests align
SaaS marketing requires many moving parts to achieve success. So do some heavy lifting for affiliates by providing them with marketing materials to promote your product.
Your SaaS affiliate program campaign kit should include promotional email templates, a media kit, explainer videos, promos, testimonials and case studies. You can support affiliates by hosting live webinars. All affiliates need to do is drive traffic to the webinars.
LTD’s hybrid approach to SaaS affiliate programs will give you the runway money, feedback and marketing data you need to scale your subscription revenue quickly. At the same time, the recurring commissions keep your affiliates motivated.
Related: A quick checklist for building SaaS businesses