How an Affiliate Program can Help your SaaS
Selling tech is interesting because tech is only really really engaging for a certain group of people. People love the benefits of tech but they don’t sit up late at night waiting for the new release or new feature on a product, unless they’re developers. SaaS is a means to an end; it doesn’t get the attention of a consumer good even if it is vitally important to the success of a business. This is where customer reviews and affiliate programs gain their strength.
This makes marketing and sales a little hard. When people aren’t normally excited about something, what’s more important is to be trusted and have your value understood. With so many ads online, becoming a trusted resource is becoming more difficult as well. More and more people value the opinions of peers ahead of what they read directly from companies online. Now, 95% of people read online reviews from others before making a purchase. One-to-one peer recommendations and product reviews are the most influential content affecting purchase decisions.
This is hugely important for SaaS companies to understand. These stats and behaviors apply even more with a purchase like a SaaS product that is likely to affect work processes, multiple people, and take longer to implement. People generally do their research and peer reviews and opinions are now an impactful part of that.
A great way for SaaS companies to generate high quality leads effortlessly and build trust in your brand and product is an affiliate program.
Your top advocate customers are your best sales team:
There is no better sales team than your current customers. An affiliate program turns your top advocate customers into your sales team. In your current user base, there are some customers who are extremely valuable to you in terms of the potential to be “brand champions”. They are loyal to your product and know the value to them and other customers like them and they are willing to share the news. An affiliate program helps unlock that potential for you by turning them into ambassadors of your brand in a way. You give them both incentive and support in sharing the value of your product with others by introducing an affiliate program. With an incentivized link, sharing for them makes sense. Your team can help support them by providing content and materials to make it easy. They know what features are the most important for them. They know how they use your product in the most effective way. They know what exact pain points your product alleviates. An affiliate program allows you to take advantage of this first-hand perspective on the value of your product.
It’s a much more authentic, powerful way of selling:
Customers are trusting company-generated content less and less. They want to fact check against what ‘real people’ who are in the same position as them are saying about the true value of your product. Fair enough. Your affiliate program supports this and helps you get that content and word out there that customers are looking for. 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. Peer opinion is a powerful factor in the sales process. It’s much more authentic than ads or opinions on features from your team.
Your customers know your future customers:
There is no better way to reach your future customers than through your existing customers. Their networks are basically “look alike” audiences full of others who would very likely see value in your product as well. They already engage organically and authentically with your current customers, making your introduction authentic as well. An affiliate program is the equivalent of someone making a suggestion on a product in person to a friend who has the same pain point. You don’t have to try to generate tons of content to appear in the right search result or pay to be in the top place for the right search; your affiliate partners take care of that for you.
It’s a win-win:
You make more sales and generate more quality leads and your affiliate partners generate passive income sharing a product they already trust and love. It’s a win for both parties involved and all it requires is you setting up a link for them to put to work through their networks.
You can generate more reviews and peer-written content:
76% of consumers are more likely to trust content shared by their peers rather than content shared by brands. Your brand really needs to focus on collecting and putting to use customer-generated content if you want to stay in high favor with potential customers. An affiliate program makes this really effortless. Your current customers are incentivized to create and share their own content and reviews of your product because it directly benefits them. Your team can also use this content on your site and in your own sales process. The point is, you’re generating authentic, positive customer content that is more influential than your team can create on a consistent basis. You can ever offer to help generate content for affiliate partners in the form of case studies and blog articles if your team has the resources.
You can position your brand where it needs to be effortlessly and discover new avenues:
Often times, we don’t even realize the full potential of our product until customers tell us. You may think you’re perfectly positioned for one industry and realized you’re actually more valuable to many others through your customers. Your current customers will position you where you need to be to close sales just like them. As you open up your affiliate program as well, you may discover that other types of customers are advocates for your brand and find value in your product. You will also discover which features are most valuable to your customers and what sells. This information will help you to better your product and better understand your positioning so your sales and marketing team can brand into new areas and support that. Having an affiliate program is like having constant proprietary market research done. Learn more about how to better understand customer needs here.
At Beamer, we’ve opened up an affiliate program for our customers using Beamer and it’s been really successful for us. Our customers all have Beamer on their site, of course. Beamer is a newsfeed that sits within your website interface or your app with updates for just about anything. Our Beamer affiliates will normally add a case study post and Beamer update to their feed detailing their use of Beamer and how it’s helped them to promote it all over their site and app. This is a really effective way of getting their affiliate link out there automatically with little effort on their part!
If you’re considering an affiliate program to get more high quality leads and sales, we absolutely recommend it based on our experience. For a way to easily promote your product both on your site and your affiliates’ sites, try Beamer today.