10 Best SaaS Affiliate Programs To Join

10 Best SaaS Affiliate Programs To Join
06 January, 2024 • ... • 89 views
Natalie Voloshchuk
by Natalie Voloshchuk

SaaS affiliate programs are some of the biggest earners out there right now. In this article, we will talk about what sets SaaS affiliate programs apart, why they are worth the effort, and what to pay attention to when choosing a program to promote. We will also look at the 10 of some of the best offers in the space and discuss what each of them brings to the table.

What is a SaaS affiliate program and its benefits?

A SaaS affiliate program is a type of marketing partnership where a software as a service (SaaS) company pays third-party advertisers a commission for promoting their products and generating leads or sales. In other words, if you join such a partnership, promote the tool, and people end up buying, you will earn a commission from the company for your efforts.

The industry itself is growing rapidly. The revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023–2028) of 7.69%, resulting in an estimated market volume of $374.50 billion by 2028. 

SaaS affiliate programs have their own benefits in comparison to partnerships in other markets:

  • High one-time or recurring commission. According to The State of Affiliate marketing report, SaaS affiliate programs offer the highest average commissions on the market, from 20 to 70%. For example, Selzy offers up to 60% from your first sale. After that, you’ll get 30%, 40% or 50% from every purchase the customer you referred makes within one year. 
  • Broad audience base. There is a variety of SaaS products, and they are in high demand across various industries and niches, especially with the rise of remote work and digital transformation. The affiliates have a choice from a large and diverse audience of potential customers.
  • Access to the latest marketing materials. The companies often provide their affiliates with the latest and most effective marketing materials — banners, landing pages, email templates, and product demos. This makes your work much easier and saves you time and money.

What to pay attention to in SaaS affiliate marketing programs?

Before you explore our list of the 10 best SaaS affiliate programs, consider these points on how to choose a good one.

Niche and topic fit

Do you already have a blog or a social media profile? Do you plan to use it to promote the affiliate product? If yes, consider a fit between the product and the topics you usually cover. Consider the audience that reads or watches your content — would those people be interested in the product you want to promote?  

For example:

  • ❌ A blog for teachers about how to teach in class promoting an online platform that allows users to create and sell online courses, memberships, and downloads, like Podia.
  • ✔️ A blog of a course creator teaching other creators how to create and sell their courses promoting an online platform like Podia. 

If there is a good match, you can expect a good conversion rate (number of people who bought out of all the people who saw your recommendation). If the fit is poor though, you may have no sales at all.  

Demand for the product

Consider how much demand there is for your chosen product. You can get an idea by using keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Semrush or Google Keyword Planner to estimate how many searches per month there are for the product. 

Look at keywords that suggest buying intent — for example, “Selzy pricing plans”, or “Selzy vs Pipedrive comparison”. It will help you understand how likely you are to make money off the affiliate program: the larger the search volume, the higher the chances.

The reputation of the brand and the quality of their marketing materials

A rating above 4 (out of 5) on a big platform like G2, GetApp, or others means that it is most likely a solid brand with a good reputation and customers are happy with it:

  1. A good reputation makes it much easier to convince other people to try the product.
  2. It also means most of the customers are happy with it and keep using it. Many SaaS affiliate programs have recurring commissions that last for a year or even as long as the customer stays with them. So, you might be able to keep getting a commission for the same customer you referred months ago.

One way to check the brand for credibility is looking at their marketing tactics. To learn more about different channels and promotion methods, check out Selzy’s guide that gives a definitive answer to the question “What is marketing?

High commission rates

There are many commission models out there but they can be grouped into two categories based on two factors —  “mission” and commission structure. 

“Mission” refers to what affiliates are working towards. 

  • Pay-per-lead. The business pays its affiliates for each lead that affiliates bring. Lead can mean registering for a free demo, or something else.
  • Pay-per-sale (also sometimes called CPA, or cost-per-acquisition type). The business pays its affiliates for each paying customer the affiliates bring. For example, it counts as a paying customer when a person first buys a subscription.

There are many different commission structures, here are the most popular:

  • Percentage-based. The affiliate gets paid a percentage of the sale amount or a percentage of the revenue.
  • Fixed amount, or a flat fee. This type pays a set amount of money for each referred customer, no matter whether that customer bought a minimal subscription plan or the most expensive one.
  • Tiered. This affiliate commission structure has two or more tiers, and the higher tier pays out more than previous ones. It can be based on how many people the affiliate referred or on some other criteria. 
  • Recurring. This type keeps paying a commission for each purchase the customer does, not just once but for a while longer. It can be a year, or even a “lifetime”, or for as long as the referred person remains a paying customer.
  • Hybrid. A combination of two or more types — for example, percentage-based, tiered, and recurring like Selzy.

In the SaaS space, the percentage can vary between 15% to 65%, as you’ll see from the programs in this article. The higher the commission for a single referral, the more you are going to earn. The product’s rates are also important — the pricing plans can vary a lot between different SaaS tools and pricing plans, from as low as $15 per month to $999 a month.  

Long cookie lifespan (referral window)

Cookie lifespan, or cookie duration is how long the company is going to consider you the referrer of the new user. Some companies may have a very short referral window — for example, 7 days. If you send a potential customer to them and that customer does nothing, but then comes back 9 days later and signs up, it would already not count as your reference and you would not get paid.

This is quite restrictive — thankfully, cookie duration in SaaS affiliate programs tends to be much longer than that. For example, Selzy offers a whole year — 365 days — as a referral window. If a person was referred by you, and then came back and signed up anywhere within a year after that, it counts as your “sale” and you will get paid the commission.

10 best SaaS affiliate programs to consider

Now let’s dive into the details of the ten affiliate programs that are among the best in the SaaS space. Here are those programs, in no particular order.

1. Selzy

Selzy is an easy-to-use email marketing platform that gives its customers a choice from 140+ goal-oriented templates, variations of countdown timers, 800k+ GIFs and stickers, and more.  

Selzy affiliate program offers 60% on the first payment and has three levels of commission after that.

Selzy affiliate program has a starter bonus of 60% on the first payment that comes via your referral link. After that, there exist three levels of commission — 30% from each payment for people who brought up to 10 paying customers, 40% for those who brought 11-39 customers, and 50% commission for those who referred over 40. 

Selzy offers an amazing cookie duration — 365 days so that you are never going to miss commission for people you refer. The company also provides materials (including branded banners and logos), reviewed by their own marketing department and up-to-date with the current marketing trends. It is a good choice for freelancers, email marketers, digital marketing agencies, YouTube bloggers, and website owners in the marketing and business niches.

Commission: Up to 60% commission on the first sale via your referral link; 30–50% commission on recurring payments within a year

Payments: Wise, ACH, wire transfer, and other options. Monthly payments for referrals on monthly plans, payments every 3 months for annual-plan referrals

Cookie duration: 1 year

More details: Selzy affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5

2. Podia

Podia is an all-in-one platform and digital website builder where creators can sell courses, webinars, digital downloads, and build community in one place.     

Podia affiliate program offers up to 30% recurring commission.
Source: Podia

Podia affiliate program has three tiers and offers up to 30% recurring commission, and it is the lifetime type — the payments will keep coming as long as the customer you referred remains a paying customer. Their cookie lifespan duration is only 30 days, however, which is quite modest compared to other programs in the niche. 

Podia is a good choice for people whose audience consists of current or potential business owners or just skilled people looking to sell their expertise through teaching.

The affiliate program is free to join. 

Commission: Up to 30%, recurring

Payments: PayPal or direct deposit in the currency of your choice

Cookie duration: 30 days

More details: Podia affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5

3. Woorise

Woorise is a suite of lead-generation tools that allow small businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketing agencies to create a wide range of promotional campaigns, landing pages, and engaging forms. 

Woorise affiliate program offers up to 30% recurring commission on each sale.
Source: Woorise

Woorise affiliate program offers up to 30% commission on each sale they make to the person you referred. It is a recurring type — meaning payments will keep coming as long as someone stays a paying customer. 

Woorise affiliate program is a good choice for those whose audience consists of freelance and in-house marketers, small business owners, website owners, other affiliate marketers, and perhaps CEOs and CMOs of companies.

The affiliate program is completely free to join and you do not need to use the platform yourself for it.

Commission: Up to 30% recurring commission

Payments: PayPal

Cookie duration: 90 days

More details: Woorise affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5

4. Brand24

Brand24 is an AI-powered social listening tool that gives access to mentions across social media, news, blogs, videos, forums, podcasts, reviews, and more.

Brand24 affiliate program offers a recurring commission of up to 30%.
Source: Brand24

They offer a recurring commission of up to 30%, which is not so little considering that paid plans range from $79 to $399 a month.

Brand24 Partner Program (as the company itself calls it) is a good choice for those whose audiences are interested in online marketing tools, offering potential customers high-quality solutions for online monitoring, social media management, and competitor analysis. This can include marketers, agencies, social media managers, PR specialists, consultants, small brands, and others.

Commission: 20–30% recurring commission, tiered

Payments: PayPal and Stripe

Cookie duration: 90 days

More details: Brand24 partner program

Product G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5

5. Unbounce

Unbounce is a landing page builder, which also has pop-ups and sticky bars. It’s a popular software that has over 8,5K companies using it.

Unbounce affiliate program offers 20% lifetime recurring revenue.
Source: Unbouce

You can earn 20% recurring revenue with Unbounce’s affiliate program, as long as the person or company you referred remains a paying customer. 

This software is aimed at marketers (from small business owners to freelancers), so its partner program is a good fit for those who have a marketing audience or is an agency. 

Commission: 20% recurring commission

Payments: PayPal and Stripe

Cookie duration: 90 days

More details: Unbounce partner program

Product G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5

6. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a CRM platform that is geared towards sales. It has an email marketing feature in addition to that and is a popular tool that reached 100,000 customers in 2021.

Pipedrive affiliate program offers 20% from all revenue for the first year after customer signs up.
Source: Pipedrive

Pipedrive affiliate program offers 20% from all revenue for the first year since the person or the company you referred stays a paying customer. The affiliate side is one part of its Partnership Program. 

The other part of it is what they call the Premier program, and it’s for a more hands-on approach and requires one to be an expert in Pipedrive and be credited by the Pipedrive as such. This one also lets you earn a 20% commission, and for a lifetime instead of just one year. However, it comes with the requirement to be an expert in the tool and be certified by Pipedrive. 

According to Pipedrive itself, its affiliate program is for publishers, influencers, independent consultants, and anyone whose audience may be interested in finding a perfect CRM tool for their needs.

Commission: 20% recurring commission

Payments: Not stated, contact support for more intel

Cookie duration: 90 days

More details: Pipedrive affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5

7. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is an easy-to-use accounting and bookkeeping software for businesses of any size — from freelancers and self-employed professionals to contractors to companies with many employees. The tool claims that more than 30 million people use it. 

Freshbooks affiliate program offers a commission of up to $10 per free trial sign up, and up to $200 per paid subscription.
Source: Freshbooks

Freshbooks affiliate program is different from the others on the list — here, you get paid for every trial signup, as well as every upgrade to a paid plan. The commissions are up to $10 per free trial, plus up to $200 per paid subscription. They have a quite long cookie duration — a whopping 120 days. 

This is quite big because the tool has a free 30-day trial — something many potential users would be willing to take advantage of.

Freshbooks affiliate program is a good choice for those whose audience consists of accountants, freelancers, contractors, small business owners, and others interested in accounting software.

Commission: Up to $10 per free trial, plus up to $200 per paid subscription

Payments: ShareASale payment methods — check, direct deposit, wire transfer, and Payoneer

Cookie duration: 120 days

More details: Freshbooks affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5

8. AnyTrack

AnyTrack is an innovative platform that offers comprehensive tracking of an entire sales funnel. It can track conversions across different devices, platforms, and campaigns, and follow both online and offline conversions, which makes it a great tool for data-driven marketers, startups, and businesses that run big advertising campaigns. 

How to estimate the efficiency of your marketing efforts? There is a metric that gives you a comprehensive answer to that — it’s called return on investment (ROI). Check out our guide to the marketing ROI calculator to learn what it is, why it’s important, and how to use it.

AnyTrack affiliate program offers a 15% lifetime commission on subscription revenues.
Source: AnyTrack

AnyTrack affiliate program offers a 15% commission on subscription revenues, which will be paid to you for as long as the referred user remains a paying customer of AnyTrack.

AnyTrack affiliate program is a good choice for those whose audience is digital marketers, PPC (pay-per-click) advertisers that work with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other platforms, startups, and performance marketing agencies. 

Commission: 15% recurring commission

Payments: Transfer to bank account via Stripe Connect

Cookie duration: 30 days

More details: AnyTrack affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.3 out of 5

9. Canva

Canva is a popular online graphic design tool that has 135M active monthly users as of 2023. It is easy to use for beginners and non-designers, yet is good enough for professional use, too.  The majority of its users are in education and non-profit, but it’s a tool that a lot of digital marketers, social media marketers, and advertisers use no matter their industry.

Canva rolled out a new affiliate program - called the Empower Canvassador ​program.
Source: Canva

Canva’s affiliate program worked with all kinds of affiliates, but this broad program is going to sunset by January 31, 2024. Instead, they are launching an Empower Canvassador program — a new approach targeted at content creators whose content is focused on Canva. 

According to the company itself, they are “…looking for community members who consistently create engaging content ​around Canva’s products and features”. This would include social media content creators, workshop/webinar facilitators, podcasters, and course developers.

This new program has requirements on who can join it — for example, a person needs to have an active and engaged audience — so only consider it if you fit them.

There is no clear data on what affiliate commissions for the Empower Canvassador program will look like, other than there would be affiliate payouts based on Canva Pro plan purchases. With the previous one, you could earn a commission of up to 25% of the sale, depending on the type of subscription and the number of referrals the affiliates made.

Commission: N/a, previously — up to 25% per sale

Payments: Previously — PayPal and wire transfer

Cookie duration: 90 days

More details: Empower Canvassador ​program

Product G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5

10. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a help desk software for multiple channels from telephony to knowledge bases.

LiveAgent affiliate program gives a $5 bonus to new affiliates and offers 20% recurring commission.
Source: LiveAgent

LiveAgent affiliate program gives a $5 bonus to new affiliates just for signing up for the program. It then offers 20% commission from the initial payment your referred user does + 20% commission on all following recurring payments, as long as the user remains a paying customer.

There is a big difference between LiveAgent and other programs in this list. 

LiveAgent splits the commission to all involved affiliates in case the sale was referred by more than one of them. This means that if you and three more affiliates refer the same person, the reward will be split between all four of you.

LiveAgent is a good choice for people whose audience consists of CEOs, CMOs, and other business executives, purchasing department employees within bigger companies, and potentially department heads of marketing, sales, IT, and customer support departments as well.

Commission: 20% recurring commission

Payments: Not stated, contact support for more details

Cookie duration: 90 days

More details: LiveAgent affiliate program

Product G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5

Tips for finding a high-paying SaaS affiliate program

There are plenty of SaaS affiliate programs out there, and the popular ones are often easy to find in lists and rankings that are published by various websites (yes, just like this article). But that’s not the only way to find them, and many programs never make it into lists, either — so here are a few ways to search for SaaS affiliate programs to find as many of them as possible.

Check out affiliate directories

Affiliate directories are places where affiliate program teams post information about their program. They are a good place to explore affiliate programs in various niches. 

Affiliate directories often let you filter programs by category, niche, type, and commission size. 

Here are a few of the directories to get you started:

Browse through the content monetization platform lists

These platforms are the tools that let you benefit from affiliate marketing without joining individual affiliate programs. They transform regular links into affiliate links. If there are sales generated through these links, the platform will pass the commission back to you, after taking a percentage for itself. 

The content monetization platforms can help you get a wider picture of affiliate programs. Here are a few to check out: 

Score through affiliate networks

An affiliate network is an online platform, an intermediary, that connects digital publishers like website owners, YouTube bloggers, and others with companies, brands, and merchants looking to promote their products and services. It acts as a hub and lists numerous affiliate programs while also providing training, tools for tracking performance, and other resources.

There don’t seem to be SaaS-specific affiliate networks, but that does not impede the search. Here are some of the big ones to start with: 

Find affiliate programs through referral links of other affiliates

Look for referral links on websites and social media channels of other bloggers, influencers, and affiliate sites in the niche you are researching. It will be even easier if you already know who your direct competitors are.

You can use competitor analysis tools like SimilarWeb or search for content similar to yours on Google. Then look at the links from their articles and you’ll likely find whom they are promoting.

Conclusion

SaaS affiliate programs are a lucrative and rewarding way to make money online by recommending software products. When choosing an affiliate program to promote, consider the following aspects:

  • Niche and topic fit. Consider who your audience is, what type of software they use or could potentially use, and how relevant the pricing of the various suitable programs is.  A good match between these would bring a good conversion rate, while a poor one may result in no conversions at all. 
  • Demand for the product. Approximate the demand by looking at how many people search for the product you want to promote.  
  • Reputation of the brand. Check the reviews on G2, GetApps, and other major review sites for the brand’s reputation among its customers. 
  • Commission rates. Look for affiliate programs offering high (40% to 65% of the sale) recurring commissions to maximize the revenue. 
  • Cookie lifespan. Prioritize affiliate programs with a long cookie lifespan, since this way, your earnings will be higher.
06 January, 2024
Article by
Natalie Voloshchuk
Natalie is a content writer and blog writer that specializes in SEO and on-page optimization. Her specialty is marketing and sustainability niches, with years of actual hands-on experience in the roles like digital marketer generalist, webmaster and Facebook advertiser. Outside and in the course of work, Natalie remains an animal lover and a human-nature coexistence enthusiast.
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