Skip to main content

Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for program participants and SMB SaaS Platforms: the SaaS company gets more customers, the affiliate marketer can earn money, and the customer enjoys software that meets their needs. BUT, only when it ‘s built to support affiliate marketers.

So first things first… What is a SaaS affiliate program? It’s actually very similar to any other style affiliate programs – it involves partnering with individuals or businesses (affiliates) who promote the SaaS product to their audience. In return, these affiliates earn a commission for each sale or customer acquisition achieved through their referral link.

Picking the right SaaS affiliate program is crucial for success in affiliate marketing. A suitable program can boost earnings, increase conversion rates, and enhance your brand. However, a wrong program can waste your time and resources and weaken your brand. Careful consideration and selection of an affiliate program is fundamental to the success of an affiliate marketing strategy.

So, here’s five points to help you get it right…

5 ways to pick a winning SaaS Affiliate Program

SaaS Affiliate Program Commission Rates

The first factor to consider when choosing a SaaS affiliate program in the SMB class is the commission rate. We know affiliate marketers are in this game to make money! This is the percentage of each sale that will be paid to the affiliate as their commission and will typically have a tenure of 12 months of recurring revenue on any sale made. When it comes to SaaS organizations, where profit margins are typically higher than hardware, consumer, or services-based businesses, marketers should look for programs offering a minimum 20% commission rate, with best-in-class offering over 30%. Userback’s own program offers affiliates 35% commission as an example.

Cookie Duration

Cookie duration refers to the length of time after a user clicks on an affiliate link during which a commission will be awarded to the affiliate for any resulting sales. Affiliate marketers need to understand their window of opportunity when looking at SaaS affiliate programs, the same as any other. A longer cookie duration means more time to convert audiences into customers, increasing potential earnings. It’s crucial to choose a program with a reasonable cookie duration that aligns with a customer’s buying behavior. As a rule of thumb, some SMB SaaS organizations may offer as few as 7-14 days where sales cycles are very fast, while others may be more generous offering up to 30 days where the desired outcome is to support affiliate outcomes.

Check out Userback’s own affiliate program

Explore the Userback program

Product Relevance

The product or service being promoted by any affiliate should be relevant to their audience and align with the content they create. For example, a beauty blogger promoting a SaaS product feedback and user research platform may not be as effective as a tech influencer doing the same. Therefore, it’s essential to choose affiliates whose audience’s interests and needs align with your product. This one’s pretty straightforward and makes it easier (and more profitable) for everyone!

Affiliate Support

A good SaaS affiliate program should offer support and resources to help affiliates effectively promote the product. This can include marketing materials, training, and a dedicated contact person for any queries or concerns, ideally the marketed solution is simple enough not to need a super-deep technical understanding, and a well-articulated point of value will suffice to attract audiences, whilst a quality product converts.

A well-supported affiliate is more likely to be successful in promoting any product. Just ask any of our team via the dedicated [email protected] email 🙂

Tracking and Reporting

An effective SaaS affiliate program should have simple systems in place for tracking and reporting on conversions every affiliate can view and assess in real time. Allowing for accurate commission payouts and monitoring of performance builds trust on both sides. Many platforms like PartnerStack  or Rewardful make this super simple for business – even the smallest SMB SaaS affiliate programs can engage a platform like this – So only choose a program with reliable tracking and reporting tools to ensure transparency and fairness.


In conclusion, when choosing a SaaS affiliate program that targets the SMB market, there’s plenty to consider, but pay special attention to those critical factors mentioned above.

Earning via these dedicated SaaS affiliate marketing programs can be a highly effective strategy for individuals to make money and SaaS businesses looking to expand their reach and acquire new customers. By carefully choosing the programs, individuals like you can tap into your audience with relevant and interesting tools that add value to their daily work and drive conversions and dollars. Remember to always prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to selecting any SaaS affiliate program and to thoroughly understand the product and target audience before making any decision. With a well-designed and supported SaaS affiliate program, both the business and you can achieve mutual success.

Happy marketing!