Best Affiliate Programs for SaaS Startups

published on 09 November 2023

Affiliate marketing can be an extremely effective user acquisition strategy for SaaS startups and tech companies. By promoting relevant affiliate programs that align with your product or service, you can leverage existing audiences and influencers to drive new users and sales for your business.

The key benefits of affiliate marketing for SaaS companies include:

  • Access to New Audiences - Leverage an affiliate's engaged followers and relationships to reach potential users you couldn't on your own. This expands your reach.
  • Performance-Based - Only pay commissions when affiliates drive real conversions and sales. Costs scale with growth.
  • Recurring Commissions - Reward affiliates with recurring payouts based on the lifetime value of each customer acquired. This incentivizes driving high-quality leads.
  • Automated Tracking - Robust affiliate platforms provide attribution and analytics to optimize your partnerships for better ROI.

As an acquisition channel, affiliate marketing complements initiatives like content marketing, paid ads, and email marketing for SaaS startups.

In this post, we'll cover the top affiliate networks for SaaS products and services. We'll also evaluate factors when choosing a program and best practices to maximize your affiliate strategy.

Top Affiliate Networks for SaaS Companies

When choosing an affiliate program, look for networks focused on subscriptions, robust tracking, and affiliates already influential with your buyers. Here are 5 top options:


  • 4,000+ merchant programs including leading SaaS brands like Unicorn CRM, SaaSify, and others.
  • Average 8% commission rate across affiliates.
  • Recurring payouts for subscription programs.
  • Affiliate management and tracking tools.
  • Apps and WordPress plugins for easy integration.


  • Specialized in promoting SaaS affiliate programs.
  • 15%+ average commissions.
  • Dedicated account managers.
  • $50 minimum payment threshold suitable for startups.
  • Strong analytics for tracking conversions and optimizing partnerships.


  • Integrates directly with WordPress sites.
  • Manage affiliates and payouts within WordPress.
  • Offer multi-tier commission structures.
  • Affiliate marketing tutorials and community.
  • Pricing starts at $99/year.

Post Affiliate Pro

  • Full affiliate platform with recurring payouts for SaaS.
  • Real-time reporting and analytics.
  • Fraud protection tools like cookie stuffing filters.
  • Flexible commission structures.
  • Focused purely on SaaS affiliate programs.
  • 20% average commissions.
  • 90-day cookie period.
  • Daily payments.
  • Large network of SaaS merchants and affiliates.

Recruit CRM Affiliate Program

  • $100 reward for each qualified demo.
  • Real-time tracking and reporting with Trackdesk for transparency.
  • Monthly payments through a raised invoice at month-end.
  • Comprehensive affiliate support provided.
  • Primary payment via PayPal but open to alternative platforms for suitability.

Next let's explore the core factors to evaluate when reviewing programs.

Key Factors in Choosing an Affiliate Program

When evaluating SaaS affiliate programs, key factors include:

  • Commission Rates & Structure - Look for 10%+ recurring payouts.
  • Merchant Relevance - Network should have quality SaaS companies complementary to yours.
  • Tracking & Analytics - Identify your best partnerships through robust reporting.
  • Payment Terms - Favorable minimums and fast payouts benefit startups.
  • WordPress Integrations - Plugins and APIs enable easy implementation.

The ideal program will align with your SaaS product, growth goals, and technical capabilities. Testing different options will reveal which work best.

Best Practices for SaaS Affiliate Marketing

Follow these best practices to maximize your SaaS affiliate program ROI:

  • Drive targeted, high intent traffic rather than random visitors. Relevancy boosts conversions.
  • Create detailed content assets and tools to help affiliates promote your solution to their audiences.
  • Leverage existing email lists and communities when possible. Affiliates pitching to their engaged contacts converts better than cold outreach.
  • Offer exclusive discounts or extensions on trials or subscriptions to incentivize referrals.
  • Integrate tracking with your CRM, email, and analytics platforms for full visibility.
  • Partner with influencers who create SaaS content for your ideal customer personas. Their authority can convert readers.

Conclusion - Key Takeaways

When implemented effectively, affiliate marketing can scale SaaS user acquisition alongside other growth channels. Remember these tips:

  • Select programs with strong SaaS focus, 10%+ commissions, and conversion tracking.
  • Create highly targeted, high-quality content to assist affiliate partners.
  • Integrate affiliate data into your CRM and analytics stack.
  • Test partnerships and programs continuously to improve performance.
  • Motivate affiliates with exclusive offers, email promos, and access to engaged audiences.
  • Work with influencers who already create content for your target customers.

The right partnerships and optimization make affiliate marketing a powerful growth channel for SaaS startups. To further explore maximizing affiliate marketing for your SaaS startup, check out Unicorn Platform's guide.

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