The top affiliate networks for SaaS startups in 2023

published on 09 November 2023

Affiliate marketing has become an invaluable customer acquisition channel for many B2B SaaS startups. By partnering with relevant content creators, influencers, and publishers in their niche, SaaS companies can tap into new audiences and drive recurring revenue through performance-based commissions.

Unlike other paid advertising models, affiliate marketing is entirely risk-free, as businesses only pay their partners when a referred customer completes a purchase or signs up for a subscription. This pay-for-performance structure provides startups with a predictable, scalable growth engine.

For SaaS and subscription businesses specifically, affiliate marketing offers the ability to reward partners with commissions on ongoing monthly or yearly customer subscriptions, rather than one-off sales. This helps maximize lifetime value.

This article provides a comparison of the top 10 affiliate networks well-suited for SaaS startups and tech companies looking to capitalize on this win-win marketing channel.

Key Criteria for Evaluating Affiliate Networks

When researching affiliate network options, some important factors for SaaS startups to consider include:

  • Recurring Commission Models - The ability to pay affiliates ongoing commissions matched to subscription billing cycles. This ensures partners are incentivized to promote long-term retention.

  • Tracking and Attribution - Robust analytics and clear attribution modeling to accurately track sales driven by each affiliate. Reliable tracking ensures proper crediting.

  • Relevant Affiliates - A network featuring affiliates that engage with your target B2B or B2C audience. Relevance drives conversions.

  • Global Reach - Expansive geographic span allowing your startup to scale partnerships worldwide. Wider reach enables growth.

  • Flexibility - Customizable commission rates and structures tailored to your goals. More flexibility optimizes earnings.

  • Costs - Any fees involved in using the network, such as monthly charges or revenue shares. Lower costs increase ROI.

Based on the criteria above, here are 10 of the top affiliate platforms for SaaS and subscription startups:

1. Impact

  • Specialized network focused on SaaS, fintech, and subscriptions.
  • Flexible recurring commission models to reward partners.
  • Strong pixel tracking and analytics.
  • High-quality affiliates vetted for your niche.

2. ClickBank

  • Massive digital marketplace perfect for info products.
  • Access to over 200 million customers globally.
  • Lets you pay affiliates on customer subscriptions.
  • Up to 50% commissions on sales.

3. ShareASale

  • Huge network operating in over 200 countries.
  • Supports recurring SaaS commissions.
  • Real-time customizable analytics and reporting.

4. Awin

  • Leading affiliate network with global scale.
  • Subscription tracking for SaaS earnings.
  • Robust reporting to optimize partnerships.

5. CJ Affiliate

  • Mature, extensive affiliate platform.
  • Specialized tracking options for SaaS.
  • Provides dedicated affiliate manager support.

6. Unicorn Platform

- AI-powered website builder tailored for SaaS startups.

  • Drag-and-drop editor to quickly launch campaigns.
  • Viral sharing tools to boost customer referrals.
  • Focused on advanced analytics for optimizing programs.
    -Subscription plans with flexible recurring commissions.
  • Cost-per-acquisition pricing model.

8. Admitad

  • Affiliate network based in Europe but global reach.
  • Numerous tools for managing partnerships at scale.
  • Get started with no upfront fees.

9. Everflow

  • Specialized in tracking SaaS, ecommerce, lead gen sales.
  • Pixel tracking with customizable attribution.
  • Real-time campaign reporting.


  • Mature network with over 500,000 affiliates.
  • Customizable commissions and tracking.
  • Dedicated account management.

How to Select the Right Affiliate Network

With so many options, here are some tips for SaaS startups to choose the best network:

  • Sign up for multiple networks - Try 2-3 to compare program results.

  • Focus on relevant affiliates - Leverage partners knowledgeable of your niche.

  • Evaluate commission rates - Compare earnings potential across networks.

  • Assess tracking capabilities - Ensure proper attribution modeling.

  • Consider any costs - Minimize fees to maximize ROI.

  • Take advantage of free trials - Experience platforms firsthand.

By partnering with affiliates aligned to your SaaS startup's audience and niche, integrating top-performing networks into your marketing strategy, and continually optimizing partnerships, affiliate marketing can provide sustainable and scalable customer acquisition.

Start Driving Recurring Revenue Growth Today

Affiliate marketing presents a highly promising channel for SaaS and subscription startups to accelerate expansion. This article provided tips for selecting the right affiliate platform and a comparison of the top network options.

We recommend picking 1-2 of the top networks discussed to launch initial test campaigns. Focus on recruiting affiliates engaged with your target SaaS customers and industry.

Over time, you can scale partnerships through the highest converting channels and turn affiliate marketing into an engine of predictable recurring revenue and subscriber growth.

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