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How to Start an Affiliate Program for Your SaaS (4 Examples)

Owning a Software as a Service (SaaS) company is like owning any other business. You have your product, and you need to sell it. However, you may be wondering wonder how to promote your offerings and grow your profit.

This is where affiliate marketing comes in. Creating a successful affiliate program can help you generate extra revenue and scale your business. Plus, costs are minimal, and you can reallocate the saved resources elsewhere.

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of starting an affiliate program for your SaaS business. Then, we’ll look at 4 examples of affiliate marketing done well. Let’s get started!

The Benefits of a Starting an Affiliate Program for Your SaaS Company

Starting an affiliate program can be a good move for a SaaS company. It comes with minimal costs and offers plenty of opportunities to promote new products.

Content creators can help you drive revenue by recommending your products to their audiences. You can then pay them a commission on every sale made through their affiliate links.

This model can be more effective than traditional advertising. In fact, a study by Forrester Consulting shows that companies with affiliate programs grow twice as fast.

If you have a WordPress website, you can use our Easy Affiliate plugin to create your very own self-hosted affiliate program:

Easy Affiliate homepage

This tool enables you to easily recruit and manage affiliates. You’ll also have access to real-time reports on your program, email marketing, one-click payouts, and more.

4 Successful SaaS Affiliate Marketing Examples

Before you set up your affiliate program, it’s helpful to look at some successful examples. Let’s look at a few popular SaaS affiliate marketing programs.

1. Canva

Canva is a drag-and-drop graphic design tool that helps users create professional images and documents. It also offers templates for different types of marketing material, including social media posts, logos, and presentations.

Canva homepage. An Saas affiliate program example

Canva’s affiliate program is relatively new, but it has over 8,000 partners. Affiliates can earn up to $36 for each new subscriber that signs up through their referral links. If a user takes out a monthly subscription, the affiliate gets a commission for the first two months of that membership. 

Additionally, the company offers regular and flexible payment options. It also uses cookie-based tracking software so that affiliates can be credited within 30 days of the first click on a referral link.

Key takeaway: Offer a generous commission on new signups. This can help incentivize your affiliates to promote your product more frequently.

2. All in One SEO

All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is one of the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress. Used by over three million professionals, the tool offers on-page optimization, smart sitemaps, schema support, webmaster tools, and more.

All in One SEO main page. An Saas affiliate program example

Much like with Canva, AIOSEO’s commission rates for affiliates are very generous. Every sale is worth 20%, whether for a basic or an elite license. The affiliate will earn at least $9.90 on a single referral, and up to $83.80 per sale.

Moreover, the program offers ready-made banners and marketing material for affiliates. This can help them save time and make more sales.

Key takeaway: Offering ready-made banners can help you attract potential partners. You could even use Canva to create them!

3. HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the leading names in the digital marketing industry. The company offers a range of customer relationship management (CMR) tools for businesses.

Hubspot homepage. An Saas affiliate program example

HubSpot’s affiliate program offers some unique incentives. For instance, it gives the affiliate a choice between two options: a 15% recurring commission rate for one year or a 100% flat rate on the first month’s revenue. It also offers a 90-day cookie window, allowing affiliates more time to convert their leads.

Key takeaway: Consider giving multiple commission options to attract more members. Additionally, a generous cookie window can help make your program more popular.

4. Smash Balloon

Smash balloon is a WordPress plugin for displaying social media feeds on websites. With over 1.75 million users, it offers options for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

Smash Balloon homepage. An Saas affiliate program example

Smash Balloon’s affiliate program offers a standard 20% commission rate on each sale. Affiliates can earn up to $119.60 on a single purchase. This amount can be higher if the customer goes on to purchase multiple plugins.

The cookie window is 30 days. It also offers a range of banners and marketing materials.

Key takeaway: If you have more than one product, try to offer attractive commission rates on multiple purchases made by the same user. This can help you make more sales.


If you sell software and digital tools, an affiliate marketing program can help boost your profits. By outsourcing your sales and marketing to content creators and influencers, you can free up a lot of time and resources.

In this post, we looked at 4 successful SaaS affiliate marketing programs:

  1. Canva: A graphic design tool that offers attractive commission rates on subscriptions.
  2. All in One SEO: This WordPress plugin provides a range of banners and marketing materials to its affiliates.
  3. HubSpot: This SaaS company gives affiliates a choice of commission plans.
  4. Smash Balloon: Its affiliate program offers commissions on different plugins, enabling members to earn more when a customer makes multiple purchases.

Do you have any questions about SaaS affiliate marketing programs? Let us know in the comments section!

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