10 Essential Features To Run A Successful SaaS Affiliate Program

7 features SaaS affiliate software

If you’re a business owner or marketing professional who wants to maximize your brand exposure through third-party promotion, SaaS affiliate software is a must-have tool for your business. Affiliate software for SaaS companies gives you the power to create, launch, and manage an affiliate program all from one central platform. What’s more, affiliate software includes tools to track metrics, automate aspects of your campaigns, and optimize your efforts for maximum effect. 

Not all software solutions are equal in this regard, though, so it’s essential that you know what to look for when you’re comparing your options. This article will provide a reference for all the features the best affiliate marketing software for SaaS businesses should contain, so you’ll be able to narrow down the right solution for your company.

1. A Free Trial Period

It might not seem like much, but being able to try out a software product before you commit can make a world of difference. The trial period allows you to try the software on for size and see if all the other advertised features work as intended for your business. If it turns out that the affiliate program doesn’t live up to expectations or doesn’t include what you need, you’ll be able to cancel without wasting any money or being locked into a contract.

2. Simple Software Integrations

You’re likely using all manner of additional software for your business, and having it work in tandem with your affiliate software isn’t something you should overlook. Hubspot users, for instance, may find it useful to sync the leads acquired through their affiliate software with contacts on their CRM software. Users of Stripe or PayPal might want to use those programs to send and receive affiliate payments.

Software integrations make this possible — melding numerous parts into a functioning whole — and you’ll want the affiliate software to support as many streamlined integrations as possible to help save you time and effort. One-click integrations, as they’re termed, do precisely that, allowing you to hit the ground running with making your affiliate program a central part of your marketing plans.

3. Affiliate Recruitment & Management Tools

Without a reliable base of partners, your affiliate program cannot achieve growth. Your affiliate marketing software should aid you in juggling the multiple facets of recruiting and managing the best affiliates for your campaigns. This is a broad feature, but at the minimum, your choice for affiliate software should include the following.

This includes the ability to accept applications for new affiliates, record their information in your affiliate dashboard, and get them set up so they can start promoting your product. With more advanced affiliate software, you might also have the ability to automatically invite new affiliates onboard and approve applications for your program.

In addition to bringing partners into the fold, your software should also help you get them prepared for success. This means setting up affiliate codes and links, along with equipping them with all the shareable content they’ll need to spread the word about your products on social media and other online spaces.

Ideally, you’ll be able to add content for your affiliates quickly, with minimal hassle, and be able to do so from URLs that automatically convert to unique affiliate links for each of your partners. To minimize your workload, you should have the ability to update content across multiple channels simultaneously, and, in addition, you should be certain the amount of content updates you’re able to execute is unlimited so you don’t have to worry about stifling your marketing team’s creativity.

4. Affiliate Engagement and Communication Tools

The relationship between your business and your affiliates is continually evolving, so your software should help manage the continuous communications you’ll need to keep the partnership going strong. For most businesses, that includes the ability to disburse updates to your affiliates in the form of emails, newsletters, and more, to let them know about potential leads and other vital information.

5. Easy Affiliate Commissions and Payouts

Beyond keeping your partners in the know, your software should also support a variety of payment options so that you can stay on top of commissions. At the most basic, you should be able to link with PayPal (or similar services) to disburse payouts. Top-tier affiliate marketing solutions will offer an even greater degree of functionality.

The ability to customize your commission plan, for instance, is something you should consider a priority. The best software solutions will include paying out different rewards for different types of referrals (visitors, leads, purchases). They’ll allow you to set a delay on distributing funds for commissions and even allow for compensation beyond mere monetary rewards if you so choose.

6. Affiliate Tracking and Analysis

Through insights, you can improve your affiliates’ efforts, so whatever affiliate software you choose should, at minimum, have the ability to track and visualize affiliate metrics such as referrals, visitors, leads, and purchases, to name a few. 

More detailed features you might also find useful include leaderboards that readily display your most productive affiliates, social tracking for your affiliates, and timelines that grant you a chronological overview of all your partners’ actions.

Advanced software ensures that you aren’t the only one abreast of your affiliate progress. With the right solutions, you can also allow your partners to track their progress to know where they stand and gain the insights they need to improve. 

7. Branding and Customization Options

Your brand is important, and it should stay consistent throughout the multiple aspects of your affiliate marketing program. The ability to distinguish your affiliate portal with your logo and company colors, for instance, is a must, as it allows you to establish cohesion with your brand and keep that closely knit with your affiliate program.

For each affiliate, you’ll want the ability to use custom CSS so that you can fine-tune various design elements, you and should be able to set particulars like background patterns and colors in addition to setting a custom domain.

You’ll want visual personalization to extend to your affiliate sign-up and sign-in pages as well. Will you enable reCAPTCHA to cut down on unauthorized account creation? Will you include descriptions and introductions to make your program sound more appealing to potential applicants? Will you add custom fields to learn more about your new partners when they join? All these things (and more) are possible when you choose affiliate software that allows you to change things as you please.

Customization is something you should be looking for across multiple aspects of the affiliate marketing software you choose to use. Being able to tweak beyond visuals into settings, alerts, navigation, content, and more is vital to fine-tuning your software to fit the unique needs of your business.

8. Multifaceted Tracking

You already know that being able to track your various campaigns and affiliate progress is another must if you want to gauge your success and see how all of your efforts compare. It’s important to remember, though, that your affiliate software should go above and beyond mere affiliate tracking if you want to optimize your success.

Look for software that allows you to track all of your marketing efforts and grants you flexibility in doing so — tracking via coupons, referral links, email marketing, social media, paid ads, and more should all be accessible from the same dashboard, giving you the best overview of all the moves that you have in play.

9. Advanced Analytics

Metrics and key performance indicators are essential for examining and ultimately optimizing your affiliate marketing program. When you’re able to study your data, you’ll gain insights on what’s working, what’s not, and what you should change to encourage growth. Your affiliate software should give you all the numbers you need from one dashboard, along with analytic tools to get comprehensive visuals that put it all in perspective.

10. Lead Management Tools

It’s one thing to gain access to new leads through your affiliate program. It’s another (more desirable) thing to also have tools at your disposal to help improve the conversion rate of those leads. When comparing your affiliate software options, give weight to those that automate processes — like collecting lead information and sending out nurturing emails to leads — so that you can optimize conversions and increase your profits.

What Software Fits The Bill?

Now that you understand what features the best affiliate marketing software should include, the natural question that follows is which product on the market covers all the bases you’re looking for? A clear choice would be LeadDyno, the all-in-one affiliate solution that brings together all the elements you need to create and expand your affiliate program.

From finding and recruiting new affiliates to track numbers and analyzing performance, LeadDyno includes a large swatch of detailed, customizable tools that will enable you to make the most of your affiliate marketing efforts.

Plentiful integrations will allow you to bring into the fold all the additional software you need to support your marketing efforts, and what’s more, easy setup and ease of use are par for the course with this software, so the learning curve is something everyone on your team can tackle. Be sure to explore all of the powerful features LeadDyno can put at your disposal, then start your free trial so you can see firsthand how this software solution can improve your business.

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