As an affiliate marketers we see the business world like no other, we can see what the price of a product/lead costs, how much the affiliate/middle man is paid, and usually can make a good guess on what the profit margin is for the company promoting the offer. Online marketing is completely different than offline. Selling software in a retail store mean loading software onto a disk, packaging it up, and shipping to a store. A lot of work, but still with margins. Selling software or digital products online is a complete win! Massive margins, no shipping and packaging costs, and you can easily upsell or renew the customer with new upgrades and improvements.
With the rapid rise of Internet and software companies around the world, thereâ€™s naturally a growing need for affiliates to help sell their products. Look no further than the booming Software as a Service (SaaS) industry for a shining example of this need for affiliates. But before you dive in, itâ€™s important to know what being a SaaS affiliate entails, as well as its benefits.
What is SaaS, anyway?
In a nutshell, SaaS is a way of delivering software via the internet. The user is given access to all the softwareâ€™s functionality over the web, allowing them to use the product anywhere they please. For example, if someone were managing their online store with a SaaS product, they could process orders and respond to customer inquiries at any time.
Compared to licensed software products, SaaS solutions typically offer a low-cost alternative, with many providers basing their pricing on a monthly fee. SaaS products are also attractive since the user doesnâ€™t have to install any hardware or continually update the product.
What are the benefits of SAAS for a user?
The reason that products using the SaaS model are successful is the benefit to the user.
Here are a few selling points of SaaS that you can use as an affiliate:
The great thing about a web-based service is that a user can access it anytime, anywhere as long as they have a computer with an internet connection.
Users of SaaS companies save in a several ways. First, they donâ€™t pay a huge licensing fee since theyâ€™re usually paying a low monthly subscription fee and donâ€™t have to buy a bunch of hardware upfront. Users also save money by not having to depend on an entire team of IT specialists to run their programs. SaaS models make it easy for a user to manage their operations with little to no staff or assistance.
Since a SaaS model is based on the principle of serving, it makes sense that most of them offer a great deal of support. Thereâ€™s no need to rely on a forum of other users when your customer can directly call, chat or e-mail the company. Support also means that a user doesnâ€™t have to perform upgrades and maintain the software themselves. They can rely on the SaaS company to keep them updated and on the right track for success.
Finally, most SaaS companies do the heavy lifting when it comes to security requirements. They focus on having high-power data centers for hosting and providing enhanced web security for their customers. This prevents major headaches for individuals and small businesses that donâ€™t have the budget or know-how to invest in high level security systems.
Ok, Iâ€™m sold. Now, how do I become successful as a SaaS affiliate?
To be a successful affiliate for a company using a SaaS model, itâ€™s important to educate yourself on what youâ€™re marketing. Remember, marketing a service is very different from marketing a product.
As an affiliate, itâ€™s important for you to place ads and promote content to an audience thatâ€™s interested in using software, whether itâ€™s to power their online business or file their taxes. You should also build a relationship with the companyâ€™s affiliate contact so youâ€™re aware of any enhancements or changes to the software â€“ with so many products out there, updated selling points are always key.
Another tip for success is to cater your messages to various audiences. For example, if youâ€™re running a popular blog for moms, find ways that the SaaS product can enhance their lives. Or, if youâ€™re speaking to business executives, promote the SaaS product as a time-saving, money-making machine.
How do I position a SaaS product?
The best way to position a SaaS product is to focus on its strengths. Many of the benefits listed above should be highlighted: convenience, low cost, support and security.
Find a way to set the SaaS product apart by becoming familiar with the product. Play with the software, get to know the support systems they have in place, get to know the pricing structure, make notes that will help educate people.
This guest post was written by Volusion, an excellent example of a SaaS model that incorporates all of the SaaS benefits. They have an affiliate program that is supported by the company itself and itâ€™s easy to get connected with them. For more information about that program, visit: www.volusion.com/affiliatesignup.