How to Find Affiliates To Help Promote Your SaaS

“Affiliates can be a huge source of SaaS growth. However, the road to onboarding quality affiliates isn’t easy. In this tutorial we’ll aim to make the task a little easier for you.”

Simon Alcott

Written By Simon Alcott: Published March 12th, 2020 | Updated March 12th, 2020.

Simon Alcott is a growth hacker and the driving force behind WhalePages, a SaaS marketing agency ⚡. Today, he explores how to find affiliates and partners for your SaaS company. 

10 Minute Read

“How to Piggyback Off Your Competitors Hard Work and Steal Their Affiliates. 🤫”

Successful SaaS companies claim time and time again that their affiliate programs are one of their primary drivers of traffic and sales.

Take Convert kit for example. The last interview I heard with the founder of convert Kit the company had over 5000 affiliates and those affiliates brought convert kit over $500,000 / month in recurring revenue 💸.

With affiliate programs being such a huge driver of growth, why do so many SaaS companies neglect their partner and affiliate eprograms? Well because onboarding quality affiliates and partners is both hard and time consuming. It’s not something you can automate, and it’s not something you can just setup and then sit back and watch work wonders for you. It takes time.

My goal with today’s tutorial is to teach you how to grow your SaaS company’s affiliate or partner program using free online tools. my hope is that today’s tutorial will make your affiliate outreach, onbarding and activation efforts much faster and easier.

And remember, this video is part of a much bigger SaaS marketing and growth hacking series so if you’re interested in the growth hacking strategies we use to quickly scale our customer’s SaaS companies, i suggest you head over to our SaaS TV page 📺 to learn more.

But you can do that later, for now, let’s jump in.

SEARCH OPERATORS

To help make this tutorial easy to follow let’s use a concrete example. Let’s imagine we have a SaaS company in the email marketing niche.

So if we had a SaaS company in this niche we could very quickly and easily research our biggest competitors and then figure out which ones were running affiliate programs. Now, this isn’t a full list, but I can see that that the following email marketing companies have affiliate programs.

👉 Convert Kit
👉 MailChimp
👉 Hubspot
👉 Aweber
👉 Icontact

So now that we know these competitor sites have affiliate programs, we can head out into the wild of the internet and look for their affiliates using advanced Google search operators.

This growth hack is a huge time saver because essentially, we’re piggybacking off all of our competitor’s hard work finding willing affiliates and we’re just going to try to go in there and scoop them up.

So how do we do this?

ADVANCED GOOGLE OPERATORS

The first part of the process involved uncovering which of our competitors were running affiliate programs. That was pretty easy right? Now, The second part of the process is to figure out what type of content our competitors’ affiliates are creating so we know what to search for to find them.

Luckily for us, affiliates in most niches use the following 4 types of content to promote affiliate offers. Let’s go through each one below.

1. “BEST OF” LISTS OR COMPARISON SITES

One of the most popular forms of SaaS affiliate content is “best of” roundup posts or comparison content. So how do you find affiliates who are creating this type of content in your niche?

We can use Advanced Google search operators and then search for something like this: 🔍

intitle:”best email marketing”

SaaS Affiliate marketing

Now, only results will show that have “best email marketing” within the title. And as you can see there are tens of thousands of results.

This is a great list to begin, but the results are a little broad. While many of the bloggers creating this “best of” content are affiliates, not all of them will be. So how can we narrow our search down further to filter only for bloggers who are affiliates?

Well there a couple of little search hacks we can do here. The trick is to familiarize yourself with the naming conventions for each type of content.

If you watched our previous tutorial on using guest posts to increase your organic ranking, you’ll remember that we examined URL structures for guest posting opportunities and we exploited those naming conventions to find the best opportunities.

With finding affiliates, we’re going to do something similar, but with a few important variations.

Many sites with affiliate links will use similar disclaimer language to let their audience know that there are affiliate links embedded within in the post. For example, they may say things like 👇

“I may receive a commission if you click on links on my site”

or

“We may earn a small commission if you click on the links on our site”

And so on.

So by studying these disclaimer conventions, we can further filter our results. For example we could search for something like:

intitle:”best email marketing” intext:”I may receive”

finding affiliates for your SaaS

This tells google to only return results that have the text “I may receive” in the body of the content. Now notice in these results we have many bloggers who use this exact language. This means that nearly 100% of these results will be affilitaes!

If you can also try searches like:

intitle:”best email marketing” intext:”we may earn”

intitle:”email marketing” intext:”if you click on an affiliate link”

affliate commission saas

But also, notice that we’ve severely limited our search results, so we need to loosen up our search query a bit.

Another standard we’ve noticed on affiliate sites is that many of them have the word “disclosure” somewhere on their page. So they don’t necessarily give a detailed disclosure on the specific affiliate page, but they do provide a link where you can go and learn more about their policy on things like affiliate links. So we could type in something like:

intitle:”best email marketing” intext:”disclosure”

SaaS affiliate onboarding

Now these results are okay, and this is a good place to start, but I’m seeing a lot of results here that are kind of unclear as to whether the blogger is an affiliate or not, So let’s tighten up the search a little bit.

Let’s tell google that the site needs to have a reference to disclosure on their site somewhere as well as a reference to “commission” or “affiliate”. Those are two other very common words you’ll find on affiliate sites:

intitle:”best email marketing” intext:”disclosure” (intext:”commission” OR intext:”affiliate”)

SaaS affiliates commission

Now this is turning into a hyper targeted list of affiliates. There are hundreds of results on this results page that we could harvest.

If we wanted to further refine this search to look specifically for our competitors affiliates, we could do that by simply forcing Google to include sites only if they have a text reference to our competitor. So let’s target these “best of” roundup posts specifically. If we want to search for “best of” roundups or “comparison sites” that include references to our competitors we could search for something like:

intitle:”best email marketing tools” intext:mailchimp

Now, the reason I used the plural word “tools” and not “tool” is because they will display entirely different results.

Remember, we’re looking for lists. Posts that have titles like “top 15 email marketing tools for 2019” or “24 of the best email marketing tools”. Things like that. But if we use the singular version of the word loook what happens.

Notice the results page doesn’t give us the lists we’re looking for.

singular saas affiliates 2

If we want “best of” lists, we need to change “tool” to “tools”. When we do that, look what happens.

plural saas affiliates

We now have hundreds of potential websites we could contact to see if we could get our SaaS company mentioned within these lists.

Again, you can always tack on extra operators to better filter these results to show only sites that are affiliates by using the tips we talked about above.

2. “ALTERNATIVES TO” ROUND UP POSTS

Another popular type of content affiliates create is “alternatives to” content. If there are affiliates out there creating content like this, we can find them by doing a search like this:

intitle:”alternatives to mailchimp”

alternatives affiliate content

Notice that there are hundreds of results where we could potentially get a mention.

When you are done going through this list, simply swap out mailchimp for your next competitor and continue to go through this process for each competitor in your list.

3. REVIEW PAGES

Now reviews are another popular type of content that affiliates create. finding affiliates who write biased review content is also fairly easy. Let’s imagine we’re looking for people writing reviews about our competitor convertkit. We could do a search like this:

intitle:”convert kit review”

But for the sake of learning, let’s switch it up and use different search operators. Let’s use inurl:”convertkit review”. This will force Google to show only results with these worlds in the actual URL of the website.

SaaS affiliate review sites

As you can see, we have countless results here where websites are reviewing convert kit. A lot of the people writing these reviews, are doing so because they have been incentivized by the affiliate payout.

And again you can use operators like this to further filter to find affiliates:

“inurl:”convert kit review” intext:”disclosure” (intext:”commission” OR intext:”affiliate”)

SaaS affiliate marketing reviews

Look at how amazing these results are! And remember, we’re only looking at one competitor right now. We can do this for icontact, mailchimp and all of our other competitors as well.

4. CASE STUDY PAGES

Next, some niches have affiliates who earn money through their case studies. Now case studies are usually much smaller searches, because they take much more time to put together and really only certain types of affiliates can create them. You’ll also find some niches are better suited to case studies than others. But the digital marketing niche is a big niche for case studies, so in the example we’re using today, we could potentially find some more affiliates by looking through this type of affiliate content.

Your search strategy will be heavily dependent on your niche, but in the digital marketing space, we might look for earnings case studies.

For example, people will often post information like “how I made X amount of dollars in 30 days”

So let’s do a search like

intitle:”how I made” intext:”email marketing”

SaaS affiliate case study content type

This is a huge list of sites, but as you can see, there are a lot of people creating little case studies about how they earned income through email marketing. Many of the people in these results are probably good candidates for affiliates, but we haven’t really narrowed the results down to include ONLY affiliates.

intitle:”how I made” intext:”email marketing” (intext:”commission” OR intext:”affiliate links”)

finding SaaS affiliate links

Now we’ll see the results are much cleaner.

This strategy works outside of the marketing niche as well. For example, imagine your SaaS product is a dieting app and helps people monitor their caloric intake. In this case, you could search for people publishing case studies about their weight loss results.

You just need to study the specific case studies within your niche to make this work for your affiliate outreach campaign.

TWO LAST SAAS GROWTH POWER HACKS

In our next video, we’re going to talk about getting YouTube affiliates and partners. But I want to show you two interesting things right now using the Advanced Google Search Operators that we were using today.

Previously we were doing searches like this:

intitle:”best email marketing” intext:”disclosure” (intext:”commission” OR intext:”affiliate”)

But we were just looking for bloggers in the text results. However, you can click on the videos 📹 tab here and then you’ll see people who are making video content in this space.

Again, we’ll explore this more in our next tutorial, but just realize that many of these videos are affiliate videos and there is huge opportunity here.

SaaS video affiliates

Text power-hack I want to present to you is about date based sorting. You can use this for both text or video based content. But if we want to filter our content results to show only affiliates who have been activity creating content recently, we can do one of two things.

First we could do a search like this:

intitle:”best email marketing” intext:”disclosure” (intext:”commission” OR intext:”affiliate”)

And then under time we can reduce the results by clicking on 1 month or 1 year. Let’s click on one year. Notice now, that we’re mostly just seeing recent affiliate reviews 📅.

finding recent saas affiliates

FILTERING

This is essentially how you can use search operators to find affiliates for your SaaS company. But with the thousands of results that were presented to us today, how can we go about filtering results to find only high quality affiliate partners? We cover this in more detail in other videos over on our SaaS growth TV channel, but essentially, you can use tools like Moz’s chrome extension and Alexa to help you zero in and target only the affiliates who are more likely to move the traffic needed.

CONCLUSION

So as you can see, finding affiliates for your SaaS company is a multi-step process. If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and you’re looking or other ways to grow your SaaS company, I hope you consider enrolling in our online SaaS growth course

Written By Simon Alcott: Published March 12th, 2020 | Updated March 12th, 2020.

Simon Alcott is a growth hacker and the driving force behind WhalePages, a SaaS marketing agency So, if you have a SaaS company and you’re kinda into things like website traffic and increasing your MRR, then be sure to check out our homepage. 

w
Let’s Chat!

Like This Article? Great. We Have Lots More!

 Have Something Helpful To Add to the Conversation?

We create content, like the content above, to help SaaS entrepreneurs grow their software companies. The more people who contribute to our SaaS marketing blog, the more valuable our blog will be. So, if you have something interesting to add on to this conversation please use the comment section below to contribute. We’d love to hear about your related experiences, ideas or questions.

 The Discussion So Far

0 Comments

Change Pricing Plan

We recommend you check the details of Pricing Plans before changing. Click Here



USD30 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



USD60 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



USD90 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings


🚀 62 Places To Distribute Your SaaS Content

A spreadsheet containing 62 of the best SaaS content distribution channels. 👇👇

We've just sent you an email with a link to the content distribution spreadsheet! If you don't receive it within 2 minutes be sure to check your bulk mail or promotions folder.