5. Referrals  >  Offer Affiliate Programs

Offer affiliate programs to reduce SaaS churn

The affiliate program works best to increase revenue and to acquire new customers for your app. The affiliates get paid whenever they invite someone to use your app. It’s a perfect example of offering a cash incentive.



Freshbooks has a simple affiliate program that offers a commission on free signups.


GetResponse offers two different types of commission to its affiliates for more effectiveness.


Convertkit offers a flat 30% commission to its affiliates.

How to use the technique

  • Create an affiliate program for your app. Plan it. Set goals. Allocate budget. Plan estimated revenue, CAC, and LTV. Identify personas for targeting. Do the math. If you don’t know how to do it, grab our free churn optimization framework for details. 
  • Set a realistic commission without increasing the price of your software. Offer a decent commission to attract affiliates.
  • Promote your affiliate program. Reach out to top affiliates. Submit your program on affiliate networks. Use your networks. Send emails to customers. Promotion will make your affiliate program successful.
  • Target affiliates in your industry. Target influencers and invite them for partnership. Target micro influencers.
  • Give free access to your app so affiliates can try it. Start with your customers. Enroll them to your affiliate program. Give free (limited or unlimited) access to affiliates so they get to know your app better.
  • Build a network of affiliates. Engage with them. Send newsletter. Run an affiliate contest. Stay in touch with them.
  • Manage and improve your program. Use an affiliate tool to manage the affiliate program. Analyze and tweak your program based on feedback and performance. Use our free actionable guide for more details on testing and tweaking. 

Mistakes to avoid

  • Mixing affiliate and referral programs. An affiliate program is different than a referral program. You can offer both but these aren’t the same. Affiliates don’t have to be your customers necessarily. Don’t replace your referral program with the affiliate program.
  • Not promoting your affiliate program religiously. It’s essential to promote your affiliate program to maximize its reach. Make it visible to affiliates.


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Research evidence

The Affiliate Marketing Report by Business Insider Intelligence revealed that affiliate marketing drives 16% of all US ecommerce orders (which is same as email marketing). Organic search drives 21% of all online orders while paid ads drive 20%. This reveals the importance of affiliate marketing in generating online sales.


Affiliate marketing drives 16% of all US ecommerce orders (which is same as email marketing). Organic search drives 21% of all online orders while paid ads drive 20%.

Related techniques SEE ALL THE TECHNIQUES >


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