Tips & Guides — 02 Jun 2022
How Elementor ran a successful SaaS affiliate campaign
In the era of Web3, SaaS companies find themselves faced with increased competition in a sea of evergrowing user options. This red ocean has made partnerships with affiliates, influencers, and content creators even more essential for sustainable revenue growth. This has led to partner management itself transforming into a dynamic niche.
In this dynamic landscape, SaaS affiliate marketing is unique in that it blurs the lines between confidential insider information and transparent competitor relationships. Knowing how to leverage affiliates’ expertise, understanding how best to launch a new product or service program, and growing an affiliate community is the key to optimizing an affiliate network.
Here are a few tips by Elementor on how to perfect your affiliation initiatives. Elementor’s affiliate team members implement these tips frequently, as seen in their recent Elementor Cloud Website launch. These have led the WordPress site builder’s affiliate program to be consistently ranked as one of the top SaaS affiliate programs out there.
When organizing events, make your affiliates feel like insiders. Share all the professional knowledge and materials you can. Give them ample time to plan their campaigns and offer them information on what works based on past experiences and research.
It is vital your affiliates know before users. This added value they can offer to their users is significant. In Elementor’s case, we provide quarterly webinars in tandem with product release timelines.
Elementor spoke about officially launching the Elementor Cloud Website affiliate plan in our recent webinar event. The affiliates received important information about the new product. This included a thorough breakdown of how Elementor’s future vision ties into the cloud’s launch, including the necessary technical details. The affiliates were also informed about new terms (such as payouts) and how the new product serves their audience — why it is relevant to them, how to approach it, the consequences, etc.
Aim to get as many affiliates as possible to promote the product in as many channels as possible. For the Elementor Cloud Website event, the site builder’s affiliate team targeted all registered affiliates, WordPress’ top bloggers, influencers, newsletter creators, and potential affiliates.
To leverage this potential, the team included a detailed “go-to” source for affiliate information on how to promote Elementor. What presented was Elementor’s future vision of launching the cloud, its USP, and why and how they can promote it.
Remember, the goal isn’t to overwhelm affiliates with information but to give them enough information that they will find worthwhile: “Be brief, be bright, and be gone.”
The lead-up to an event is equal to, if not even more critical, to the actual event. Elementor’s affiliate team targeted participants well in advance of the event using a variety of channels: email (through CRM), a dedicated landing page including an online registration form, personalized emails (specifically its managed affiliates and top WordPress influencers, and paid campaigns across Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn).
Knowing when to cut affiliates from the program or gently nudge them towards compliance requires finesse. Often, the mistakes are innocent and innocuous, yet other times, some push the boundaries, which harm the efforts of their colleagues and the brand as a whole.
Affiliates who seem to ignore the program’s guidelines are best left off from the program, particularly repeat offenders. There is a level of trust regarding fraud, coupons, etc. So if an affiliate receives a warning and keeps ignoring our terms and conditions, we are unfortunately left with only one option, dissolving the relationship.
Affiliates invest plenty of time, resources, and hard-earned income to promote products, so it’s crucial for them to trust us to be paid on time. This includes full transparency if and when there is any delay.
Mistakes and technical issues may occur. Generally speaking, affiliates understand this is part and parcel of this industry (although we should add that Elementor is proud of its proven track record of paying affiliates on time).
However, this is no excuse to leave affiliates clueless about their compensation. This would be unethical and poor business practice, not to mention the fastest way to lose them.
To ensure its message was on point without losing its bite, Elementor’s affiliate team looked to find a delicate balance between the number of automated messages versus real messages and quality versus quantity.
For the event, the affiliate team produced four emails:
This also included a general banner design to keep messaging consistent across all Elementor channels.
For the event, Elementor’s affiliate team started with a simple goal — to get affiliates to create content on the cloud and “spread the news” before the official launch. The team planned to achieve this by making them excited about the new product, its importance, and how it would change the entire WordPress web creation world.
Elementor’s event included three speakers, each one presenting a new message:
The key for this event was to be careful not to deliver too many messages (despite the apparent temptation) but rather to advise affiliates on what they should be placing their efforts on.
It’s good practice to use the information your affiliates have from your competitors to make your offers and campaigns even better.
Many affiliates equal plenty of data that can be leveraged. See how your competitors work with your partners, how they promote their products and deal with extensive campaigns. Their experience can become your knowledge base.
Keep in mind affiliates should be allowed to work with your competitors since you ideally want them to improve. You also want to offer them a better offer than they have with other competitors.
Your event’s success is only as strong as the content you provide, so make all deliverables reflect your branding and KPIs. Furthermore, this will help you appear on affiliate listicles and help produce content explicitly geared towards your affiliates.
For their event, Elementor’s affiliate team wanted both the design and language to be fascinating, emphasizing the importance of the event. The primary messaging focused on the fact this would be the official affiliate launch event and that affiliates would receive a comprehensive overview of information about the new product.
Elementor primarily focused on launching the future of WordPress website building which covered hosting through the setup to live editing all in one place.
The event also highlighted how our CEO would speak live at this exclusive and how the new product meant a brand-new affiliate plan. They understood the new product came with new, improved, competitive payouts, which we knew would be their primary interest.
Getting everyone on board, particularly newer affiliates, can be challenging. An excellent way to encourage promoting a new product or plan is to offer affiliates a content-based offer such as a one-time bonus or a limited-time deal. This can be further fine-tuned for specific locales or niches. Additionally, newer affiliates can be offered special offers to help get them up to speed and build up momentum.
Keep an open mind to your affiliates’ ideas since they’ll know their audience better than you. They have first-hand experience with your competitors, tested and tried ideas for collaboration, and successful past campaigns.
Furthermore, their external vision might shed light on blind spots such as untapped opportunities and potential missed by you. Eventually, you’ll find that the best affiliates are the ones you grow and nurture yourself. They will always be loyal and remember you as the one who saw their potential.
Utilizing these time-tested tips will ensure you empower your affiliates with the right tools, strategies, and techniques to optimize their efforts. While these hard and fast rules apply across the board, it is equally vital to remember that you are working for your affiliates as much as they are working for you.
They will only be invested if you are. The more you invest, the more likely they will buy into your vision. Embrace them, nurture them, support them, and listen to them. Ultimately, their success is your success.
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