What is SaaS Referral Program?
SaaS (software as a service) referral programs are organized by SaaS vendors who develop and sell software solutions on a subscription basis (monthly or yearly fee).
The main purpose of the SaaS referral program is to spread brand awareness. They reward existing customers for acquiring new ones with referral links, coupon codes, or invitation messages.
Referral program partners usually receive free subscriptions, bonuses or discounts for each new sign-up or sale. Let’s explore how referral programs differ from loyalty, b2b and affiliate programs.
Loyalty vs Referral Programs: A Side-By-Side Comparison
Both SaaS loyalty and referral programs are arranged to scale business performance, rewarding customers with company bonuses – loyalty points, discounts, promo codes for the next renewals or upgrades.
We summed up all of these main differences of SaaS loyalty and referral programs in the table below:
|Loyalty program||Referral program|
|Customer role||Customers are rewarded for the number of purchases they made||Customers recommend the vendor’s product to their friends|
|Rewards||% discount, gift cards, loyalty points that can be spent for the next purchase||A discount or promo code if the friend has signed up|
|Outcomes||Increase customer LTV and sales number||Attract new clients and sales, decrease bounce rate|
As you see, the main difference is that loyalty programs are considered to increase the customer’s LTV – customers receive a reward or a % discount for the number of purchases or time spent as a user of this vendor.
The referral program rewards customers for referring new sales – their friends and colleagues. If you are planning to have an extra income stream or just get bonuses for the software you enjoy, choose a referral program, with free trials or even commission rewards for their ambassadors.
B2C vs. B2B SaaS Referral Programs
Once we defined what is a SaaS referral program and how not to mistake it with the loyalty program. However, if you’re already a business owner and you’re planning to join the referral program to promote SaaS vendors to your own client base, choose the B2B model. We will explain the main differences between B2B and B2C referral programs:
|B2C referral program||B2B referral program|
|Your audience||Individuals, followers, audience||Smaller business / your customers that need your help in ongoing services|
|Rewards for customers||A discount or promo code, gift cards, deal collaboration||% discounts both for your and the vendor’s services|
|Goals||Earn a discount for yourself||Expand your range of services and earn extra money for your consultancy or implementation help|
|Outcomes||Using the vendor’s software for free or with a high discount||Improve your customer service, have an extra income channel|
To sum up the table data, the B2B referral program is a great way to improve your own business via win-win collaboration. However, you should keep in mind that the number of sales might be under your expectation, as a B2B will rarely agree to an instant transaction. B2B companies are usually looking for long-term deals, but the outcome will be much more beneficial than the B2C model, where a user is in control of their individual, short-term decision.
SaaS Referral and Affiliate Programs: pros and cons
If you participate in SaaS referral programs, you will most likely be rewarded with discounts, coupons, and other great bonuses for your future purchases. If you would like to receive money instead of such bonuses, check the SaaS affiliate marketing program. It is one of the latest trends that gives web designers, resellers, and partners a constant and predictable income channel based on high commissions and recurring payouts.
Pros of SaaS Referral Programs:
- It’s simple, just recommend the vendor’s product to your friends
- Get a discount for your next purchases
Cons of SaaS Referral Programs:
- Small rewards (discounts, loyalty program bonuses, gift cards)
- No tracking data or partner performance analytics
SaaS referral programs reward partners with their own services, you unlikely can create a new income stream, promoting the SaaS software via a referral program.
Pros of SaaS Affiliate Programs:
- you earn money, not a dicounts or company bonuses
- multiple sales can be generated via one affiliate link
- recurring commission
- simply to track your earnings and performance
- readymade promo assets and strategies
Cons of SaaS Affiliate Programs:
- you need to know some marketing basics or spend some time on learning them
- you should have an audience – your website, blog or social media followers
SaaS Affiliate Program doesn’t demand much time or your efforts, as it seems to be at first sight. Even if you’re just a loyal user and love the vendor product, try to join the affiliate program instead of the referral one. Affiliate programs often offer free access to products to your clients, so you will have free access to your favorite software and recurring revenue each month. Calculate your future revenue →
Top 5 SaaS Referral Program Examples
In case you need more inspiration, here are a few examples of the most popular SaaS referral programs you can start with:
This SaaS helps you track all your or team’s tasks. Recommending Trello to your friends, you can get a free month of Trello Gold (their premium plan). The limit for one account is twelve referrals.
It aims to solve the common problems with tracking or creating a company knowledge base, get ridding of a cluttered desktop. When your friend or collegue signs up via your referral link, you earn $5 credit and the referral receives $10 credit for any paid Notion plans.
Shoeboxed is the perfect solutions to have all your business expenses in one place. The platform makes it easy to scan receipts using a mobile app. When someone signs up for a premium plan via your ref link, you both will receive 10% off of your monthly payment.
This SaaS software helps users save time on posting social media content. Referring a friend to Postcron, you can get a free month. The new user also gets their first month for free.
The opular platform is used for file-sharing. For every user who joins and installs Dropbox, you’ll get 16 GB of bonus space.
These programs are just a few examples you can not only join the SaaS referral program but enjoy the product itself!
We hope this article we’ll help you to differentiate all SaaS referral programs types and choose the best one for yourself. If you’re good at marketing or at web design, or you’re close to the SaaS industry and looking for receiving funds, not just a discount, you’re welcome to apply for our Partner Program for Resellers.
It doesn’t require any specific skills, just to be passionate about no-code solutions. We do care about our partners, so you’ll get support every step of your way:
- get 30% reccuring commission
- receive your cut as long as your client remains the Elfsight user
- ready-to-use promo materials
- personal assistance via online chat
Looking for our win-win partnership!