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How to Choose the Best SaaS Partner Program for Your Digital Marketing Agency

As a digital marketing agency, you know that partnering with a SaaS provider can significantly impact your business’s growth and success. By offering additional services and leveraging innovative tools, you can expand your portfolio and generate more revenue.

However, with so many SaaS partner programs on the market, choosing the right one for your agency can take time. In this article, we will help you navigate this decision by outlining the key steps to consider when evaluating partner programs. We’ll also look closely at some of the best SaaS partner program examples on the market right now.

How to choose the right SaaS partner program

There are several aspects most good affiliate partners and integration partnerships share. The most important ones are:

  • assessing the profit-sharing model offered by the referral partnership program
  • ensuring the SaaS business you consider partnering up with is reliable and trustworthy
  • checking for possible co-marketing resources and opportunities
  • receiving specialized customer assistance and/or a dedicated account manager from your SaaS sales partner
  • enabling access to marketing and sales enablement materials and training
  • offering certification programs to grow your credibility

By carefully evaluating these against your business goals, you should be able to select the best SaaS company to partner up with. Let’s take a closer look at each of those.

Step 1: Evaluate the Profit-Sharing Model

When assessing a SaaS partner program, it’s essential to consider the profit-sharing model. Look for a program with a competitive commission structure to maximize your revenue. The commission percentage and payment frequency are crucial factors to consider when comparing different programs.

Say your digital marketing agency signs up for Company A’s SaaS partner program, which offers a 20% commission on customer lifetime value. You refer a client to Company A’s email marketing software, for which they pay $50/month. You earn 20% of this fee for as long as the client continues to use the service ($10/month), resulting in $60 in commission after 6 months. You increase your commission earnings by referring more clients and providing additional services. This is a revenue-sharing model.

Other popular types of commission models used in partner programs are: 

  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA): partners earn a fixed commission for each new customer they refer to the service. 
  • Cost per Click (CPC): partners earn a fixed commission for each click generated by their referral links. 
  • Cost per Lead (CPL): partners earn a fixed commission for each qualified lead they generate. A qualified lead is usually defined as a potential customer who has expressed interest in the service and provided their contact information.
  • Tiered Commission: partners earn different commission rates based on the number of referrals they generate. For example, a partner may earn a 10% commission for their first 10 referrals and a 15% commission for all additional referrals.
  • Flat Rate Commission: partners earn a fixed commission for each referral, regardless of the revenue generated by the customer.

You need to estimate which type of commission model will work particularly well for your specific case and choose the partner program accordingly. 

Step 2: Assess Value and Trust

Choose a SaaS partner program from a reliable provider with a proven track record in the industry. Investigate the company’s history, customer base, and overall reputation to ensure they can offer the level of service your agency requires.

Partnering with a trusted provider will ensure a smoother collaboration and a higher likelihood of success.

Step 3: Seek Co-Marketing Opportunities

Access to co-marketing resources can significantly benefit your agency. Look for partner programs that offer marketing support and opportunities to collaborate on projects and reach more potential customers with joint webinars, reports, and ebooks. These efforts can help you generate more leads and expand your agency’s reach.

Step 4: Ensure Transparent Communication and Technical Support

When partnering with a SaaS company, transparent communication, and dedicated technical support are essential. Ensure the partner program offers dedicated support services for product onboarding and any required technical knowledge.

Having a dedicated partner manager and/or a few broker partnerships agents helps you tell a good SaaS partnership program from an average one. This will ensure seamless integration of the new service into your agency’s operations and minimize potential roadblocks.

Step 5: Access to Marketing Content and Training

Another sign of a successful SaaS partner program is when new partners gain access to exclusive partner content and ongoing training. For example, your SaaS partner can offer branded sales assets to help you highlight your cooperation, build strategic alliances, and reach more customers.

This will enable your agency to stay up-to-date with industry trends, best practices, and product developments, ensuring optimal service for your existing customers.

Step 6: Consider Certification Programs

Certification programs can help your agency gain credibility with clients and better understand the product your tech partners are offering. Consider a partner program that lets certified partners demonstrate their expertise and commitment to providing the best possible service.

This is particularly important for agency partners, who may cooperate with several SaaS companies with various referral partnerships and affiliate partners.

Top 5 SaaS partner programs

Pay close attention to the steps outlined above, and you can make an informed decision when selecting a SaaS partner program. Remember that each partner program offers unique advantages and features, so analyzing which aligns best with your agency’s goals and requirements is essential.

The ideal partner program should help you generate more revenue and provide the necessary support and resources to fuel your agency’s growth and success.

With all that in mind, here are some of the best SaaS partner programs on the market.

GetResponse MAX Partner Program

Resource: GetResponseMAX

GetResponse MAX offers a competitive commission structure with up to 50% commission customer lifetime. With over 20 years of experience in the market, GetResponse has proven to be a reliable email marketing and marketing automation provider. They offer co-marketing opportunities, dedicated sales and onboarding specialists, exclusive partner marketing content, and partner certification courses.

Best for: Digital marketing agencies seeking high commissions, co-marketing opportunities, and comprehensive partner support.

Limitations: GetResponse MAX’s partner program may require a significant time investment to complete partner certification courses and fully leverage the co-marketing opportunities offered by the provider.

HubSpot Partner Program

Resource: HubSpot

The HubSpot Partner Program enables agencies to resell and deliver HubSpot’s marketing, sales, and customer service solutions. The program offers a tiered commission structure, extensive training and resources, co-marketing opportunities, and dedicated account management. HubSpot’s partner program is designed to help agencies scale their businesses and provide clients with best-in-class inbound marketing services.

Best for: Agencies looking for a comprehensive inbound marketing solution and SaaS partner support to help grow their businesses.

Limitations: The tiered commission structure may make it challenging for smaller agencies to earn high commissions.

ActiveCampaign Partner Program

Resource: ActiveCampaign

The ActiveCampaign Partner Program focuses on marketing automation, CRM, and email marketing solutions. The program offers recurring commissions, a dedicated partner dashboard, partner training, and co-marketing opportunities. ActiveCampaign aims to help agencies grow revenue and provide clients with powerful, personalized marketing campaigns.

Best for: Agencies specializing in marketing automation and email marketing services seeking recurring commissions.

Limitations: The partner program may not be as comprehensive for agencies seeking a broader range of marketing solutions.

Salesforce Partner Program

Resource: Salesforce

The Salesforce Partner Program allows agencies to leverage Salesforce’s robust suite of CRM, sales, marketing, and customer service solutions. The program offers revenue-sharing opportunities, access to extensive training resources, and the Salesforce AppExchange for product integrations. Salesforce aims to help partners build and grow their businesses by providing world-class solutions and support.

Best for: Agencies looking for an extensive CRM solution and access to a wide range of integrations through the Salesforce AppExchange.

Limitations: The Salesforce Partner Program may have a steeper learning curve due to the complexity and depth of its solutions.

Adobe Solution Partner Program

Resource: Adobe

The Adobe Solution Partner Program enables agencies to leverage Adobe’s suite of digital marketing and creative tools, including Adobe Experience Cloud and Creative Cloud. The program offers revenue-sharing opportunities, exclusive partner resources, and training. Adobe aims to help partners create exceptional customer experiences through their robust solutions and support.

Best for Agencies focusing on digital marketing and creative services, and looking to provide clients with cutting-edge tools.

Limitations: Adobe’s wide range of solutions may require more time investment for agencies to become proficient in using their tools.

What is the right SaaS partner program for you?

While all the factors presented in this article are essential, you are the only one who knows which matters the most. SaaS partners usually put marketing and sales activities first, making it easy for them to attract new clients.

However, it is important not to fall for a shiny candy wrapper and carefully evaluate the offer before signing up for a reseller partnership. After all, you will be the one representing their product, and your customer success depends on you choosing the best partner ecosystem.

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