Top 6 Partnership Marketing Ideas for SaaS

Top 6 Partnership Marketing Ideas for SaaS

Ivan Escott

Ivan Escott

Partnerships Manager at Respona

Top 6 Partnership Marketing Ideas for SaaS

Just like in real life, marketing is way more fun when you have friends.

It is also much more productive than going at it alone – enabling you to tap into each other’s audiences.

In this article, we’ll be talking about (in our opinion), best partnership marketing ideas for SaaS – both in terms of execution and cost-effectiveness.

All of these strategies – especially their partner recruitment phase can be carried out with Respona.

Let’s get into it.

Link building cheat sheet

Link building cheat sheet

Gain access to the 3-step strategy we use to earn over 86 high-quality backlinks each month.

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Link building is an essential part of search engine optimization – and one that can be done on a shoestring marketing budget.

It also just so happens to heavily rely on partner recruitment through cold email outreach.

In order to get the most out of your link building, it’s important to try and turn every one-off collab into a recurring one.

Our personal favorite way to collaborate through link building is regularly share guest posts we’re writing for other websites and have them insert their links in them.

In return, they will do the same for us, or get us link placements (which may even turn into a  product placement) on other sites’ existing content.

liunk building partner example

But how do you actually recruit these partners?

That’s where Respona comes in.

It has a built-in search engine for finding potential partners, along with their email addresses and LinkedIn profiles.

It also comes with built-in AI personalizations, so it will increase the productivity of the whole outreach deal – from start to finish.

It also has pre-built campaign templates for every partner recruitment strategy in this article.

Let’s walk through a quick link insertion outreach campaign with Respona.

Select the link insertion campaign template.

link insertion campaign template

You’ll need to fill out a few simple fields to use it.

You don’t have to always use templates (you can create advanced campaigns), but they are a good place to start for beginners.

By using a template, Respona will pre-set the partner search criteria based on your field inputs – by applying advanced search operators to narrow down the results to relevant opportunities.

It will also pre-set the contact finder to search for relevant decision-makers for your outreach purpose.

More on that later, for now, let’s walk through the fields.

  • In the first one, paste the URL of an article you’d like to promote;
  • In the second, enter some relevant keywords – or use Respona’s AI keyword suggestions;
  • Enter your content’s general category. This field and the previous one will be used to find relevant articles;
  • In the final two fields, briefly explain what sets you apart from your competitors – and provide a brief incentive for your prospects to collaborate.

Once everything is filled out, click “Use this template” to get into the campaign editor.

The campaign flow consists of three steps:

  1. Create a Sequence
  2. Opportunities
  3. Review & Launch

Because we used a campaign template, our sequence is already pre-set as well.

step 1 - sequence

But, we recommend using default templates more as inspiration and give them a personal makeover.

We also recommend checking your emails for spam words.

reply chance calculator

Respona’s reply chance calculator uses data from over a million emails sent from our system to provide suggestions on what you can improve.

Next, let’s add an unsubscribe button to give our recipients an easy way to unsubscribe in case they are not interested.

adding an unsubscribe link

Let’s also change the follow-up timer to five days.

We recommend only sending one or two follow-up emails at the most as to be respectful.

Last but certainly not least, let’s add an AI icebreaker variable.

ai icebreaker variable

Respona will “read” your prospect’s article, and come up with unique personalizations for everybody in your campaign.

Moving to the next step – Opportunities, you’ll see that our search bar is already filled in with your keywords along with the advanced search operators.

step 2 - opportunities

You can click on the preview icon next to any of the queries to preview the results in Google before launching the search automation.

No need to do much here, so let’s continue and add some SEO filters to narrow the results down even more.

adding seo filters

Continue again – on this screen you’ll find some advanced settings.

In the first window, you can fine-tune the email finder to only look for very specific marketing team members.

email finder, ai personalization and recurring campaign settings

But, again, since we used a campaign template, this is already pre-set to find editors, link builders, content managers and other employees that make sense to contact about link building and other content partnerships.

In the next window, you can feed the AI instructions and examples of your previous personalizations to make it sounds more like you.

Finally, you can turn the campaign recurring, meaning it will automatically re-run your search and automatically add new opportunities to the campaign.

So then, all you have to do is check back every once in a while, and launch your opportunities.

Speaking of launching, let’s run the automation.

found opportunities

It will kick three things off: Respona will start searching for relevant websites to collaborate on links with, relevant people to contact at those websites along with their emails, and personalizing your emails all at the same time.

No need to sit and wait for the progress bar to finish – it’s all done in the cloud. While it’s working, you can switch to another campaign or project.

When all opportunities are found, you can move on to the final step – Review & Launch.

step 3 - review & launch

Here, you can review your AI personalizations and make manual edits where necessary.

In addition to email addresses, Respona also finds LinkedIn profiles, so in order to increase your chances of getting a reply, we recommend sending them a connection request there.

Before launching, Respona will make some final checks to make sure all the variables are populated, and you’re not trying to reach out to anyone in your unsubscribe list OR someone that’s already in another campaign.

launching the campaign

After launch, just wait for responses, exchange links, and keep it going!

If you’re using multiple email accounts, Respona also consolidates them into one shared Inbox, saving you from having to juggle multiple tabs just to reply to everyone.


Podcasts are an awesome marketing idea – whether you’re running your own show or book episodes as a guest.

We’re not going to go through the step-by-step process of finding strategic partners for every single partner marketing strategy on this list in Respona because it’s almost identical to what we just described above.

In fact, using Respona’s podcast outreach campaign template, we’ve booked over a hundred podcasts for our Co-Founder, Farzad in around 2 years.

This has allowed us to create meaningful connections with other bloggers and podcasters, and create an air of authority around Farzad.

And by “authority” I don’t mean the big powerful boss kind – I mean an aura of knowledge about link building, SEO, email marketing, and growing SaaS products through digital marketing efforts.

Take this appearance for example.

saas podcast episode with farzad rashidi

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of partner marketing where your partners (affiliates) help you sell your products, for a commission.

Not to be confused with a referral partnership.

Everyone gets paid – so, possibly, the purest win-win situation in marketing.

And the best thing about it is that anyone can become an affiliate – even your grandma, quite literally.

Bloggers, influencers, even your users – all make for great affiliate partnerships.

For the latter though, you may need to develop loyalty programs.

Whether the sales come through word of mouth, their blog, or socials – sales is sales.

If you don’t already have some affiliate partners, a good place to start looking is your existing network of other partners.

Some will say yes for sure.

Once those opportunities are depleted, a goldmine of potential affiliates are your competitors.

And, thanks to backlink monitoring tools like Ahrefs and Semrush, you can find their affiliate links by looking for affiliate tags.

These are the most common affiliate tags:

  • ?fp_ref
  • ?via
  • ?deal
  • ?_from
  • ?_by
  • ?_get
  • ?_go
  • $r
  • ?ref=
  • ?tap=
  • ?gspk
  • utm_source=partnerstack
  • utm_source=referral
  • ?fpr
  • ?fp_ref=

Fire up Ahrefs or Semrush and type the question mark in the target URL filter.

Since most affiliate tags have it, it’s the quickest way to identify affiliate links among the rest.

affiliate link with tag

Then, just scroll through the results until you find one of the affiliate tags listed above.

Paste it in the target URL filter and voila – here’s a list of all your competitors’ affiliate links.

list of all affiliate backlinks

From here, you can export it as a .CSV and load it up into Respona for outreach.

Getting Press

Some forms of Public Relations can also be considered a strategic partnership marketing initiative.

Especially if you distribute your press release through a partner, or, for example, sponsor a journalist to write a review for you.

Press as a form of partnership marketing is based on mutual benefit.

Media organizations seek interesting, unique stories to attract and retain their readership, while brands look for exposure.

For example, when a tech small business launches a new gadget, the go-to partnership marketing strategy becomes to secure reviews and features in tech blogs and magazines (such as TechCrunch, Wired, or Gizmodo).

This gives a new product instant access to a highly targeted, tech-savvy potential customer base.

Especially if that piece is an in-depth, unsponsored review, potential customers will be reading reliable third-party evaluations that build trust.

ahrefs review on forbes
Image source: Forbes

Influencer Marketing

A lot of the time, influencer marketing is synonymous with affiliate marketing.

After all, we’ve all seen a youtuber promoting some food delivery service, or new earbuds.

influencer marketing example
Image source: YouTube

But, even if you look at influencer marketing as affiliate marketing with extra steps, you might want to look again.

Unlike regular blogs, influencers have a tangibly engaged audience. And the smaller that audience, the tighter the relationship between an influencer and their followers.

Besides, influencers’ content is often much more relatable, authentic, and interactive.

Their endorsements don’t feel as intrusive or fabricated as traditional advertisements.

So, if you play your cards right, an influencer will bring you way more sales.

Additionally, because influencers often cater to a very specific niche and audience, by hiring one you will have immediate access to that incredibly targeted audience – ripe for your marketing.

Content Syndication

Content syndication (also known as a content distribution partnership) is the process of getting your content published elsewhere.

Oftentimes, this also entails some form of reimbursement – most commonly, through affiliate links.

As is the case with all the other channel partnerships ideas on this list, the point is: you put your content in front of new eyes.

While maybe not the most efficient way to sell through content partnership marketing, spreading it around is great for SEO – especially if it comes with strong, high-quality backlinks.

Imagine if you landed an article on Search Engine Journal? Wouldn’t that be huge?

That’s the dream, of course – but it’s possible. Places like Medium allow you to freely syndicate content and make for a great content marketing channel.

medium homepage

And by growing your website through other means, eventually that door will open, and the leads just snowball from there.

Link building cheat sheet

Link building cheat sheet

Gain access to the 3-step strategy we use to earn over 86 high-quality backlinks each month.

Download for free

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it – our top 6 partnership marketing ideas.

We recommend doing a little bit of everything – especially if you’re just starting out, you’ll take any exposure you can get.

Try your luck, see what works best for you, and then go from there!

If you need help recruiting partners into your network, don’t hesitate to start your 14-day free trial with Respona to see how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is partnership marketing?

Partnership marketing is a strategic collaboration effort where two or more businesses work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals, typically involving co-promoting each other’s products or services.

This approach leverages the strengths and audiences of each side to increase partner brand exposure and drive sales.

What are the benefits of successful partnership marketing?

Brand partnership marketing can lead to increased brand visibility, access to new markets, and shared resources.

It also often results in cost savings, as the marketing expenses are typically shared between partners, and can provide added credibility through association with another trusted brand.

How do you find the ideal partner for a marketing partnership?

Finding the right potential partner involves identifying businesses that align with your brand values, target audience, and goals.

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research, assess potential partners’ reputation and reach, and ensure that their products or services complement, rather than compete with, your own.

What types of partnership marketing are there?

There are various types of business partnership marketing, including affiliate marketing, co-branding, content syndication, joint ventures, product development, and influencer marketing.

Each type leverages different strategies and resources but aims to mutually benefit the participating businesses through shared promotion and combined strengths.

How do you measure the success of a partner marketing campaign?

A successful partnership marketing campaign can be identified using metrics such as increased sales, website traffic, lead generation, social media engagement, and brand awareness.

It’s important to set clear, quantifiable goals at the beginning of the partnership and track these metrics regularly to evaluate the campaign’s effectiveness.

Ivan Escott

Article by

Ivan Escott

Ivan is the partnerships manager at Respona, the all-in-one PR and link building tool that combines personalization with productivity. Along with creating content, he looks for unique ways to build meaningful relationships with other bloggers.

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