SaaS Marketing

5 Best Performance Marketing Channels & Strategies to Enhance the ROI

Ameet Mehta
Feb 24, 2022
10 mins read
5 Best Performance Marketing Channels & Strategies to Enhance the ROI

When it comes to performance marketing channels, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Building the marketing campaigns the right way is crucial for businesses, especially with the evolution of the internet. The post-covid era has seen a 31% increase in global ad spending.

Performance marketing is a great way to get measurable results fast. There are a bunch of aspects that you need to consider, the right channel, the ad format, goals, the target audience, and of course, an ad that resonates and hits the pain point of your ideal customer.

What Is Performance Marketing?

Online marketing campaigns allow SaaS companies to advertise their product on different websites (search engines, your affiliates, or 3rd party websites). This digital marketing domain is specifically used to drive actions (clicks, sign-ups, or whatever) track and measure those actions. However, a sale, lead or click determines the action or end goal.


It can be challenging to choose one that best fits your business needs and end goals with all the performance marketing channels. This blog will go through the 5 best performance marketing channels available to a marketer.

  1. Social Media Advertising
  2. Partner/Affiliate Marketing
  3. Native Advertising
  4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  5. Programmatic Display Advertising

Furthermore, to help you leverage these channels to the fullest and get the most out of your marketing campaigns, we have enlisted the best practices for each channel mentioned.

Social Media Advertising

With over 4.5 billion active social media users and average daily usage of 2 hours and 27 minutes, social media is a great and most effective performance marketing channel. 

Think about it.

There are over 2.8 billion monthly active Facebook users, over 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, and over 732 million monthly Tiktok users, which means that there’s a higher probability that your target audience is using either or both of these platforms, which makes it vital for any SaaS company to leverage them for their product.

Agencies and media professionals are investing heavily in social media advertising (according to a report by Hubspot, over 8 million active advertisers on Facebook). However, it would help to consider the demographic on these platforms – Millennials predominantly use Facebook and Instagram while Gen Z users are more inclined towards TikTok.

Best strategies for Social Media Advertising

Before investing in social media advertising, there are some factors that you should consider:

  • Check whether the demographics of the platform align with your SaaS, which platform is your target audience using
  • Start with these platforms organically and focus just on traction and engagement
  • Check out your primary competitors’ approach

Once you align with the platform, here are some best practices that you can follow:

  • Create a target persona, along with a list of their possible likes and dislikes, age range, hobbies, preferred platforms, etc
  • Create eye-catching ad copies that fit in well with the organic content on each platform
  • Try out different bidding strategies and optimize them over time for a better ROI
  • Create organic posts that point out your ad posts
  • Go for a mobile responsive design with a direct call-to-action and high-quality visuals.
  • Ensure that you test your ads beforehand
  • Set goals for your social media ads
  • Evaluate and hone your strategy continuously.

As a marketer, you can use these best practices for traffic generation, brand awareness to amplify engagement and eventually gain leads. However you plan to use these platforms, there are some key performance metrics you need to keep track of:

  • Impressions
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Clicks
  • Reach
  • Sales
  • Completed contact forms
  • Checkouts

You can leverage the top social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Partner/Affiliate Marketing

We often see people reviewing products through blogs, youtube videos, or Instagram reels, sharing their experience, and subtly asking the readers or viewers to buy the product. Ever noticed anything different with the link they share?

They share a customized link different from what you can see on the website directly. Once you purchase a product from that particular link, the affiliate marketer receives a pre-decided commission. This is called affiliate marketing. 

A definite subset of performance marketing, affiliate marketing is driven by metrics and goals. In this performance marketing channel, advertisers earn for the online promotion of a product or service of another company. These marketers advertise on behalf of the company with a specific goal in mind, driving traffic, clicks, and sales. Here are some of the platforms that you can check out: Everflow, CAKE, Hitpath, and Trackier

Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing

  • Convert your loyal customers to affiliates by offering a compelling commission rate
  • A/B test different commission rates and see which get the best results
  • Don’t let late paychecks ruin your relationship with your promoters.
  • Working with micro-influencers (influencers with a following of 2,000 to 10,000) is the best starting point for SaaS businesses.
  • Add an affiliate sign-up page on the website. Make sure that the landing page is compelling and SEO-friendly.
  • As 50% of the traffic generated from affiliate marketing comes from mobile devices, your website should be mobile-friendly
  • Explain the terms and conditions in plain English and add an FAQ section to guide the new affiliates

According to a report by Truelist, advertisers are generating 15% – 30% of all sales from affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing can be a sure shot that will upsurge your sign-ups and conversions.

Native Advertising

A form of paid ads but with 10X more clicks, native ads camouflage with the websites they are displayed on to fit seamlessly. They mimic the design, content, and tone of the native website, hence the name. These ads feel less intrusive than other advertisements and thus get 53% more views than the. Advertisers pay only for clicks for these ad campaigns or specific goal conversions.

The best part about native advertising is that they don’t look like ads and usually comes in suggested articles at the bottom of the web page or content or as in-feed ads on social media platforms. Typical pricing models:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Best strategies for Native Advertising

  • Like any other marketing strategy, the best thing to do for native advertising starts with an in-depth understanding of your customers, the problems they are trying to solve, their interests, and the type of content that will interest them.
  • Use compelling ad copy, images, and headlines to draw attention.
  • Avoid using over-branded ad copy. Keep it short and informative.
  • Advertising on multiple exchanges to reach your target audience
  • Measure the post-click engagement and not impressions or clicks
  • Don’t interrupt your user experience, so consider the user intent whether they are ready to make a purchase or just for an informational blog.
  • Experiment to see what will work the best for you, use A/B testing and other types of tests to see which versions of your ads perform best

Some websites to check out for native advertising are, Native Ads, Taboola, and Facebook Audience Network.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

How do you search for a product?

Did you say “Google it”?

That’s what all of us do. A quick google search to find french classes near me or to check out a project management software that’s where search engine marketing magically displays the results you were looking for. However, it can be successful through both paid and organic options. Paid Search Marketing or PPC is when you’re displaying ads on search engines like Google, Bing, etc., the advertiser here pays for clicks to ads.

How does it work?

A real-time auction system goes on whenever a search query is entered into the search engine. Search engine marketers identify the keywords they want and place a bid on them, considering how much they want to spend for a click.

Best Strategies for SEM

  • Targeting keywords with a high commercial intent (buy, discount, deal) can be expensive for obvious reasons as they are more competitive. So it’s essential that you choose your keywords wisely (focus on long-term keywords instead)
  • Combine your PPC strategy with SEO for better results as the high intent keywords will be competitive, so it’s ideal for targeting them organically.
  • Have an ad copy that compels your audience to click along with an easy to understand CTA and a headline that hits their pain point
  • Segment (Demographic, interests, company, title, purchase history, etc. and then target your audience by personalizing your ads
  • Keep your ad copy relevant to the keyword you’re targeting.
  • Run tests and optimize your paid ads with alternate keywords, offers, headlines, etc
  • Use Multivariate testing for the landing pages (test different page headlines, header images, content, etc.)
  • Understand the success of your ad by monitoring the key metrics (Impressions, clicks, impression-to-click ratios, time on site, sign-ups, etc.)
  • Keywords are at the very core of SEM, which is why you need to check them carefully.

To get the best out of this performance marketing channel, you can combine it with SEO, an organic or unpaid method, to rank higher in the SERPs. The channels often used for search engine marketing are Google Adwords, Bing, and Yahoo Ads.

Programmatic Display Advertising

“Billboards.” That’s what display ads are for the internet world. You often see display ads on websites in different forms like banner ads and sidebars (skyscraper ads). These have catchy headlines and images to capture the attention of website visitors. Owing to a low click-through rate of around 0.05%, these are not the preferred choice of a marketer.

An enhanced version of display ads is the programmatic display ads, where many specific web pages are targeted to showcase your ads. What marketers do is that they run their ads selectively on niche-specific websites (contextually relevant websites)or websites of influencers or bloggers who also target a similar audience. In short, programmatic display ads combine display ads with targeting tactics to reach the right audience.

Best Practices for Programmatic Display Ads

  • Ensure that the ad publisher has a similar target audience and an extensive database. This will help you place your SaaS in front of the right people.
  • Like search engine ads, make sure that you create different versions of your programmatic ads to test them on various sites to see which one works best.
  • Don’t forget to add some branding – your logo.
  • Make sure that your ad copy talks to the customer about the problem they might have that your SaaS can solve
  • Choose a compelling yet easy-to-understand CTA – like “Watch Now,” “Sign up here,” “Save Your Spot,” “Book a Call.
  • Choose your fonts and images carefully.
  • Make sure that the design of your landing page and ad match and blend.
  • Highlight any offers that you might have.
  • Tailor the messages for your prospecting and your retargeting audiences differently.
  • Monitor your campaign performance, notice what works and optimize what doesn’t; refine your strategy based on accurate data.

If used with the strategies mentioned above, programmatic display ads are a great way to target or retarget your ideal customers.

Final Thoughts

SaaS marketers often find it challenging to choose an ideal performance marketing channel that will have a higher user impact and boost sales. Digital Ads formats and high-impact content and creatives will help you attract the right audience and increase ROI.

Just research on performance marketing channels will help you need a solid omnichannel performance strategy and solution to drive the desired results.

Are you looking for an omnichannel performance solution? We can help you build a strategy with a scope of a 5%-20% increase in performance across channels.

About Ameet Mehta

Ameet Mehta Ameet Mehta

Ameet Mehta‘s expertise lies in building revenue engines for technology-enabled companies and private equity investments. He began his journey with TechStars Chicago and has since founded and acquired several companies through FirstPrinciples Holding Company. The FirstPrinciples portfolio generates over $7M in revenue/year with most companies in the SaaS space. He...

About Ameet Mehta

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