Hootsuite Affiliate Program - Fly or Fail?

Hootsuite today announced the launch of their affiliate program. The program, which is not without its shortcomings (keep reading) will be appealing to business to business marketers and social media mavens.


While it might seem a bit strange that a provider of social media tools would need to venture into the affiliate marketing space at all there are all those obvious benefits - like increased sales (and not just impressions, reccomendations, etc.). An active (effective) affiliate marketing community can benefit the bottom line of any organization but Hootsuite is one of the first of its ilk to move in this direction. Kudos for that. 


There are some interesting (read different) aspects of the affiliate program from Hootsuite. For example, in order to be a HootSuite affiliate, you need to be a Pro plan holder. Based on my lengthy experience in affiliate marketing, this is one of the first times I've seen this approach taken. It is the equivalent of telling a Best Buy affiliate that they need to buy at least one product from you each month in order to be an affiliate and generate commissions. 


Hootsuite will pay its affiliate via PayPal and a PayPal account is required to participate - that's right, no direct deposit, no checks, just PayPal.


Affiliates can promote and earn commissions on HootSuite's Pro, Enterprise and University products and for any optional upgrades that are purchased by the newly referred client including adding new team members, requesting advanced support or using vanity URLs. 


As far as the actual commission percentages are concerned, HootSuite is paying 50% on the first month's payment by a new customer. That amounts to just $3.00 U.S. As one of the commenters on the post noted, the payout is "barely enough for a double-double and a honey cruller."