“FastSpring’s affiliate program is extremely efficient and cost effective. Not only have they removed startup costs and hidden fees, their process ensures that our partners get paid in a timely manner.”

– Mike Burda, Sales and Business Development, Smile

Key Result

Sales Jump


Digital Media Software


San Francisco, California


Products Used

The Company

When Smile first launched, its goals were similar to other indie software developers: acquire new customers and rapidly increase its customer base. Twelve years later, what it takes to acquire new customers in a highly competitive market has changed dramatically. In addition to many new entrants into the market, technology has made huge advances.

The Challenge

Smile needed a new, efficient, and cost-effective approach.

Smile develops productivity software for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Their award-winning products PDFpen® and TextExpander® applications redefine productivity so that their customers can get more done, faster.

Mike Burda, Sales and Business Development for Smile, believed that an affiliate program could be a successful tool for generating a new revenue stream.

But he faced a unique challenge. Smile makes tools for Mac platforms in a world that is dominated by the Windows platform.

“I started looking around for an affiliate program that was the right fit for us,” Mike explains. “With most affiliate programs, you just turn on the pipe and let everything flow into it. That’s exactly what we didn’t want to do. We wanted quality over quantity.”

While his overall goal was to open a new sales channel through affiliates, Mike wanted to find knowledgeable affiliates who understood the wants and needs of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users. They also needed to be able to effectively promote Smile’s software and apps.

“Believe me when I say that I looked at a lot of different affiliate programs,” Mike says. “But when I asked them who their Mac affiliates were, most of them didn’t know. One of the many things that impressed me with FastSpring is that they were already connected to the Mac community.”

The Solution

Smile Discovers FastSpring's Edge

For ecommerce businesses like Smile, having the right affiliate program can be the most powerful way to market products online. It extends your marketing reach, drives more traffic to your website, boosts lead generation, and supercharges your search engine rankings.

The true beauty of an affiliate program is that you can build an army of sales reps, all of whom have their own web sites, visitors, and opt-in lists. It’s a marketing machine that works tirelessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don’t pay affiliates until they generate a sale. Also, you’ll know how each campaign is performing so you can eliminate those that aren’t converting well.

Any good affiliate program should be able to increase revenue and expand your partner network. But a great affiliate program can be customized to deliver more.

“Getting started with FastSpring was a pleasant experience. I knew up front that I’m only going to pay for whatever the affiliate program brings in,” Mike explains. “That makes it easy to test, try, make mistakes, and grow. I like that FastSpring has created a success-based model.”

Nurturing meaningful connections is at the heart of Smile’s marketing objectives. FastSpring’s affiliate program takes that concept to the next level. With FastSpring, Mike can now track his top affiliates and reward those who produce the most each month.

“There’s also a lot of great customization and control options,” Mike says. “If I want to create a unique promotion for a single affiliate, I can do it very easily. It’s something they appreciate and it helps us add value to our relationships.” Also, FastSpring makes the process of paying affiliates simple. “With other affiliate providers, we would have needed to escrow funds. FastSpring handles payments automatically,” Mike says.

The Results

Smile's Sales Jump by 220%

After just six months of using FastSpring’s affiliate program, Smile’s affiliate sales jumped an outstanding 220%. “We couldn’t be happier with our results,” says Mike with a wide smile. “I only wish I’d found FastSpring’s affiliate program sooner.”

A success story like Smile’s is one we love to share. That’s because FastSpring is dedicated to helping clients like Smile achieve outstanding success.

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