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CPA Marketing

What is CPA marketing

What is CPA?

CPA, or cost per action (as this abbreviation stands for), is an online advertising payment model in which the advertiser only gets charged if the potential customer has performed the targeted action they want. All the actions the model can cover always work for a specific type of conversion. That could be, for example, filling in a feedback form, subscribing to a newsletter or registering on a website. Therefore, cost per action refers to digital marketing strategies.

What is CPA marketing?

The CPA marketing term is quite broad. It is a more effective and profitable alternative to targeting and contextual advertising, which only work for displays and clicks. Unlike them, in CPA, an advertiser can significantly save resources because they only pay for what directly benefits them. There are special CPA marketing networks and platforms with built-in algorithms to monitor the targeted actions and partnerships between advertisers and partners. They monitor the fulfillment of the conditions set by the advertiser and transfer the commission to the partner in the amount he has earned.

How does CPA marketing work?

To understand how cost-per-action marketing works in practice, first, we need to list the key players:

  • Marketers, freelancers, opinion leaders, or bloggers who partner with a business and promote its products through its website, blog, and authority.
  • Advertisers: these companies seek out the above-listed individuals to push ads online.
  • CPA networks: these platforms bring together affiliates and advertisers, i.e., help them find each other. After registering, the companies place their offers on the site, and the partners review and select suitable offers. Each platform calculates the cost-per-action formula independently.
  • Visitors: these are the average users that CPA marketing is targeting. It requires the visitors to take the targeted action the advertiser wants (e.g., click on a banner) and therefore gets to the company's conversion rate.

Let's break down the meaning of CPA marketing using a practical example:

For instance, a well-known travel blogger named Richard travels the world and often tells his audience in his videos about what hotels he stayed in, which restaurants he ate in, how he got to his destination, etc. Simultaneously, Trevi offers bargain flights and lodging services. Both register with the same CPA network, through which they see each other's offers and start collaborating. Since Richard is a travel blogger, Trevi and its products match the theme of his channel and, therefore, the audience's needs. Richard recommends to his viewers the tickets he bought at the lowest price on Trevi and the hotel he stayed in for half the regular price, thanks to the company. The CPA network receives a percentage every time one of Richard's viewers clicks on a banner in his video leading to the Trevi website. Richard gets a commission, and Trevi gets potential customers.

Affiliate CPA marketing

Affiliate CPA marketing

As already mentioned, the definition of CPA marketing is quite broad and, therefore, almost universal. For example, CPA marketing often combines affiliate marketing programs, which involve creating a network of distributors (the same partners) who promote and sell a specific company's product for a commission. When affiliate marketing gets coupled with CPA, the affiliate can expand their revenue sources and promotion channels. In addition, it gives affiliates more tools and solutions for working with buyers and the buyers themselves, a variety of content, and forms of motivation.

Mobile CPA marketing and networks

Mobile CPA marketing is the same as classic CPA; only it involves placing ads on smart devices with operating systems such as iOS and Android.

A mobile cost per action looks like this. A company enters into a partnership with a mobile application that places a banner or a mini commercial. The mobile app gets its profit percentage if a smartphone user clicks on it and performs a target action specified in the conditions. It looks the same as YouTube ad inserts, and only they are embedded in the gameplay or even the app's mechanics on your phone.

There are separate networks connecting mobile app owners and advertisers for mobile CPA. With their help, app owners can further monetize their products, especially since such CPA networks often charge even lower commissions than traditional web platforms.

Is CPA marketing legitimate?

Yes, CPA marketing is 100% legit because it is considered digital marketing and incredibly popular today. When you join it, you enter into an electronic agreement with the network and partner of your choice, guaranteeing that your terms and conditions are met, and that rewards are fairly distributed. The main thing is to choose only proven and well-known CPA networks with strict algorithms, ensuring that your partners don't cheat you by scamming conversions. The same advice applies to the partners: do not use conversion mechanisms because, for such a thing, you can get a lifetime ban in CPA marketing networks and a lawsuit for fraud!

How to start CPA marketing

How to start CPA marketing

Becoming an affiliate of a company based on the CPA model is quite simple. Here is what you need to do:

  • Create your website

It is optional, but not all CPA networks allow you to sign up as an affiliate without a personal website or, otherwise, your blog. How else would you find your company audience, interact with them, and motivate them to perform the targeted action? So you will need a platform in any case - it can be either a group in social networks (say, Instagram) or the most straightforward WordPress-based resource.

  • Decide on your niche

If you already have a website or blog, choose an advertiser to work with based primarily on your audience's interests. For example, you'll unlikely make much money if you advertise household cleaning products or books on your beauty channel. Therefore, decide which area you will develop your cost-per-action marketing and devise a plan.

  • Choose a company

Of course, everyone dreams of collaborating with famous and international brands and practically becoming their ambassadors. But that's only sometimes a good option because there can be a lot of willingness and little reward. So instead, you can promote the products of a little-known company which sets a high percentage for fulfilling their terms and conditions. It is essential in a CPA. Also, this way, you avoid competition with more prominent partners.

  • Choose an offer

Once you sign up with a CPA network that suits you, you will find yourself in an ocean of offers from various companies. Don't drown in it! Instead, check offers for relevance, presentability, and alignment with your goals and resources.

  • Drive traffic to your site

After you have accepted the offer of one of the companies and officially become its partner, your task is only one thing - to do everything to fulfill the set conditions, that is, to get as many people as possible to perform a particular targeted action. Nevertheless, you will first need to attract fresh and live traffic to your site or channel and then try to redirect it to an advertiser. It is best to use other types of digital marketing for this, for example, study SEO optimization, content marketing, targeting, etc. All methods for CPA marketing will do, with the help of which you can provide organic traffic to your site. Personal social media or a YouTube channel are also suitable: in this case, you redirect users from there first to your site and from the site to the advertiser.

How to make money with CPA marketing

How to make money with CPA marketing

It needs to be more than just joining a CPA network, creating a website, placing a link on it, and then sitting back and waiting for people to click on it and replenish your wallet. Cost-per-action marketing, although it is considered a way to create a source of passive income, first you must make it as active as possible because, without your efforts, no one will know that you are advertising something. Here are some CPA marketing tips on how to maximize your profits with a cost-per-action model:

  • Use different types of marketing

Earlier, we mentioned that promotions such as content marketing or SMM could make it much easier for you to attract traffic and fulfill the conditions of the advertiser. The more channels you connect (this is called omnichannel, by the way) and eventually reduce to one of them, the more visitors and the more profit. The main thing is to correctly choose the best traffic source for CPA marketing, as sometimes it may be different from your original site, for example, a Facebook page. From there, redirecting traffic to the advertiser can be unexpectedly more straightforward. To find out how effective different channels are, classic Google Ads will help.

  • Learn and experiment

Today you can find many online courses on cost-per-action marketing (even free ones), and professionals in this field write books about it. The market is constantly changing, and with it, the business needs, the technology used in advertising, and even human psychology. Try different ideas in attracting and redirecting traffic, visit offline and online forums, be bold and try other platforms and company offerings. Nevertheless, simultaneously, you should take only a few at a time. Some companies do not tolerate competition for a partner, and users themselves do not like it when a website has become oversaturated with advertising.

  • Avoid shady networks

One form of fraud in online CPA marketing is when affiliates artificially inflate the number of targeted actions (e.g., clicks) to increase their commissions. They may use bots or spam for this purpose. If you are an affiliate, don't do this at all. If you are an advertiser, check the status of the CPA network before you join (especially if they offer very tempting terms!).

  • Work through a CPA manager

This advice applies to both partners and companies. A CPA manager is a specialist from a specialist agency. They either work in the background of a company interested in promoting through the cost-per-action model. Alternatively, they could get employed on the side of a specific CPA network. Such managers not only help in training and mastering this model but also select suitable partners/advertisers based on your requests and control the process and payments. In this way, the reliability of cooperation is additionally guaranteed (but, of course, not for free).

How to learn CPA marketing

To master any professional direction to the fullest, it is always better to resort to training. For example, CPA marketing courses are accessible online. For example:

  • The course "CPA-marketing - an effective model for online earnings" from the international platform Lectera. This platform is famous for its innovative Fast Education methodology, which allows you to upgrade new skills in a few days while devoting just fifteen to twenty minutes to learning at lunch. This CPA marketing course, like the others, is available in four languages, including English, German, and Spanish. Additionally, to the basics of CPA, you can learn influencer marketing, profitable strategies, affiliate marketing, case studies from Perfluence, and content creation. Perfect for beginners who want to dive into CPA marketing step by step.
  • Roger CPA. The platform specializes specifically in CPA. However, not as many aspects and issues of this model are analyzed compared with Lectera's. The lectures are interactive. They are ideal for those who have ADHD or who have difficulty remembering new information.
  • Ninja CPA. It is more of an auxiliary platform for beginner CPA marketers than an educational one. It works best in combination with other courses. Ninja is a learning toolkit with a tutorial, a friendly community, and online support that makes diving into the new CPA realm much easier.

CPA marketing software and tools

Today, you can find many CPA networks. But to start with, we suggest you check out the following ones:

  • MaxBounty has been knocking about for over a decade and is considered an industry leader with a pretty good average for affiliate commissions.
  • Perfluence - helps companies in different industries to find and sign bloggers.
  • Clickdealer offers a great range of offers with a loyalty program and competitions for partners and advertisers.

The top tools for your direct traffic and online CPA marketing are:

  • Flippa - You can buy and sell ready-made websites, which is a lifesaver for those who got into CPA marketing spontaneously and do not have their platform. It is an eBay-type marketplace where you can grab a good quality website with solid organic traffic.
  • SEMrush is a service for keyword research and correcting website optimization errors. With this service, you'll be able to study your competitors' sites and beat them to the top of search engine rankings. The service will also show which content brings you the most traffic and help you rank for keywords.
  • Grammarly is a must-have for creating high-quality content. It will perform a total audit of your website's pages, navigation, articles, listings, and all content posted on the site. Moreover, it will highlight spelling or grammatical errors and help improve the text to make it more appealing to your audience.