The Ultimate Guide to CPA Marketing

If you’re looking to boost your website’s revenue, CPA marketing might just be the way to go. It’s a super scalable and ROI-positive strategy that can help you reach a wider audience and target the right leads.

Basically, CPA (which stands for “cost per action”) is a type of affiliate marketing. Unlike other strategies where you have to pay upfront to advertise your brand, with CPA marketing, you only pay after a sale has been made. It’s a great way to test out different marketing efforts and see which ones are working for you before investing more money into them.

All business sizes are suitable for CPA marketing, big or small, so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for ways to monetize your website and grow your business.

What Is CPA Marketing?

CPA marketing is a type of affiliate marketing where an advertiser and affiliate team up to promote a product or service. 

The affiliate gets paid when a customer takes a specific action like watching a video, filling out a form, signing up for a trial, getting a quote, or making a purchase. 

CPA marketing involves three main players: advertisers, affiliates, and CPA networks. 

So, it’s a win-win situation for both the advertiser and the affiliate.

How Does CPA Marketing Work?

Basically, there are three main players in CPA marketing: the affiliate or publisher, the business or advertiser, and the CPA network.

An affiliate is usually an influencer, publisher, or content creator who runs a blog, website, or brand that has a loyal following. They work with marketers to help drive more traffic to their eCommerce sites.

On the other side, you have businesses or advertisers. These are brands that are trying to increase sales by teaming up with an affiliate who can promote their products and bring in high-quality traffic to their eCommerce sites.

Finally, you have the CPA network. These are companies that act as the middleman between an advertiser and a publisher. They help match up advertisers with publishers that are most likely to generate leads for them and also ensure that publishers are qualified for the job.

As you can see, CPA marketing is basically a way for advertisers and publishers (like influencers) to connect. The advertiser is looking for someone who has a similar audience to promote their product. 

Like, let’s say you’re a travel blogger who writes about cool food spots. An advertiser might want to connect with you ’cause you’ve got a following that’s likely interested in a foodie app.

The CPA network is kind of like a middleman, connecting the advertiser and the publisher so that influencers can promote something they genuinely like, and get a commission for it. And for the advertiser, it’s a way to reach a new audience they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Basically, CPA uses cookies to track if a purchase was made through a specific affiliate link, so the publisher gets a commission.

3 Categories of CPA Marketing

CPA marketing is all about getting paid for different actions your visitors take. There are three main types of CPA marketing:

  • Pay per Sale: This is when you get paid for every sale made through your affiliate link. So if someone clicks on your link and buys something from your partner’s website, you get a cut of the sale.
  • Pay per Action: This is when you get paid for different actions that your visitors take, like watching a video, filling out a form, or signing up for a free trial. Basically, you get paid for every lead you bring in.
  • Recurring Payments: This is when you get paid a monthly commission for every new subscriber you bring in to your partner’s website. So if you can keep bringing in new subscribers, you can keep earning money.

CPA Networks

Are you thinking about joining a CPA network? If so, you’re on the right track. A CPA network connects business affiliates who want to market their products. It’s a win-win situation: affiliates earn money by promoting products and advertisers get their products advertised.

There are plenty of CPA networks to choose from, each with their own set of features and compensation rates. Some even have support from skilled affiliate managers. But when choosing a network, it’s important to make sure it’s trustworthy and meets your business needs.

Here are some of the best CPA networks out there:

  • MaxBounty: They’ve got an Advertising Tracking Interface that lets you keep an eye on your campaign progress and optimize performance.
  • Panthera Network: They specialize in performance advertising and have access to thousands of top-tier publishers. They also have a variety of channels you can promote deals through, like banner ads, email, mobile ads, and social media.
  • Perform[cb]: This all-in-one CPA marketing solution was founded in 2002 (formerly Clickbooth) and they claim to have the industry’s highest compliance and brand protection standards.
  • PeerFly: They have over 2,000 live deals at any given time and no monthly fees. Their software is also tailored to each advertiser, so you can include any features you want.
  • Admitad: They have a network of over 30,000 advertisers and a variety of ad spaces, including social media, YouTube, and cashback and loyalty programs. They also have a deduplication feature so you don’t pay twice for the same leads.

Joining a CPA network is a great idea for both experienced and beginner affiliate marketers. There’s a relatively high payout, low barrier to entry, and plenty of CPA offers to choose from. 

Just be aware that some networks have a minimum payment threshold of $35 to $100. 

Benefits of CPA Marketing

If you’re thinking of using CPA marketing to promote your online business, here are some key benefits to keep in mind:

1. Low risk

With CPA marketing, you only pay out marketing costs when your desired goals are met. So it’s a low-risk way to promote your brand.

2. Audience expansion

CPA marketing can help you quickly grow your audience by working with influencers to get your products in front of more people. It’s especially effective for reaching new audiences.

3. Brand boost

Working with affiliates can also boost your brand’s reputation and awareness, helping you stand out as a top competitor in your industry. This can ultimately lead to increased sales and online visibility.

4. Affordable

CPA marketing is an affordable option for businesses of all sizes, as you’re only paying for performance, not just impressions, clicks, or engagements. This can improve your marketing ROI.

CPA Marketing Best Practices

If you’re looking to get the most out of your CPA marketing campaign, it’s important to find an affiliate manager that you have a good relationship with. 

They can help you develop strong partnerships with affiliate partners, so they’ll keep promoting your stuff. And don’t forget, selecting the right offer and network is crucial for making big profits.

Here are a few tips to help you with your CPA marketing:

1. Buddy up with affiliate managers

An affiliate manager is like your own personal marketing assistant. They’ll find partners that fit your needs and negotiate deals with publishers on your behalf. 

Try to find an affiliate manager that can help you build strong relationships with your partners, so they’ll stick around and keep promoting your products. Some managers can even help your partners create the most relevant content.

2. Steer clear of sketchy networks

There are a lot of shady networks out there in the world of CPA marketing. Do your research to avoid working with these types of networks. Avoid networks with a bad reputation, and check out reviews on sites like oDigger to get a better idea of what you’re getting into.

3. Drive traffic to your site

Once you’ve found an offer and joined a network, you need to get people to your site. Some of the most common ways to do this include: 

  • SEO
  • email marketing
  • Google ads
  • social media ads

Learn more about both paid and free traffic methods for affiliate marketing. 

4. Watch out for fraud and scams

Unfortunately, CPA marketing is not immune to fraud and scams. Some offers may seem too good to be true, like $1 for a simple task. Be careful of offers for online flash games and get-rich-quick schemes. 

Also, click fraud can be a problem. Sometimes bots will click on your ads, and you’ll end up paying more without making as much money. To prevent this, you may want to use click fraud protection software.

5. Keep an eye on your campaigns

After you’ve promoted your CPA offers, it’s important to track how they’re performing, as well as any issues that may come up. 

Some things you should keep an eye on include: the source of your traffic, the effectiveness of your PPC ads, and the keywords or landing pages that are getting the most conversions.

3 Tips to Getting Accepted by a CPA Network as An Affiliate Marketer

1. Create a website

If you’re thinking about joining a CPA network, the first step is to create a website that shows off your brand and your skills. 

You can use a platform like WordPress, which is pretty user-friendly. Or, if you’re not the techy type, you can always hire someone to design it for you.

2. Use your domain name in the email

Next, when you’re sending emails, make sure to use an email address that has your domain name in it, like “your [email protected]”. 

Some CPA networks might not accept applications with a free email address because it doesn’t show that you own your website.

3. Start with smaller CPA networks

When you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to apply to local or smaller CPA networks. Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you can then move on to the big dogs. But remember, those bigger networks get a ton of applications, so it might be harder to get in.

Once you’re accepted into a network, you can start looking for offers that fit your niche. And once you’ve found the deals you like, you can start promoting them on your website. And just like that, you’re on your way to being a pro at this affiliate marketing stuff!

Final Word

CPA marketing is a budget-friendly way to earn big returns through affiliate marketing. The idea is to team up with publishers and influencers to reach your target audience and make money.

To get started, all you need to do is join a CPA network and work with an affiliate manager who can connect you with the right publishers. Just make sure to stay on top of things and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and competition.


What is the difference between CPA marketing and affiliate marketing?

CPA marketing is a type of affiliate marketing where you get paid for every lead generated or action completed, not just for making a sale. 

Unlike traditional affiliate marketing where you only earn a commission when someone buys something from your affiliate network.

What makes a “good” CPA in marketing?

When it comes to finding a “good” CPA, there’s no set rule. But the main goal should be finding one that helps you make more money and reach more people. For example, if you’re paying $50 for a $100 product, it might seem like a good deal at first. 

But when you factor in other expenses like materials and production, the CPA cost might actually end up being $150. In that case, you’d be paying more than the product is worth, and you’d be losing money.

Is CPA marketing still profitable in 2023?

Don’t worry, you can still make money in 2023 and beyond by finding the right crowd and hooking up with the perfect influencers for your brand.

How much can I earn from CPA marketing?

The money you make with CPA marketing depends on how much effort you put in. It’s kind of like a “you get out what you put in” situation. Single conversions can be anywhere from a few cents to ten bucks. And, if you can get people to give their credit card info for a product trial, you could make even more.

As for how much you can make per month, it’s possible to earn up to a grand. The key to making more dough is to keep running your ads, experimenting, and tweaking your CPA offers.

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