What Does CPA Stand For? Learn The Basics Of Cost Per Action

Simon is a former UK call-centre worker who has gone on to build several highly successful affiliate marketing businesses in various different niches & become officially recognized as a Super Affiliate by the world's largest affiliate marketing training platform. He has since relocated to Thailand & now teaches affiliate marketing to others through Commission Academy.

Quick Answer: CPA stands for Cost Per Action and it’s an online business model where affiliate marketers get paid a commission from advertisers every time a prospective customer takes a certain action (i.e. signing up for a free trial, joining an email list or downloading an app).

Affiliate marketing is the best way to build a business online.

You can build an online empire around any topic you have an interest in.

You can promote whatever affiliate programs and products you like

You can earn as much as you like

And there are a lot of different ways you can earn.

Depending on the affiliate program or affiliate network you sign up to, you can get paid every time:

  • You generate a sale (known as CPS)
  • Someone downloads an app (known as CPI)
  • Someone takes a specific action – this is CPA

Cost per action is simply a pricing model which pays affiliates who drive leads based on the number of desired actions taken.

A company might want people to subscribe to their email newsletter or follow them on social media or create a user account and they are more than willing to pay affiliate marketers who can send people their way.

The best CPA affiliate programs are Maxbounty, CPA Lead and Crakrevenue.

Working On CPA Affiliate Marketing 

This marketing model is not complex like others; it is quite straightforward.

In affiliate marketing, CPA refers to earning income without making a sale.

Now this may sound vague but this is the fun part of it; you don’t have to wait for a sale to be made. Rather, complete the action and get paid. 

A prime example of this is insurance companies who often pay affiliate marketers even when they bag a lead.

Even if someone just fills out a quote form from the insurance website, you, as an affiliate, will earn decent revenue

If you are familiar with Google Adsense then you will make a connection with this kind of advertising.

Now, this sort of display advertising would not make you particularly rich as you would need a huge amount of traffic for display advertising to earn you some decent income.

CPA does take a lot of time to build, but when you establish yourself, you can earn a lot. But maybe not keep it as your primary monetization plan. 

CPA Model Breakdown

To better understand this whole concept, let’s try to view this model in its modular parts:

  • The advertiser is a brand that partners with the affiliate to boost traffic and improve sales. 
  • The affiliate advertises the market offering of a brand to drive traffic 
  • The CPA network is a platform that connects advertisers with publishers. 

In simple terms, the affiliate is responsible for displaying an ad for the advertiser’s business on their website or social media page.

Then they invite the customers to click on the link and then the customer is directed to the business’s official website and a tracking link is associated with it.

If the customer makes a purchase, the affiliate network records the details of the purchase made on the advertiser’s website. Once the purchase is authenticated as a valid sale, the transaction is certified to the respective affiliate and then the commission is paid. 

Why You Must Choose CPA Affiliate Marketing? 

CPA advertising is a popular choice among companies that undertake affiliate marketing.

It is easy to implement and you can make passive affiliate marketing income. You, as a publisher, would be required to create content that invites adequate traffic.

But once you do, you have to place a Google Ad, which hardly takes two minutes. Then all you have to do is relax and watch the clicks pour in. 

For many tasks in relevance to CPA affiliate marketing, you will observe that the pay rate is substantial. A good example is that you run a website that compares different health insurance.

So, instead of just promoting one on your website, you can motivate your audience to get a quote from 5 to 6 different companies. This will improve the chances of earning more from commissions based on new signups and sales. 

If you are in a CPA affiliate contract with all of the insurance companies, then you will receive a payment from each, regardless of who enjoys the sale.

So, it is all about making smart choices, because then you will be able to obtain maximum benefit from profitable CPA marketing. 

3 CPA Marketing Quick Tips

If you have entered the CPA marketing zone, then it is time for you to invest in creating a successful campaign. 

Here are some of the effective strategies that will help you:

  • Be cautious when using paid advertising
    This approach can be very profitable but only when operated with caution. Like if you work with Facebook Ads or Google Ads, you need to know how it works. You must be familiar with all the basics. There are chances that you will lose money before you start making real money. So, make sure you set a budget and stick to it. 
  • Create a website
    You want to build a website with landing pages. Landing pages are significantly different from regular pages and blog posts published on your site. These are more specific in nature and help you funnel your traffic. Make sure you optimize your landing pages and make them the main selling face to invite conversions and clicks. 
  • Experiment with a splash page
    Splash pages are introduction pages that users see before they enter a website. It is a flashy page that comprises content ranging from music to captivating graphics. It is a great way to engage visitors and get them excited about your site. 

Tactics To Help Strengthen The Partnership 

CPA marketing requires several tips and strategies that will help you establish a mutually beneficial relationship between affiliate and advisor. Here are some tips for you to follow:

  • Hire a trained affiliate marketer to benefit from their expertise and knowledge 
  • Integrate CPS into your social media pages and websites to direct visitors
  • Employ techniques like PPC, SEO, and social media advertising 
  • Conduct detailed and thorough research to search for the best offers 

Cost-Per-Action Affiliate Marketing: The Final Word

There are lots of ways to get paid as an affiliate and CPA is one of the best because you’re only asking people to complete a simple action like taking a free trial, signing up for an email newsletter or filling out a survey.

And though you might not get paid much each time, the CPA game is all about volume:

Match the right CPA offers with the right target audience and you can make a killing.

And if that’s something you’re keen on doing then sign up for the Commission Academy Fast-Start training.

Invest the time time to go through this free course and you’ll equip yourself with the latest cutting-edge traffic-generation strategies and income-generating skills you need to take this all the way.

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