CPA Marketing Tips and Strategies for the Beginners
CPA marketing, also known as cost-per-action marketing, is the affiliate marketing model that offers a commission to the affiliate when a specific action is completed.
The lead action can be anything from purchasing to getting a quote, watching a video, or filling out a form. CPA networks then promote these campaigns through affiliates. The CPA affiliates are paid a set fee each time a referred visitant completes the action or offer.
How Does CPA Marketing Work?
The CPA model is an easy concept once you break it down into how it works and who’s involved.
- Affiliate or Publisher: The influencer (blogger, brand, business) supports a business or product to drive traffic to the eCommerce site and make a specific conversion.
- Business or Advertiser: The brand desires a partnership with an affiliate to drive quality traffic to the business’ website and increase sales, generate leads, or boost conversions.
- CPA Network: The platform that draws together the affiliate who wants to make money by promoting products and the businesses that want their products promoted.
Let’s say a famous cooking blogger named Lisa (our affiliate in this story) has a strong following of YouTube subscribers and blog readers.
She learned how to begin a blog to make a living in her kitchen—trying new recipes and recommending specific brands and products to her audience.
After developing a guest blogging strategy, building web traffic, and building a cult following, her cooking crowd is eager to buy the next kitchen gadget she recommends. Then we have our example business, EasyCooking.
EasyCooking manufactures high-quality kitchen gadgets – from cutting boards and measuring cups to expert mixers and food processors. They’re looking to increase their marketing reach and would love to take advantage of Lisa’s audience of budding chefs. A CPA marketing network makes Lisa and EasyCooking together.
CPA Network Terminology
CPA network terminology isn’t difficult, but you should know a few key terms as you launch.
- Affiliate Manager: A person who leads an affiliate program for a merchant. They are liable for recruiting, engaging with affiliates, and generating revenue for the merchant.
- Category: The niche for which the CPA proposal applies (sports, fashion, beauty, health, etc.).
- Chargeback: When a sale falls through for an effort an affiliate has already paid for. Since the sale was never finalized or an item was returned, the earlier given commission is deducted back into the advertiser’s account.
- Commission: The payment an affiliate gets—either a flat rate or percentage—once a successful conversion is tracked.
- Contextual link: A text link fixed within an affiliate website that links to the advertiser’s website.
- Conversion rate: The percentage rate at which special action is performed. In other words, the number of strong conversions divided by the total traffic.
- Cookies: In affiliate marketing, cookies are utilized to assign a unique ID to a user who has clicked the affiliate link to an advertiser’s site for a specific duration. The affiliate will get credit for the conversion in this predefined window, typically 30-90 days.
- Cost per action (CPA): An online advertising strategy allows an advertiser to pay for a specified action from a target customer.
- Earnings per click (EPC): The average amount an affiliate makes every time a user hits an affiliate link.
- Offer page: The webpage where the conversion happens after a visitor takes the necessary action.
- Return on investment (ROI): Refers to the number of funds made with a campaign. It is the income divided by the ad spend, multiplied by 100.
What are the Benefits of CPA Marketing?
CPA marketing is highly profitable when you target the right audience (as an affiliate) and connect with quality influencers (as a business). Compared to other eCommerce marketing channels, the cost per action formula offers some benefits, including:
Easy to set up
CPA marketing is simple to launch: you only require a website and a CPA network. It takes minimal capital upfront to use this marketing technique. Using your website and preferring a CPA offer, you can begin getting traffic from affiliate sites almost immediately.
Pay After the Sale
You’re not paying for traffic that doesn’t convert. If an affiliate’s referrals continuously offer low-rate conversions, increase your affiliates and shift your focus to a more successful influencer.
Because no payment is offered to the publisher unless a referred visitor converts to a customer or completes a specific task, the risk is low for eCommerce businesses.
Affiliate marketing makes 16 percent of all online marketing. Affiliate Customer Insights reveals that customers spend more money when making a buying off an affiliate’s recommendation. This indicates these marketing campaigns drive a better quality of traffic and offer a better value than most traffic sources.
Expand Marketing Reach
CPA marketing gives you scale and distribution. You get to scale your brand message faster and more consistently to the most extensive possible audience. Whether your brand is in fashion, electronics, home and garden, pet supplies, beauty, or nearly anything else, most business verticals use CPA marketing.
CPA Marketing Tips & Best Practices
CPA affiliate marketing is not a set it and forget it system. You must invest the time to cultivate a relationship with your CPA affiliates to build a strong conversion funnel to improve your conversion rates. To drive success through your CPA marketing approach, try these tips:
Consider hiring an Affiliate Manager
To get the most out of your CPA marketing efforts, you require a dedicated in-house resource – a person who can recruit new CPA affiliates, engage with website owners, send them new promotions, and drive consistent revenue for your website.
Avoid CPA networks with bad reviews
The downside to CPA marketing (as with any online money-making opportunity) is the suspect networks that have shady practices. Before you jump on board with any CPA affiliate marketing network, view the reviews.
By network reviews you know which are worth your time and which to avoid. Hit on the Network Reviews tab and search for the one you’re interested in to see what others have to say.
Keep in mind that no network will have a 100% satisfaction rating, so one or two complaints shouldn’t scare you off. The most popular negative reviews topics include:
- Lack of payment (please note that even highly reputable CPA marketing networks may withhold payment for specific reasons, so review the network’s policies before signing on).
- Unhelpful affiliate managers.
- Difficulty signing up for network or utilizing the platform.
Utilize Native Advertising
The days of fixing ugly, in-your-face banners across the header of your website are over. It doesn’t take blaring advertisements to convert customers. Native ads, or those that resemble your website’s color, layout, and theme, are with the marketing trends to watch in 2021.