CPA Marketing: Selling Users Actions

What Is CPA Marketing?

CPA marketing stands for ‘Cost Per Action’.

This is an interesting alternative to affiliate marketing that is similar in many ways.

Basically, what ‘cost per action’ means is that you get paid every time someone carries out a certain action.

This might mean that you get paid when someone buys something.

In which case it is working similarly to affiliate marketing (except that you’re getting paid a flat rate most likely).

The ‘action’ might mean subscribing to a mailing list or joining a membership site.

Find Offers To Promote

To begin with CPA marketing, you need to find the offer to promote.

When you choose your offer, remember that you aren’t just choosing your offer. You’re choosing your market, your marketing strategy, and your audience!

The first step is to be clear about your niche.

You need to look for what is known as the “route to market”. This essentially means the route you’re going to take to present your offer to the largest number of people who may be interested in it.

Once your are ready, the best way to find offers is to search on CPA aggregate sites. They aggregate thousands of offers from reputable CPA networks.

You can use oDigger and Offer Vault and search offers based on keyword, network, category, country, payout, etc.

Check out the details for each offer. The listing gives the key information on the offer.

You’ll come across during your search to this common CPA jargon:

  • AM: stands for ‘Affiliate Manager’. He is your go-to person in the CPA network,
  • Display: text links and banner ads,
  • Download/Install: you get paid if a user downloads or installs the offer,
  • Email/Zip Submit: User gives their email and zip code only,
  • Incent: short for ‘Incentivized’. It means you are allowed to give users free product for your offer,
  • Lead: user submitting their name, email, phone, address, etc.
  • Publisher: the person who promotes the offer (you)
  • Sale or Rev Share: you get a cut of every sale, one-time or recurring)
  • Trial: users sign up for a free trial of a product or service

Next step is to preview the offer landing page.

It’s very important.

This is the page users will see when they click on your link.

So, the one question you must answer: will it convert? What is the potential conversion rate?

Join A CPA Network

The offer looks good and you are confident in the potential conversion rate.

It’s time to join the CPA network that runs the offer.

Before you signup for a network, check the reviews at Odigger. Use the ‘Network Reviews’ tab from the homepage.

One of the tougher parts of CPA marketing is that you need to be ‘accepted’ into the network.

CPA networks aren’t trying to make things difficult.

They just want to make sure that you are representing the offers you’re promoting well and that the brands they work with will be proud to be associated with your business.

Most applications have a section to learn more about your online marketing experience: be honest and transparent.

A fast track to take: pick up the phone and give them a call.

Ask to speak with an affiliate manager and this way you can put forward your strong case for why you think you should be accepted.

Drive Traffic To Your Offer

Once you have your offer, your job then is to promote the affiliate link.

There are many ways to promote your offers, free and paid.

As long as you’re paying less for the advertising than you’re earning from the offer, then paid promotion can be an effective method.

Using free methods:

  • Blog. Create your own niche blog and share the links and banners that come with your offer,
  • Youtube. Create videos to review the offer for example,
  • Social media. Use the power of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc to promote your offer,
  • Email. A Powerful and easy method if you have a list potentially interested in your offer.

Using paid methods:

  • Set up an advertising campaign using Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Bing Ads, etc,
  • Instagram. Find influencers related to your niche and pay for shoutouts.

Starting small and building up is often the best strategy.


As a shortcut, you can try this paid training: CPA Pirate.

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