CPA Affiliate Marketing Explained: Digital Meaning & Definition

CPA Affiliate Marketing Explained

CPA Marketing Tips For Beginners: + Benefits And Advantages For CPA Affiliates

Are you looking for a way to start an affiliate marketing business? If so, you might want to consider CPA marketing. CPA, or cost-per-action marketing is a great way to earn money online. 

In CPA digital marketing, you earn money by promoting products or services for other businesses. You may have heard of CPA marketing before, but you may not know how it works. In this post we explain the meaning and several important aspects of this affiliate marketing business model.

What is CPA marketing all about?

The digital MEANING of CPA marketing, also known as cost-per-action marketing, is a very well known method in which an advertiser and an affiliate work together in mutual partnerships. 

CPA Model of Marketing Is A New Rising Trend In The Affiliate Industry, In Which Individuals & Brands Are Successfully Taking Advantage With Their Lucrative Benefits.

Affiliates execute digital marketing services (meaning online) for the advertiser in this manner, and consequently the so called affiliate receives a commission based fee anytime a user or customer takes a specific action as a result of the completed offer.

These simple actions commonly include watching videos online, filling out simple forms, getting various quotes (like financial, credit, auto etc), making purchases or signing up for trials which typically everyone has come across. 

A typical CPA marketing strategy consists of three major components, which include but not limited to:

The advertiser is an entity or company that endeavors to form a 2 way partnership with an affiliate. In this partnership type, the business operates a CPA affiliate program, where affiliates can sign up to market the advertiser's brand offers on their respective social media platforms, blogs & website. A successful CPA partnership helps to bring top-quality, organic search traffic to the advertiser's landing pages. Most advertisers provide CPA business opportunities for specific niches, like health, affiliate marketing sports, personal development, beauty, keto diets, financial, electronics etc. This range of opportunities allows both advertisers and affiliates to determine which partnerships make the most sense based on each's primary target audience or market.

Related: 14 Types of Advertising Techniques

The affiliate can be a social media influencer (Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and several others) or blogger who promotes a service or product on behalf of the advertiser and receives a commission for doing so. Typically, there also is an affiliate marketing manager who manages the affiliate program for the advertiser. They serve as the primary negotiator between affiliates and advertisers, and it's their sole responsibility to recruit and communicate with affiliates.

A CPA network is a platform that connects affiliates with businesses that want to market their products. There are multitudes of affiliate network platforms to choose from, and each offers its own unique features. Because these networks can function differently from one another, it's important for advertisers and affiliates to choose a network platform that is both reputable and reliable as well as legitimate. These platforms provide professional & vetted affiliate managers and offer several CPA opportunities and competitive payout rates, allowing affiliates to choose ones that work best for their business model.

What are the advantages of CPA marketing?

Top 3 Advantages of CPA marketing as an affiliate:

Scale of Profitability

The first advantage of CPA marketing as an affiliate is that it can be extremely lucrative if done the right way, especially if the relationship between you and the advertiser is strong and ethically fit for both parties. For example, a woodworking blogger forming a CPA marketing partnership with a woodworking plans company would qualify as a viable partnership because their target audience and marketing focus are similar.

Easy to start right away

CPA marketing is considered pretty easy to start because essentially you need only 2 components: your website and a reputable CPA network to join. This system allows you, as an affiliate, to immediately begin increasing traffic to your site by advertising for a well known reliable company. Partnering with a trusted and legitimate CPA network can streamline the CPA marketing process and help to remove any guesswork on how to begin.

Scaling CPA Affiliate Campaigns

A successful CPA marketing campaign can help to improve the scale of an affiliate's brand. This means that their brand can grow and become more recognizable at a faster rate and to a much wider audience. Regardless of the marketing industry, CPA marketing can help increase an affiliate's brand awareness and may sometimes reach beyond the advertiser's audience.

How does CPA marketing work?

Most CPA marketing campaigns work by following a standard 8 simple step process:

Strategies for using CPA marketing

CPA affiliate marketing often requires time to invest in creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the affiliate and advertiser. The better the partnership, the more likely it is to increase affiliate conversion rates. Consider these tips to help you with CPA marketing as an affiliate:

Find cpa offers (potentially with a good payout)

You can find cpa offers by conducting thorough research and identifying sites that offer the best CPA marketing opportunities

These websites function like CPA search engines and provide affiliates with thousands of offers from legitimate and reputable CPA networks. 

You can search these CPA websites based on a specific keyword, network, category or price, making it an efficient and easy tool to use to find offers with scalable opportunities. 

Join an established CPA network respected globally

It's important to consider that you have to apply to a CPA network in order to join it. 

Because of the variety of CPA networks available, there isn't one set way to get accepted. 

Starting a website for yourself and clearly defining how you plan to promote a company's offers are ways to increase your chances of getting accepted into a CPA network. 

Many CPA networks require an interview before approval, so communicating how you can benefit an advertiser can help you get accepted into the CPA network of your choice rather quickly. 

Integrate CPA Materials into your website

You can alter your site to include the CPA advertiser's brand by integrating your advertising efforts into the design and layout of your website. 

Adding links that connect visitors to the advertiser's website can help to achieve this as well. You may also consider adding a banner to clearly showcase your partnership. 

Implement traffic strategies vital to your cost per action offers

Implementing traffic strategies involves using white hat techniques that can help bring more people to your website and the advertiser's website. 

There are several strategies to consider, as each one works differently and can perform better for some types of businesses than others. 

Here are three ways to improve your traffic click rates:

Hire an expert affiliate manager (Who Has Industry Experience) 

To benefit the most from your marketing efforts, consider hiring a knowledgeable affiliate manager (AM). 

Affiliate managers have well trained skills that help both affiliates and advertisers. An affiliate manager can benefit affiliates by performing these actions:

Consider the CPA marketing payment system 

Consider the CPA marketing payment system, which differs based on the commission rates. 

Clearly identify how an advertiser pays the affiliates and decide on the one that fits your business goals the most. You can compare and contrast the pay models of multiple offers to reach an informed decision.

Related: How To Calculate CPA In Digital Marketing (A Marketing Conversion Metric)

Choose a trustworthy CPA network

You can greatly improve your chances of acquiring a good and reliable CPA network by reading the user oriented reviews of other affiliates and make an educated decision. 

Many of the CPA network platforms offer particular sections where affiliates can freely leave reviews about whether they liked or disliked the platform and relevant experiences. 

They may detail important information like on-time payments, helpful vetted affiliate managers and easy sign-up processes.

CPA VS AFFILIATE MARKETING : The Differences Explained

CPA is generally considered to be an easier revenue model than affiliate marketing for one simple reason:  

You get paid for sending a qualified lead

Once the traffic you send converts into a lead, it becomes the duty of the particular network to convert that lead into generating a sale. Whether or not that sale gets made, you will still be paid for the lead. 

In CPA, you simply get paid for sending users who complete an action that could be as simple as getting a user to fill out a form or take any other desired action. 

In affiliate marketing however, you get paid when somebody actually makes a valid purchase. 

In short, it’s much easier to get a user to do something that doesn’t cost money. 

How’s it different from affiliate marketing? 

Here are some more differences between CPA & affiliate marketing: 

◉ You get paid quickly in a CPA network. 

◉ You are usually on your own in a CPA network. In an affiliate network, you have the privilege to be assigned an AM (affiliate manager) who guides you towards the best converting offers & provide tips to help you make even more money. 

◉ Once you are part of a respected affiliate network like ShareASale & MaxBounty, or any other, you can quickly get affiliate links and start promoting. 

With CPA Marketing, it takes a much longer time to become part of a network & you need to get network approval for the CPA offer that you plan to promote. 

Common FAQ about CPA Marketing Explained: 

How To Choose Between CPA & Affiliate Marketing? 

One great advantage and benefit of CPA (Cost Per Action) is it usually converts rather well (due to no direct sales required to be made) & you can drive traffic from multiple sources including mobile traffic. 

At the same time, the downside of CPA in comparison to affiliate marketing is that (because no direct sale is being made) it pays less. 

The strategy and plan to making digital revenue is:  

Don’t just limit yourself to one form of making income online. 

For a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with CPA Marketing as you might not have a website or a consistent source of traffic. 

With CPA Marketing, you can see instant results as you will start noticing small amount of funds in your account dashboard when users take simple actions like submitting their email details into a form. 

How much money can one earn with CPA Marketing? 

There are affiliates who are making by the millions with CPA marketing. 

But in terms of single conversions, it could be as low as $0.10 and as high as $100. 

In certain cases when the user has to enter their credit card details for a free trial of a product (digital or physical in nature), you can get paid roughly between $10 & $60. 

How about traffic lead generation methods

In CPA Model of Affiliate Marketing, you need to check constantly the promotion details before starting the promotion. 

Several CPA offers are limited to certain geographical locations like US, UK, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada & sometimes you can use only selected sources to drive traffic to your offers

How about terms & conditions for commission payouts? 

In affiliate marketing generally, we have a locking period of 30-60 days whereas in CPA Marketing you get paid instantly with no refunds unless you are violating the TOS such as driving traffic from an illegal method. 

You will be paid once you reach the required minimum threshold payout for the CPA network you are signed up with. 

How about scam offers? 

This is one of the biggest cons of CPA Marketing Industry. 

You may find some scam offers paying $1-$5 for completing simple tasks. 

However, sticking to well respected affiliate networks will keep you 100% safe and I’m sure you are witty enough to recognize such offers are illegal & something you don’t want people to fall for. 

Avoid offers such as “make money quickly”, online flash games (many of them install spyware), sex, gaming or dating sites, and many others that seem awfully fishy in nature. 

Use your own gut instincts plus judgment & avoid promoting something that looks overly unreasonable. 

In my opinion, both affiliate marketing & CPA are a great source of earning digital income online. 

Affiliate Marketing is definitely not an overnight solution, but with the right mindset & strategy, it offers a much bigger payout in the long run. 

At the same time, Cost Per Action Marketing is relatively easy for beginners without even a website of your own, as you only need to direct traffic to take simple online actions like email signups or installing an app, taking short quizzes or completing a media survey. 


Starting a career in Cost per action affiliate marketing can seem intimidating because it's an unfamiliar field and because you have few to no connections.

In order to excel in Cost per action affiliate marketing, you have to have knowledge and connections. 

Knowledge, so that you're able to identify the trends happening and learn what methods work best for different situations. 

Connections, so that you're able to speak with people on the same level or higher level than yourself and make mutually beneficial deals.

Courses gives students a strong foundation in cpa and affiliate marketing while teaching them networking strategies they can implement immediately upon completion of the course. 

The course also goes over useful tips such as how to market yourself professionally on social media platforms and the value of mastering copywriting skills. 

This way, students are armed with both knowledge and connections on their journey into this competitive career field.