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7 Effective CPA Marketing Strategies to Scale Your Revenue 

CPA marketing strategies

From display advertising to affiliate products, there are many ways to generate revenue from a content website. The key is to determine which approaches to marketing work best for your strategy, business model, and target audience. CPA marketing is one consistently popular monetization strategy that aligns the interests of both the publisher and the advertiser.

In this article, we will cover the ins and outs of Cost Per Action (CPA) marketing. Read on to learn what it is, why it is so effective, and 7 CPA marketing techniques that can you can implement to scale your business.

What is CPA Marketing?

CPA marketing, also known as “pay per action” or “cost per acquisition” marketing, is a form of affiliate marketing in which commissions are paid for driving users to complete a certain action. This action can be anything from filling out a form to making a purchase or subscribing to a service.

In CPA marketing, the affiliate receives a unique tracking link and uses this link to promote the desired action. Affiliates have the responsibility of testing traffic sources, creating campaigns, and passing users to an advertiser. For every user that successfully converts, the affiliate is paid a fixed commission.

Benefits of CPA Marketing

Aligned Objectives

What separates CPA marketing from other forms of affiliate marketing is that the goal is not to simply generate traffic or clicks but to generate conversions. This objective inherently aligns the interests of both the publisher and the advertiser.

Low Advertiser Risk

In CPA marketing, advertisers do not have to worry about the cost of ineffective marketing campaigns or traffic that doesn’t convert. Because the advertiser only pays when a conversion occurs, they enjoy a low-risk form of promotion.

High Publisher ROI

Publishers are incentivized to drive conversions because they are paid based on performance. To attract these motivated affiliates on the open market, advertisers often seek to maximize their commission rates as much as their business model allows. For this reason, high-margin businesses like software applications and digital products tend to offer the highest potential earnings.

Integrated Advertising

CPA offers are generally incorporated into the existing content of a website or app, making them more effective and less intrusive than other forms of advertising such as pop-ups or banner ads. As a result, CPA websites do not need to be plastered with distracting ads and users only see promotions that are directly related to the content of the webpage.

7 Effective CPA Marketing Strategies

1) Select Affiliate Networks With Caution

Before creating any affiliate accounts, consider using OfferVault to search for opportunities from over 150 networks. Browse and compare CPA offers, the reputation of the networks, and the level of support provided. Usually, you can review the commission structure, required user action, any traffic limitations, and the landing page.

Performing this level of research is important because, unfortunately, there are some dishonest operations in the CPA business. At the very least, always take a look at the network’s reviews on Odigger. Avoid any network with a history of delayed or non-payment.

If your content business is just starting to find traction, take a look at Mobidea. They have a wide range of offers and a relatively beginner-friendly application process. Alternatively, if your website is more mature, consider large and respected networks like Peerfly, MaxBounty, and CJ.

2) Form Personal Bonds with Affiliate Managers

Another one of our CPA marketing strategies includes relationships. Affiliate managers are your point of contact within an affiliate network. They are responsible for maintaining good relationships with advertisers and publishers, and they can be valuable resources for information and advice.

When first starting out, it is helpful to introduce yourself and express your willingness to form a partnership. Managers are often inundated with requests from new affiliates, so make sure to stand out by providing a detailed explanation of your website or app and what CPA offers you are interested in.

Building genuine bonds with affiliate managers can be especially fruitful over time. These managers have insight into what verticals, traffic sources, and types of offers are performing well at any given moment. And if you ever negotiate for a special rate, they may even be your internal advocate within the network.

3) Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

The CPA business model is full of jargon and can be confusing for newcomers. As you’re learning the lay of the land, don’t be afraid to tap your affiliate manager for advice. Ask which traffic sources work best for a given offer, or which creatives have been most effective. Don’t reinvent the wheel – start with their recommendations and then A/B test to find your unique angle.

Additionally, CPA networks typically offer webinars and other helpful resources to affiliates. Be sure to sign up for any that look interesting, as they can provide valuable insights into how to optimize your CPA campaigns.

Beyond the networks themselves, also look to build your own network of fellow affiliates and CPA marketers. Join forums, Facebook groups, and LinkedIn groups related to marketing. You might be surprised how many veteran marketers are happy to answer a quick question or share their perspectives.

4) Choose Offers Strategically

The key to choosing CPA offers for your website is finding something relevant to your audience that will add value. For example, NerdWallet seamlessly integrates its credit card and banking offers into its personal finance guides. Similarly, Wirecutter uses in-depth product reviews to promote electronics and appliance offers.

When selecting an offer, consider these factors:

  • Niche: Is the product or service relevant to your website’s content? Remember that to generate any income, your visitors will have to click and convert on the offer page.
  • Earnings Potential: If available, look at metrics beyond CPA. Both eCPM, effective cost per thousand impressions, and RPM, revenue per thousand impressions, take conversion rates and payouts into account. These figures can help you compare the relative earnings potential of very different offers.
  • User Experience: Adding an offer with a smooth and logical flow minimizes user friction. This improves the user experience on your website and also leads to higher click-through rates.
  • Trust: Every product or service recommendation on a website has the potential to benefit or harm its reputation. Always promote offers that you know and love, or have good reason to trust.

5) Use a Tracking & Analytics Platform

To make more money from CPA marketing and marketing strategies, you first need to know which offers are generating results. While this might seem obvious, CPA tracking is not always straightforward. In some cases, the network itself handles tracking and analytics. But more often than not, affiliates need to set up their own CPA tracking system.

There are a few CPA tracking platforms on the market, but Voluum is a popular starting point. It’s affordable, effective, and relatively simple to use. Plus, Voluum integrates with popular ad networks and payment processors, which makes set-up a breeze.

Once you have your tracking system in place, be sure to consistently monitor as many important variables as possible. This includes everything from traffic source and offer type, to keyword and creative. With all of this data at hand, you’ll be able to improve your marketing efforts over time and scale your most profitable campaigns.

Just remember not to get caught up in vanity metrics like traffic and clicks. In CPA marketing, focus on driving conversions and devising tests to improve your conversion rates.

6) Test Various Traffic Strategies

Along with other CPA marketing strategies, there are many different traffic strategies you can use to promote CPA offers. And because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, it’s important to experiment with different approaches until you find what works

Here are some common traffic strategies to test:

  • Social Media: While selling on social media, it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t come across as spammy. Try creating informative and shareable content that provides value and naturally includes a CPA offer.
  • Paid Search: Paid search is a great way to drive highly targeted traffic to your website. To be successful, bid on relevant keywords and create ad copy that is clear and concise.
  • Display Advertising: CPA offers can also be promoted through display advertising. To reach your target audience, use demographic and interest-based targeting and create ads that are relevant and engaging.
  • Email Marketing: Include CPA offers in email marketing campaigns without disrupting the user experience. A good way to do this is to integrate the promotion into an interactive element, like a quiz or game, by leveraging email marketing tools.
  • Pop-Ups: While they should be used sparingly, targeted pop-ups can be an effective way to market CPA offers alongside one of the above approaches. Try creating a listicle and adding a pop-up on exit intent that displays the key benefits of your top-rated item.
  • Push Notifications: If your website has a loyal following, push notifications can be a great way to bring visitors back to a landing page. Just be sure not to bombard your users with too many notifications, or they may opt-out of receiving them altogether.

7) Make Networks Compete for You

One of the best ways to optimize your earnings is to make networks go head-to-head for your services. CPA networks are constantly looking for top-performing affiliates, and they’re willing to pay top dollar to secure your services.

To make networks compete for you, start by signing up for a few different affiliate networks. From there, evaluate which networks are offering the best CPA deals and begin promoting their offers. As you begin to generate results, the networks will take notice. You can then leverage this influence to negotiate higher CPA commissions.

For example, after you have proven yourself on both Network A and Network B, email your affiliate manager at Network A to ask for an exclusive deal. If they agree, ask Network B to match or beat Network A’s offer. Strategically employing this approach can help you maximize your earnings and take your CPA marketing to the next level.

Final Thoughts

The CPA model is attractive to advertisers because they only pay for leads that are interested in their products or services, and to publishers, because it offers the potential for high-margin earnings. When done correctly, CPA marketing can be a win-win situation for all those involved.

To find your place as an affiliate in the world of CPA marketing, it is important to choose the right offers and traffic sources for your audience. As you hone in on the right opportunities, apply these 7 CPA marketing strategies to create a successful campaign. Before long, you will have a system in place that is driving conversions and scaling your revenue!

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