What is CPA Marketing?

By | December 23, 2014

what is CPA marketingSo you’re struggling to make money online and want to know: what is CPA marketing? But more importantly you want to know if you can make money from CPA.

The Basics – What is CPA Marketing?

CPA stands for “Cost Per Action.” This means that when somebody clicks on your link and completes a specific action, you get paid.

Larger companies offer affiliates like you a way to make money to support their marketing strategies. The company benefits because they get more customers. The website visitors benefit because they are offer products or services that can help them. And you benefit because you make money by bringing the company and visitors together.

There are lot of “actions” that are offered and it’s impossible to list them all but here are the most common.

  • Online surveys
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Purchase a product or service
  • Filling out a form
  • Getting an estimate or quote

How  Does CPA Marketing Work?

Here is a quick overview about how CPA marketing works.

what is CPA marketing


The concept it simple, people browsing the web click on your affiliate link. They are then taken to a landing page where they are presented an offer. When they fill out the offer, you get paid.

Pros vs Cons in CPA Marketing


  • There are an almost endless amount of CPA offers.
  • It is possible to see profits within a day.
  • You can make money without making a sale.
  • Many of the offers are enticing by free goods and services.
  • The company typically sets up the landing pages so all you have to do is drive targeted traffic to it.


  • Most CPA networks require you to have some success before they allow you to join.
  • There are a lot of scams related to CPA marketing. Do not join any network unless you have done some homework to make sure the site is reputable.
  • Each offer is unique and may limit the amount of leads you can produce in one day, which country you can market to, and allowed methods to generate traffic.
  • The offers have expirations so it is not a true source of passive income.
  • Many of the quality CPA networks will not accept beginners.
  • Some of the better CPA offers are only available to large markets like USA, Canada, and UK.
  • There are sometimes different offers for each country. You may drive traffic to the vendor but you will not get paid if it’s from the wrong country.

How Do I Get Started in CPA Marketing?

I will go into more detail about getting started in a minute, but the basics are pretty simple.

Before I go to the specific steps, it is best to target a specific niche rather than randomly look for a CPA offer you want to promote. For example, if your niche deals with weight loss then go out there and find CPA offers that relate to this.

I recommend going this route because you need to understand your target audience and how to drive targeted traffic to the offers. It is easier to do this if you’re already familiar with the audience’s needs.

Step 1: Find a CPA Offer

Two sites that I recommend to find offers are oDigger and Offervault. These sites are kind of like search engines for CPA offers.

These sites are slightly different, however they are fairly user-friendly. All you have to do is type in a keyword and do a search for CPA offers.

If you take our example of the weight loss niche, you just have to type in simple keywords like “weight+ loss” “fitness” or a niche related keyword.

CPA marketing make money

You can also search by category, price, EPC (earnings per click), conversion rate, and network.

There are a lot of other search options but they could give you enough information to know where to go and start searching.

Step 2: Join a Network.

Once you have found a few offers that you are want to promote you will need to join the networks that offer these promotions. oDigger and OfferVault are just places you go to find possible offers. Now you need to join the networks that manage these offers.

<a href="http://onlinehomeincome.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CPA-Marketing-step-3 tadalafil 100mg best price.jpg”>what is CPA Marketing

Joining a network is not automatic so you will have to apply. This could take a few days before you hear anything. Most of these networks are also picky about who they let into the program so you might want to call them so they know that your real person. I have had better luck joining networks when I have talked to them on the phone instead of just filling out the application.

If you are a beginner, some of the networks will not accept you. Do not let this discourage you because there are beginner friendly sites out there. Here are three sites that allow beginners to join.

Joining an affiliate network is not automatic, which may be different from what you’re used to affiliate marketing. For example, in Amazon sign-up is automatic and you can get your affiliate links within five minutes. This is not the case for CPA marketing.

Here are a few pointers to help you get accepted into CPA networks:

  • Be honest: Be honest in your application. If you are a newbie then tell them and don’t try to hide it. They will ask you about your plans to market and drive traffic. Just tell them what you are trying to do and let them give you suggestions on how to be successful. Remember that they are trying to make money and they need you to be successful in order to do this.
  • Pick up the phone: These networks do a little extra screening because some affiliates to do shady stuff. Pick up the phone and call the affiliate manager to let them know that you are real and you’re serious. You will get approved much faster by doing this.
  • Double check everything: Do not rush to the application because you think it’ll help you get accepted faster. They are going to check everything so if anything is wrong it will delay or cause your application be denied.

Step 3: Design Your Lead Generation.

Tailor your lead generation to your specific niche and CPA offer. You don’t technically need a website to make money from CPA, you just need to drive traffic to the offer. Some people prefer to generate leads from their website and do this quite successfully. Other people like to integrate CPAs with list building. These methods have their pros and cons.

I personally only use a few CPA offers on my websites and I have not to this point sent any CPA offers through email marketing. Others have done this and been successful. I have been more successful by using PPC to generate leads directly to the offers. And then scale these campaigns depending on their profitability.

Different techniques have different advantages and disadvantages. The key to being successful is a continual process of testing and refining. You will need to see what works and what doesn’t. Then refine your methods then test again.

This is really what separates successful CPA marketers from those who fail. The successful individuals continually test and refine while the failures give up as soon as they don’t see results they want.

Conclusion: What is CPA Marketing?

This short article has provided the answer to what is CPA marketing. I  also showed you a simple way to start making money from it. CPA really is an effective way to make money online. There are disadvantages as well so make sure you weigh the pros and cons that I have outlined and decide if this is a method to you what it used to make money online.

Just understand that CPA is not going to make you rich overnight so if you decide to go with this method make sure you have realistic expectations.

If you are serious about making money online check out my #1 recommend a program to start earning an online income.

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2 thoughts on “What is CPA Marketing?

  1. Nishkarsh Sharma

    I already knew what CPA Marketing was, but I didn’t find this kind of information any where on the internet. You’ve made a great post!
    As per my experience, CPA marketing seems like spam to me at times. It gets very clumsy to actually complete the offers that these sites provide.

    Do reach out to me on my mail. I’d like to stay in touch with you 🙂


    1. Dave


      Thanks for your feedback. The truth is that CPA marketing has its pros and cons like any other method. Some people have made a ton of money with it. Like any system, it takes time.



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