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The Ultimate Guide to CPA Affiliate Marketing

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There are countless earning opportunities on the internet and CPA affiliate marketing is still among the most profitable ones. But, there are so many types of affiliate marketing programs and strategies that you may easily get lost and be baffled. This article will help you out by explaining the basics of CPA marketing, outlining its pros and cons and providing guidelines on getting started with your CPA affiliate business.

Glossary of CPA affiliate marketing terms

When novices in internet marketing first come across affiliate marketing and CPA, they can get easily confused and start asking questions like “What is affiliate marketing,” “What is CPA in affiliate marketing,” “What is a CPA offer,” and “What is the meaning of a CPA network?” We’ve prepared a glossary of the most important terms which will help you fully understand affiliate marketing and CPA.

  1. CPA (Cost per Action) is a payment model according to which affiliates get paid if a visitor attributed to them performs the desired action.
  2. Affiliate (also called a partner, publisher and affiliate marketer) is a person or organization that promotes offers in exchange for a commission in CPA affiliate marketing relationships.
  3. CPA affiliate program is an electronic marketing program that involves a web advertiser and affiliates. Affiliates are rewarded if a visitor redirected from their link performs a specific action on the advertiser’s website.
  4. CPA network is a third party that serves as an intermediary between affiliates and advertisers. This network provides affiliates with access to numerous affiliate programs, while advertisers get a chance to reach out to a larger audience.
  5. CPA affiliate marketing is an affiliate marketing model in which affiliates get paid for a certain action completed.
  6. Commission is the revenue an affiliate gets once the desired action is performed and tracked.
  7. Leads are actions taken by a potential customer, such as registration on a website, downloads, installment, subscription, signing up for a newsletter, etc. showing their interest in the promoted product.
  8. Cookies are small text files, which websites use to store information about a visitor. In affiliate marketing, cookies allow attributing a purchase to an affiliate even if the user attributed to them bought a product later.
  9. Cookies expiration is the amount of time for which the relationships between a visitor and an affiliate is valid, and an affiliate will be attributed a sale in case a visitor performs a desired action on the advertiser’s website. The standard expiration window is between 30-90 days.

What is CPA marketing and how does it work

CPA online marketing is one of the most profitable and ROI-positive ways to monetize your website. The web offers countless opportunities to boost your profits using CPA marketing. But, how does this marketing strategy work?

In a nutshell, CPA affiliate marketing pays affiliates for each time a visitor attributed to them performs the desired action on a merchant’s website. The advertiser determines the desired action, and it varies from making a purchase to simply filling in a quote form on an advertiser’s website. It can also be watching a video, downloading a program or a document, installing an app, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.

Pros and cons of CPA marketing

Like every marketing strategy, CPA affiliate marketing has its pros and cons which you should take into account.

Pros Cons
Earning can be as easy as just encouraging people to leave their contact information or download a program. Scamming. You have to be careful when choosing a CPA offer. Read all the terms and conditions thoroughly and ask for the payout when you reach the minimum payment amount.
High earning potential. Experience or training required before cashing in.
With a great variety of CPA offers to choose from, you can find the perfect one for you. Signing up for CPA offers may be quite challenging as CPA programs require quality traffic and content and set other criteria that affiliates have to meet.
Low investment costs. The niche is highly competitive, so you have to plug away to start generating revenue.

How much can you make with CPA marketing

Your revenue depends on a variety of factors such as payouts of the offers you’ve chosen, traffic costs, promotion strategies, level of competition in the niche, etc.

The most lucrative niches for a CPA affiliate are finances, dating and travel. Though these niches are highly competitive, the payouts are also quite substantial. For example, in the travel niche, you could earn up to a 3% commission of the flight ticket cost.


How much can you make with CPA marketing

CPC stands for Cost per Click, and it is another payment model often used in affiliate marketing. An affiliate earns a commission whenever a visitor clicks on an ad and is directed to a merchant’s site, whereas, in CPA, affiliates only get paid if a visitor performs a targeted action. In CPC marketing, the amount of money paid per click depends on numerous factors such as the business type, the niche and how competitive the desired keywords are. So, the more coveted they are, the more you get paid. By contrast, in CPA you get a fixed commission whenever the desired action takes place.

Which marketing arrangement is more profitable? There is a lot of earning potential in both models. While CPC can provide an income faster, CPA offers higher payouts. Anyway, it takes some doing to make both CPA and CPC financially rewarding. For this, you should choose offers carefully and make sure the campaign you’re promoting resonates with your audience. The traffic you drive to a campaign is another essential factor that influences how high your income is. That is why you should invest a lot of time and effort in getting quality traffic to your website.

CPA affiliate marketing examples

CPA marketing schemes are on the rise nowadays, especially in the travel niche. For example, the KAYAK affiliate program is one of the best CPA affiliate programs offering one of the highest CPA commission rates in the industry and providing the best travel solutions to users across the globe.

Another reputable CPA affiliate marketing program that can boost your income is the affiliate program. This platform is one of the leaders in hotel reservations around the world, and you can generate income by referring your readers to

CPA marketing for beginners: How to get started

How can you start to do CPA marketing? Here is a step-by-step guide for aspiring affiliates:

  1. Set up a website, taking into account your target audience and potential affiliate partners’ requirements. Or, you can start earning with your page on social media if you have a solid audience.
  2. Apply for CPA offers or sign up for an affiliate network to access many offers in one interface.
  3. Embed CPA offers on your website. You’ll have to place an affiliate link and tools such as widgets, banners, search forms and more.
  4. Drive traffic to your website using SEO, ads and social media.
  5. Track and analyze your campaigns.

Having a website is important but not required. You can earn by leveraging the power of social media. Promote offers in your posts and soon your CPA marketing business will get off the ground.

Understanding CPA affiliate marketing

In a nutshell, CPA affiliate marketing is a proven way to start generating revenue online. However, to succeed, you have to start off on the right foot, invest a lot of time and effort in your online venture and track and analyze your campaigns to see what works best for you. Eventually, all these will pay off and you will see your income dramatically increase.

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