Affiliate Marketing 9.0: CPA

CPA Marketing

So far we’ve been discussing direct affiliate marketing of information products on sites like ClickBank, but another huge market for affiliate marketing is the CPA (cost per action) market. As a marketer, you can make millions simply by soliciting specific actions on websites to prospective leads

CPA marketing is popular for a number of reasons, including the fact that you make money without having to make any sales and, as a result, you don;t have to worry about refunds. Companies pay you to get leads to perform specific actions on their websites. For example, getting someone to submit their email address could make you between $0.50 and $3 in some industries, while getting someone to fill out a short registration form with contact info could make you up to $50 in industries like insurance or car sales. Here are some common ways to make money with CPA:

  • Zip Code or Email Submission: $0.50–$3 per submission
  • Short Registration: $2–$50 per submission; requires getting simple information and basic action for leads
  • Risk-free Trial: $30–$50; getting someone to commit to a low-cost, shipping-and-handling-only scenario
  • Sales: Sell a large-scale product or service and you can earn massive returns, well over $50 in some cases

And while CPA is generally very similar to other affiliate marketing actions, it has a few rules that vary slightly due to the signup process, the expectations of the marketers, and how it all breaks down when you send people to the target sites.

Signing Up for CPA Networks

Signing up for a CPA network can be a little tricky in that most of them have an approval process. Keep in mind when you sign up that you need to use an actual email address and a phone number that can be reached immediately. If they call for verification and you don’t answer the phone, you may be denied based on that alone. Also, tell them exactly what you’re marketing and how long you’ve been doing it, and provide a website if possible.

Once you’re signed up for a CPA network, you’ll have access to an affiliate manager who can answer questions, provide tools and help you through the process step by step. This is an invaluable tool that too many marketers overlook. If you are denied, for some reason, talk to someone and find out why. Most of the time, it is a simple misunderstanding or missing piece of information that can be fixed.

Finding Offers and Getting Paid

Because there are so many networks and so many offers out there, it’s important to know where to look and how much of a profit you can make when you research the different potential super affiliate–making opportunities on the market.

To start with, you need to know that a good EPC (earnings per click) rate is $1. This means that for every 100 clicks you receive, you’re making $100 in action conversions. If you can get up to $3 or more, you’ll really be raking in the cash!

Regarding the niches you select, stick to the ones that everyone is familiar with. CPA networks are pretty much devoted to things that have long, proven, evergreen histories. They sell all the time and are worth a lot of money. This includes diet, insurance, business opportunities, mobile, education, dating, and finance, among others.

This site is great tool for finding and researching offers. It provides a variety of tools that allow you to research and learn more about specific niches. Enter a keyword for the niche you’re interested in and you’ll get a list of offers related to that search term. You can then sort the offers by the highest EPC and payout amounts. Note that you’ll need to join whatever network the particular offer is a part of as well.


Asking your affiliate managers is another good way to find new offers to market. If a new offer comes into a marketplace, the managers will often be able to give you a heads up on it. They also have the numbers regarding how well it’s doing and how many people are promoting it. Although most managers are willing to provide this data if you ask, many CPA marketers don’t think to ask.

Making a Solid Income with CPA Marketing

CPA is not the same as affiliate marketing, so you can’t always ensure you’ll make as big of a profit by doing it. That said, the majority of the tactics you’ll use are the same. For example, you’ll still want to: set up websites using the right keywords and solid SEO tactics, place links throughout your page, develop lots of backlinks and have strong calls to action in the beginning, middle, and at the end.

To improve your CPA profits, you’ll also need to consider the following:

  • Mass Appeal Marketing – Generally, CPA offers will appeal to a large number of people. And because you’re not dealing with the same urgency that affiliate marketers do—you don’t need to sell anything, just create an action—your goal is to find high-scale, hot offers that have enough attractive points to convince people to fill out a form or order a free trial of something. Avoid limited markets like cutting-edge technology or seasonal products.
  • Checking Ads – Another way to ensure you’re working with offers that will earn money is to check the top sites on the Internet to see if their advertising is working. Check the top sites using or, sorting them by which ones accept advertising. Check to see if the ads on those sites repeat. If they do, you know that niche will make money. They wouldn’t repeat ads on expensive sites like that if they didn’t make money. Next, go to and find the highest-paying offers in that niche.
  • Presell Page Tactics – Due to the fact that you’re not selling something directly, but trying to solicit an action, your websites will have a bit of a different approach. Rather than selling something outright, your sites will presell it, and they will lead your prospects to fill out an offer or provide their email address. To boost these conversions, use the same conversion tactics we discussed before. You can also use coupon codes to reduce shipping costs on free trials, expiration dates to make the offer look like it is scarcer than it is, dual offers to double your income, and exit popups to get people back to the offer when they try to leave your page.
  • Getting Traffic – Getting traffic for a CPA offer is one of the most difficult problems you will face. You can always use standard SEO and forum-tapping tactics, as well as the PPC advertising we discussed earlier, but you can also use banner advertising and a few tools that will convert well to see if you’ll make an impact on the market.To start, find a site like that provides ad-buying services for websites that don’t have time to manage these on their own. Create an account (it’s free) and log in. Go to the buying ads section and look for the top sites: 
  • You can sort the sites by the number of impressions per month they get, and then check to see how much they all cost. The total cost of the ads will vary per site and slot, but try to find something that’s less than $300 for six million or more impressions, which is usually a good deal.
  • Don’t assume that the deal is great, though. Check to see where the ad will be placed, then go to the site and see how the ads look. Also, go to Google Ad Planner and research the site to see that the numbers are accurate, the demographics are what you need on the site, and the age range is appropriate. Sites with large numbers of under-18 users are useless because they don’t have access to credit cards like adults do.
  • If you decide to use graphic banner advertising, create a professional looking banner. If you can’t create one yourself, you can get one for as little as $5.00 at You’ll get lots of traffic for less than $300 without having to worry about SEO or PPC advertising.

If you’re serious about making money with affiliate marketing, you need to know one niche and field inside and out. Although CPA marketing isn’t entirely different from affiliate marketing, most marketers either specialize in either one or the other. Now that you’re familiar with what’s involved in both, I suggest you choose one and run with it.


Affiliate Marketing: Outsourcing