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CPA Vs. Affiliate Marketing: A Beginners Guide To CPA Marketing

Cost Per Action Marketing

How many times you have heard of term CPA & wondered how’s it different than Affiliate marketing? Well, in this guide you will learn how CPA is different & at the same time similar to affiliate marketing.

If you are new to Affiliate marketing, you can read our free guide on what is affiliate marketing & if you wish to master the art of Aff. marketing, you should buy ShoutMeLoud affiliate marketing ebook.  If you are already well versed with Affiliate marketing, it’s time to look at CPA marketing & how’s it different from affiliate marketing.

What is CPA Marketing & how’s it different from Affiliate marketing:

CPA: Cost for action/Cost per acquisition.


CPA marketing is affiliate marketing with a twist.
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In CPA, you get paid for completing an action that could be as simple as getting a user to fill up a form or take any other desired action. Whereas in affiliate marketing, you get paid when somebody make a purchase. CPA is considered to be easier than affiliate marketing for a simple reason; here you get paid for sending a lead. Once the traffic you send converts into a lead, after that it’s the job of the particular network to convert into the sales. Anyhow, you would be paid for the lead.

Another reason for CPA marketing to be more popular is; people need to take actions that do not require their credit card info for you to make money. 

Here are some more differences between CPA & Affiliate marketing is:

  • You get paid fast in CPA Network.
  • You are of your own in the affiliate network, whereas in CPA network you are assigned an affiliate manager who guides you for best offer & shares ways to help you make more money.
  • Once you are part of an affiliate network like ShareASale, Clickbank or any other in the majority of the cases you can quickly get the affiliate links to promote. Whereas in CPA, it takes time to become a part of network & you need to get approval for CPA offer that you wish to promote.

Here is a screenshot of Peerfly dashboard which is a popular CPA Network in today’s date:

CPA Network dashboard

Should you use CPA or Affiliate marketing?

One benefit of CPA is it converts well & you can drive traffic from various sources. At the same time, the downside of CPA in comparison to Affiliate Marketing is; it pays less.

So thumb of the rule is, don’t limit yourself to one form of making money online. For a beginner, it’s good to start with CPA as you might not have a blog or a consistent source of traffic. With CPA, you can see immediate results as you would start seeing few cents in your account with simple steps such as email submit.

Note: Affiliate marketing is also termed as Cost per sale model.

FAQ about CPA:

How much money one can earn with CPA?

There are people who are making millions with CPA marketing. In terms of single conversion, it could be as low as $0.10 to $10. In some cases when the user has to enter credit card details for the trial of the product, you can get paid up to $50.

How about traffic generation methods?

In CPA, you need to check the promotion details before starting the promotion. Many CPA offers are limited to certain geographical location & you can use only selected source to drive traffic. Below you can see the screenshot of one offer where allowed country if France only & notice the allowed & disallowed traffic generation method. This screenshot is again taken from Peerfly CPA network.

CPA traffic source

How about reversal & holding period for commission?

In affiliate marketing, we have a holding period of 30-60 days whereas in CPA you get paid instantly with no refunds unless you are violating TOS such as driving traffic from an illegal method. You will be paid once you reach out the minimum payout for CPA network you are signed up with.

How about scam offers?

This is one of the biggest downside of CPA; as you will find a lot of scam offers paying $1-$2 for simple task. For example one like this where you need to traffic to win iPhone/iPad page:

Avoid scam CPA offer

I’m sure you are smart enough to know such offers are mostly scam & something you don’t want people to fall for it.   Avoid offers such as make money quickly, online flash games (Many of them install spyware), Sex or dating & many others. I would suggest use your own judgement & avoid promoting something that you looks scammy or might hurt somebody.

Conclusion:

According to me, both Affiliate marketing & CPA are a great source of earning online. Affiliate marketing is the slow process, but it pays off pretty huge in longer run & with the right strategy. At the same time, CPA is easy for beginners without a website, as you need to send traffic which needs to take simple action like email submit, install an app or complete a survey.

I will be covering more on CPA marketing in coming days. For now, here are few CPA networks that you can get started with:

For a blogger, I would recommend affiliate marketing & at the same time become a member of popular CPA network. At times, you might see an offer that resonates well with your niche (Such as app install) & you can earn huge in the single shot.  Here are more articles which would help you to earn money:

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CPA Vs. Affiliate Marketing: A Beginners Guide To CPA Marketing is a post from ShoutMeLoud - Shouters Who Inspires



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