Introduction to CPA Marketing

CPA stands for Cost-per-action or Cost-per-acquisition. CPA is an online advert payment model which allows advertisers to pay for qualifying actions such as a sale or a registration or something along the lines. These can be the most simplest things like:

  • Completing a survey
  • Building keyword files for relevant phrases
  • Filling out a form
  • Accepting a free trial of something
  • Providing an email address
  • Newsletter Signing up

It’s as simple as that. No re-selling of a product, No refunds, No long self purchases or any of the other traditional affiliate marketing things to worry about. To be honest, CPA is one of the simplest ways to earn quick money online.

Now just like regular affiliate marketing, CPA marketing also consists of two types of people involved. One is the CPA Advertiser and other is a CPA Affiliate.

A CPA Advertiser can target close to 100% leads with this, because the advertiser ONLY pays when the action is performed.

So, for example you are ONLY going to pay for a “free sign up” or maybe an “ebook download” to an affiliate or a network, when the action has been completed. Now based on different affiliate networks, you can decide on your different bidding spend and hence get different count of actions done.

As a CPA Affiliate or a Publisher, you would be promoting the “action” or “offer” promoted by the CPA Advertiser. Again, this can be either getting people to sign up for a service, accepting a free trial of some service, or even as simple as providing an email address. You will be rewarded a specific commission for that particular action. This varies from different networks and their commission percentage which we talk about a few sections later.

Now the most amazing thing about this is, unlike regular affiliate marketing, you don’t have to rely on a sale. You just need to focus on covering up that particular action, and you can enjoy your commission percentage.

CPA Networks are actually kind of a middlemen between the CPA advertiser and the CPA affiliate. So usually if you are either one of those, you would sign up with a CPA network, to get the maximum amount of business on either sides.

Today you will learn on how to become a CPA advertiser and make it a Full time Business Online. It’s going to be an interesting journey, so be excited.

How is CPA marketing different from “traditional” affiliate marketing?

The biggest and most important difference between CPA and “traditional” affiliate marketing is You will be able to earn in CPA without selling a product, whereas in “traditional” affiliate marketing you would need to wait for a product to be sold in order to earn your commission. That is why CPA marketing is considered to be the fastest and easiest way to make a quick bucks online.

Benefits of CPA Marketing:

  • No website needed
  • No marketing experience needed
  • You don’t sell anything
  • Commissions are as high as $150/action
  • Perfect for Newbies who want to make some quick income
  • Perfect for College Students who want to earn some side income
  • Perfect for Housewives
  • Lot of payment options (Direct Bank Account / Paypal / Even Check)
  • Start working as an affiliate RIGHT NOW with your own email
  • CPA is a type of agreement, which if works well, you can even ask for a pay bump.

People are paid $100 per form registration after they make a successful business relation with an advertiser. Imagine the potential if you can get even 1 person to register a form each day. You are still eligible to earn over $3000/month just by a single form registration and a good business relation.

Best types of CPA Offers:


Email Submits

These are the easiest and most widely used CPA offers, where a user is asked to submit their email to get access to something 100% free. Payouts for CPA affiliates can go up to $3-$6 per email submitted depending on the niche, country and type of the offer.

Free trial signups/downloads

These were not very widely used till 2014 but with the dawn of 2015 and even more in 2016-17, this has become one of the most used CPA offers after regular email submits. The reason it is growing pretty awesomely at the moment, is it gives the user double benefits. First of all the offer is free to register to, and secondly you get trial access to a service as well. Its like a win-win situation for the user, which in return converts very well.

The payout is something around $6-$50. The major gap between the price depends on the amount of work required on the user’s end. Some free trials require the user to only submit their email id and name and others might ask for their credit card details without being charged anything. So, it depends vastly on the niche of the product.

This type of offers, works great for niches, like weight loss, free samples etc.

Zip Submits

This type of offer consists of a user submitting their zip code for some information, product access or any survey. If you are an CPA affiliate promoting this type of offer, you can get around $5 per zip code submitted but can vary based on the criterias mentioned above.


This consists of someone downloading and installing an app / software / plugin of some kind. This usually are hard to promote if you don’t have a solid trusted following, because most people don’t trust downloads from unknown sources. So, if you are an affiliate, you make sure that the offer you are promoting is actually legit. Payouts of this type can go around $18-$25 per download and installation.

Form Submission

Now even though this type of offers are hard to convert but they are high paying offers. It consists of someone submitting their personal details into a form in return they get qualified for something like a sweepstake, or a lucky draw or maybe a free product. The reason it is low converting is people usually get bored filling out all those details one after the other. Payouts of this type can be around $25 per form submitted.

CPA Marketing Niches

The best thing about CPA just like Affiliate Marketing is, it has a lot of niches to choose from. At some points, it has even more niches to choose from as compared to “traditional” affiliate marketing. With CPA, you can find literally anything to promote.

  • Beauty products
  • Children and Family Education
  • Careers, Entertainment and Health
  • Fitness and Weight Loss
  • Medical, Real Estates

There are two amazing niches that works best on CPA, are

  • As seen on TV, and
  • Coupons and Daily Deals

These are two specific categories that work wonders with CPA, because people usually tend to go for products that they see on tv, and if they get to signup or take an action which is FREE to do, they are bound to convert.

Same goes for Coupons and Daily deals. People are always looking out for some coupon codes for maybe a website subscription or even maybe for a physical/digital product they are aiming to purchase in the near future.

Hope you got clear vision about the CPA marketing. Good luck and I will wait for your success stories!

Shameem Reza

Shameem is a co-founder and the CTO of Melo Pixels Limited. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he writes about startups and marketing.