A Guide To CPA Affiliate Marketing

CPA Affiliate Marketing Image

In this article we will give you a detail guide to CPA Affiliate Marketing which is one of the most popular marketing strategies today. 

This marketing strategy is a good one for people who are looking for ways to sell their online products.

But most people might be asking:

  1. What exactly is CPA affiliate marketing?
  2. How can I get started?
  3. What are the benefits?

So, let’s address these questions by diving right into it.

Table of Contents

This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a commission from purchases made through links. We only recommend products we rank as well rated and we can personally used: Learn more on our Private Policy Page

CPA Affiliate Marketing Image

What is CPA Affiliate Marketing?

 CPA marketing, short for cost per action marketing, is a type of affiliate marketing used by businesses of all sizes to scale their marketing efforts and reach a wider audience. This involves partnering with an influencer, blogger or publisher who promotes your products in exchange for a commission fee.

Source: @BigCommerce.com

You can also define it this way:

“CPA, or Cost Per Action, is a marketing strategy that creates a partnership between a business (advertiser) and a publisher (affiliate). The advertiser lets the affiliate promote their products. In turn, the affiliate will earn a commission fee if a product is purchased through their efforts.”

Let’s assume that you are an (advertiser) sell cosmetics online. 

So, you do the popular thing by reaching out to a fashion influencer (affiliate) to promote your cosmetic products. 

The influencer then convinces his/her audience to buy your products. 

The audience (customers) goes over to your website and make a purchase. 

You get a sale – the influencer gets a commission – the customer gets some cool cosmetic products. 

And in this scenario everyone is happy

The Importance of CPA Networks

For starters CPA networks are companies that bring advertisers and affiliates together. 

So, they play an important role in this marketing space. 

Advertisers can go to a CPA network to find a list of influencers, bloggers, or publishers that are most likely to generate leads and sales.  And on the flip side, affiliates find products to promote for a commission. 

These CPA networks also help is the following ways : 

  Managing relationships between advertisers and affiliates

  Handling payments with third-parties like Paypal

  Offering marketing tools, i.e. banners, ads, campaigns, email scripts etc.

With this set up the advertiser can choose to pay the affiliate in 3- ways as outlined below:

  Pay per sale – The affiliate will earn a commission when a customer purchases an item through their links. 

  Pay per action – the affiliate earns a commission when their audience clicks on their affiliate link and performs an action. For example, enrolling for a trial, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a software, etc. 

  Recurring payment – This is the same as pay per sale. However, if the customer comes back to purchase another item, the affiliate will continue to get paid again — even if the customer didn’t use the affiliate link. 

And with the great use of cookies the advertiser can track performance by seeing which affiliate generated a sale and/or action.

What are some of the Benefits of CPA Affiliate Marketing?

Some might ask why choose CPA affiliate marketing over other marketing strategies?

And it is ok to ask..

…because CPA comes with so many amazing benefits which we summarised below:

It’s Low Risk

It is safe to say that no one wants to be spending a lot on ads and campaigns — with no conversion results. 

That’s is Business 101spend less – earn more“.

Hence, the low risk benefit  of CPA affiliate marketing, there is no upfront payment. The only time you pay is when your affiliate convinces someone to do an action (for example: purchasing  your product)

The great news about performance-based marketing, you only pay when there is a conversion. 

CPA Has A High ROI

The fact that there is no upfront payment — and because you only pay a commission base on performance …

…you can expect higher ROI with CPA affiliate marketing. 

And with the added advantage of getting to choose your commission rate…

..You can pay your affiliates a flat rate or a percentage of the sale price. 

Nevertheless, you may be required to invest a bit to join a good CPA network and have your have a payment auto processor.

But that will not break the bank. 

CPA Expands Your Marketing Reach

The essence of any network is to reach a wider audience.

And the synergy for CPA is that affiliates, whether influencers, bloggers, or publishers, already have an audience to market to. 

CPA marketing allows you to top into that audience. It also gives you better marketing distribution – especially if you plan on advertising to a new demographic. 

If properly plan and executed, you can quickly build up your customer base and rock up sale.

CPA Boots Your Brand

Only a few marketing strategies can make your brand trusted right away. 

Remember that affiliates not only have an audience — they have an audience that trusts them and like what they like. 

Your brand will get boots by association.

..If the affiliate trusts your brand enough to promote it, their audience will trust your brand too. 

CPA Affiliate Marketing starting image

How To Get Started With CPA Affiliate Marketing

The first thing that you should know is that it’s easy to get started with a CPA Affiliate Marketing program.

You only need two things – a good website and a CPA network.

And to make the process seamless here are four simple steps we put together:

Step #1 How to Get Started with CPA Affiliate Marketing (Create A Website)

To do CPA Affiliate Marketing effectively it is necessary to have a website. 

If you don’t have one then you can either hire a good freelancer to build one for you or you can learn the process from videos like this one below:

Step #2 How to Get Started with CPA Affiliate Marketing (Choose A CPA Network)

You need a reliable CPA network in order to reach affiliates – and for affiliates to reach you.

It must be noted that each CPA network will offer something different so you need to do some research.

Don’t worry we will give you an overview for some of the networks so you can get started.

In general, some networks will give you a list of reputable affiliates with huge followers….

…and other networks offer an intuitive dashboard that tracks important performance information.

On top of that you can find networks that provide banners, landing pages etc. 

But in the end, it’s up to you to choose a CPA network(s) that suits your needs and preferences. 

Once you narrow down your list it is time to apply to each network.

Key point to note is that the application process will differ for every network.

Nevertheless,  take a look at  the general idea for the application process below:

 You have to navigate to their website and complete a “form”.

 The network manager will contact you to arrange a follow up meeting. This can be via  Skype, Zoom, etc. 

 There is a waiting time for approval. 

 If approved, you will be assigned an affiliate manager or you can hire one if you are not assigned one. 

Step #3 How to Get Started with CPA Affiliate Marketing (Select A Payment Processor And Structure)

You need to pick a payment processor and structure for your fees and commission payments.

But when you are looking for a payment processor, it’s best to have features such as chargeback protection, easy payment tracking, fraud prevention, convenient expense management, and anything else that will make your life easy. 

There are several payment processors to choose from and here is a short list of the more popular ones:

Also, for the payment structure you should ask yourself a few key questions like:

  Should I pay a flat commission rate?

  Or maybe I can pay  a percentage of the sale price?

 Will my payment be a one-time payment or a recurring one? 

Step #4 How to Get Started with CPA Affiliate Marketing (Find Affiliates)

Once you’re all set up with your network, it’s time to find the affiliates you want to work with. 

Look through the list of offers from your CPA network and partner with affiliates that match your niche — or even those that don’t. 

CPA Affiliate Marketing Practices

CPA Affiliate Marketing image

Once you set up your website and join your network programs it is always good to follow some good practice.

Here are some essential and good practice that you can apply to your CPA operation:

  Have a good relationship with your affiliate manager – this will benefit you greatly. Your affiliate manager is the overseer of everything, including managing your affiliates and hiring new ones. 

  Research is key – Researching market niches that will work well with your brand is a very good practice. From there, you can partner and leverage with affiliates that have the same niche. 

  Utilize traffic strategies – To diversify your risk it’s always a good idea to get traffic from multiple sources. Some of the best strategies include SEO, social media, Pay Per Click Ads, Google Ads,  Youtube and email marketing. 

  Avoid low-quality content – Not all affiliates are good advertisers. Some simply don’t care and may publish low-quality content. This can do more harm than good to your brand. So,  do your due delegency and make sure to always check how an affiliate advertises. 

  Track your affiliates – If you track your affiliates, you will be able to see who performing the best and who doesn’t perform up to par. The ones who bring in more conversions are great partners that you can continue to work with. The ones who hardly make any conversions can be replaced.

Recommended CPA Affiliate Networks

As promised let’s look at a  short list of some of the best CPA networks that you can choose from.

  • Has detailed statistics 
  • Easy to analyze your data
  • Offers customized tours and landing pages
  • Has a responsive platform that can be accessed on multiple devices
  • Has a dedicated team to help you
  • Over 20,000+ affiliates in this network
  • Has some household name brands as clients – Apple, Microsoft, American Express, etc. 
  • Comes with Advertising Tracking Interface 
  • Makes it easy to monitor your progress
  • Has optimized campaign performances 
  • Has a rigid affiliate screening process
  • They have an upfront approach with clients
  • Has real-time reporting
  • Help maximize your profits
  • Convient 24/7 support
  • Great marketing reach with global traffic
  • Provides a dedicated account manager
  • Affiliates can be checked regularly
  • Offers customized targeting


By now you should have a good understanding of CPA Affiliate Marketing..

And yeah It’s easier than you think..

We established that it’s a great marketing strategy that brings together a business (advertiser) and publisher (affiliate). The affiliate promotes the advertiser’s brand/products and in return, the advertiser pays the affiliate a commission.

With that being said, you now have everything you need to know about CPA affiliate marketing,,,

…So, why not give it a try?

We hope this article gave you all the foundation knowledge that you need for CPA Affiliate Marketing and please feel free to give us your feedback and ask any questions from the comment section below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe now

Feature Post