Firstly, What Exactly Is CPA Marketing?
CPA Marketing, which is short for Cost Per Action Marketing, is an online marketing method along the lines of Click Per View and Cost Per Click.
It works much like those online marketing methods, because it is based on triggering actions from website visitors to drive sales.
That is why it is called CPA or Cost Per Action, because the action that has to be completed by prospects can be anything from clicking on a landing page to be redirected to an offer, or to complete simple forms to opt for a product or survey. CPA networks provide these various opportunities.
What are CPA Networks?
CPA Networks are the middleman.
They are in place between the advertisers and the publishers (or affiliates), getting them together, so business can be conducted. They are kind of like a marketplace where advertisers can publish their offers, and where publishers can apply for and promote them.
First, a little background; CPA networks were created with the intention of having a centralized space for agencies to make their offers available. However, many publishers and advertisers were just conducting shady marketing operations, and to some extent it still does.
When online marketing became popular, many individuals and obscure organizations started to pop-up everywhere.
Many deceiving offers could be detected by their “to good to be true” nature, but many publishers fell for them anyway, blindfolded by the prospect of making a quick buck.
Likewise, many publishers started exploiting the lack of regulations for online advertising and abused the fact that they could bombard people with ads, basically anywhere without having to be accountable for questionable practices.
Anyone could contact these advertisers, and publishers were found everywhere. With the advent of online advertising networks, advertisers had to start registering with these new regulators to be trusted.
Advertisers doing business on their own were starting to be left behind in favor of those that could be verified, and that is a trend that continues nowadays. CPA networks require their advertisers be verified for their products and background before they could be approved to join the network.
The same applies for publishers. It is unlikely that advertisers will approve just anyone to promote their offer, because it is no longer good for business. Publishers need to apply to a CPA network before they can start working in their ecosystem.
Do's and Don’ts of CPA marketing
The road towards CPA marketing perfection is not without its hardships, and it is quite likely that you will find yourself confused and getting into trouble from that to time. It will be OK, because making mistakes is essential to the learning process.
Nonetheless, we have compiled a list of dos and don’ts, so you can have a safety net of knowledge before you start your foray into CPA territory.
DO Research CPA networks before applying
It is very important that you run a background check on different CPA networks before applying, because you need to know which ones are more convenient for you and your circumstances, especially at the beginning.
Requirements concerning budget, limitations and applications, differ from one network to another, so it is better to be prepared than to get outright rejected by only one!
This is vital for the application process. When you sign up for a CPA network as a publisher, they will tell you that they will be getting back to you once you complete the application form. To show them that you are serious about it, call them before they do, preferably right after you finish signing up!
DO Research your offers before promoting
You don't want to promote an offer if you don’t see the potential for conversions in it, right? it would be unwise to work on an offer right out the gates, so make you research the niche, the market segment and the average conversion rates of said offers.
Eventually you will be able to promote just about any offer that you set your mind to, but you have to remember that, inat the beginning, you still don’t have the practice and the resources to do it, in which case we recommend you steer clear until you gain some experience.
DO Research the market segment before promoting
For the same reason as above, you just don’t want to land face first into a wall of non-conversions and lost budget. Research your market first, which will also help you to develop better marketing strategies and learn where to find your audience.
DO Learn about your resources
You wouldn’t do CPA marketing unless you knew that it is safe, and the same applies to the tools that you will be using for promotion. What worked for us will not necessarily work for you, so try all the tools available to you before running an entire campaign with them, and before you stick with one.
It can feel overwhelming to start an application process for a CPA network, and the task of promoting can feel the same. If you feel like you owe this to yourself and want it, get it on!
DON’T cheat on your application process
People tend to cheat on application processes based on their fear of being rejected by the network. This doesn’t have to happen to you if you choose the correct network, and are honest to them about your resources.
DON’T promote without a landing page
The main reason is because some PPV networks do not let their publishers send prospects directly to an offer without a landing page. The second reason is because a landing page will help you instill commitment in the prospect’s mind. Play it safe, and use landing pages!
DON’T sign up on every CPA network you find
You might be tempted to sign up on as many CPA networks as possible, considering the possibility of maximizing profits. Remember, shady networks are in no short supply. Start small and sign up for the safer ones, and sign up in the major leagues, later.
DON’T promote using misleading information
This is a no brainer, but many publishers do not realize it until it is too late. You won’t only lose valuable prospects if they detect your games. You can get permanently banned from a network if it catches you spoofing, which they’re really good at, so don’t. Just don’t.
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