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What is CPA?

Cost per action (CPA) refers to a type of pricing model where affiliates/marketers pay ad networks or media sources a fixed rate based on pre-specified action for certain conversions that ensue inmost a network after engagement with an ad. As affiliates have become steadily more sophisticated with their resources, tools, and methods, demand also grows for a pure performance model that let them pay as far to the longed end outcome as feasible.

Current CPA prevailing target actions

  • Product and service purchase
  • Visit a desired landing page
  • Social media linking with an app/website
  • Free trial confirmation
  • Registration purchase and subscription
  • App installation
  • Order complication form
  • Feedback complication form

CPA is an expression of the profitability of campaigns that leaves a minimal amount of cost risk with the affiliates, making it a clear choice within the present open models. The most convenient CPA model alongside with crypto and ecommerce usage, can be used in gambling/betting websites applicable in their affiliates programs through 15 average payout period days.

Major criteria for CPA offer-traffic source choice

CPA model helps receiving advertising budgets from performance marketers instead of being hesitant to spend money on advertising that is not directly associated with actual value.


Through the correct action identification, desired target can be specified while saving the budget. Through target CPA (target cost-per action) bid strategy, the average cost is set to pay per each conversion. If your advertising goal is getting conversions (like signups, sales or mobile app installations), then target CPA bidding will acquire them more for the budget alongside with sales awhile paying less for the clicks leading to the specified purchases. Target CPA bidding apply conversion tracking data to evade useless clicks and get more conversions at a lower cost. Based on the campaign’s progress of conversions, Target CPA bidding may find the optimal cost-per-click (CPC) bid for the ad when it’s suitable to show up. It sets higher CPC bids for useful clicks and lower CPC bids for less useful clicks. The Targeting opportunities on social media are really extensive because it separately gets the desired analyses on the user database as one of the largest digital footprints a user leaves is on social media with search engines. The Target CPA simulator can help assess target CPA change affecting conversion volume.


While differentiating paid and for free CPA sources, you can promote CPA offers though many effective marketing methods. Separating types, paid is always better because you can control location, gender, age and messaging among other aspects. Regarding the type of CPA offer like no upsells, you will need to keep the cost down, if it’s upsells, then the higher is better. Creating paid through a good advertising website, targeted traffic will be provided. Free ones are mostly used as additional tools. If you have backend off, then it will help and allow you using both types in order to have high credibility for the website and CPA sources.

Restrictions and difficulties

CPA allows proceeding any type of advertisements as long as it doesn’t go against the FTC Act’s Section 5 meaning false or deceptive advertising. Since certain networks blocks ads, promotions, experienced sitemaps should know how to bypass those restrictions.


While pointing out the traffic source, regions covering the network must be checked beforehand to proceed with. For example, Facebook has the highest CTR in India, Adglow like Japan, South Korea, India alongside with separately USA, UK is popular with, and Google ads can be considered the convenient one as it’s available for any country to proceed with ads.

Best traffic sources based on CPA

Taking into account all types of CPA offers/ads, the below ones are the main to start with:

Search Engine Ads

Search engine advertising also known as Internet search advertising allows you to directly show your paid ads within the search outcomes on different search engines, like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.  Advertisers who apply search advertising show their ads to users who are actively searching for specific keywords, and they pay a fee each time when someone clicks the ad. This type of PPC advertising is mostly useful when users leading searches seek to show a lot about their intent with search query. Search engine advertising functions using an auction-based system, where advertisers bid on specific keywords relevant to their product or service. Most often, the conversion rate reaches 15-20%. The important snag of search engine ads are restrictions on promoting affiliate CPA offers for the gambling, betting and adult verticals. To launch ad campaigns for these, you must apply for cloaking and have extra accounts as most of them get blocked instantly.

Social Media

There are presently 6.33 billion people in the world using phones, which is equivalent to 77.5% of the total world population, involving 5.3 billion network users worldwide based on the report. This number increased by 580 million in the past 12 months. The number of social network users’ accounts are more than 55% of the global population, of which Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tiktok are the platforms that are trending. Thus, social media is a platform that you can use to utilize traffic sources like advertising, post or share blog articles, etc. Suitable for promoting betting and gambling affiliate programs, those are the popular ones among them.

Native Ads

Native advertising is the use of paid ads that equal the look, function of the media model in which they show up.

Native ads are often found in social media feeds, or as suggested content on a web page. Unlike display or banner ads, native ads don’t really look like ads. They look to be part of the editorial flow of the page. The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive – it discloses the reader to advertising content without adhering out like a tend flip.

Email Ads

Email advertising is a type of marketing carried out via email thus the payee has approval to advertisement messages from a brand. In this form of advertising, marketers seek to get permission from their potential customers by giving them an option to opt-in before sending emails.

Clickunder, Popunder Traffic

On one occasion ad banners that can cloak the whole screen can also redirect the user to the advertiser’s website when clicking on it where news and entertainment articles are written about the website. Forthwith, they are slowly making a way to native advertising. Till now, those are still strongly used giving good ROI in many networks that have troubles passing other networks’ lines.

Push Notifications

This type has new usage among the others. Push notifications are clickable pop-up messages that show up on users’ browsers regardless of the device they’re using or the browser they’re on. This serves as a quick communication channel entitling companies to carry messages, offers, or other information to their customers. Subscribers can be anywhere on the browser and still receive these messages so long as they’re online or have their browsers running on their devices.

Mobile Traffic

Mobile is popular because of the user number using mobile rather than desktop. Mobile traffic is just what it sounds like: Internet traffic that comes from a mobile device. Based on that, mobile app ads show a high conversion rate effectively driven to betting and gambling networks, where users are smoothly redirected to an online casino or bookmaker.


Sites specializing in lead programs are in a position to offer CPA pricing on different types of leads, although the usual caveats regarding incentivized traffic still apply. Probably the most widespread use of performance-based pricing is affiliate marketing, whereby affiliates/advertisers analyze what actions they want to reward and how much they are willing to pay.

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Oliver Ramsey

Expert, Affiliate Marketing

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