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What Is CPA Marketing?

CPA MarketingCPA, or Cost Per Action, marketing is a form of advertising where you get paid when a visitor completes a specific action. In normal affiliate marketing, in order to make money, your visitor has to make a purchase. With CPA marketing, your visitor often does not even have to take out their credit card!

So how does this work? Businesses with a product or service register as advertisers with a CPA network to help them sell their product. You, the publisher or affiliate (depending on the CPA network), join the CPA network to promote these products. You make money when interested visitors arrive at the advertiser’s landing page via your ad link and complete the desired action. Those actions could include downloading a program or ringtone, registering for a follow-up contact by the advertiser, accepting a free trial offer, requesting a live quote, etc. What this basically means is that your customer often does not have to spend any money up front – they will be less resistant to providing their email address and zip code then they would their credit card number.

The powerful part of CPA marketing is that you shoulder none of the risk. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click) where you pay every time a prospect clicks on your ad, CPA marketing allows you to send as much traffic to the advertiser’s landing page as you want. There is no charge to you if the prospect doesn’t buy and you only get paid if the prospect completes the required action. You can use PPC to drive traffic to a CPA offer, but there are many other ways to do it that have much lower risk and almost no up front cost (like advertising on your blog or website).

The types of offers and products you can promote are virtually limitless. The commission for each lead you generate increases with the amount of information the visitor has to provide. Email and zip-code submits may be from $0.75 – $3.00 per lead, cell phone pin submits may be from $3.00 – $9.00 per lead, full name/address/phone/email submits for insurance quotes and debt reduction can range from $3.00 – $20.00 per lead, and weight loss product free trials (where the visitor pays a very small shipping fee to receive their free trial offer) can be as high as $40 or more per lead.

By now, you can begin to see the power and earning potential of CPA marketing. It can be a very rewarding business to get into. Remember, it is still a business. You must put in the effort to see results. It comes down to driving targeted traffic to each CPA offer.

There are quite a few guides out there that will teach you about CPA marketing. The one I used and still refer back to is Zero Friction Marketing. I feel that it’s the best training available to learn this valuable money-making skill. Its straightforward approach makes the material easy to understand and easy to put into action – even if you are completely new to Internet marketing. If you are interested in making money with CPA marketing, I highly recommend you pick up the Zero Friction Marketing course.

How To Get Accepted Into CPA Networks

The required disclaimer: Remember, the content of this page is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as official business, financial or legal advice. Always consult a licensed professional. What you do with this information is your responsibility and by reading this page, you agree that your results are your own and we accept no liability for how you use this information or any gains or losses that may result.

A CPA network is a business that wants to deal with other advertising businesses. Many are hesitant to work with an individual, especially one without a business or experience. So how do you start? You first must set up your Internet business. Read our article, “10 Steps To Starting A Successful Internet Business” to learn the basic elements you should have in place if you want to get accepted by a CPA network. Here they are in quick summary form:

  • Name your online business and get the corresponding domain name (we recommend Namecheap)
  • Incorporate your business (we like the LLC over an S Corp for beginning Internet businesses)
  • Get your free Tax ID number from the IRS (quick online form, completely painless)
  • Get a business phone and create a professional voicemail message (adding a free phone to your family plan is a good, inexpensive choice)
  • Choose your business address – it can be your home address or a P.O. Box if you want
  • Get a webhost (we recommend Hostgator) and put up your business website (nothing fancy, just clean and professional)
  • Get an instant messaging account with AOL, MSN or Yahoo! (all free) and use your business name as your handle
  • Make sure you have a professional email address (e.g.
  • Make sure you have a bank account that will accept checks made out to your business name.

Once you have the basics in place, all you have to do is apply. The application process is a simple form you fill out on the network’s website. You enter your business information and payment preferences, then some other information.

You will be asked your experience level with CPA marketing. CPA networks are looking for advertisers who are not new to CPA marketing, meaning you have a better chance of getting accepted if you have experience. They will also ask how much you spend and earn per month advertising CPA offers since, again, they like to see people who are already “in the game”. So what do you do if you’re new? CPA networks don’t verify with other affiliate networks or your bank, state, etc. anything you put on your application; they only verify that information with you in the follow-up phone call.

The application will ask you what methods you use to promote offers. Since you should have your own website at this point, you can select “web” and “search”. If you are not new to Internet marketing and already have articles or an email list, you can select those too.

You may be asked what other networks you belong to. If you belong to any, write them in. If you don’t, go sign up at Commission Junction, LinkShare, Share-A-Sale and Clickbank – they all offer instant approval and don’t cost anything to join. (Later on, you will likely use them to make money anyway!)

Make sure you remember your answers (write them down if necessary) and submit your application. After about 15-30 minutes, call the CPA network. Let them know you just completed an application and you would like to expedite the acceptance process so you can start advertising offers. The representative will review your application with you. Make sure your answers over the phone are the same as those you provided on the application! Always answer their questions in detail. If all goes well, they will either approve you on the spot or send you an approval email.

If you are new, you may want to review a CPA marketing course before you apply so you are familiar with the subject and know how to answer the questions.

If you are not accepted into the CPA network, always ask why (but never argue or get angry). Listen to the explanation and learn from it. It may be something you can talk your way through and change their minds. Just don’t be pushy about it. Remember, you can always reapply later. In the meantime you can make the necessary changes. Also, there are tons of affiliate and CPA networks out there. If you don’t get into one, learn what you can from the experience and move on to the next one.

You don’t need to belong to every CPA network; a handful will give you the variety of products you need. We like Neverblue and COPEAC.Try COPEAC first – they are more willing to accept people who are just starting out.

We wish you the best success at CPA marketing!



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