What is CPA Marketing

CPA marketing is a popular way to make money online. CPA is short for ‘Cost Per Action’ or sometimes referred to as ‘Cost Per Acquisition’. For example, you publish links on your website or blog, and get paid when people click on these links and take a certain action. That action could be:

  • Providing an email address
  • Providing personal details
  • Accepting a free trial of a product
  • Carrying out a short survey
  • Providing credit card details

There are others, but the point being made here is that with CPA, you’ll earn money even if product is not sold! This is not affiliate marketing where somebody must purchase a product for you to be paid. The payments for each action vary, but they can be 20 cents or 20 dollars. The more a CPA program pays, the further along the purchasing pathway a visitor must travel – though a final purchase is not necessary.

CPA Marketing Basics

If you have a blog with a few hundred regular visitors, then you can make a fair amount of money over a period of time by publishing CPA links on your pages and posts – or even on your sidebar. If you are looking for a longer term income source, then CPA meets that need. If you are new to blogging and want to make some money quickly, even if it is just a small amount to give you encouragement, then a CPA program would be a good supplement to Google AdSense.

One of the benefits of CPA over AdSense is that you can select the programs that are most suitable for each of your web pages or blog posts. Here are some of the ‘actions’ that can earn you money with the right choice of CPA programs. Keep in mind that once the CPA link (text or graphic) is published on your site, then you can forget about it – you have nothing else to do but wait for the cash you earn to accumulate.

Guide to CPA: Typical Actions

Email Address Submits

These are lead-generation programs that ask readers to provide their email address for more information. You get paid for each email address provided, after which the sponsor’s sales machine gets to work to convert leads to sales.

Leads are valuable to individual companies who do not have the blogging resources that you have. It is cheaper for them to pay you for each lead than to advertise themselves. You don’t earn a great deal per lead, around 20c – $1 on average, but you have next to no work to do once the link is on your site. It will make small amounts forever (until the program is withdrawn).

Filling Forms

There are two types of form your visitors may be asked to complete. The ‘Short Form‘ normally requests at least a name, date of birth, email address and physical address. The ‘Long Form‘, often requested by finance firms or companies offering free product trials prior to purchasing, will also ask for credit card details.

Short forms can earn you anything from $1 to $10 each, while long forms can earn anything up to $40 and more. The latter can be lucrative if you can persuade people to complete them.

Cell Phone PIN Submits

One type of CPA program that has proved lucrative to many bloggers involves readers providing their cell phone number, and then receiving a PIN code to send back to a number provided. This often involves services such as free ringtones or other cell phone services. You can earn from $2 to $10 or more per submit.

Free Trials

If a visitor to your website or blog completes a form for a free trial, you can earn from $10 to $40 for each one. These may be free trials of health products, weight loss supplements or even subscription services. Some people make a living just through offering these CPA offers on their websites and blogs.

These are just a selection of the main types of CPA programs available. Those that make thousands of dollars and more from them offer CPA links on multiple websites, many of them niche sites or blogs that focus on the type of product offered. Examples include health sites, weight loss or weight gain blogs, financial services and ringtone and other cell phone services.

CPA Marketing Offer Sources

Where do you find such CPA offers, and how do you place them on your blogs or websites? In fact, there are many different companies offering links. Most are CPA specialist firms offering multiple categories with CPA programs relating to each. This makes it easier for you to choose appropriate offers for your marketing campaigns.

The program is explained in detail on the CPA marketing website you choose, along with the offered payment for each action. The action required for payment is explained along with an example of the clickable graphic or link. You can also view the information provided to visitors who accept the offer. This is an insurance that your visitors are not being exposed to offers that you would prefer them not to be.

Examples of CPA Networks

Here are some examples of CPA networks that offer a variety of Cost per Action offers. The following are recommended to you if you want to make money using CPA marketing.


This is a major CPA company that offers anything from a few cents to more than $40 per lead. It provides searchable lists of campaigns in a large number of niches. It also informs you of the type of advert you can place: a search link, banner ad, email (good for those with large email lists) or even incentivized offers, where visitors are offered an incentive to complete the action.


Similar to MaxBounty, with a more structured list of programs. Not so many offers, however, although Neverblue is highly regarded by those that use CPA as a major source of income.

Find CPA Offers and Associated Networks


This is an extremely useful site for CPA offer search programs. It itemizes the various offers and programs available online along with the companies and CPA networks offering them. Many new to this type of marketing will start here.

There are many others such as PeakProfits, DirectLeads, Revenueads and Inuvo. If you carry out a Google search for CPA programs you will find a whole list of advertising companies that offer CPA links.

Incentivized CPA Programs

Have you ever seen these online adverts where you are asked if you want a free laptop or TV? All you need do is to check out the offers or complete the surveys! When you click, you are given one offer after another where you are asked to provide your email addressfull details or even your financial details.

These are what are known as incentivized CPA offers. Sure, you might get the laptop, but you have so much to fill and so many offers to take up that you wonder if it is worth it! In fact, many people believe it to be worth it, because these CPA programs make some people a lot of money!

You can do this yourself. First you must make sure that the offers you make are ‘incentivized‘. CPA companies such as MaxBounty and Neverblue state whether or not you are allowed to offer an incentive for people to complete the offer.

If they are, then you can compile several into one advert and offer your own free bonus for completing all the offers. What you must do is make sure the payments per action for all the offers involved exceed the cost of the product you are offering – and only provide that product is 100% of the offers have been completed.

Guide to CPA Marketing: Conclusion

It is possible to use CPA marketing to make money online without any prior marketing knowledge. You are unlikely to make a living with just one blog or website. However, if you run several, then the potential income is unlimited.

Cost per Action Marketing is virtually a maintenance free income source – get it going and forget about it. Check each site over now and again to make sure the adverts are still running, but that’s basically all there is to it. Try it for yourself using this guide to CPA as a starting point.

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