CPA Affiliate Marketing Beginners Guide

CPA marketing is a form of affiliate marketing where you can promote offers that only need a specific action to get a commission, thus “Cost Per Action“.

Unlike promoting products on other affiliate networks like Amazon or Clickbank.com where you get a revenue share as a commission, CPA marketing is a lot easier and requires less work.

What You Will Discover

  • Definition of CPA Marketing
  • Why so many marketers love CPA Maketing
  • How to get accepted into CPA networks
  • How to find offers to promote
  • The importance of Traffic & Conversions

For those who don’t know, an “Action” can be anywhere from purchasing a trial offer, downloading a tool-bar or game, signing up to a dating site, creating an account for an online game, entering their emails and subscribing or even just entering their zip code.

The easiest way to explain how it all ties together is that big companies are willing to pay us affiliates a commission for generating those leads. We benefit because we don’t need to actually generate a sale to get paid.

On the other hand, the company will also benefit because they have their own back-end strategy where they monetize their leads and when their lead upgrades or become a paid member, they keep 100% of the commission.

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Step #1: Getting Accepted Into CPA Networks

First things first, you need to get accepted into CPA networks in order to promote their offers. Unlike Clickbank.com where you can just create a free account without going through an approval process. CPA networks are bit stricter.

That’s because in the past there have been many instances of frauds and fake leads which cost the network and advertisers a lot of money.

Think about it, if the payout is $1 for every zip submit, 1,000,000 zip submit will be $1,000,000.00. How easy do you think it is for scammers to use bots and fake leads to make money on these offers.

That being said, there are lots of CPA networks that are very friendly when it comes to accepting new affiliates. Please read this guide here on how to get accepted into CPA Networks.

After you have been accepted into a few CPA networks, the next step is to look for an offer to promote.

Step #2: Finding an offer to promote

Before you know what offer to look for, I want you to pick a niche and stick to it until you see results. The reason why I suggest this is because I see a lot of new affiliates jumping from gaming offer to dating offers then back to biz op offers and so on.

This literally gets you nowhere and unless you can profit in a specific vertical, there’s no point in jumping around.

After you have decided on a niche, say gaming for example, the next step is to ask your affiliate manager what gaming offers are converting well at the current time.

Your affiliate managers has lots of data and they are there to help you make money so don’t be afraid to connect with them and ask for help. Usually, they will send you a list of gaming offers within 24 hours or 48 hours max.

From here, you want to actually go through the offer pages and decide for yourself what offer you would like to promote. Keep in mind that some traffic sources converts better for specific offers.

Another good metric to check out is the network’s “Earnings Per Click (EPC)”. This is not always accurate but it should give you an idea on how well the potential earnings are for a specific offer.

Also, some traffic sources like “Pay Per View (PPV or Pop Up)” don’t allow certain download offers, so you need to make sure your offer goes well with the traffic source of your choice.

Step #3: Picking a Traffic Generation Method

Without any traffic to your offer, you will not be making money, period.

Now, when it comes to traffic, there are many different ways you can go about this.

You can choose the free traffic path and stick to building Niche Sites or YouTube marketing.

On the other hand, if you have a budget and would like to tap into paid traffic where it’s a lot more predictable, instant and scalable.

Then I suggest you read these Mini Courses…

All of the articles that I just linked out to are in-depth tutorials so make sure you read them and understand how to actually set up winning campaigns.


Another thing to note is that some offers only allow certain traffic methods.

You need to make sure you read the description of the offers and if you unsure about something please contact your affiliate manager and they will help you out.

Below is an example of what to look out for:

allowed offer cpa

As you can see from the above image, the allowed traffics are Search PPC, Social PPC, Banner Display, PPV/CPV and Contextual.

Peerfly has a blog posts where they explain what each of these traffic sources mean so if you would like to learn about the differences, please read this post here: http://blog.peerfly.com/2013/08/15/disallowed-traffic-methods/.

Another important thing to look for is the “Not Allowed” section.

This is very important because if you generate a conversion but used one of the strategies mentioned in the “Now Allowed”, you will not get paid and potentially banned from the offer.

Step #4: Increasing Your Conversions When Promoting

As explained at the start of this article, when a prospect completes a specific action, you get a commission. I know that there are lots of affiliate marketers (including myself) who just run campaigns where they direct link to the offer page and hope to get a conversion.

This is absolutely fine and lots of money can be made just by direct linking.

However, if you want to increase your conversions and get more quality leads. I highly recommend you look into building your own landing page.

Read this post on “Direct Linking or Landing Pages”.

A landing page is the page where your prospect will land on after clicking on your ads. The page is design to pre-sell, pre-frame, capture leads, qualify your leads or even just to ask for a micro commitment.

The purpose of this is so when they prospect clicks through to the offer page, they are more likely to convert.

Below is an example of landing pages that are very common…

cpa landers

As you can see from the examples above, all of these landing pages are asking for a micro commitment and are designed to pre-frame our prospects on what to expect once they click through.

The reason why you want to have high conversion rates and quality leads is because after you have generated a good number of leads for a specific offer.

You can then go to your affiliate manager and ask them to give you a pay bump. Read this post on here on Pay Bumps & Scrubbing.

This means that you will get paid a bit more for every conversion. This is the exact formula that most top marketer uses and so make sure you do it too.

And… That’s it pretty much!

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CPA Marketing is really that simple. You just pick an offer, drive traffic to the offer or landing page and when a conversion is performed, you get paid.

Don’t overcomplicate CPA marketing and just take one step at a time.

The “Biggest Secret” to succeeding as a CPA Marketer is to always be testing!

You need to test different networks, different offers, different landers, different traffic sources and pretty much test everything you possibly can.

Here are some important articles I recommend you reading if you are 100% serious about becoming a powerhouse super affiliate.

  1. How To Track CPA Campaigns With Voluum
  2. Direct Linking Or Landing Pages
  3. Scrubbing, Pay Bumps and Daily Caps
  4. How To Do Proper Market Research For Your Offer
  5. How to use Offervault to find CPA offers

Make sure you check out Super Affiliate Academy as well. You can literally get started today for just $1.

Feel free to leave a comment and let us know about your experience!

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