What Is a CPA Network (And How to Join One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In a world where digital marketing is one of the leading forms of advertising, many companies employ affiliate marketing as an advertisement tool to attract potential clients. One effective online advertising strategy companies use is the CPA network, which stands for "cost per acquisition" or "cost per action." Understanding what a CPA network is and how it operates can help you prepare for a career as a professional online marketer. In this article, we describe the CPA network, list its importance, explain how it works and discuss how to join the network.

Related: What Is Cost Per Acquisition? Definition and How To Calculate

What is a CPA network?

A CPA network is an advertising model in which a publisher is paid for an action that someone takes on their site. Unlike traditional affiliate marketing, the individual may not need to make a purchase in order for the publisher to receive a payment. In a CPA network, the publisher is the affiliate marketer for the advertiser, through which the consumer can request goods or services, fill out a questionnaire form, install a program or download an app that an advertiser offers.

Related: Complete Guide To Affiliate Marketing

What is a CPA affiliate?

The CPA affiliate is an individual or a company that endorses an advertiser's goods and services for a commission. The CPA affiliate's primary purpose is to generate as many leads for the advertiser to gain the desired targeted actions.

Many publishers prefer CPA networking because it doesn't rely on affiliate sales, unlike conventional affiliate marketing. Traditional affiliate marketing involves using proxies advertisements to promote a brand. They earn a commission every time a user purchases a product or service because of their recommendations.

Related: 136 of the Best Affiliate Programs

Why is CPA networking important?

Here are some benefits of a CPA network:

  • Creates lasting customer relationships: A CPA network increases the likelihood of converting a potential client into a customer because of its simplicity in building relationships.

  • Maximizes profit by promoting multiple products: You can integrate multiple CPA campaigns on a website as long as you design and accommodate the desired viewer's traffic. For instance, if you have a website that compares agricultural products, you can provide links to a variety of different dealers.

  • Generates continuous income flow: For the publisher to earn income, the visitors only need to click the links or fill a form.

How does CPA networking work?

CPA networking involves a publisher or affiliate, a business or advertiser and a CPA network. The publisher or affiliate typically creates content for a specific audience. The advertiser's goal may be to generate leads, increase conversions or increase sales. A CPA marketing network brings the publisher and the advertiser together, allowing the publisher to generate income by promoting the advertiser's products.

For example, a food blogger may specialize in publishing recipes for people who follow a low-carbohydrate diet. A manufacturer may have a kitchen tool that would appeal to people who follow that diet. The CPA network makes it easy for the blogger to promote the company's kitchen product and earn a commission for each lead or sale.

Methods you can use to promote your CPA network

There are different methods of promoting a CPA network once you get affiliate approval. Here are a few:

Splash page

This is an attractive introduction page that an internet user sees before getting into a website. It should be flashy with videos, music or graphics that excite the visitors to prompt them to take action. This type of CPA promotion is ideal for products that are well known or require little explanation.

Evaluation website

This type of website typically contains a minimum of three product reviews within a specific niche. For each review, the publisher typically introduces the product, reviews the product's overall performance and then provides a rating so that it's easy to scan. Publishers typically include a link directly to the merchant so that consumers can learn more or purchase the product for themselves.

Sales page

Another CPA promotion strategy is to use a sales page, otherwise referred to as a landing page. A landing page typically includes a lot more information about the product than the other promotional strategies. It is often more promotional, encouraging customers to make a purchase or, at a minimum, subscribe to a mailing list.

Related: 20 Great Landing Page Examples and Why They Work

How to join a CPA network

Here are the basic steps you can take to join a CPA network:

1. Create a domain email

The first step you should take is to set up an email address on a personal domain. This is preferable to an email address from a free email service provider (ESP), as it highlights your own professionalism as a content producer.

2. Create a website page

While companies do accept publishers into a CPA network without a functional website, it's still a good idea to create your own site through which you can promote content. While the content on your site can vary, it should describe your background and promote your accomplishments and expertise.

3. Be consistent and proactive

Successful CPA advertisers receive many applications daily. It can take days or even weeks to hear from them, even when they are interested in working with you as a publisher. For this reason, it's important to be proactive and follow up with the advertiser directly. This can help to increase the likelihood of being accepted.

4. Exercise honesty

It's always important to be honest in your application, providing the correct information about your website visitors and the size of your online audience. Even a small audience can send a lot of traffic and leads to an advertiser if the information is relevant to them and they're engaged with the content. However, an advertiser may reject your application if the information you include is misleading or inaccurate.

Tips for new marketers joining and excelling in the CPA network

Here are some additional tips you can use to build a strong relationship with advertisers and merchants:

  • Evaluate the CPA network's reputation. Use reviews as a metric to measure the reputation of a CPA network before applying.

  • Use native advertising. Native advertising is a form of advertising where the ads blend into the design, matching the look and function of the media format where they appear. This type of advertising creates a positive user experience and, because they don't appear to be paid advertisements, are often highly effective in driving traffic.

  • Hire a manager. Consider involving managers to help you maximize conversions and provide consistent brand information and updates on the CPA network landing pages.

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