What Is CPA Marketing?

Updated: January 16, 2024 by Bill Burniece


Making money on the internet has never been easier than it is today.

CPA marketing is a model that internet marketers use to quickly and efficiently scale their income online.

On this page we will take a deep dive into the CPA marketing model and all of its components.

You will learn what CPA marketing is and how people are using this marketing method to quickly build fortunes.

what is CPA marketing

CPA Marketing Definition

The simplest way to describe CPA marketing is to compare it to the traditional affiliate marketing model in which you get paid every time you make a sale.

With CPA marketing, you can earn commission without having to make a sale. You only need your referral to take a specific action such as filling out a form, clicking a link, or downloading a file.

Thus, CPA stands for Cost Per Action.

How Does CPA Marketing Work?

CPA marketing involves several players that partner to sell products or services online.

The CPA Marketing Players:

  1. CPA Network: This is the online platform that connects advertisers to publishers – also known as affiliates.
  2. Advertisers: These are the businesses looking for help to make sales online with the help of third-party affiliates.
  3. CPA Marketers (Affiliates): These are the bloggers or website owners who publish or promote offers provided by the Advertisers either independently or through a CPA Network. In this role they are called affiliate marketers.

I’ll give you an example to show you how this works…

Phil is a blogger in the mental health niche. Phil publishes great content for his audience and earns income by recommending select products to them.

Phil is always on the lookout for new effective products to recommend to his audience as an affiliate. He uses several CPA Networks to do this. One is called Power Brain CPA.

Power Brain CPA is a large network that works with advertisers to promote thier products. One such advertiser is called Stress Hero, an anti-anxiety product.

Phil decides that Stress Hero would be a good fit for his audience. He selects Stress Hero through his Power Brain CPA account dashboard. Power Brain provides Phil with a unique link that connects to Stress Hero’s website. Stress Hero pays affiliates CPA commission every time a referral submits an order for a free sample.

Whenever one of Phil’s customers clicks through his affiliate link and orders a free sample of Stress Hero, Phil earns money for that action, even though there has not been a ‘sale’ yet.

What Are CPA Networks?

A CPA network connects advertisers looking to sell, and affiliate marketers who are looking to promote products online.

But CPA marketing networks are more than just middlemen.

They provide the platform and technical infrastructure necessary to connect the two parties and get everyone tracked and paid accordingly.

They are also the platform that recruits and connects to two parties – advertisers and CPA affiliates.

CPA network relationships are beneficial to all three parties involved.

CPA Network Benefits:

  1. Advertisers make more sales and revenue
  2. Affiliate marketers earn income on products that they don’t create or deliver
  3. CPA Networks get paid fees and a share of each transaction

How To Join A CPA Marketing Network

1. As An Affiliate Marketer

Step 1: Research the available CPA networks that service your area and have offers in the vertical markets you are promoting in.

Make a list of a half dozen or so networks that are the good fit for you.

Step 2: Apply individually to each network by visiting each CPA networks website and looking for an apply here or join now button.

You will need to complete a short online form on each website. Aside from your personal information, they will likely ask you to list your website(s) and what you are interested in promoting and how you plan to promote their offers.

Step 3: The CPA marketing network will get back in touch with you and either approve you on the spot or request more information.

Step 4: If you are declined, just move on to the next network.

If you get approved, you will receive instructions from them on how to get started. Most will have a personal account manager that can help you directly.

Step 5: Get your links, start promoting them, and start making money.

2. As An Advertiser

Step 1: Choose an CPA network that services your area and partners with advertisers in your targeted verticals.

Step 2: Apply individually to each network by visiting each CPA networks website and look for an advertiser sign up button.

You will need to complete an online application on each website. They will need all of your relevant company information. 

Step 3: The CPA marketing network will get back in touch with you and either approve you or ask for more information.

Step 4: If you are declined, just move on to the next network.

Step 5: When approved, you will likely have someone from the CPA network reach out to you personally to get your account and campaigns set up.

Best Affiliate Marketing Networks To Join

There are literally thousands of CPA networks located in every geographical area around the globe to choose from.

So which CPA networks are the best?

For those affiliate marketers who are new to CPA marketing, my recommended choice is Algo-Affiliates.

Algo makes it so easy to get started and they have something for eveyone.

algo affiliates image

Why You Should Join Algo-Affiliates CPA Network

The Algo-Affiliates platform allows you to earn high commissions promoting high-converting CPA and CPL offers in the hottest vertical markets.

This makes them one of the top CPA marketing networks you’ll find anywhere in the world.

What sets them apart from their competitors is their industry leading payouts and conversion rates.

There are plenty of other platforms out there that offer high commission rates. But without strong conversions, you’ll only earn a small percentage of what you should be making.

With Algo-Affiliates you’ll make high commissions on deals that actually do convert, making you more income for the same amount of work.

Algo-Affiliates has over 1,500 high-paying affiliate offers for you to choose from in the following hot verticals:

Business Opportunities
Home Improvement
Diet/Weight Loss
Health & Beauty

Real Estate


5 Pro CPA Marketing Tips For Max Success

CPA marketing is a very lucrative model for making money online.

In order to compete at the highest levels, there are some tactics that you should implement to make things easier.

1. Choose The Right Niche Market:

Choose a topic that you either know a lot about or have a deep interest in.

Marketers who pretend to be knowledgeable or interested in their topic are quickly identified by smart shoppers.

Stick with your campaigns long enough to make sure you give them every chance to work. Marketers who skip around too often never find success online.

2. Create Relationships With Your CPA Marketing Managers:

CPA marketing is a two-way street. It’s important to form a mutually-beneficial relationship between yourself and your affiliate mangers.

Your CPA affiliate manager is your conduit to the advertisers and products you are promoting. Make them feel appreciated and they will reward you with money-making tips.

Not only that, your affiliate managers have the ability to bump up your commission rates.

I have personally made an additional tens of thousands of dollars over the years with this fact alone.

3. Carefully Select Your CPA Offers To Promote:

Research the offers available to you by looking at the conversion data, not just the payout figures.

Think about your audiences needs first, not your own. Remember, they are the buyers, not you.

4. Deliver Value Up Front Before Selling:

Make your audience want to buy from you by providing as much free value to them in advance of asking them to buy anything.

They will love you for this and reward you with affiliate sales.

5. Never Partner With A Sketchy CPA Network:

This shouldn’t have to be said but I will say it anyways.

I don’t care how much they are paying you per conversion.

If you lose the trust of your audience it is nearly impossible to get it back.

Before you join and CPA network, do your due diligence to make sure they are reputable and never rip off their customers or affiliates.

Let’s Wrap It Up

CPA marketing is a really nice model to promote online.

Unlike traditional affiliate marketing, you can earn commissions in CPA without having to actually make a sale.

You only need your referral to take action on whatever that defined action may be:

  • Entering their email address
  • Downloading a file
  • Completing a form
  • Clicking a link

How easy is that?

CPA marketing is a great tool that should be added into every digital marketers toolbox.

Affiliate Disclosure
Disclosure: The operator of this website is a 3rd party marketer with a material connection to product/service providers appearing on this site in that we are compensated for sales made through our affiliate links.

If you have any questions please make sure to contact me: bill@highpayingaffiliateprograms.com