You’ve taken the important first step towards making money online by becoming an affiliate marketer, but there seems to be something holding you back. It turns out that a lot of people don’t understand CPA offers, and without understanding them, it’s nearly impossible to make headway in affiliate marketing.
Well, that problem is no longer an issue thanks to this comprehensive guide!
You’ll learn everything you need to know about CPA offers, including:
- What exactly a CPA offer is and how you can use them to begin making money as an affiliate marketer
- How CPA marketing works
- The different types of CPA conversion flows
- Where to find CPA networks and offers
- Useful tips for choosing the best CPA offers.
So don’t wait any longer — dive into this guide today and get ready for your financial breakthrough!
What is a CPA Offer?
Before learning the complicated aspects of affiliate marketing, we must first understand the basics. CPA offers are among the building blocks of this industry, so let us define what these are.
First off, CPA stands for Cost Per Acquisition, wherein the cost pertains to how much the entity benefiting from the acquisition (a.k.a. the advertiser) will pay the entity that delivered it (a.k.a the affiliate).
CPA offers are a form of digital marketing strategy that enable companies to reward individuals who successfully send potential customers in their direction.
For successful referrals, the context of what needs to be accomplished can vary — from signing up for a newsletter, downloading an app, or even making a purchase. Advertisers compensate affiliates with a fee each time they have referred any valid lead or customer.
This form of marketing is utilized by various entities as it increases the chances of garnering higher sales and/or leads. With tracking techniques such as complex analytics systems that measure both cost per acquisition and return on investment, you can rest assured knowing your tactics are bearing fruit!
How CPA Marketing Works
CPA marketing provides aspiring marketers with a unique opportunity to make money online. It is an ideal platform for beginners due to its low barrier of entry and the range of options affiliates have available.
Affiliates can promote products or services in various ways, such as through paid advertisements, email campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and more.
When someone clicks on the advertisement or message, they are directed to the advertiser’s landing page, where they can take required actions like signing up for a newsletter, downloading an app, or making a purchase.
What makes this strategy attractive to advertisers is that they will not be charged until an action has been completed – guaranteeing their investment.
On the other side, affiliates are able to make money by promoting products or services through a variety of channels. The better their promotion and the more leads they send, the higher they earn. If affiliates can warm their users up, they can increase the chances of converting them into customers, which means they can earn more.
As such, CPA marketing is a win-win situation providing high-value outcomes for both affiliate and advertiser.
Types of CPA Conversion Flows
The action required for the advertiser to count a conversion differs based on their objectives. These are called conversion flows or billing flows. Here are some of the most common CPA conversion flows you might encounter when searching for an offer.
Cost per Lead, otherwise known as CPL, is a metric of pricing whereby affiliates are paid for every lead they generate in the form of an email, contact number, or any other customer contact information.
There are different subtypes of CPL offers, which include SOI and DOI.
Single Opt-In, also known as SOI, is the simplest way to convert users. It could be as simple as leaving their email address or creating an account on a site.
With this type of conversion, you can generate conversions while minimizing friction so that users don’t get stuck or discouraged in the middle of their journey.
That’s why many marketers swear by SOI as a fast and effective conversion billing for increasing leads and earnings without stressing customers out with complex processes or too many steps.
Double Opt-In (DOI) is an effective way to make sure that users wishing to register on an advertiser’s site have provided accurate information. Essentially it’s a double-duty safeguard that takes just two steps.
First, your visitor submits their details via an online form and then confirm their registration by clicking on the link in a verification email sent from the advertiser. Without completing both of these actions, the user won’t be able to access the advertiser’s services.
By having DOI in place, advertisers can rest assured knowing that only qualified leads will be getting through – improving the overall accuracy of their audience database and helping them connect with real people who are genuinely interested in hearing more about what they have to offer.
When the user confirms their email, that’s when a conversion is counted. And because the conversion procedure is more complicated, the DOI’s CPA rates are better than those for SOI.
Cost Per Sale (CPS) is a popular payment model among affiliates, as it guarantees steady financial rewards. Payouts are provided to the affiliate after every sale made from their referral or promotional link — it’s a simple bargain.
The more expensive the item you are promoting, the higher the CPS rate. The cheaper it is, the lower the rate (but again, also easier to promote).
This conversion flow is very much like the CPS model, though instead of being remunerated with a single monetary amount, Revenue Share allows you to enjoy a ‘slice of the pie.’ This means you get to keep a percentage of each sale or subscription, depending on your pre-arranged agreement.
Simply put, with Cost Per Install, affiliates are rewarded for their promotional efforts each time a user installs a mobile app – driving further awareness and adoption of mobile applications among audiences worldwide.
Now with CPI, affiliates have more lucrative opportunities within the realm of mobile apps, especially with the high mobile usage nowadays.
Sometimes, Cost-per-Install also refers to the installation of browser extensions for desktop devices. It all depends on the offer.
CPR, which means Cost Per Registration, is a new form of CPA offer wherein affiliates get paid for successful registration. Affiliates get paid every time someone successfully registers for a service or product.
It’s not just signing up for emails or newsletters like with CPL offers — it’s creating an account. Sometimes, the advertiser would even require the users to log in for the first time and use the app/website for a specific length of time for the conversion to be counted.
This is where a conversion is tracked when the user submits their credit card information. However, it doesn’t always equate to an actual purchase. It can be to verify their personal information or to proceed with a trial.
Direct Billing: 1-Click, 2-Click Flows
To put it simply, Direct Billing Flow involves having the user’s mobile number identified in order to make a direct charge to their phone bill.
But before you get too excited, there are two important must-haves: firstly, the user must be connected to the internet via 3G/4G/5G, and secondly, they need to be using their carrier data connection.
Two of the most common types of Direct Billing Conversion Flow are 1-Click and 2-Click Flows.
With the 1-Click Flow, users can click a confirmation button once on the offer page to get subscribed and billed without having to do anything else.
The 2-Click Flow works in much the same way but requires an extra step for users before they can subscribe and be billed. For instance, the user needs to click on “Subscribe” on the landing page and will consequently have to click “Confirm” or “Accept Billing” on the next page.
SMS Billing flows are a great way for affiliates to monetize their mobile traffic. All that’s required is that the user has a Wifi connection and enters their mobile number into the relevant landing page.
To make sure the conversion takes place successfully, there are two options for confirming a subscription: Mobile Originated or Mobile Terminated flows.
Mobile Originated (MO flow)
This flow means the confirmation from the user comes from their own mobiles. After receiving a message from the advertiser, the user must send a reply, usually with a “yes” or “confirm.”
PIN Submit or Mobile Terminated (MT)
This conversion flow means the user cannot reply to the text message sent. Instead, when the user receives a message (which usually comes with a PIN), he then proceeds to place this PIN in the space provided on the landing page. When the pin is confirmed, the conversion is fired.
As its name implies, the conversion fires when the user clicks on a button to make a call. This is a mobile-only CPA conversion flow.
When the click-to-call button on the landing page is clicked, the default voice call app on the user’s phone will open up and will automatically dial the number. Some offers leave it to the user to click on the call button, though.
With COD offers, customers can purchase products online but only pay at the moment of delivery. Although it’s called cash on delivery, there’s no requirement for customers to make payments in cash — multiple payment methods are totally acceptable during or on delivery (like credit card payment).
The flow of these CPA offers is more complicated than anything we’ve discussed above. When customers provide their contact and billing information on the landing page, a conversion will be fired, but it will be marked as “pending.”
The customers will later receive a call from the advertiser’s call center confirming their purchase. Once confirmation has been made, the conversion will be considered “verified,” and the payout amount will reflect in your account for withdrawal.
FTD means First-Time-Deposits and is a conversion flow exclusive to Gambling and Casino offers. Affiliates are paid either a fixed amount or a share of the first deposit of their referral.
Where to Find CPA Affiliate Offers
CPA networks offer one of the best opportunities to make money quickly and easily. Tapping into the right CPA network can be like hitting the jackpot, but it’s important to shop around and find one that will work for your particular needs.
If you’re all set to start promoting CPA offers, there are a couple of ways to find well-meaning ones: directly from advertisers and brand owners or through affiliate networks.
Finding the right CPA networks can seem daunting, but if you know where to look, it can be surprisingly simple. One of the best places to find CPA affiliate offers is through Affiliate Networks.
Affiliate Networks are third-party companies that have collections of hundreds of different offers and advertisers in their databases. With so many different options, you’re sure to find something perfect for your current website, blog, or any other form of traffic.
By connecting website owners with advertisers, they serve as the bridge between business people trying to make money and companies needing help promoting their products or services. As an affiliate marketer, you can join one of these network’s hubs to find CPA offers that work best for you and the type of promotion you are interested in.
How to Join CPA Affiliate Networks
Joining an affiliate network is a great way to monetize your website or social media profile. But don’t let the prospect of making money blind you to the importance of doing your homework.
First, research different affiliate networks and choose one that fits your focus — from fashion to finance, from physical to digital products — popular affiliate programs come in all shapes and sizes.
Next, sign up for the chosen CPA network. Keep in mind that the requirements for application and acceptance differ from one company to the next. Some accept newbies that have no prior experience, while others will only accept affiliates that have a proven track record. Some require a simple sign-up, and others request for references from those in the CPA marketing industry.
You can visit affiliate marketing forums such as affLift, STM, and Affiliate Fix. Visiting affiliate forums is a great way to find out which networks are reputable, as well as keep updates on any relevant new developments and tips from other affiliates.
Once approved, you will get access to the CPA network dashboard, which will feature everything you need to start promoting.
Pros and Cons of Working with Affiliate Networks
When it comes to finding a CPA offer, working with a CPA affiliate marketing network has its advantages and disadvantages.
1. Increased revenue – Working with a CPA network means that you can access a much larger pool of advertisers and offers, meaning you’re more likely to find offers that will convert well for your traffic.
2. Better cash flow – By using an affiliate network, you not only get exposure to more than just one advertiser — and therefore create a more sustainable income stream — but those payments tend to be released faster too!
CPA affiliate networks pay affiliates on either Net-30, Net-15, Net-7, weekly, or even daily frequency! This is because affiliate networks are willing to shoulder the payments even while waiting for the actual payment from the advertisers.
Not only do CPA networks pay faster, but they can also offer you a great variety of payout options, from plain old Paypal transfers to more innovative ones such as Bitcoin or gift cards — all depending on which CPA network you choose.[cash flow]
3. Expert support – Affiliate networks assign publishers a dedicated affiliate manager to offer expert advice and support when it comes to helping you achieve success. This can be invaluable when it comes to making sure you’re getting the most out of your traffic.
They can also negotiate with the advertiser on your behalf in case you want an increased cap or payout rates.
4. Robust tracking tools – All good CPA networks provide comprehensive tracking tools that help you keep tabs on how each campaign is performing, as well as identify any areas for improvement. This information is essential for fine-tuning your campaigns and maximizing your profits.
5. Better CPA marketing tools – Affiliate networks give you access to a wide variety of resources that can help boost your profits. Examples include banners and email templates, as well as tracking links, landing pages, and more.
6. Access to a wide variety of offers and programs – This is probably one of the best and biggest advantages of working with a CPA network. With a single account, you can access the offers of many different advertisers, giving you the freedom to pick whichever fits best for your audience and website.
This also means if you are tired of one niche, you switch to the next one you’re curious to try! There’s nothing holding you back.
1. Stricter rules and regulations – Affiliate networks have strict rules that affiliates need to adhere to in order to remain compliant. This is because they work with many advertisers, so to ensure they are always compliant, they have to set strict rules beforehand.
2. Lower rates – The commission rates paid by some CPA networks are often lower than direct advertising commissions, especially since affiliate networks work like middlemen between you and the advertiser.
3. Non-release of payments – Some affiliate networks have been accused by affiliates of scrubbing leads and refusing to release payments. While each experience is anecdotal and based on individual incidents, it would be best to review the background of the CPA network you plan on working with.
And when selecting affiliate networks, one of the best ones to look into is Mobidea.
Tips for Choosing a CPA Offer
Before you start choosing CPA offers, there are some things you need to consider first. As with any endeavor in your life, you need to arm yourself with the proper tools and information to get you a step closer to success.
1. Know Your Audience
This is critical for understanding who will most likely purchase your product or service and how best to reach them. Understanding the age range, interests, and other profile information of your target audience can help ensure that you pick an offer that resonates with these people and meets their needs.
Therefore, make sure to thoroughly research your key demographic as part of selecting an offer. If you’re buying traffic from ad networks, it would be best to select traffic only from a specific region you know.
It would also help to know the types of verticals that convert best with the advertising network which you’ll be buying traffic from. They readily provide this info, but if they don’t, there’s no harm in asking your affiliate manager.
2. Understand Market Trends and Competition
Before you settle on something, it’s important to get acquainted with the current needs and trends of the market. Research the niche to see whether there’s an overload of competitors.
If it feels like every other affiliate out there is already cashing in on a vertical or niche, then why not try something different and not too saturated?
3. Don’t Focus on the Just Payout
The payout is the revenue you receive per conversion. This specific payout is decided by an advertiser and CPA network, and it can be either dynamic or fixed.
What does that have to do with offers?
When we talk about choosing CPA offers that convert, it can be tempting to go for the ones with the highest payouts. These can vary depending on the advertiser, country, operator, operating system, and flow. The highest-paying CPA offers are better, right?
Well, not necessarily!
It turns out that you need to consider several aspects of the CPA model, such as the billing flow!
Offers with high payouts are generally CC submits and CPS.
But since users are more reluctant to insert their credit card details or to make a purchase, getting conversions can be harder.
The bottom line?
Advertisers have to pay more for the acquisition, and you, as an affiliate, have to work more to increase your conversion rate. This may involve warming up your traffic using landing pages and funnels.
More work for you means more time and money spent.
4. Be Mindful of Conversion Rates
The CR or conversion ratio/rate is the rate at which traffic becomes conversions.
A conversion rate of 1 means one conversion for every click (in a perfect world!) A conversion rate of 0.50 means one conversion for every two clicks.
The higher the conversion rate, the better!
Let’s say you get two offers: one with a Payout of $10 and another with a Payout of $2.
You don’t even hesitate — you obviously go for the first one!
But what if they had different conversion rates? What if the first one had a worse Conversion Ratio – 1/1000 or 0.001 compared to the other 1/100 or 0.01, for example?
When you analyze it, this means after sending 5000 clicks, you’d end up with a $50 revenue with the first one (5 conversions x $10).
On the other hand, if you’d chosen the one with a lower payout but a higher Conversion Ratio, you’d end up with $100 (50 conversions x $2). That’s twice the revenue by comparison!
5. EPC Isn’t Everything
EPC stands for Earnings per Click, and it shows you the revenue you get for every 100 clicks. It’s the average amount of money you can expect for every 100 clicks on the offer.
However, if you see this data in the CPA network you are working with, keep in mind that this is the data of all affiliates working on that particular offer combined.
Let’s pretend there’s a scenario containing two different offers: one of them showcases an amazing EPC, the other an average EPC that won’t get anyone excited.
The first one is mainly being used by a hyper-experienced group of affiliates, with really wicked Pre-Landers, high-quality traffic sources, and a lot of know-how on that specific type of offer.
The consequence? This will hugely increase the EPC!
That hike is definitely going to catch your gaze because you live to get the highest-paying CPA offers like a champ.
The problem? You’ll end up swimming with the sharks, hustling, and fighting incredibly tough competitors.
Eventually, you may even fail to get the EPC you saw first. That’s enough to break your CPA marketing heart!
On the other hand, you’ve got the second offer. This one’s being used not only by the same group playing with the first one but a lot of other affiliates.
Some do it better, some worse — not getting quality traffic and probably failing to get the promotion right.
6. Consider the Cost of Traffic
This point is mainly for Media Buyers or those who purchase traffic or ad placements to get eyes on the offer.
In order to truly evaluate your performance, you should consider not only what you’re getting from Mobidea but also how much you’re paying to get that conversion.
So let’s say you saw that the conversion rate is 0.005 or 1 out of 200 clicks, and the payout is $2. This means the EPC (Earnings per Click) is $0.01. Ideally, in order for you to profit from this offer, you must pay less than $0.01 per click. If you have to pay more to get traffic, then you’re already starting at a loss.
Remember that other factors are at play here — it’s possible that the affiliates promoting the offer are using a tried and tested pre-lander, or they’re getting from a highly converting traffic source.
So aside from the maximum cost per click that you ought to pay your advertising network, you should also do your due diligence in testing and optimizing the campaign.
7. Select Based on the Advertiser
With time (and if you’re lucky), you’ll start to know your audience more and more. You’ll be able to determine not just which offers convert better with your audience but which advertiser or brand they resonate with.
With this information, you can look for other offers promoted by the same advertiser.
Who knows? Even if they’re different from the vertical or niche you are comfortable with, you may find sweet conversions from them too!
8. Use Ad Spy Tools
For affiliates looking to maximize their earnings and make an impact in the world of CPA marketing, utilizing ad spy tools is a great way to level up.
By combining market knowledge with unique insights into what CPA offers and ads are working well right now, these ad spy tools provide affiliates with the information they need to choose affiliate programs that satisfy their goals and can make them the most money.
How to Choose an Offer in Mobidea
Mobidea offers a variety of options for those looking to increase their online revenue. But, with so many offers out there, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.
Mobidea makes it easy — with its intuitive offer selection process and detailed offer info, you’ll be able to pick the perfect program in no time! With this simple guide on how to choose a CPA offer in Mobidea, you’ll be more confident in your selection and ready to start generating revenue right away.
Feeling overwhelmed? Let Mobidea’s Smartlink work its magic. This powerful algorithm does all the heavy lifting for you by analyzing your traffic (such as checking the country, operating system, device, and carrier) to figure out exactly where each user should go.
From there, it will direct your traffic to the offer that provides you with the best performance. Pretty neat, right?
With this offers rotator, you can expect dynamic payouts and different levels of performance. On top of that, you’ll never have to worry about finding the right offer — Smartlink will do the work and guarantee the highest possible performance!
Mobidea provides five different SmartLink categories — Mainstream, Push Notifications, Adult, Mainstream Middle East PIN/SMS Flow, and the newest one in our arsenal — Dating Smartlink.
Filtering Single Offers
The downside to using smartlinks is that the payouts are relatively low compared to single offers. So if you want to focus on single offers, you can easily do so in Mobidea.
First, head over to the Offers Directory. Remember that only affiliates that have earned a minimum of €50 through Smartlinks will be allowed to promote single offers in Mobidea.
There are multiple ways to narrow down your choices in Mobidea. Available filters are:
- Status (approved, pending, rejected)
- Categories (Gambling, Sweepstakes, Streaming, Nutra, Mobile Content, etc.)
- Flow (cc submit, pin submit, click-to-call, etc.)
- Conversion type (CPS, CPA, CPL)
- Platform (Android, iOS, all platforms)
- Prelander (yes if the offer has pre-lander, or no if the offer sends the users directly to the conversion page)
- Traffic restrictions (no incentivized traffic, no content-locking, no iframe, etc.)
We recommend you start with easier conversion flows (SOI, 1-Click, etc.). The payout may be cheaper, but these are great for helping you hone your marketing skills.
Once you develop a good grip on what works for your traffic source, you can move on to more complicated (and more rewarding) billing flows. As always, testing and learning is the key.
Sort Resulting Offers
Once you’ve applied the necessary filters, there are three ways to sort the results:
- Conversion Rate (CR)
- eCPM (effective CPM)
- Revenue for Yesterday
You can sort them in increasing or decreasing order by clicking on the column headers.
Important Tip #1: Pay Attention to Restrictions
What your audience wants isn’t the only thing you should consider when looking for CPA offers to promote!
Always keep an eye out for restrictions.
These restless prohibitions and guidelines can really cost you a whole lot of sweet, saucy cash.
They can even get you blocked, preventing you from gaining access to those terrific Top Offers or even your payouts.
For example, let’s say the offer is only for 3G, and you send Wi-Fi traffic. The users might be redirected to another offer — if you’ve got the Safety Fallback enabled — or to nowhere, leading to a loss of potential conversions for traffic that you have already paid for. You would be losing money!
Or what if the offer does not allow Pops nor Native, and you send these types of traffic? Even if they convert, you will not be paid! You might be blocked from the offer and all other offers from the same advertiser.
Repeat offenses might even lead you to be kicked out of the CPA network, so be mindful of the individual offer restrictions.
This information is pretty easy to find, anyway. Just head over to the offer info page and look at the content section for advertiser notes on what is allowed and what’s not.
For this example below, the advertiser stated that “carrier allowed: Etisalat & Wifi.”
Also, click on the Allowed traffic tab to view the types of traffic that you cannot use, marked in X.
Important Tip #2: Be Transparent with Your Audience
Honesty is the best policy here when it comes to showing your users exactly what the offer entails. This way, everyone knows what to expect, and you can rest assured that you’re engaging people in a meaningful way rather than chasing after quick-fix solutions that fail to pan out.
Ultimately, this fairness translates into maximum revenue for yourself! Who knows — the advertiser might give you a pay bump and higher cap if you continue to deliver good results.
In conclusion, promoting a CPA offer is a great opportunity to make money in affiliate marketing that requires no inventory, minimal risk, and a lower level of commitment compared to selling physical products. It’s important to remember that choosing the right CPA offer requires some research but can be quite rewarding if done correctly.
It will require patience, commitment, and trial and error; however, those willing to put in the work and create an effective marketing campaign to drive high-quality traffic can definitely make huge profits from it.
True success in this field comes down to taking your time to research and carefully choosing your offers, considering factors like audience appeal, payout structure, and conversion success rate.
With Mobidea’s easy-to-use platform, finding the perfect offer is simple — just explore the site’s advanced filtering options and take advantage of their expert support whenever needed. Now with the proper foundation laid out for success, all that’s left to do is get busy promoting!
Start making money with CPA Offers today!