Сompanies can now advertise their products in so many ways. However, if they would use all the ad channels at once would definitely explode their budget!

No wonder that the need for a strong online presence led to the creation of collaborative marketing structures. Let’s not forget that they’re profitable for all the parties involved. And also don’t drain your funds.

Affiliate marketing and CPA offers allow advertisers to rely on third-party publishers. Why? That is so you can handle a portion of their marketing efforts.

At the same time, advertisers run a lower risk. That’s because they only pay when they receive the desired result from an ad.

Read more: How to Get Approved by a CPA Network?

And sure, affiliate marketing has a number of advantages. But, it’s tricky to understand all the terms and settings from all the CPA offers available today . 

To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to that. It explains the basics of the cost-per-action model. And it also tells you everything you need to know to choose the best and most profitable CPA offer for your platform.

Let’s jump right in!


What is a CPA Offer?

Before we discuss the features that make a CPA offer attractive, we have to go over the basics of affiliate marketing and how it’s structured.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance advertising. And affiliate marketers get paid for generating traffic, leads, or sales for an advertiser. These are the actions consumers must complete.

The pre-set fee motivates affiliates to find creative ways to market products and services successfully. At the same time allowing advertisers to focus mainly on business and distribution.

There are different types of bidding options that vary in structure and specific goals. Cost-Per-Action (CPA), is a bidding model where affiliates charge advertisers whenever users take a qualifying action. 

The action can be anything from submitting a filled form, signing up for a newsletter, or even making a purchase. These actions vary depending on the industry or target audience. Yet, most of them are validated after an ad is clicked.

PropellerAds - How Affiliates Get Paid
How Affiliates Get Paid, working with CPA Offers

These are also known as CPA Offers. They contain all the specific details and requirements that affiliates like you have to meet. And when you respect all the conditions, you can charge for each lead or action generated.

The CPA Offer Ecosystem

However, there are different elements you need to take into consideration to truly evaluate the affiliate marketing ecosystem. The main players in this industry are affiliates, publishers, advertisers, networks, and consumers. 

As we mentioned before, advertisers want to market their products. Whereas publishers provide the platforms that these advertisers can use to promote their deals.

CPA networks also play a critical role in the expansion and popularization of CPA offers. They work like middlemen that connect affiliates with advertisers. 

Lastly, consumers are arguably the most important part of the equation. And many CPA advocates believe they should always be aware that they are being exposed to a form of advertising.

It’s important to know that affiliates can choose from two main types of CPA offers or affiliate programs:

  • a direct affiliate program – you are getting an offer directly from the product owner, brand, etc.
  • CPA programs – found in CPA networks.

Types of Partner Programs

Today, thousands of companies are using CPA offers to bolster their marketing efforts. Reliable affiliate programs can be extremely profitable. At the same time, they’re beneficial for all the members of the ecosystem.

But, with thousands of CPA offers available, not all of them turn out to be successful.

As we already saw, there are two general types of affiliate programs: direct programs and CPA Programs. Let’s discuss them one by one!


Direct Affiliate Programs (aka In-house Affiliate Program)

PropellerAds - wargaming_Direct_Partner-program
Image Source: Wargaming, direct partner program

Large companies usually choose to launch their own affiliate programs with a custom CPA offer. This way, affiliates and advertisers collaborate without a connecting entity. 


Advantages of Direct Affiliate Programs

As with all things, joining a direct affiliate program has both pros and cons. Some advantages of direct affiliate programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Higher Rates: Working directly with an advertiser leads to cutting out additional fees and charges – a lot of direct CPA offers provide higher rates for affiliates.
  • Personalized Support: Popular platforms that set up their own CPA offer aim to give affiliates everything they need to succeed. Including a reliable support department that offers personalized assistance.
  • The Ability to Build a Long-Term Relationship: Advertisers that provide their own affiliate structure aim to provide long-term relationships with publishers that offer high-quality traffic.

Disadvantages of Direct Affiliate Programs

Working directly with a brand may sound like an awesome plan, but there are some disadvantages you should consider. These include:

  • Fewer Payment Methods: A lot of advertisers offer a limited number of payment options. Especially when compared to CPA networks.
  • Usually, they have just one or very few products/offers.
  • Harder to register/join. Companies are usually very selective about the partners they are working with. Think about private offers that are not open to everyone.
  • Relatively Inflexible Payout System: Even the biggest advertisers work with a limited budget. They have static payout systems which may force affiliates to wait for specific cycles to be completed. Or to collect larger amounts, before withdrawing.

Most of the companies have a special page on the website, entitled “Partner with us” or “Affiliates”. And that’s where you can find the full information about their offers.


CPA Networks

Some affiliates prefer to skip the whole searching-for-an-offer part. So, they join a CPA network. As mentioned before, CPA networks work as the middlemen between affiliates and advertisers. 

In fact, a lot of advertisers only launch CPA offers through trustworthy networks, enticing affiliates to join them as well.

Besides automatically connecting affiliates to advertisers, they also feature flexible settings that usually benefit affiliates, for instance:

  • Large number of payment options
  • Low minimum withdrawal
  • Huge collection of CPA offers from multiple niches
  • Various pricing models
  • Easy to join
  • Mostly automated process that saves affiliates time

It’s worth noting that CPA networks are usually specialized and focus on one industry with similar verticals. Of course, you can check forums or simply search online for the best CPA networks that have offers in the vertical you need.

Examples of CPA Networks

NetworkVerticals
AdComboDiet & Weight Loss, Accessories, Health & Beauty, Male enhancement, Nutra, Health products, Sport, Home improvement, Crypto, eCommerce, 
ClickDealerDating, eCommerce, Sweepstakes, Nutra, Mobile Subscriptions, iGaming, Download
Toro AdvertisingFinance, Astrology, Sports, Health & Beauty, Diet, Dating, eCommerce, Downloads, Education, Gaming, iGaming, Mobile Content, Software, Sweepstakes
MobideaCoupons & Vouchers, Sweepstakes, Mobile Content, Games, Mainstream Dating, Videos, Music, Antivirus, Health & Fitness, Weight Loss, Finance
🌟 Zeydoo Leadgen, Push Subscriptions, Extensions, Sweepstakes, Dating, Online Cinema, Finance, Games, Utilities, iGaming, Streaming
WebvorkNutra, Male-Health
LoverevenueDating, iGaming
GasmobiLeadgen, Finance, Nutra, E-Commerce, Dating, Surveys & more
MaxBountyGaming, Diet, Travel, Software, Education, Extensions, Finance
TopOffersDating
LeadbitNutra, Finance
EveradNutra
AlfaleadsiGaming, Dating, Mobile, Sports, Games, Finance, Sweepstakes, E-Commerce, Cybersport
CrakRevenueDating, Health, Gaming
CpamaticaDating, Sweepstakes, Health & Beauty, Gaming

There is a massive number of networks available. Yet, spotting the best offers can be extremely tricky. However, remember to always aim to join established networks that have good reviews and provide realistic terms. For both advertisers and alike.


Where can you find reliable offers?

Google it!

PropellerAds-Google_CPA_Network
Image Source: Google Search

It may seem obvious, yet searching is still one of the most effective ways of finding offers. 

In addition, you can check if a certain brand has a partner/affiliate program. But yes – the chance of finding something exclusive is low.

For example, this kind of search request usually works well: “OkCupid partner program” or “Wargaming affiliates”.


CPA Aggregators

PropellerAds - CPA_Aggregator
Image Source: oDigger, Offer Aggregator

In simple terms, CPA aggregators work similarly to search engines, but for CPA offers. Affiliates like you can use these platforms to search for offers based on specific verticals or certain conditions.

Just browse for specific industries and other elements. You’ll be able to find, analyze, and compare different offers before making a final choice.


Finding the right CPA Aggregator

Chances are you’ll find CPA aggregator pretty useful since they:

  • Feature a Vast Selection of Offers: Instead of having to look at each direct affiliate program and review every single offer, you’ll get the full list of programs to choose from with the aggregator.
  • Allow You to Compare CPA Offers: Not only do aggregators feature a collection of offers. But they usually also provide tools that help you compare them in order to decide which one suits you best. 

For example, if you are searching for “green coffee”, you can compare conditions on this very offer in various CPA networks – most likely they’re different.

Keep in mind that there are dozens of different aggregators. And surprisingly enough, all of them promise quality CPA offers and countless benefits. 

We suggest you stick with established CPA aggregators that provide extremely attractive deals. 


Popular CPA Aggregators

If you’re not sure what CPA Aggregator is better, you could try some of the following:

OfferVault

OfferVault is among the most popular aggregators because it offers a huge variety of CPA offers. And their simple, intuitive platform.

Moreover, they provide superb support and premium tools that help affiliates succeed in their CPA ventures.

Affbank

CPA aggregators like Affbank go one step beyond. They offer powerful tools that help affiliates make the best decisions. 

Like all reliable aggregators, Affbank offers a huge library of offers. But they also provide dedicated spy tools that publishers can use to check on their competitors’ performance.

oDigger

Besides providing a huge collection of options, oDigger also works as a CPA offer filter. This versatile platform provides different stats and payout details. This way affiliates can choose the program that will benefit them the most.


Affiliate Forums

PropellerAds - AffiliateFix_Affiliate Forums
Image Source: AffiliateFix, affiliate forums

Affiliate forums offer a great alternative because they operate as a social media platform specifically for CPA offers. Many publishers look for industry knowledge and potential opportunities to build business relationships that improve their profitability.

Check out:

At the same time, alternative sources are also a great place where you can get feedback from other publishers. You’ll also find discounts or exclusive CPA offers. They also open new opportunities across the board. 

Popular forums and alternative choices, like social platforms and search engines, include:

  • Quora
  • Facebook Groups
  • WhatsApp Groups
  • Telegram Groups
  • Google Chat Groups

How to Choose a CPA Offer that Converts

Now that we saw what a CPA offer is, and the different types of affiliate programs, it’s time to go over the juicy stuff – finding a CPA offer that converts.

What you’ll need to do:

1. Assess the Product You Want to Advertise

PropellerAds - CPA Offer Restrictions
Image Source: Zeydoo

Check to see if there are any legal restrictions that apply to the products you want to market. Make sure that all the products that will appear on your platform are licit – it will help you avoid a mountain of legal issues.

Moreover, you have to decide if you’ll place a risk warning. Even if it may scare some users from signing up, you’re building a positive connection with consumers. This also depends on the legal side of things – some locations will need you to display one, whereas others will leave it up to the affiliates.

Here’s an example: if you have a Forex offer, you are obliged to place a risk warning. Yet, some countries forbid (or have very serious limitations) the promotion of leveraged products, e.g., France or Belgium. 

You would think that brokers would know. However, often they either ignore or simply don’t know about these restrictions (really happens!). It’s always better to double-check.

What are the best verticals for beginners?


2. Check the Offer Conditions

PropellerAds - CPA Offer Conditions
Image Source: Zeydoo

You wouldn’t sign up for a bank loan or take out a car without checking out the conditions. The same goes for CPA offers.

Make sure you read all the terms and conditions. And pay special attention to the small print to verify you can meet all the requirements that allow you to charge for each acquisition.

So here’s what you should check:

  • What ad format types you can use
  • The traffic types you must gather
  • Which are the accepted GEOs are
  • What is considered as conversion
  • How many leads are accepted from the publisher a day (Capping)
  • Other limitations

3. Contemplate Seasonality Whenever Possible

PropellerAds - CPA Offer Seasonality
Image Source: Zeydoo

Remember that some products are evergreen while others are seasonal. If you choose a CPA offer for seasonal products, you have to check your calendar and accept these deals at the right time of the year. 

On the other hand, evergreen products are ideal if you want to sign up for an offer that is profitable year-round. However, these usually provide lower payouts than their seasonal counterparts.


Analyzing the CPA Program

CPA programs vary greatly depending on the industry, traffic requirements, and ultimate goals. Remember always to research the network or a brand you want to do business with. 

At the same time, you have to look at elements like:

Payout Conditions

Remember that advertisers’ requirements can be very specific. You have to make sure you can meet the criteria set for device type, connection, gender, and any other parameter advertisers request. 

Finally, many advertisers can put unique restrictions, for instance, not allowing pre-landers or incentivized traffic.


Minimum Withdrawal

The best CPA offers will allow low withdrawal minimums and other great payment options that benefit affiliates.

Remember: Networks and aggregators provide more pricing models and payout options. However, direct affiliate programs have the highest paying offers.


Available Pricing Models

Selecting the best pricing model can make or break the success of your affiliate efforts. You have to choose the one that suits your platform the most. 

For example: Do you attract users that are ready to buy and all you must do is give them a little nudge? Then find a pricing model that pays you per sale.

You will find more pricing models working with Networks and Aggregators. And more payment options, at the same time.

Yet, direct CPA programs are more likely to offer bigger payouts.

Well, it might not be easy to choose a perfect CPA offer. But at least you have a great traffic source 🙂

Editor’s Note: Originally published on August 30, 2018, this article was updated for accuracy reasons.

Author

While working as a writer and marketing consultant for the past 9 years, Tom has also developed a passion for the world of affiliate marketing. With first-hand experience and a solid background in online marketing, he has a deep understanding of the different ad formats, offers, and other elements that affect the performance of an affiliate campaign. Tom also loves backpacking around tropical countries, listening to the boom-bap sound of old school hip-hop, and playing amateur rugby with his local team.