Сompanies can now advertise their products in a so many ways, that using all the ad channels at once would definitely explode the budget!
So no wonder that the need for a strong online presence has led to the creation of collaborative marketing structures that are profitable for all the parties involved (and doesn’t drain your funds).
Affiliate marketing and CPA offers allow advertisers to rely on third-party publishers to handle a portion of their marketing efforts.
Not only this, but because of the way the structure is set up, advertisers run a lower risk as they only have to pay when they receive the desired result from an ad.
But even if affiliate marketing poses a number of advantages, understanding all the terms and navigating the ocean of CPA offers available today can be tricky. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to that explains the basics of the cost-per-action model and tells you everything you need to know to choose the best most profitable CPA offer for your platform.
Let’s jump right in!
What is a CPA Offer?
Before discussing 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 where affiliate marketers get paid for generating traffic, leads, or sales for an advertiser (advertisers define what actions they want consumers to complete).
The pre-set fee motivates affiliates to find creative ways to market products and services successfully, allowing advertisers to focus mainly on business and distribution.
There are different types of bidding options that vary in structure and specific goal. Cost-per-action or CPA is a bidding model where affiliates charge advertisers whenever users take a qualifying action like submitting a filled form, signing up to a newsletter, or even making a purchase. These actions may vary depending on the industry or target audience, but most of them are taken after an ad is clicked.
Also known as cost-per-action or CPA offers, these supply all the specific details and requirements that affiliates have to meet in order to charge for each lead or action they generate.
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 while 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 as they work like middlemen that connect affiliates with advertisers. Lastly, consumers are arguably the most important part of the equation, so 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 – a direct affiliate program or go through a CPA network.
Types of Partner Programs
Today, thousands of companies are using CPA offers to bolster their marketing efforts. Reliable affiliate programs can be extremely profitable and beneficial for all members of the ecosystem. But, with thousands of CPA offers available not all of them turn out to be successful.
There are two general types of affiliate programs:
- Direct affiliate programs (meaning you are getting an offer directly from the product owner, brand, etc.)
- CPA programs found in CPA networks.
Let’s discuss it one by one!
Direct Affiliate Programs (aka In-house Affiliate Program)
Large companies usually choose to launch their own affiliate programs with a custom CPA offer. This means that affiliates and advertisers collaborate together without a connecting entity. 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, which means that 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.
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 have just one or very few products/offers.
- Harder to register/join. Companies are usually very selective about 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, which means they have static payout systems that may force affiliates to wait for specific cycles to be completed.
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.
Some affiliates prefer to skip the whole searching-for-an-offer part, and so they simply decide to join a CPA network. As mentioned before, CPA networks work as the middlemen between affiliates and advertisers. Moreover, 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.
Here are some examples:
There is a massive number of networks available, so spotting the best offers can be extremely tricky. Again, 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?
It may seem obvious, yet searching is still one of the most effective ways of finding offers. Yes, the chance of finding something exclusive is low, but you can still check if a certain brand has a partner program.
For example, this kind of search requests usually works well: “Ok Cupid partner program” or “Wargaming affiliates.”
In simple terms, CPA aggregators work similarly to search engines, but for CPA offers. Affiliates can use these platforms to search for offers based on specific verticals or certain conditions.
By browsing for specific industries and other elements, affiliates can find and analyze and compare different offers before making a final choice. Employing a CPA aggregator is beneficial because they:
- Feature a Vast Selection of Offers: Instead of having to look at each direct affiliate program and reviewing every single offer, aggregators offer a full list of programs to choose from in one place.
- Allow You to Compare CPA Offers: Not only do aggregators feature a collection of offers, but they usually provide tools that help them compare them in order to decide which one suits best. For example, if you are searching for “green coffee”, you can compare conditions on this very offer in various CPA networks – they can be different.
Keep in mind that there are dozens of different aggregators, and surprisingly enough, all of them promise quality CPA offers and other benefits. However, we suggest you stick with established CPA aggregators that currently provide extremely attractive deals. These are:
OfferVault is among the most popular aggregators because it offers a huge variety of CPA offers in a simple, intuitive platform. In addition to this, they provide superb support and premium tools that help affiliates succeed in their CPA ventures.
CPA aggregators like Affbank go one step beyond and offer powerful tools that help affiliates make the best decisions. Like all reliable aggregators, Affbank offers a huge library of offers, but it also provides dedicated spy tools publishers can use to check out their competitors’ performance.
Besides providing a huge collection of options, oDigger also works as a CPA offer filter. This versatile platform provides different stats and payout details that allow affiliates to choose the program that will benefit them the most.
Affiliate forums offer a great alternative because they operate like 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.
At the same time, alternative sources are also a great place to collect feedback from other publishers, find discounts, exclusive CPA offers, and open new opportunities across the board. Popular forums and alternative choices like social platforms and search engines include:
- Facebook Groups
- Google+ and Hangouts
How to Choose a CPA Offer that Converts
Now that we’ve gone over the definition of CPA offers and the different types of affiliate programs, it’s time to go over the juicy stuff – finding a CPA offer that converts.
1. Assess the Product You Want to Advertise
Check to see if there are any legal restrictions that apply to the products you want to market. Making sure that all the products that will appear on your platform are licit can help avoid a mountain of legal issues.
Moreover, you have to decide if you’ll place a risk warning because even if it may deter some users from signing up, you’ll build a positive connection with consumers. This will also depend on the legal side of things as some locations will require 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) promotion of leveraged products, e.g., France or Belgium. You would think that brokers would know, but way too often they either ignore restrictions or simply don’t know these restrictions exist (really happens!). So it’s always better to double check.
2. Check the Offer Conditions
You wouldn’t sign up for a bank loan or take out a car without checking out the conditions, and the same goes for CPA offers. Make sure you read all the terms, conditions, and especially 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 kind of ad formats are allowed
- What traffic types are allowed
- What GEOs are accepted
- What is considered as conversion
- Capping (How many leads are accepted from the publisher a day)
- Other limitations
3. Contemplate Seasonality Whenever Possible
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, although these traditionally 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:
Remember that advertiser’s requirements can be very specific, so 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 prelanders or incentivized traffic.
The best CPA offers will allow low withdrawal minimums and other great payment options that benefit affiliates. Keep in mind that networks and aggregators provide the best payout options, but 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, so you have to choose the one that suits your platform the most. For example, if you attract users that are ready to buy and all you do is give them a little nudge, you probably want to find a pricing model that pays you per sales.
As with payment options, networks and aggregators provide more options when it comes to pricing models. However, we mentioned in the previous section, 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 🙂