CPA stands for Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition. It refers to the actual cost of acquiring an action, customer, or lead.


An insurance company pays $10 in advertising to get one lead interested in insurance for their car. The cost per lead (CPL) is $10.

If it costs $40 for a shoe company to get one sale, then the Cost Per Sale (CPS) is $40.

If a company has to pay $5 in Facebook advertising to get one person to install their app, then their Cost Per Install (CPI) is $5 on Facebook traffic.

As an affiliate, you will engage in affiliate marketing or performance marketing.

As you continue to gather leads, installs, or customers for companies, those companies will pay you a cost per acquisition or cost per action for each lead, install, or customer.

Usually the best way to start is by joining a CPA affiliate network. This will be covered more in further posts.

Running CPA offers is different from running commission offers that pay you a commission when a sale is generated. (For example clickbank offers).

With CPA, you are paid for specific actions. 

In most cases, the company that has created the CPA offer requires the customer to opt in, fill out their address, sign up to a game, or even enter their credit card before they pay you for that action or conversion.

The most exciting part about CPA is that there is a ton of money to be made when promoting these offers, and they are easily scalable.

The most challenging part is finding offers that allow your traffic types, countries, and promotional tactics.

Even beginners can make upwards of a few hundred dollars a day with the right campaigns and skills.

Why Do So Many Affiliates Like to Focus on CPA Offers?

With CPA offers, affiliates can make money without having to generate a sale.

It sounds easy but it’s not, so don’t get too excited just yet. You will see in our case studies that there are many challenges with paid ads.

In the next lessons, you will learn how to choose great CPA offers to promote.

CPA offers come in many different formats. Some require generation of a prospect or lead, while others may be a bit more elaborate, requiring additional steps.

How Do You Start With CPA?

The first thing you need to do in order to make money with CPA offers is set up an account at SunAdNetwork.

A SunAdNetwork is like any other affiliate network (example: Clickbank or Commission Junction), except they focus mainly on CPA offers.

Many CPA networks also have cost per sale offers, also known as E-commerce offers.

The CPA network pays you each time a lead or sale is generated. (also called a conversion)

You do not have to use a CPA network.

You can go directly to the product owners. Many new affiliates will use a CPA network since the networks have several different offers to promote. All offers will pay a certain commission each time an action is completed.

It’s safer to choose a reputable network then to deal directly with product owners. Many networks will guarantee your payment even if the advertiser or product owners don’t pay on time. (see additional resources section for more info on this)

In our next lesson, we will talk about more about networks and how to get accepted into top CPA networks.

Go To Next Post: How To Get Accepted Into Top CPA Networks.


Author: Abe Cherian

Hello, I'm Abe Cherian, the Founder and CEO of SunAd Network CPA Affiliate Network. My journey has been dedicated to pioneering in the field of affiliate marketing and empowering entrepreneurs across the globe. With the intent of sharing my expertise, I penned a book called "CPA Cash Flow". It offers a comprehensive guide to CPA Affiliate Marketing, potentially helping you make up to $1000 per day. Embark on your journey towards financial success by visiting and grabbing a copy of my book.