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Differences Between CPA and Affiliate Marketing
Make the Right Choice!

The business world is abuzz with new marketing approaches activated from newer technologies that promote search engine optimization and more reliable income generation. This brings about the growing popular affiliate marketing business ventures which allow more individuals to secure extra income readily without much capital or technical know-how.

However, there are many types of affiliate marketing programs on the web which can be rather confusing for many ambitious affiliate marketers. Although these online business ventures are simple to set up and operate, there are certain differences with each program that affiliate marketers should be aware of before indulging full heartedly.

Understanding CPA marketing

One of the more popular affiliate marketing programs on the web is Cost-per-Action (CPA) marketing. It is also called Pay-per-Action or PPA marketing program. It is a lucrative online business model that is structured for online business advertising. The business model of this online marketing program revolves around the merchant and the marketer where the affiliate marketer gets paid for a specific action that is linked to the online advertisement. There may be many types of action that can be undertaken; it could be a simple online form filling in and submission, online product purchase or online service order.

Online business merchants may have specific actions desired by web visitors referred by affiliate marketers. This is where CPA marketing programs would be more appropriate to business merchant wanting a direct response from online advertising approaches. It is beneficial for such online business merchants or advertisers to employ CPA marketing programs that only pay when their desired business action is activated to benefit their business operations. This ensures that the advertisers save cost of online advertising options as no payment is made unless the preferred action is undertaken by potential leads referred by the affiliate marketer.

It is up to the advertiser to determine the type of business action to be activated by potential leads according to the business requirements, goals and objectives. The merchant needs to identify the type of products or services to be advertised under CPA marketing programs. The affiliate marketer’s responsibility is to source for potential leads to perform the preferred business action specified by the merchant for a higher sales conversion rate or more potential leads to increase the business entity’s customer listing.

The market is growing with a myriad of unique and different businesses that can be categorized under CPA marketing with the affiliate marketer choosing one or more.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a growing popular online marketing model that offers a host of potential income generating programs for even ordinary consumers to enjoy making extra money without giving up their full time jobs. An affiliate program is usually managed by affiliate networks that connects merchants and affiliate marketers with a host of products or services to be promoted.

Many of these affiliate programs require online marketers to sign up as members, although the membership cost may be low or free. Sufficient tools and knowledge are available on the net to start up any affiliate marketing program. A unique link would be given to the enlisted affiliate marketer to be put on the marketer’s blog sites or websites. The objective is to have the marketer promote the given link which compels web visitors to click onto this link that leads the visitor on to the merchant’s website and view the available products and services on offer. If the visitor clicks on this link on the affiliate marketer’s website, the marketer earns a commission, which is usually a pre-set sales percentage.

Different affiliate marketing programs work differently depending on the terms and conditions. While some pay the marketer for referring the web visitor to the merchant’s web business site, other merchants do not pay until a sale is performed by the web visitor.

Affiliate marketing makes use of a variety of modern technologies and marketing approaches for cost effective online advertising. It may also indulge in traditional marketing methods to get the best of synergy between the old and the new marketing methods and techniques for better results. Hence, it is common for innovative affiliate marketers to combine SEO approaches with email marketing or banner advertising to draw in more web traffic to boost clicks on the given links.

Differences between the two options

Some entrepreneurs in online marketing programs may find it difficult to distinguish or differentiate between the two types of online marketing options, although the differences may be subtle with a great amount of similarities.

Traditional affiliate marketing offers a commission only if the web visitor clicks on the given link to the merchant’s business and executes a purchase. But CPA marketing pays the marketer as long as the web visitor clicks on the given link at the marketer’s website to be directed to the merchant’s website. The onus with CPA marketing is on the merchant who must work extra hard to secure every potential lead coming through the marketer’s site. These potential leads visiting the merchant’s website must be fully convinced of the merchant’s products or services to incline towards a sale or enter some simple contact information. In response, the merchant may offer a free gift or discount voucher for the action undertaken by the visitor. This action allows the merchant to follow up on the potential lead later to convert it into a regular customer over time through other dynamic means of marketing.


CPA marketing tends to be more popular over the traditional affiliate marketing as the former requires not much effort by the affiliate marketer to purchase or sell the merchant’s offerings as with affiliate marketing before a payment is accrued to the marketer. The CPA affiliate does not need to be well versed with the merchant’s business commodities to enjoy extra income as long as visitors click on to the given merchant’s site link.

However, those who have a flair for selling would make more income with traditional CPA and affiliate marketing options; and they can take on more than one affiliated product or service to be promoted on the web.


Filed under: CPA Marketing

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