As CPA marketing has grown, the criteria for acceptance have changed, and it now has become harder to get accepted as a publisher. This is due in part to the need for the CPA networks to prevent their reputations from being damaged by bad marketers. The general guide below will provide you with basic information about getting approved, selecting offers and communicating with their affiliate managers.
What CPA networks do
CPA networks strive to connect advertisers with publishers in a way that it is beneficial for everyone. They check the compliance of the landing pages and offers before they recruit CPA affiliates. They set a payout for every action completed. There are different offers affiliates can choose, ranging from lead generation to sales.
The advertisers also determine which countries they would like to target so that the marketer will know the geo settings of the campaign. Whenever the traffic to the affiliate link is from outside the target countries, an international redirect is set up by the network automatically. These offers displayed might not be relevant to the original offer, but at least the visitor is not seeing an empty page or an error message.
Policies of CPA networks
Every CPA network has its own policies. The main one is that non-incentivized campaigns should not be incentivized, which means that affiliates should not provide compensation for clicking on the link or completing the offer (incentivized CPA offers covers this in more detail). There are other policies regarding the content: most networks will ban their sites from publishing offers that contain violence or sexual content.
Some networks do not allow affiliates to run similar offers from other networks on the same site. However, most of them realized that publishers are looking for the best-performing campaigns irrespective of the network. In addition, the same advertiser might have different landing pages on various CPA networks to see which one performs best.
There are only a few CPA networks offering instant approval. This is mostly a result of the changes in the affiliate marketing world and advertising guidelines. Therefore, at least one self-hosted website is required to submit an application. Many affiliate managers check the traffic stats and age of the site before saying yes to the application. Applicants will also be asked about their experience in affiliate marketing, involvement with other networks and promotion methods.
Most of the networks will call applicants on the phone to verify the country or residence and identity before accepting anyone. Other networks will ask a few questions via email and automatically verify phone numbers by sending a verification code. Applicants need to be confident and honest when speaking to affiliate managers. Do not make untrue claims of marketing success with other networks as most of the companies share data to prevent fraud. More advice can be found at how to join affiliate networks.
Top CPA networks covers some of the best networks to join.
Once your application has been accepted, it is necessary to search the network for offers relevant to your niche. Most sites will have advanced searches that make it possible to search by promotion tools, country, offer type, payout level and EPC (earnings per click). Depending on which promotion type, the tools available may include email templates, linking codes, image banners and personalized landing pages, and your affiliate manager will help out if the right ones aren’t available.
Before running the offer, it is important to check the landing page and ensure that the link is working. Some CPA networks forget to validate the link, and if the merchant moved the landing page, you might end up promoting a low-payout and low-conversion redirect offer.
EPC (Earnings Per Click) figures
Most CPA networks display EPC figures next to the offer details. This tells you how much other affiliates earn per click when running the promotion. A high EPC figure does not guarantee that you will get the exact same amount per click, as it depends on how targeted your traffic is, how you introduce the offer, and how relevant it is to the site. However, this is a good indicator of top performers for those new to CPA marketing.
Networks do not tell you how other people promote the offer, and it is likely that the type of ad created will affect the EPC. This is the main reason you have to check the landing page of every banner or link you are looking to use. It is also important to visit the site to see what visitors will see when clicking on the link. You can track your own EPC on the offer by looking at your account statistics and testing campaigns. Compare it to the industry average and make changes if it is too low.
Competition between CPA networks
For those who are affiliates on more than one network, it is possible to compare what the different networks are offering on Offervault and save time when deciding on the network and offers. However, one network paying more for the same offer does not necessarily mean affiliates will earn more. This is because the landing pages will be different, and the conversion rates may be lower.
Keep in mind that CPA networks are often competing for both advertisers and affiliates. The best approach is to set up a link rotator to split test while tracking the conversions on both landing pages. This is not against the policies of the networks, and it is an efficient way to find the campaign that will make the most money.