CPA vs. Affiliate Networks
Back in 2005 or so, many people trying to make money knew affiliate networks and affiliate programs. But barely anyone knew such thing called CPA network. It was mostly about affiliate marketing and selling someone else’s products online for a reward. But since then CPA networks have started popping up like blueberries in July. What’s so good about them? What’s the buzz? Let’s try to find out.
CPA versus Affiliate – Main Differences
- Dedicated Account Manager
You can ask questions, get help, get top products, stats, know where others are running the offers.
- Mostly CPA/CPL offers.
CPA means cost per action, CPL – cost per lead. Lots of no CC offers.
- More flexible payments
You can agree to be paid bi-weekly or weekly, or even daily.
- Payout Bumps
Ask for higher payout if you drive more leads and they’ll say yes.
- Higher conversions
As long as these are free offers.
- Many offers in main verticals
Diet, Finance, Dating, Education, Gaming – these are main verticals with dozens of different offers..
- Anyone can run the offer
You join you see the offer, you can run it. Sometimes you need approval, but those are easy from your affiliate manager.
- Lots of volume for a few products
As long as offers are in main verticals, big affiliates drive millions of dollars worth of traffic a month.
- Pre-screened affiliates
Affiliates get a call and then are approved or disapproved. Hard for new affiliates who don’t have a proven track record.
- Pre-screened advertisers
Advertisers that are accepted have the money, and landing pages optimized for best results.
- Only AM’s can access affiliates.
Advertisers don’t know you. Affiliate manager will contact you.
- You’re usually on your own
No one to turn to. You can ask customer support, but they barely know anything and will not be as helpful.
- Mostly CPS offers
CPS – cost per sale. People need credit cards for these and you get % from sale.
- It is what it is
Usually 30/45-day payments. Only big affiliates can ask faster payments.
- You Get the Regular
In some cases, they don’t even have system in place to give different payouts.
- Lower Conversions
Paid offers always convert worse.
- Few offers in many verticals
Usually few offers in a vertical. Some advertisers can have 1000’s like ecommerce stores.
- More Restrictions
Some affiliates are auto-disapproved, because of region they live in. They have more traffic restrictions.
- Less volume, but more affiliates
These guys get less traffic per offer, because they aren’t optimized so well, but make up for a number of advertisers.
- Any affiliates can join
Pretty much anyone can join. Only problems when you can’t run most of the offers you’ve found.
- Any advertiser can join
In these networks pretty much anyone can join and the network doesn’t take as much responsibility when it comes to payouts.
- Merchants can access affiliates.
Advertiser can email or IM you directly to discuss business.
Let’s be honest here. Despite all the differences, it’s pretty much the same thing. Affiliates join a network and get paid a commission for promoting products. So CPA networks are actually the same affiliate networks. Except they chose a slightly different direction. Going for more volume, more competitive verticals.
General rule of thumb. CPA network offers are more competitive. If you are established affiliate, you can make great money here. But new affiliates (if they even are accepted) will have hard time in these places. That’s why for starters I suggest nothing else, but a good product in regular affiliate network or joining an affiliate program directly.