It is well known that there are lots of models in the online advertising world: CPC, CPM, CPI, CPA, CPV, CPE… All of them can be run in non-incent or incent basis. We spoke before about to incent or not, APKs, and today we’re going to talk about CPA offers.

First of all we have to define what a CPA is:

CPA (Cost Per Action), also known as Cost Per Acquisition, is an online advertising pricing model where advertisers pay for qualified actions, such as sales or registrations.

These actions can include form submissions, mobile subscriptions, contact requests and registrations as well as other actions, which can include a payment or not.

The conversion flow must always be previously defined and users needs to know how to proceed.

Running a CPA campaign means low risk from the advertiser side, as they’re going to pay only if an user completes the action detailed, so impressions and clicks won’t be paid. On the publisher side, the risk is all theirs. Publishers will take most of the advertising risks as incomes depend on the conversion rates of the offers.

In order to complete a conversion, the offer must have a flow, also defined by the advertiser. On CPI campaigns, flow is normally easier than on CPA ones, as the user only needs to download and install the app (again, this is the flow in the majority of CPI campaigns).

But what are the most common flows for CPA campaigns?

  1. One Click Flow: This flow is the easiest to convert, and generally is the one used for carrier targeting campaigns (3g ones). The user lands on a landing page with a “suscribe/download…” button. They tap the button and the transaction happens.
  2. Pin Submit Flow: This flow is the most common one and generally used for WIFI campaigns. User lands on a landing page and needs to introduce their phone number, then they will receive a PIN via SMS in order to confirm the subscription. Finally, the user needs to confirm the subscription by introducing the PIN they received in the landing page (they have a small text box to introduce it) and then press confirmation button.
  3. Single opt-in: User introduces his or her telephone number or email address in a text box and confirms, then the subscription is done.
  4. Double opt-in: User introduces his or her telephone number or email address in a text box, then they will receive a confirmation code (if they introduce the phone number) or a confirmation email (in case of using an email). The user confirms and subscription is done.

What you should know about CPA campaigns is that there are possibilities of cancellations from the advertiser. This means that if a certain amount of leads are not valid at the advertiser’s eyes, they may refuse to pay an amount of leads. Ideally, you should agree on a maximum number of cancellations with the advertiser and then with your publishers; this way you may minimize the risks. Normally, there are not a huge amount of cancellations, but just in case, this may work as a lifeboat to have.

For Mobile Subscriptions this risk is lower, as users pays for their subscriptions, and if the user unsubscribes from the product in a short period of time, clients can get an unsubscription fee.

So, once we have identified main ideas, let’s get started.

CPA campaigns can be run on incent or non incent traffic, depending if the campaign allows it or not. There are tons of campaigns that do not allow incent traffic, but more and more are starting to appear that can bear incentivization.

Most of you may think that on CPA campaigns non incent traffic suits better. This is the traditional way. If a campaign allows incent traffic, then why not try it as a source?

Running campaigns that allow incent traffic on a non incent basis leads to a lower CR, wasting lots of resources to get the same results.

Incent CPA offers are coming back, and it seems that they’re staying for a long period of time. Nowadays there are few networks that run incent CPA campaigns compared to networks that run non incent CPA campaigns, but the ones that are running this kind of campaign are experiencing good results as well.

Point is: despite not trusting incent traffic for CPA campaigns, why don’t we give them a try? A mix between incent and non incent should be fine and deserves an opportunity. I’ve been working with incent offers for the last year, and, from my point of view, incent traffic for CPA campaigns (only for the ones that allow it) is very profitable.

Why should we use incent CPA traffic if allowed?

The main reason is that incent users are normally active and more receptive than non incent ones, letting a higher margin of action for advertisers and publishers, but there is another strong reason and it is that incent users are willing to get their benefits. So giving their email address, or paying for a subscription is generally perceived by the users as cheaper than paying directly for the benefits, this way users are more keen to register or subscribe to products than doing it in a non incent way. (From now on we’ll call benefits “coins”)

Contrary to popular belief, an incent user for a CPA campaign is as valuable as a non incent user, and cheaper. An incentivised user will receive part of his subscription fee returned in coins, so the subscription is cheaper for the user, leading to more leads.

Unsubscriptions may be higher with this kind of traffic, but companies will have amortised the price they paid for the install.