So now you know what CPA marketing is, you know all the various options and many of the related terms… all that's left is to design your ads and to make sure they're a success! Which of course is a little more involved than that makes it sound…
CPA marketing through any platform and of any kind will give you access to a number of tools and resources that you can use to ensure maximum success. Let's see what each of them does and how you make the most of them…
The Importance of Tracking
When you use any CPA marketing platform, it should give you some kind of tracking facility. This will give you the ability to see data and statistics for your adverts so that you can tell how well they're performing. When you're paying per click, this is particularly important to ensure that you are getting a good amount of ROI for your ads. On Facebook and Google you will be able to see your actual CPA, whereas, in other platforms, you might set this amount yourself.
Other things you will be able to see with most of these tools include how often your ad has been viewed – called impressions – which will likely be somewhat correlated with how much you are bidding/paying per acquisition. The more advanced platforms might also let you see aggregated data – in Facebook, for instance, you find this by clicking on Advanced Data. From here you can then see the age, sex, location and more of your viewers. Also available on Facebook is something called 'frequency'. This basically tells you how often the same people are seeing your ad show up.
This is an important one to keep an eye on because of course if the same people keep seeing your ads, they're eventually likely to have either bought your item already or just be completely uninterested in doing so. Of course, though, this might not matter so much if what you're selling is something you can sell multiple times – like a chocolate snack for example. Other figures include CTR which is your 'Click Through Rate'. This tells you how often people are actually clicking on your ads. So if you have lots of impressions but you don't have many clicks, your click-through rate will be low. If nearly everyone clicks on your ads who sees them, then your CTR will be high. CTR is a particularly important stat because it is the one that most closely correlates with the effectiveness of your ad. In other words: is your advert compelling enough to attract attention and then get someone to want to click? If not, ask yourself what you could do to change.
CPM meanwhile is 'Cost Per Impression' and this tells you how much you are paying for your advert to show. Some advertising networks can actually charge per impression but more likely this figure will be worked out based on your CPP, CTR, and Impressions. As mentioned earlier, you should also be able to see a ROAS which is 'Return On Ad Spend'.
If you are using a strictly CPA platform/setup where you only pay for actions, then you will ideally want to increase your impressions, your CTR and your ROAS. However, if you are paying per click then the ideal scenario would actually be for your CTR to go down and your ROAS to stay the same or go up. In other words, when you are paying per click you want to drive away clicks that aren't going to convert. In other words, you want to discriminate when bringing visitors to your site because not all of them are going to be worth any money to you. If you can decrease your CTR while keeping your ROAS the same, then that will mean that you're actually targeting your visitors more accurately and this will cause your CPA to go down (which is a good thing, because it means you're paying less per sale). It all sounds a bit confusing but as long as your ROAS is going up you can be sure you're generally improving. And if you are paying on a purely CPA basis, then as long as your clicks are going up your ad will be performing well! You should also be able to look at your historical data for your adverts and that way see whether your CTR and ROAS are going up or down.
At the same time, you can then correlate this with changes you might have made to your campaign – such as to your bidding strategy for instance, or perhaps the ad text. Either way, this will then have a direct or indirect effect on how many people are clicking on your ads and in turn, you can use this data to run tests. The idea is that eventually, you can 'evolve' the adverts to perform optimally and thereby maximize your clicks and your profits.
Some sites will also allow you to run split tests. A split test basically means that you run two different versions of an advert at the same time. For example, you might have two versions of your heading text or of the ad body text and you can then see which of these performs best. By doing that, you can make sure that every change you make is a positive change that will increase your clicks, impressions, and conversions. Just make sure that you run your split tests for long enough to collect the right amount of data. If you draw premature conclusions based on just a few clicks then you won't be able to ensure that it was the difference in the ad that was having the effect – it could have just been a coincidence!