5 things to learn before heading to affiliate CPA advertising


When was the last time you took an interest to a new affiliate network? GOWIDE made a small action-plan for advertisers who have just started working in affiliate CPA advertising. In this article, you will know what to do before you go buying traffic from affiliate networks.

1. Choose affiliate network


Before you throw yourself into the marketing activities decide on a reliable partner and networks to run your CPA campaign with.

Affiliate network is a platform where various publishers can access CPA offers of various advertisers.

Affiliate networks make sure that there is no fraud. For example, GOWIDE uses a reliable fraud detector and works with publishers that sell relevant inventory (e.g. potential product customers). Networks allows expanding the audience and promote brands.

CPA network is a basis of affiliate network. The system of rewards includes the principle of payment for a certain action. There are two most common CPA payment models: cost-per-sale (CPS) and cost-per-lead (CPL). Some cases can include both types of payment models.

How affiliate networks actually work?

An advertiser pays an affiliate network a commission for a certain action, and then the network distributes the money between their partners. Advertiser chooses traffic sources or tools that can be used to promote their product or service.

After the whole period of promotion, advertiser has an average statistic that shows the conversion rate.

Reasons to work with an affiliate network:

Technology, cooperation, and the possibility to choose right affiliates are very comfortable in the affiliate network. You have your account where you can create offers as an advertiser or take an offer as a publisher or affiliate.

There are three main elements of a successful business model that are used to earn with CPA: attractive offer, convenient advertising space, and traffic, of course.

A convenient interaction style allows making deals fast and easy. A well-done work allows advertisers and affiliates to earn and grow.

Good networks monitor the quality of traffic all the time. These systems constantly work on improving their technology especially in fraud detection (e.g. the last types of fraud: New devices or SDK spoofing). But failures also happen.

According to Grant Cohen most of ad networks use more than 50% of fake traffic. Good fraud detection partners enhance the professionalism and safety of the ad network.


Ad fraud detection service providers help to analyze mobile ad campaigns and give advertisers enough data to reject fraudulent conversions or installs with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Before starting, ask a manager of a particular network how their fraud detection system monitors traffic and prevent ad fraud.

Networks offer a program manager or a brand promotion system that helps to track validation, reporting, invoices etc. Most processes are automated, removing a huge amount of manual processes.

A good network is the one that is reliable and suits your business in all aspects. This will help you build long term relationships.

2. Integrate tracking partner

Tracking partners help to improve the advertising campaign efficiency. They specialize in affiliate tracking system.

Affiliate tracking is the process of managing and tracking marketing activities with the help of special plugins and software. Affiliate tracking system helps to measure the performance (e.g. sales, conversions, clicks etc.)

There are two types of tracking systems: in-app tracking systems for developers (AppsFlyer, Adjust, etc.), and affiliate tracking system for marketologists (HasOffers, Evertrack, Affise, etc.)

Why do you need to pay attention to this?

There are some reasons:

  • The partner can track the customer behavior.

Third-party tracking can see the actions of a potential customer. The system can track what kind of app someone is looking for.

  • Tracking platform can help you to measure the success of your ad campaign.

With the help of tracking system advertiser can optimize its ad campaign in search engines.

Before starting to work with the tracking platform, analyze the market, adapt your media buying system. You can start with one platform, and then with some changes in your business you can try another.

Affiliate marketing is a good way to promote your brand and make some additional income. The best way to do this is using the convenient software that will manage, promote and track your ad campaign.

source: offers to commit some test to understand the traffic quality of the ad network. There are short-terms and long-terms signals that have to be used by the advertiser. Short-terms are: registration in the app, reaching a certain level in a mobile game.

Long-term signals include: retention, average revenue per user (ARPU), and ROI for one-two weeks.

3. Target mobile users

To make your ad campaign work, you need to identify your audience and find who can be interested in your app.

Mobile traffic targeting will help you provide your ad on a particular audience. Be sure, your advertisement will appear in the games, and other applications that are popular in App Store or Google Play.

Types of mobile ad space include: mobile app, mobile app interstitial, and mobile web. One of the best ways to promote your ad in these types is to use cost-per-action ads.

CPA can quickly make your app popular because the advertiser only pays for a specific action, which means that the audience is choosing more accurately. You can sort your audience from all users and find those who are more loyal to your product or service.

Also, you can use location targeting. Geo can make your ad campaign more accurate. A complete profile of your potential customer can facilitate targeting: where people live, work or relax.

Geo-targeting analyzes the location through wi-fi connection, GPS, cell signal or IP address of the mobile device. Advertisers use this type when they have an app that is directly depends on location.

Marketers can use this data to re-target people who have previously visited a specific location.

Mobile traffic will cover all traditional traffic in the future marketing.

4. Enable retargeting

Retargeting or remarketing is a type of advertising that helps advertisers return users that weren’t interested at first time. This campaign gives you extra settings and reports about previous users.

Retargeting can help you return about 98% of users, according to Retargeter.


How retargeting works

Retargeting is based on cookie technology that uses principles that help follow your audience in app.

Imagine that a user named Sarah is searching for some cool red dress with the white stripes. And when Sarah looks through your app, intent data is capturing at every event level. Sarah finishes browsing but gets distracted by something, let’s say a gaming app. If the gaming app is the part of your retargeting partner’s publisher network, retargeting continues in real-time.

Eventually, your ad is shown to her, because she was looking for some particular thing. Sarah clicks on the ad and performs the action that you needed.

The Apple Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and The Google Advertising ID (GAID) are the most common way to track user behavior in mobile applications.

Every iOS device has an identifier that allows developers and marketers to direct the advertisement.

Google Play uses GAID also for advertising. It provides developers with a standard system that allows continuing to monetize their apps.

Usually, IDFA and GAID are used by advertisers to run the retargeting or remarketing campaigns.

It is a small piece of data sent by the server in browser storage. Advertiser places a small script on the application that tracks the user and reminds about a product.

With the help of data controls related to mobile in-app, advertisers can also collect an information:

  • about visitors on a page that uses cookies;
  • about users from a third-party site.

Tracking code loads when a user opens a page with an advertisement. The code collects statistics about views or some actions, in order to send ads to the user later. As a result, the effectiveness of the advertising campaign is higher.

Retargeting is effective because it focuses the advertisement on users who already know your brand and have shown the interest. Remarketing increases the ROI and show good results of ad campaign.

5. User performance metrics

You need metrics to understand how your ad campaigns work. Choosing right performance metrics help you to understand performance levels for different features of your web application.


Performance metrics are used in CPA campaign to evaluate the offer through seven criteria: safety, time, resources, cost, quality, scope, and actions.

To measure the performance of your application you have to track the mobile app marketing KPIs and other necessary metrics.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that help to determine the success of your business. The key performance metrics will help you to analyze your app achievements and to measure the revenue.

KPIs show how the mobile marketing campaign is performing, how the leads are turning to the customers.

Get in touch with GOWIDE team with any question you have.

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