Cost per action is a payment method in online marketing. The advertiser pays when a potential customer performs an action on a website. This can be a download, a phone call, submitting a form or clicking a specific section of a page. Cost per action is often abbreviated as CPA and often mistaken for cost per acquisition.
Similar to cost per click, cost per action denotes a particular user action resulting in compensation or the calculation of cost. The advertiser can measure or expect specific user actions. In contrast to the CPC model, the cost per action model is not primarily aimed at getting a purchase.
Cost per action can be used in many ways. Actions that an advertiser can pay for include:
Cost per action gives advertisers the advantage of highly targeted advertising and they only have to pay for actually accomplished services. In contrast to the CPC method, cost per action is harder to manipulate. Customers reached with CPA campaigns usually have a higher involvement than contacts acquired by clicks only.
Since the cost per action method promises greater advertising success, overall cost is therefore usually higher than that of pure click or display campaigns.