Cost per acquisition - everything you need to know

June 14, 2021
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CPA (cost per acquisition) is one of the best ordinary pricing models in online ads. We control your spending with our cost per acquisition services.

In this blog, we’ll consider everything you need to know about CPA advertising and:

What is CPA (cost per acquisition)?

How does CPA work?

What is the difference between CPA and other pricing models?

How to optimize your CPA costs?

The growth of digital advertising displays no footprint of slowing down, and for many businesses, digital ads have adopted their attractive form of self-promotion.

This should be no surprise, given that 85 percent of customers now start their product searches online.

As stated in research firm eMarketer, 2020 was the first year in which U.S. digital advertising overcame traditional advertising.

U.S. digital advertising spend will increase by 23 percent to $135 billion, while traditional ads will drop to $115 billion.

With such a teeming digital ad view, businesses need to shine by working the best and most effective ad campaigns.

To do so, obviously, you first have to be familiar with the terminology, and the CPA (cost per acquisition) metric is the best place to start.

What is CPA ( Cost Per Acquisition)?

‘Cost per acquisition’ (CPA) is also known as ‘cost per action.

CPA is a pricing standard for digital advertising that costs advertisers based on the number of converted potential uses.

Converting customers or acquiring customers is dependent on digital advertising campaigns.

These things will be considered when they follow one of the actions below.

Normally CPA only refers to the action of converting a paying customer. In conversion action we can consider:

  • Customers signing up in the company's mailing list,
  • Making purchases on the company’s website or
  • Downloading the company’s mobile app.

You need to pay for an advertising platform when you consider lead, conversion or complete sale. This makes CPA a pretty low-risk digital ad technique.

How does CPA work or calculate?

The CPA metric has a simple formula that every advertiser should know in depth.

CPA formula is the expense of the campaign divided by the number of conversions.

Let’s take an example:

If you spend $5000 on a campaign to acquire 100 new paying customers, the CPA of this campaign would be $5000/100 = $50. Normally it costs you $50 to convert a single new customer.

This CPA formula outcomes helps you to define the return of investment (ROI) and the profitability of your digital ad campaign.

What is the difference between CPA and other pricing models?

When you bid for ads on platforms like Google ad and Facebook ad, you may have seen CPA compared with other digital ad pricing models like CPM and CPC.

So, what is the difference between CPA and other pricing models?

Cost Per Mille (CPM) - also known as cost per thousand. This is a pricing model in which the advertiser is charged a fixed rate for every mille people who view (impression) the ad.

In digital advertising, CPA model is used for regular advertising channels such as TV ad and newspaper, who calculate their ads prices based on the approximate number of viewers and readers.

Cost Per Click (CPC) - is a pricing model in which the ad publisher charges the advertiser a fixed rate for per user who clicks on a digital ad.

The lower your CPC arte, the more clicks you can receive for the related budget.

Which pricing model is better for your digital ad campaign?

The answer will depend on your agency, audience and campaign.

Normally CPA rates are higher than CPC and CPM, but they show the guarantee that your campaign will convert few people into your customers.

Then the question is what is a good CPA?

What is a good CPA? This question depends on the company type, audience, campaigns, and advertising platform.

Secondly, you should make sure that your digital ad campaign actually grants you to produce a profit.

A “good” CPA ia increases your profit when you reach as many users as possible.

How to optimize your CPA costs?

In this portion we will guide you about how to optimize your CPA costs:

Move on a various ad platforms:

Facebook and Google are the king of online advertising. Different ad platforms like Pinterest, Reddit, Being, Instagram, and Twitter are normally less expensive.

It can be just as effective as a CPA campaign by depending on types of company, product, services and audiences.

Determine your boundaries :

You can suppose that the more the audience who sees your ad, that great, but in fact the conflict can be true.

Analyze negative keywords. These keywords stop ads from being shown to people who search for a certain word, who help update your campaign and pinpoint the right audience.

Enhance your quality score:

If you are advertising on facebook or Google, your ad quality score needs to be as high as possible. You can enhance your quality score by:

  • Researching most relevant keywords
  • Targeting the right demographic and audience
  • Developing high-quality campaigns.


Knowledge of CPA is a priceless skill in the area of digital advertising. Insight of how CPA works and optimize your CPA rates.

You can develop more powerful campaigns and get more conversions for less cost.

Here at Acadot Media, we help the clients large and little out of their information, extract priceless data-driven ideas.

To know more about how we can help the clients, contact us today.