CPA Marketing: There’s A Dark Side To This Money Game
Don’t Hate CPA Marketing Or The Game
There is a lot of money to be made in CPA marketing, but there is a secret dark side to it that you don’t realize until you get deep into the game.
The problem with the CPA marketing industry is that it can be very unethical.
There is no formal governing organization to regulate the CPA industry.
There are essentially three distinct groups that make up the CPA marketing relationship:
- Publishers (Affiliates)
- CPA Networks
CPA marketing networks operate as a middleman between the advertisers and publishers.
Problems start when one of these groups decides to cheat each other.
For example, if you visit many forums, you will find many affiliates showing other affiliates how to cheat leads out of the CPA network and advertisers.
There are many ways to fool individuals into filling out CPA offers that are not only dishonest, but could also be illegal.
Trying to cheat the CPA marketing network out of leads could get you banned and blacklisted in the industry.
It does happen!
The Direct Track platform allows all 300+ of the CPA networks using their system to post their banned members for all to see.
So, if you get banned from one CPA marketing network running on Direct Track, you may have trouble getting into another network running on Direct Track because your reputation follow you.
Unfortunately, it is easier to generate false CPA leads these days.
There are a multitude of CPA networks that affiliates can move around to keep a low profile.
When an affiliate cheats the network and advertiser, this affects other affiliates by reduced payouts.
Or, a higher scrub level, which is the process of reversed leads.
When you join a network, you are essentially putting all your trust into that network.
You trust that their tracking system is 100%, and you are credited for all the leads that you generate.
Unfortunately, this is not the case sometimes.
Dark Side Secret Of CPA Marketing—Shaving
A lot of CPA networks shave off leads in an indiscriminate way, and sometimes pocket the shaved leads.
Most affiliates do not realize that most CPA platforms have a feature built in for shaving leads.
The CPA network, at whatever level they like, can set this feature.
For example, they may set it at 10% for a certain CPA offer.
Meaning affiliates will not get credited for every 10th lead.
This is how some affiliate networks get away with a higher payout than other networks.
That is why you should continually split-test the same offer even though one may claim a higher payout.
Almost identical offers perform differently on different CPA marketing networks.
An advertiser can also shave leads by making sure that their pixel does not fire at certain times.
The way that a CPA marketing network reports a lead in your account is when the pixel for that network is fired on the advertiser’s success page.
Dark Side Secret Of CPA Marketing—Ethical Issues
Another example, some diet and weight loss continuity programs don’t work.
And, they prey on people who are desperate to lose weight with fake celebrity endorsements.
Affiliates have not made the situation any easier with fake blogs related to so-called “amazing results” of diet offers with fake blog posts.
The CPA marketing industry has already garnered the attention of the FTC and the attorney generals of many states.
Look at the whole “ringtones” fiasco.
It had some CPA marketing networks paying out as much as $1 million to settle lawsuits related to false “free ringtones” marketing.
Most email and zip submit offers usually put a prospect through co-registration hell.
Then start sending twenty emails within hours trying to sell something.
As a result this makes the email address virtually useless due to SPAM.
Have you ever read the fine print on some of these free offers that require an email address?
They usually require the participant to:
- Fill out three gold offers
- Fill out two silver offers
- Fill out two bronze offers and;
- Refer five family members to do the same before they can get the free prize.
You have to read the small fine print.
Advertisers also can refuse to pay the network for leads generated, which may result in you not being paid.
Be certain to read the terms and conditions of CPA marketing networks.
Some of them may indicate that if they are not paid by the advertiser, then you will not be paid.
One reason for this is the advertiser may decide that they don’t like the lead quality.
This happens in this business.
That is why I suggest you stay away from the “mom and pop” CPA marketing networks.
The bigger networks can afford to pay you commissions out of their business funds to retain you as an affiliate.
There are CPA marketing networks that actually cheat their affiliates by setting up similar landing pages and competing directly.
A lot of these networks have their own in-house search team,.
So, you are showing them what is working for you, so they can rip you off.
Rural Money Tip: That is why you should cloak your sub-ids and try to protect your landing pages.
Also, building a close relationship with your affiliate manager is OK, but don’t get too close.
Some Affiliate Managers might actually rip off what you are doing if you share too much.
Think about it.
If you are making $100,000+ a month on the network, then some affiliate managers,who don’t get paid very well, might be tempted to rip off what you are doing.
What is to stop them from sharing what you are doing with their friends or even worse, other affiliates?
The CPA marketing industry has become very competitive.
Networks go to extreme lengths to keep their top affiliates by giving them what they want.
I have heard of these networks sending top earners gifts at the end of the year.
They offer these things in order to compete.
Dark Side Secret Of CPA Marketing—Getting Into The Game
Getting into the CPA marketing game has no barriers to entry.
Virtually anybody with a computer and a credit card can start driving traffic within minutes to an offer.
That is why a lot of super affiliates are young guys making a ton of money i.e. Mr. Opulent.
Some CPA marketing networks know what motivates young affiliates and cater to their needs.
On a final note, make sure you are dealing with a CPA marketing network that genuinely cares about your business and your well-being.
Rather than how much money you can make for them.
You can spot these networks by how they over-deliver on service and payouts.
Rather than other shady practices.
Curated Content from the Marketing Moron, but Edited by Rural Money.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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