Strategies to lower your CPA

Have you been paying the same cost per action (CPA) in your business for a while? Whether it is how much you are paying for an order or a lead, here are 8 strategies for digital marketers to lower CPA;

  1. Grow your email marketing list

Email marketing is rated one of the most effective channel with a low CPA. Users that actively sign up to your newsletter, lead pages or create accounts are interested in your product and offering so don’t waste this valuable asset.

Implementing email automation that trigger emails based on behavour or content interests will allow you to increase the effectiveness of your emails, and increase conversion rates as users will receive more relevant information.

“B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%” — according to eMarketer

The power of email to reduce your CPA is not only via sending emails, these email lists can also be used in re-targeting campaigns on channels such as Facebook.

Great email solutions; Hubspot, Active Campaign, Klayvio and Infusionsoft.

2. Increase Organic Traffic through SEO

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a long term strategy. You need to invest time upfront developing quality content and optimising your website pages in order to rank for specific related keywords.

Select the keywords you want to rank for carefully. The below image shows examples of keywords throughout a buyers journey for an e-commerce website. Those at the top will be harder to rank on the top page of Google for.

Keep in mind that it is still worth ranking for keywords in the awareness stage through SEO as a buyers journey could take a couple of minutes to complete depending on what you are selling. Get creative and see if you can come up with long-tail keywords that are more niche with less competition, and if possible use search phrases where the user is displaying stronger purchasing signals.

Social sites such as Pinterest can be an easy way to drive traffic to your site in the awareness stage instead of trying to rank on the front page of Google.

If you are serious about SEO, make sure you implement a back linking strategy to authority websites as this has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to increase organic traffic and page rank.

3. Affiliate marketing

If you are an e-commerce website then affiliate marketing can be a great way to grow your reach and sales.

Affiliate marketing allows you to lock in your cost per action (CPA) with an affiliate partner by agreeing to a set payment per lead or order.

You can enable affiliates to promote your product via display ads, text links or shopping feeds.

Some great affiliate networks to check out include: Affiliate Window, Trade Tracker, and if you only have a small budget OMNI Star and Affiliately are get starting points.

3. Narrowing your geographical targeting for digital ads

Often budget can be wasted by targeting geographical areas that are not as responsive to your ads. By splitting out ad groups to target different locations you can assess the CPA for each city / region.

To increase the conversion rate for each city and reduce your CPA try more targeted messages in your ads. For example the image below shows the Google analytics report under Audience>Geo>Location.

From this map we can see that this company gets more traffic for areas coloured a darker blue, which shows that California is performing better than Texas. So a strategy to improve ad performance might be to create a specific message for that area e.g. Free shipping in Texas, a Texas coupon code or simply using different language & images to display your offering in Texas vs California.

4. Split spend for devices

While it is best practice to have a mobile optimised website, for some websites this is not a reality. Numbers don’t lie, check out your e-commerce conversion rate by using the Audience> Mobile>Overview report in Google analytics.

This will show you your conversion rate for devices and allow you to change your bidding according.

Another aspect to consider to reduce your CPA is to bid on different keywords for mobile vs those on desktop in your PPC campaigns.

According to Hitwise Christmas Planning Report for 2016, 77% of retail searches on a mobile include the word ‘sale’. In addition to this Hitwise has identified certain topics and themes that are more likely to be searched on a mobile.

. Use the 80/20 rule

We’ve all heard this golden rule, which states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This is true for product sales and top performing content.

Find out which 20% of your products and content drive the 80% of your sales and leads for your business and optimise your SEO and digital ads accordingly. This will help you stop spending budget on products that do not drive you sales and ultimately reduce your CPA costs.

6. Use hours of the day / days of the week to better target PPC ads

Is your product or service only available at a certain time, or is there a certain time that people would need your service more?

For example if you’re selling sleeping pills the chance ais that someone would search for sleeping pills when they are thinking of going to sleep. Reducing the time that you show your ads will allow you to be more relevant and increase conversion while reducing wasted spend. For example your add creative might be “Lying awake at night? — We can help”

7. Retargeting

There are many reasons why users might visit your site and do not covert, this is why retargeting is so important.

“Web site visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website” according to

In addition to this, they also reported that “72% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their shopping carts prior to making a purchase. Without retargeting only 8% of those customers return to complete their transaction”

For an e-commerce site, it is best practice to implement abandon cart retargeting ads along with dormant ads to get users to come back and take action on your site. As these users are already familiar with your site offering and will typically perform better with a lower CPA.

8. Reduce checkout abandonment rate

As mentioned above if 72% of customers abandon their shopping cart this is an essential piece of the puzzle to focus on, to increase conversion rates and reduce overall CPA.

Some reasons people abandon their shopping cart include;

About the Author

Tia Saunders is the Head of Marketing at Flubit and is passionate about marketing and nutrition, she is also a true lover of green tea, great ideas and great people.