CPC, CPA, CPL and revenue share

Affiliation has increased by 5% compared to 2021 according to figures from the 2023 Affiliation Barometer. It offers different methods of remuneration, including: CPC, CPA, CPL and revenue share.

I’affiliate is a digital marketing technique that consists of an affiliate, or the publisher, promoting the product of an affiliator, or advertiser, on his site. The affiliate is paid according to the actions generated by its users towards the advertiser’s site (clicks, sales, leads, etc.)

CPC (cost per click) still well placed

Although affiliation experienced in 2022 a loss of traffic recorded with 27% fewer clicks, according to figures from the Affiliate Barometer 2023, the CPC remains a widely used form of remuneration. With it, the advertiser pays each time a user clicks on an affiliate link.

“On the site publisher side, the biggest advantage of CPC is that the remuneration takes place once the visitor has clicked on the site, regardless of their action afterwards”, explains David Depierris, associate director at Webosity. “The CPC model allows the affiliate not to be dependent on the conversion rate on the advertiser’s site”, develops Christophe Bosquet, CEO of Effinity. “Its role is therefore to generate traffic. But, even if the model is click-based, management and monitoring are still done on a ROI basis. The CPC model takes on its full meaning for the typologies of publishers in middle of the conversion chain (purchasing guides, comparators, thematic portals, media, etc.), in the event that the advertiser is only on a logic attributing last click to the CPA.”

If the CPC model is relatively easy to quantify, it requires going through agencies that control the flow of Internet users, in order to stop potential cheating: massive sending of Internet users to the destination page by diversion of traffic or other . “But you should know that non-human trafficking is not necessarily fraud,” explains Christophe Bosquet. “It also takes into account analysis or crawling bots. It is important in the case of CPC campaigns to work with an affiliate platform that knows how to isolate non-human traffic. In order to count only good clicks. “I mainly use the Kelkoo Platform in CPC for this”, slips David Depierris.

To avoid fraud, double-click remuneration is also being introduced gradually. With this model, the affiliate is paid if the visitor clicks on the affiliate link and visits a second page on the advertiser’s site.

CPA (cost per action), a safe bet

A method of remuneration widely used in affiliation is the CPA, or cost per action. With it, the affiliate is paid when the visitor clicks on the affiliate link and makes a purchase on the advertiser’s site. “The affiliate is remunerated in relation to the transaction made by the Internet user. He receives a percentage of the turnover generated, it is a model of business contributor”, book Christophe Bosquet. “Here, the remuneration is much higher for the affiliate. But it is up to the publisher to prepare the Internet user to click on the advertising insert in order to finalize his purchase”, estimates David Depierris.

The CPA is therefore very popular with e-commerce sites. It allows them to spend not based on the traffic they bring, but on the sales made. A system that could currently be interesting for the affiliate, because e-commerce sales have increased by 23% according to the Affiliate Barometer 2023.

For some affiliates, the major downside to this model comes from GDPR and cookie blockers. “These make the parameters disappear in the URLs of the promotional inserts or do not store them in output when the Internet user arrives on the advertiser’s site. Over the years, this has caused a sharp drop in turnover in this type of affiliation,” says David Depierris.

Another problem mentioned by some publishers is the lack of transparency of certain platforms, which do not count all sales, on the pretext that the tracking code has been deleted by the Internet user. “Many affiliates strongly believe that certain platforms do not play the game of transparency, cancel sales on the one hand, but do charge advertisers for them,” suggests David Depierris. “So you have to choose the affiliation platform you work with carefully. For my part, I mainly use as CPA platforms: Amazon, AWIN and Effiliation from Effinity. “

Revenue share for recurrence

The revenue share is not the most classic remuneration model. It is mainly used for online gaming systems or private sales. It allows the affiliate to receive a commission proportional to what the visitor spends on the site over a certain period of time. This system is attractive for the affiliate who brings a customer who consumes a service or a product on a recurring basis.

“This model can be interesting when the advertiser offers a product or service where the customer’s lifespan is taken into account”, breathes Christophe Bosquet. “In this case, paying per lead would in fact take too many risks for the advertiser, who is not sure that the Internet user will consume his service or product for a long time. The revenue share, on the other hand, allows the advertiser to give a percentage of the margin it will generate to the affiliate, for all Internet users who come through affiliation and who will consume over time.”

CPL (cost per lead) number one in the service

THE PLC is used in affiliation when advertisers do not wish to make sales, but to obtain leads. The advertiser then pays the affiliate based on the number of qualified leads it generates. To trigger the remuneration, the lead must be qualified, i.e. the Internet user must fill out a form, download a white paper or perform an action that demonstrates a real interest in the advertiser’s product or service. .

“It’s the number 1 model in services, such as banking, finance, or insurance”, launches Christophe Bosquet. In BtoB, PLC is generally adopted for services or products that require a long purchase journey, such as with software or services. In BtoC, PLC is mainly implemented in the insurance, finance and real estate sectors.

There are also other affiliate compensation models. An example is the PPI (Pay Per Install), when the affiliate is paid for each installation of the advertiser’s application. Or the CPI, for Cost Per Installation, which includes the affiliate’s remuneration for downloaded applications in the broad sense, or mobile applications.

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