The definition of CPA

CPA stands for Cost Per Action. It is the average amount of advertising expenditure that is needed to generate an action. An action can be a sale, but can also refer to soft conversions such as a:

  • New lead
  • Sent contact form
  • Software download
  • Click on an advertisement
  • Visit with a minimum amount of visited pages
  • Visit to the Contact-page
  • Facebook-Like
  • Download of a white paper
  • Visit to any key webpage
  • Start of the sales funnel
  • Referral to a 3rd party (send-a-friend)
  • Printed page
  • Return visit
  • Non-bounce visitor
  • etc.

This KPI (Key Performance Indicator) allows advertising professionals to determine the effectiveness and ROI of a campaign, in order to scale the campaign up or down.

NOTE: CPA is sometimes defined as “Cost Per Acquisition”. This is a more narrow concept than CPA, as it only refers to actual sales.

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