What is CPA?

Cost Per Action (or Cost Per Acquisition, or CPA) is the average amount of advertising expenditure that is needed to generate a lead and an important KPI.

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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