The Business of Mobile - Make Money with Android, mobile advertising and App Store Optimization

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mobile Advertising - Understanding CPA

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Not making money from your Android apps after moving to a CPA ad network?

A lot of people have an issue when they transition from a pay-per-click (CPC) ad type to a pay-per-action (CPA) ad type. I too have been in the same boat, and have since taken a life vest and jumped off of that boat.

This article hopes to clear up a little for those who are making the move from CPC to CPA. Take the life jacket, jump in, the water is warm enough, I have a feeling you'll enjoy the waves better. Lets read on...



The ancient history..

I started the my development adventure for Android using Basic4Android (B4A) IDE. The tool is superb. Give it a try if you need to.

At the start, Admob was the only available option for users of B4A. It was fine, generating quite a good amount of pocket money.

I then started to look into alternative advertising money making options as I have heard lots of horror stories of admob. I thought I should get some other sources set up, just in case.

Besides working out options with providers such as Millennial Media and MobFox, I stumbled upon Leadbolt.

Now, Leadbolt is mainly a CPA focused ad agency. (They do have CPC ads too!)

I happily added their code into my app, released the update, and saw the downloads come in. The ads were shown many times, and had very many clicks. I was pretty excited, till I saw my revenue. A grand total of $0.00!!!

I was like "what the flower puppies?!!!". How can this be? I shot a mail to my AM, and well, he replied of course that it would perform once I get more ads shown and clicked. It was difficult to understand at that time, and I did feel like being cheated by Leadbolt.

I'm glad I took the time to understand the difference, and the results are really showing. I make a LOT more money from Leadbolt now than I do from other ad companies.

The required transition...

CPA networks are different. They aim to provide the best value for their advertisers and to their publisher or developers.

If you were an advertiser, you'd want your advertising spending to be the best it can be. If you advertised in Admob for example for a $100.00 budget, if someone accidently clicks your add, it is removed from your total available budget, and trickles down till it hits $0.00. Thats why if you were to read other people's review on advertising on Admob or InMobi and such, with a small budget, it does not provide much returns. Often not showing any return at all for the advertising expenses.

Well, as a developer, that isn't our problem now is it? All my apps have banner ads in it from Admob, MobFox and MM. Yes they generate revenue whether they are accidently clicked or whether a user is just curious and clicks the ad, or even when a genuine click is done. Its a good source of income, no doubt.

Whats in CPA for the developer?

Since the advertising agency, like Leadbolt does not pay you on all clicks, what they do give you is a higher cut for when the user actually performs an action. I have seen my revenue jump by $3 to $6 at a time. This doesn't happen for all the clicks, but it happens almost everyday.

Every time this happens, you will know that a user has not only clicked the ad, they have also either made a purchase, downloaded an app or even completed a survey.

The payout... Money talks!

CPA ads only pay you when someone actually performs an action, hence the name Cost-Per-Action. It is really a win-win solution for developers and advertisers alike. The revenue even from a single CPA ad could be higher than showing 10000 ads for CPC.

Try to understand the CPA system. It does take volume to get some solid results, but the results are really worth it, and will far outshine that of CPC ad types.

Give it a go, and let me know whether it performs or not for you. If not, share here or in the B4A forums, I will try to help out from experience on how to get some good results from this.

Cost-Per-Cheers!

-Bill

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