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Cost-Per-Action (CPA)

CPA, or cost per action, is a key metric in the world of marketing. Also referred to as “cost per acquisition,” it’s the amount you spend to acquire a new customer. In other words, every time someone makes a purchase or takes an action on your website thanks to an advertising campaign, a certain cost is associated with that acquisition. This figure gives you an idea of the return on your advertising investment. The lower the CPA, the more profitable your campaign. But beware—a low CPA isn't always the sign of a successful campaign: you also need to take into account the customer's lifetime value and other factors such as CPC or CPM, depending on your campaign and target audience, to get the full picture.


Why is CPA so important? Knowing your CPA helps you determine your advertising budget more effectively. If you know that each customer costs you a certain amount in dollars, you can better plan your spending. CPA lets you know which campaigns are working and which aren't. If a campaign has a high CPA, it may be time to adjust or stop it. The CPA shouldn't just be low; it should be consistent with the value the customer brings to your business over the long term.

💰 Total budget spent ($)Total amount spent on advertising
📋 Number of conversion actions generatedTotal number of user-generated conversions
📈 Cost per action (CPA) ($)Average cost of each user action


To calculate your CPA, add the figure in dollars representing your total advertising spend. Then enter the total number of actions or acquisitions and let the calculation tool give you your CPA.

calculator method


You've already understood that CPA, or cost per action, is a key indicator for your business or online store. But how can you optimize it?

  • Analyze your data: first and foremost, focus on your data. What is your current CPA? Is it in line with the long-term value each customer brings to your business? Once you have this information, you can start developing a strategy.
  • Segment your campaigns: not all campaigns are aimed at the same targets. Maybe your Facebook ad works better than your Google Ads ad. By segmenting your campaigns, you can allocate more budget to the best-performing channels.
  • Test, test, test: the internet world is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow... So test different visuals, messages, and audiences to see what reduces your CPA the most.
  • Use retargeting: customers who have already visited your site are more likely to convert. Use retargeting techniques to bring them back to your site and finalize sales.
  • Improve your site: a fast website offering fluid navigation can increase your conversion rate, which has a direct impact on CPA. Invest in user experience to encourage conversions.
  • Put incentive offers in place: promo codes or special offers can encourage users to take action more quickly, reducing CPA.
  • Track and adjust: tracking is key. If you see a sudden increase, it's a signal to readjust your strategy.
  • Don't neglect quality: a low CPA is good, but not at any price! Make sure that the quality of the customers who convert as a result of your campaign is in line with your brand and your long-term objectives.


How does CPA work?

CPA is the cost of each successful conversion, i.e., in the case of ecommerce, to acquire a new customer. Calculating CPA is quite simple: take the total cost of your advertising campaign and divide it by the number of people who actually made a purchase. You've got your CPA!

What is the average CPA?

There really is no "ideal CPA." The average CPA can vary according to many parameters, such as market, product type, advertising platform, and even time of year. For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, your CPA will probably be very different from that of a company selling online software. Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram... Each platform has its own costs. Also, during high-demand periods like the holiday season, you could see your CPA increase due to the general online movement if you're in ecommerce. The best CPA for your business is the one that's in line with the value each customer brings.

What are the main advantages of CPA?

It tells you exactly how much you're spending to acquire a new customer. Do you advertise on Facebook, Google, and Instagram? This figure lets you easily compare the effectiveness of your actions on each platform. But CPA isn't set in stone. If you find that your CPA is too high, you can adjust your strategy in real time. Thanks to your CPA, you can identify the products or services that are most profitable for your business in relation to your results. Regular monitoring of your CPA keeps you agile. You can constantly optimize your campaigns to achieve higher returns!

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