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  1. #1
    Jambo is offline Private Member
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    Default The problem with the CPA Deals

    I still don't understand why so many affiliates work with a CPA deal.

    Various forums are full of people complaining that they are not being paid because the affiliate program say it is "fraud traffic"


    I don't want to say that someone is not working honestly, but we all know that there are still a lot of people who think they can cheat a little/be tricky and easily earn some money.

    By now everyone should have understood that it is not that easy and affiliate programs have become so careful with CPA deals that even people get problems who do not send any fraud traffic.

    Why not work with a Rev Share Deal, which is better in the long run and no problems....
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    newcustomeroffer is online now Public Member
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    Always concerns me that I might catch a big player while on CPA and would grimace every time I look at their turnover in the future and know that I decided to take a fraction of the potential instead of a rev share.

    The fraud issue is rife though, clearly the programs are fairly powerless to stop it and I suspect that some CPA affilaites aren't deliberately throwing bad traffic at the programs on purpose. Perhaps I'm being a little over-simplistic, but if the KYC process were to work properly wouldn't the fraudsters be stopped in their tracks?

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    Rev share is definitely better long term... provided the program screws you over. And that's where the problem is starting to lie these days.

    On CPA if a program closes or exits a market it doesn't matter, you can walk away and no worse off. If it's rev share you could potentially lose thousands of players.

    We're still mainly rev share (the odd hybrid here and there) but I do see the appeal of CPA if you can get a decent rate.
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    THere are 100s discussions on the topic. But there are reasons to work on CPA.

    1. Problematic market.
    2. unstable programs.
    3. your business model needs fast returns (PPC)
    4. your business model needs month to month stability

    and others.

    Personally, I am 75% rev and 25% hybrids.
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    No CPAs now, or ever.

    If you do not trust the program enough to go on long-term rev-share, you are working with the wrong partners in my opinion.

    If you can not float the costs of your business and need money up front to continue your business, you are spending money in the wrong way and not saving it properly IMO.

    If your business model needs month to month stability at the expense of long-term profitability, you are doing it wrong.

    Screw CPA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jambo View Post
    I still don't understand why so many affiliates work with a CPA deal.

    Various forums are full of people complaining that they are not being paid because the affiliate program say it is "fraud traffic"


    I don't want to say that someone is not working honestly, but we all know that there are still a lot of people who think they can cheat a little/be tricky and easily earn some money.

    By now everyone should have understood that it is not that easy and affiliate programs have become so careful with CPA deals that even people get problems who do not send any fraud traffic.

    Why not work with a Rev Share Deal, which is better in the long run and no problems....
    A revenue share deal is better as long as a program pays, doesn't stop operations, doesn't pull out of a market, doesn't cross sell, does have a good retention, doesn't close your account and/or doesn't retroactively change the terms. Which today is more rare than common.

    I'm aware that some programs disqualify a lot of CPA's. Some programs even half of all FTD's. Solution is simple: ask them more CPA.

    The best deal in my opinion is a hybrid one.

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    I think its good to have the option to start off on a cpa till you assess the operator and its retention skills. Otherwise 7/10 times would be losing money on new brands if its via ppc channels.
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    baldidiot is online now Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROFRBcom View Post
    If you do not trust the program enough to go on long-term rev-share, you are working with the wrong partners in my opinion.
    Unfortunately who you can trust isn't always apparent. Just look at Sky Bet - they were very highly regarded before they decided to screw everyone over.
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    I simply do both
    Besides, some of local brands doesn't provide anything but CPA

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    I think the biggest problem with CPA is you need new traffic, and new FTD, today, tomorrow, next month, forever. Revshare gives you some leeway if things go south to recover, fix and return.
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  17. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROFRBcom View Post
    If you do not trust the program enough to go on long-term rev-share, you are working with the wrong partners in my opinion.
    I see it 100% exactly the same way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROFRBcom View Post

    If you do not trust the program enough to go on long-term rev-share, you are working with the wrong partners in my opinion.

    If you can not float the costs of your business and need money up front to continue your business, you are spending money in the wrong way and not saving it properly IMO.

    If your business model needs month to month stability at the expense of long-term profitability, you are doing it wrong.

    Screw CPA.
    The fact that a program is today trustable, won't assure that it will be tomorrow too. Examples enough of programs that went rogue some day. Besides that, also brands can simply pull out of a market or be taken over by some rogue company.

    I don't need CPA's or hybrid deals to cover the costs of running my business. I need them to be sure that a get a decent part of the value of each player sent.

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  20. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PROFRBcom View Post
    No CPAs now, or ever.

    If you do not trust the program enough to go on long-term rev-share, you are working with the wrong partners in my opinion.

    If you can not float the costs of your business and need money up front to continue your business, you are spending money in the wrong way and not saving it properly IMO.

    If your business model needs month to month stability at the expense of long-term profitability, you are doing it wrong.

    Screw CPA.

    I do not agree with this. Well, at least with the business model part. Most company’s main goals are a steady long term income flow. You need to know exactly what the costs and benefits are so you can build your business and make plans for the future. Every serious business needs to pay certain standard costs, like employees, office rent, cars, phonebills, and so on. The bigger you get the more monthly costs you will have. Offcourse, if you are a one man show, or if its a side business, it will be different.

    So, if my basic costs are 5k a month, the first goal is to make sure i can cover these monthly costs. Stabillity is key for my business as both partners, as myself need to have good and steady numbers to expand for the future. I rather have a fixed 100% sure income of 7k a month than chance on 20k a month. Because you can earn 20k this month, but never know what happens next month..it can be double, it can be zero.

    Offcourse once you have a certain buffer you can take more risks and experiment with some setups...but ok,i do agree that it will depend on your current status. beginners first need to focus on setting up the base. and for pros who earn huge numbers, revshare indeed can be more interesting. But for someone like me who is somewhere in between, a fixed minimum is needed as i need to make sure im able to survive... no money is no food on the table...and sure if some months are slow it isnt a problem, but i prefer to know upfront what i get as i can make better plans based on that. Also it keeps me stress free, which i find highly important as well

    Although i do not prefer a cpa model in which you get paid by leads, i prefer a real partnership in which you agree to a fixed monthly payment with a tiny rev share (or even no revshare at all), but with a contract of at least 12 months. Doesnt have to be an affiliate deal, can also be selling a certain banner spot or whatever.

    Once i have covered the basics i can look for other kind of deals for the rest of the available ad spots, but still based on past experience i always carefully select my partners when it comes to revshare deals.
    Last edited by mediapartner; 28 March 2021 at 3:51 pm.
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  21. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jambo View Post
    Why not work with a Rev Share Deal, which is better in the long run and no problems....
    No problems with revenue share LOL. I went to the doctor and my diagnose is "RS ulcers and tics". He recommended me CPA. I told him fo, I am not here for charity.

    But there are reasons to work on CPA.

    1. Problematic market.
    2. unstable programs.
    3. your business model needs fast returns (PPC)
    4. your business model needs month to month stability
    1. Problematic market
    Is priced in in the CPA. Rates are even bigger joke there

    2. unstable programs.
    The only argument I take for CPA. Still, my experience is simply look for "stable" RS. Example is f....... France. Ok, there are some stable, bad playing CPA programs for the market. The revenue was... some. I either way switched to BTC revenue share and yes... after a while it is better than the regulated CPA. It is not something exceptional, but keep in mind even very bad RS; even RS that is shaved, even RS shaved heavily, is usually better than CPA.

    3. your business model needs fast returns (PPC)
    The business model need better money management. I do not get the argument that here is the prodigy kid, who has no money, but is excellent with PPC. People who know their s... in PPC, do have money. If they do not have it - they should learn how to manage finance exactly with RS. Doing CPA compared to RS is analogy to maxing a credit card with at least interest rate north of hundred % p.a. and that credit card is with you forever. The whale that can make you 1M lifetime you sell for 50-250 usd. That makes sense. Not.

    4. your business model needs month to month stability

    Month to month stability brings revenue share and not CPA. With CPA now I would not cover my server costs. No way I would pay my employees. I am really not joking. With RS yes, after years I made it to slowly declining, but yet stable plateau.

    So I made maybe 100x more on RS than on CPA. And I still have the stable income, close to the peak.

    There is really the only argument nr. 5:

    The health/pressure/stress.

    The RS is very challenging. For office rats that come from corporations, I assume it is unbearable. So they come with some arguments why CPA is great, because they can not imagine both the responsibility of their right decision and the money that they could make with RS; while CPA is a nightmare for both affiliates and honest programs, because the honest programs are constantly scammed at this market of lemons.

    I would guess many of old school affiliates are somehow connected to gambling, so they can bear the stress. Because RS is no different than betting on some team or horse. With RS you just bet on your skills to pick up the right affiliate program. And that is btw the only valid reason why affiliate forums should exist and why we - fierce competitors - should talk to each other.
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  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediapartner View Post
    I do not agree with this. Well, at least with the business model part. Most company’s main goals are a steady long term income flow. You need to know exactly what the costs and benefits are so you can build your business and make plans for the future. Every serious business needs to pay certain standard costs, like employees, office rent, cars, phonebills, and so on. The bigger you get the more monthly costs you will have. Offcourse, if you are a one man show, or if its a side business, it will be different.
    I lack half of those things yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by mediapartner
    So, if my basic costs are 5k a month, the first goal is to make sure i can cover these monthly costs. Stabillity is key for my business as both partners, as myself need to have good and steady numbers to expand for the future. I rather have a fixed 100% sure income of 7k a month than chance on 20k a month. Because you can earn 20k this month, but never know what happens next month..it can be double, it can be zero.
    I would take a chance at 20k a month every, ****ing, time.

    Expected value is a poker / gambling concept that works just as well in the affiliate game.

    Taking CPA is like selling half or more of your equity because you are afraid of the river card!


    Quote Originally Posted by mediapartner
    Of course once you have a certain buffer you can take more risks and experiment with some setups...but ok,i do agree that it will depend on your current status. beginners first need to focus on setting up the base. and for pros who earn huge numbers, revshare indeed can be more interesting. But for someone like me who is somewhere in between, a fixed minimum is needed as i need to make sure im able to survive... no money is no food on the table...and sure if some months are slow it isnt a problem, but i prefer to know upfront what i get as i can make better plans based on that. Also it keeps me stress free, which i find highly important as well
    Money management is a real world skill. Tighten your belt, push the numbers until you make 20k+ a month, then stop worrying about fluctuating revenues and enjoyyyy the business you are in!

    Quote Originally Posted by mediapartner
    Although i do not prefer a cpa model in which you get paid by leads, i prefer a real partnership in which you agree to a fixed monthly payment with a tiny rev share (or even no revshare at all), but with a contract of at least 12 months. Doesnt have to be an affiliate deal, can also be selling a certain banner spot or whatever.
    I cannot imagine selling a banner to a gambling site for a year and just... coasting, not knowing how many multiples of revenue I just wasted on the "safe" play.

    To each their own, but this is the GAMBLING industry, not great-grandmother's-great-depression-panic-fest-omg-can-we-eat??

    Quote Originally Posted by mediapartner
    but still based on past experience i always carefully select my partners when it comes to revshare deals.
    THIS is my entire point (and Sherlock's below).

    Use your knowledge of the industry to select good partners and then GO FULL STEAM AHEAD on revenue share knowing that you made great choices and have a big edge and a great chance to make the big bucks.
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  23. #16
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    There are some businesses in which a CPA deal could be better for an affiliate, precisely those who are not only an affiliate. For example in LaTam, microstakes poker schools are popping-up, they train people to play NL2, many of them just never go out of NL2, drop the game shortly after that, so it makes a bit more sense to get a CPA instead of a rev-share in such players.

    I don't buy any "I'm afraid" reasons to use CPA to be honest, unstable programs, fast returns, etc; use it if it's better for your business, that's pretty much all. For not many companies that might work, but we all operate differently.

    Of course, from our side, long-term affiliates, a rev-share is always better.
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    In the very early years of my affiliate career I was working rev share with a brand and I had a huge negative at the time for me when a whale won a bunch in the casino. I freaked out and talked to my affiliate manager about switching to CPA. He told that if I am in this for the long run then stick to rev share and talked to me about it for a bit. I am super happy I listened and stuck to rev.

    Work with partners you trust and ride the rev train. All aboard!

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    That is exactly what I am talking about. The market for lemons.

    Have you ever thought how happy is an affiliate manager/program with the ****** latam players who "drop the game shortly after that".

    No, they are not happy to pay the CPA based on revenue of average player, because those players are way below the average. If there is no way to make significant money from RS -> there is no way for the operator to make money -> there is no way they want to donate to your CPA.

    So they will either show you a boot, or they are idiots, who are idiots even with their business plan, so the money will not be made either way.

    I feel like discussing crypto at some shtcoin boards, where I am sometimes stuck for hours with some kid who "invested" his 450 USD. So generally yes: instead of getting 1374.62 USD RS from all 100 inferior players lifetime, it is better to take 25 CPA.
    2500 is better than 1374.62 and yes it is also quicker. But is not better to drive Uber instead of hopping from CPA to CPA and defacto forcing the operators to act like charity towards you until they get pizzed off? Or get some valuable players or at least one valuable player?

    Yes if one is lucky, he probably can get somewhere the deal for long, until the affiliate program sees you are not profitable. But is a business model based on extorting money of the couterparty a good one?

    I am not talking here from moral standpoint. It just ends as at market of lemons. The good affiliate programs simply inevitably stopped offering sensible CPA and it was destined to happen = it was no ones fault, because the CPA was flooded by the players from Latam who do not want to redeposit and such (and worse) creatures. Gambling CPA is a fringe product, where affiliates and affiliate programs try to outsmart each other. It absolutely can make sense in some niches of online marketing, but not in gambling.

    Once the politicians come with the gambling restrictions and full castration of market and the value of players will be equalised, the yes, then CPA might "make sense". But by then the real money will be completely elsewhere and yes, it will be in RS again.

    TBH I have met (only) one guy who made substantial money, I guess north of 1M/year with CPA. He did not do PPC. There was no reason why he could not make much more. He just had the nature that he did not like to be scammed.
    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. He was literally paying millions just for his good feeling. I do not complain after all. If some idiots, who have valuable players, leave more money to operators with CPA, the richer is my partner. But that is a different case than sending sht players to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSpry View Post
    In the very early years of my affiliate career I was working rev share with a brand and I had a huge negative at the time for me when a whale won a bunch in the casino. I freaked out and talked to my affiliate manager about switching to CPA. He told that if I am in this for the long run then stick to rev share and talked to me about it for a bit. I am super happy I listened and stuck to rev.

    Work with partners you trust and ride the rev train. All aboard!
    The chance that you have negative revenue is very low if you promote Poker. Of course for Casino/Sports it looks a bit other. Maybe it makes more sense for some casino/sports affiliates to work with CPA but if you have normal traffic Rev Share is in my opinion always more profitable.
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    You are mostly right, but recall that getting recreational players to poker tables is not easy and if this guys do the job, probably the sites would pay them CPAs for that. Of course, if 100% of the players drop the game then you will look like a suspicious guy and they will kick you out. If you manage to balance it then it may work.

    But is a business model based on extorting money of the couterparty a good one?
    Some operators extorts affiliates and still here we are.
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