CPA vs CPC Campaigns

Updated 7 months ago by Daniel

What is CPA?

CPA stands for cost per action, or cost per acquisition. After a user has clicked through to your landing page, they complete some sort of purchase and on the thank you page you are credited with that purchase.

What is CPC?

CPC stands for cost per click, and is designed to drive traffic to sources. There are two types of CPC, one involving the cost of the bid and another for the payout of a campaign. This CPC is referencing CPC payout.

How Do They Work?


CPA campaigns work in Maximus by placing the pixel on the thank you/confirmation page. This indicates that a sale has completed and is at the end of the funnel. The pixel fires and Maximus tracks a conversion.


In Maximus, we recommend setting up a CPC campaign as CPA campaigns with the Maximus pixel placed on the landing page your weighted link goes to. This will track impressions on that page, simulating a CPC campaign. With this technique you can have your CPC campaign process data in real time, allowing for Fire & Forget™ optimizations to occur.

In this case, your campaign for all intents and purposes is CPA, so it will be found by searching via the CPA tracking type in Manage Campaigns. The only different between a normal CPA campaign and the CPC campaign running like a CPA campaign is the placement of the pixel. The value of the CPA payout will also be much smaller in comparison to normal CPA campaigns.

Pixel Examples

These images show the process from when a user clicks on the ad to when they get a conversion in Maximus. To learn more about pixels please click here to read our Pixel Information documentation.


The flow leads the user to the Landing Page, where after here they perform some type of conversion like filling out a form to purchase a product and entering their payment information. When the sale has completed, the confirmation/thank you page has the Maximus pixel on it so the pixel will fire after a sale has completed.


Like stated above, the process will run very similar to a CPA campaign with a set payout much smaller than a typical CPA campaign. The pixel is placed on the Landing Page and counts the impression on this page. Running the campaign as CPA allows for real time tracking of stats and gives Maximus the information it needs to optimize for you.

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