An Introductory Guide to Performance Marketing

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Performance marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on acquiring new customers through the use of performance-based compensation models, such as cost-per-action (CPA), cost-per-lead (CPL), and cost-per-click (CPC). In a performance marketing campaign, the advertiser only pays the publisher (such as a website or an app) when the desired action is taken, such as a sale, a lead, or a click. This contrasts with traditional forms of advertising, where the advertiser pays for exposure regardless of whether or not the desired action is taken.

There are many different performance marketing channels, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common performance marketing channels are:

1. Affiliate marketing:

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Affiliate marketing is a form of performance marketing in which advertisers pay publishers (usually websites or apps) a commission for every sale or lead they generate. Publishers typically promote products or services on their website or app and receive a commission when a visitor clicks through to the advertiser’s website and makes a purchase.

2. Pay-per-click (PPC):

PPC is a type of online advertising in which advertisers pay a publisher (such as a search engine or social media platform) every time their ad is clicked. PPC ads are displayed as sponsored results when users search for certain keywords or phrases. The advertiser only pays when the user clicks on their ad.

3. Pay-per-call:

With pay-per-call advertising, advertisers pay for each call generated by an advertisement in addition to paying for any sales generated over the phone. Advertisements can be displayed on websites or mobile apps, but are most commonly displayed in online directories such as Google’s Local Business Center.

4. Display ads:

For display ads, publishers place banner ads on their website or app and advertisers pay every time a visitor clicks through to their website. This is often referred to as “Click per impression” (CPI).

5. Email marketing:

Email marketing consists of sending emails containing promotional content to a list of subscribers. Advertisers typically pay for email lists or for the number of emails that are delivered.

6. Social media marketing:

Social media marketing is the process of promoting your business on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Advertisers typically pay for clicks, impressions, or likes/shares.

Each performance marketing channel has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, affiliate marketing can be a great way to generate leads and sales, but it can also be difficult to find high-quality affiliates. In contrast, PPC can be expensive if you’re not careful with your bidding strategy, but it’s a great way to get immediate traffic to your website.

When choosing a performance marketing channel, it’s important to consider your business’s goals and the demographics of your target market. For example, if you’re looking to generate leads, then affiliate marketing or pay-per-call advertising might be a better option than PPC. If you’re targeting a younger demographic, social media marketing might be more effective than email marketing.

No matter which performance marketing channel you choose, there are a few basic things that all successful campaigns have in common:

A clear goal:

Without a clear goal, it’s difficult to measure the success of your campaign. Make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve and create measurable goals that can be tracked and reported on.

A well-defined target market:

Your target market is the group of people that you’re trying to reach. The more specific your definition of your target market, the better. For example, instead of using “men aged 18-35” try specifying particular age groups and interests.

An effective landing page:

A landing page is a special webpage with a unique URL that is designed specifically for an individual advertisement or sponsored link (an ad). It’s important to note that when someone clicks on an ad they are taken directly to their chosen destination (your website) rather than being directed through any third-party websites like social media channels or search engines.

Clear calls-to-action (CTA):

A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that prompts your audience to take the desired action. For example, you could offer a service and ask users to “get started today.”

A strategy:

It’s important to work out how much you’re willing to spend and determine whether your goal is best achieved by generating traffic, leads, or sales. Based on your goals, time frame, target market, and budget, choose an approach that aligns with your business model.


In addition to the variables listed above, it’s also important to track down possible competitors in your industry. There are typically three different ways of doing this; organic search results (generally the easiest way), paid ads/bids in PPC channels such as Google AdWords, or by checking out social media analytics.

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