Is CPA Marketing Ethical?

Once in a while, we read some comment on a blog that leaves us with the feeling that CPA marketing is sleazy or shady. It’s implicit everywhere – in forum comments, blog posts and even top marketers themselves will drop the occasional negative comment that sticks to your throat like cold chicken originally fried in too much grease.

It’s a serious question, that deserves some serious consideration. Especially if you’re feeling uncomfortable about the whole idea of adding CPA ads to your lovingly-crafted sites.

“I don’t want to be some sleazy marketer, forcing people to give up their privacy and contact information in exchange for some coupon or free sample,” you protest.

And that’s a really valid objection. Your reputation should be the most sacrosanct core of your marketing persona!

But think about it a moment… What are the sorts of CPA-type ads you, yourself, most notice and object to?

Yes, that’s right: The sleazy ones – the ones that really do feel like they’re bullying you into giving up your personal contact information, promising huge benefits you’re insulted to find they don’t deliver (especially after you’ve invested the time filling out their survey, or giving up your email address).

The other serious scenario that’s of real concern: There are, in fact, a number of CPA offers that really do approach “scam” proportions. A case in point are all those “free gas card” in exchange for your contact information. When you fill in what they want, you end up either at a page that says “under construction” or “sorry, this promo has expired” – or nowhere at all.

(Note: This is not to say that all “free gas card” offers are shady – but there have been a number in the past to provoke legitimate complaints.)

Finding a page that’s no longer valid, for any reason, after you’ve entered your personal information can be due either to:

1. Actual shady practices

2. An inexperienced marketer who hasn’t bothered to remove or replace the ad when a promotion ended.

Either way, you’re left with a definite bad taste in your mouth.

But What About The Good CPA Ads?

You have a choice, however. Are you going to drive traffic to your promotions at any cost, or are you going to:

1. Take time to check out promotions, to make sure that real value actually IS going to be delivered after your site visitor enters his prized contact info

2. Make sure to present only CPA offers that really do add value to your site visitor’s experience – ones that seem so much a part of your website, it feels to the visitor as if you’ve done them a huge favor!

That’s the difference between “sleazy” and “great customer service” – how much thought and care you put into presenting only what will genuinely enhance your visitor’s experience, when he lands on your site.

Besides, he’s a big boy (or girl). He always has the choice of whether or not to part with his email address or any other information.

And if you’ve done it right, your visitor will end up feeling pleased with the results – he won’t feel bullied or tricked at all!

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