CPA Calculator (Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action)

We have provided a useful CPA Calculator below to work out your CPA. In addition, you can derive the number of acquisitions (and money) you need to hit a specific CPA. 

Feel free to experiment with different scenarios in order to help you understand this pricing model better.


What Does CPA Mean?

CPA stands for Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action.

Cost Per Acquisition means paying for sales. A payout is triggered when a sale is caused by an ad being seen (or clicked on). It is generally up to the advertiser which ad caused a sale, as directly attributing a sale to a specific reason can be very complicated online.

Cost Per Action means that a payout is triggered every time an ad causes a specified action. This could mean anything in theory, but in practice is usually used for form sign-ups.

Note: An “action” can be anything – therefore CPL, CPI and even CPE campaigns are all technically CPA campaigns too.

Acquisitions or Actions are also commonly referred to as conversions (as in “my campaign got 20 conversions”). Of course, CPC was already taken by Cost Per Click which is probably why the clunky Cost Per Acquisition was chosen instead of Cost Per Conversion.


CPA Formula

The equation for CPA ads is:

CPA Equation (or Cost Per Acquisition Equation) used in our CPA calculatorClick to enlarge

CPA = Ad Spend ÷ Conversions


Alternate Equation

You can also work out the CPA of a campaign by using your CPC and Conversion Rate. This equation comes out as:


CPA = CPC ÷ Conversion Rate


Note: Use Conversion Rate as a decimal to get your answer. So if your conversion rate is 5% then you should divide by 0.05.

This equation works by combining the equations for CPA, CPC, and Conversion Rate. These equations are:


CPA = Cost ÷ Actions
CPC = Cost ÷ Clicks
Conversion Rate = Actions ÷ Clicks


If you then re-arrange the bottom two equations (CPC and Conversion Rate) so that Cost and Actions are the subjects of the formula, you get:


Cost = CPC x Clicks
Actions = Conversion Rate x Clicks


You can then substitute them back into the CPA formula to get:


CPA = (CPC x Clicks) ÷ (Conversion Rate x Clicks)


This simplifies to:


CPA = CPC ÷ Conversion Rate


This formula has limited uses but is still handy to know.


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