How to calculate CPA in Digital Marketing

How to calculate CPA in Digital Marketing?

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
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Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is a key part of digital marketing measurement. It defines the total cost of getting a customer or lead through ads. It helps marketers to see how well the ads they bought work. They measure success in terms of conversion, such as sales, sign-ups, downloads, or a specific call to action. 

In this blog, we will pay much attention to such details, as well as the possibility to apply different strategies to improve the CPA.

CPA Formula in Digital Marketing

The standard formula for calculating CPA is:

CPA = Total Advertising Costs / Number of Conversions

The formula is simple and applies to almost all digital ad types. These include pay-per-click, cost-per-lead, web display, and social network ads. For example, if spending $10,000 gets you 1,000 conversions, it would be $10 per conversion or the cost per acquisition.


Let’s use an example where a business entity for a $5,000 social media advertisement campaign gains 50 new paying consumers as clients. To calculate the CPA, we would divide the total cost by the number of conversions:

CPA = $5,000 / 50 = $100 per customer

This means that, on average, the company spent $100 for every new paying customer gained through the social media ads.

Alternative Formulas for Calculating CPA in Digital Marketing

As mentioned before, this is the most standard formula for calculating ROI. But, there are other possible formulas if we consider different goals and marketing metrics. For example:

1.CPA = Campaign Cost / Conversions: This formula is similar to the basic formula but it comes in handy especially when the campaign has more than one CPAs, like the sale and registration.

2. CPA = Total Cost / Total Attributed Conversions: The essence of this formula would be to accumulate on a campaign all the conversions that can be traced to it, regardless of whether they are ultimately identifiable with sale-making contributions.

Why use Alternative Formulas?

Using alternative formulas can be beneficial in certain situations:

1.Campaign Complexity: When a campaign involves many conversion types or channels, other formulas can help. They provide a fuller view of the campaign’s performance.

2. Data Accuracy: You can use other formulas to account for potential discrepancies in tracking. Or, use them to ensure that all conversions are correctly attributed to the campaign.

Strategies to Optimize CPA

To optimize Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), marketers can employ several strategies:

  1. Targeted Advertising: Focus on targeted advertising. It helps you reach the most relevant audience. This reduces waste and increases conversions.
  2. Conversion Rate Optimization: Optimize website conversion rates. Do this by refining landing pages, improving user experience, and enhancing messaging.
  3. Budget Allocation: Be able to spread money across channels and campaigns. This is to get the highest returns on investments.
  4. Ad Creative Optimization: Testing and improving the creatives should also be ongoing. This is to get the highest click rates and conversion rates.

If you need assistance in driving better results, Reach out to our Digital Marketing Service as we specialize in optimizing CPA to maximize your Return On Investment (ROI).

Relation of CPA and Conversion Rate (CR)

CPA and CR are closely linked metrics that can impact the success of a business’s marketing campaign. A low CR can increase CPA because the business must spend more on advertising to acquire new customers. Conversely, a high CR can reduce CPA, making the marketing campaign more cost-effective and successful. By optimizing website conversion rates, businesses can lower their CPA and achieve success.

Key Factors That Impact CPA Practice Valuation

When valuing a CPA practice, several key factors come into play:

  1. Accounting Firm’s Location: The location of the accounting firm plays a significant role in determining the number of potential buyers. From the undertaking, we see that commodities from firms in big cities find buyers easily. This is unlike commodities from firms in remote areas.
  2. Size of CPA Practice: Yet, the size of the CPA practice is one of the aspects that influence the value of a firm. Practices with sales less than $1,500,000 are more likely to be managed well. They are also more likely to be bought, compared to large practices.
  3. Professional Marketing for CPA Sellers: Professionally marketed firms tend to sell for higher multiples with cleaner terms. Owners who sell on their own not only limit their exposure to the full market but also end up limiting discussions with a few purchasers at a time.
  4. Potential Practice Profitability: The more profitable the practice, the higher the price. More buyers are interested in highly profitable practices. They have high client fees.
  5. CPA Firm Purchase Terms: Because of the consummation, things like the payment terms and earn-out periods can affect the value of the practice.
  6. Firm’s Office Curb Appeal: From the office’s looks, one can see its condition. This affects potential buyers’ decisions.


Determining CPA therefore is a very important function in determining the ROI of internet marketing. The marketer can use the standard formula or other formulas. They use them to find the cost of acquiring customers. Then, they adjust marketing campaigns to get the best return on investment. The business uses techniques to reach CPA and focuses more on CRO. They can successfully market themselves online in the long run.

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Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

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