What is Cost-Per-Lead?

Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) – Also referred to as Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA), this refers to the amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other internet publishers for a lead generated on its advertisement.

The Cost per Lead metric measures how cost-effective your marketing campaigns are when it comes to generating new leads for your sales team. A lead is an individual that has expressed interest in your product or service by completing a goal. This metric is closely related to other key business metrics such as the cost to acquire new customers. The purpose of this metric is to provide your marketing team with a tangible dollar figure, so they understand how much money is appropriate to spend on acquiring new leads.

The CPL metric also provides important data to use in your return on marketing investment calculation. In fact, each stage of the purchase funnel should have similar metrics associated with it, such as cost per visitor and cost per win. Likewise, these metrics can be used to monitor individual campaigns such as AdWords, banner ads, or social ads, or the sum of your marketing efforts.

Cost Per Lead Example

Consider your company spent $1,000 on your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and 10 users convert to leads:

Cost per lead = $1,000/10


= $100

If this is too high in comparison to the cost of your product or service — $100 per lead has a different value for a business selling luxury cars than for a toy store — you know you’ll need to adjust your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign accordingly.

Cost Per Lead Benchmarks

Cost per Lead various significantly across industries. Here are some expert advice and rules of thumb:

  • Check out their infographic that provides industry averages for B2B businesses such as human resources, health, marketing, and technology. Note that across all these industries surveyed, cost per lead is below $100/lead.

Cost Per Lead Success 

The goal, of course, is to minimize the cost per lead. A low cost per lead with a high volume of quality leads is a good indicator that your campaign is doing well, but if your cost per lead is too high, continuing the campaign is extremely difficult to justify.


Is your company in need of help? MV3 Marketing Agency has numerous Marketing experts ready to assist you. Contact MV3 Marketing to jump-start your business.

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