What is Pay For Performance?

Pay for performance advertising also known as  (P4P) -A paid-search system nearly identical to (and essentially synonymous with) pay-per-click with some very different approaches to digital advertising.

Pay for Performance need not be confused with pay per click (PPC), which is a pricing model on the Web in which the advertiser pays when an Internet user clicks on its advertisement and visits its site. P4P is generally risk-free to an advertiser whereas in a PPC campaign the advertiser takes the risk of the conversion rate between a click, a visit, and an actual lead or sale.

(P4P) is a term used in Internet marketing to define a pricing model whereby a marketing or advertising agency will receive a payment or bonus from an advertiser for ‘performance’. This may be in the form of each new lead or new customer obtained for the advertiser through the agency’s online marketing efforts or some other ‘performance’ metric the agency and client agree upon before beginning.

Most prefer to limit the definition and scope of the potential work to be achieved – as in where the agency creates advertising campaigns and promotions to convert the maximum number of new leads or customers and gets paid for its work only when a new lead or a new customer is passed on to the advertiser. But this is not always a viable performance metric when the agency cannot fully control all aspects of the customer acquisition and conversion process.


Advertising with the purpose of generating a lead (which may be defined in a variety of ways), may not always result in a customer because there might be a number of steps after responding to an ad and between first contact and final sale.

P4P Real Time Measurement

P4P advertising became very popular with the advent of the internet that allows real-time measurement of a marketing campaign’s ROI (return on investment). It has reversed the traditional value proposition of advertising whereby an advertiser is required to pay for the creative work of the advertising agency and the media first regardless of the return on investment of the campaign. In the P4P model, the onus is on the agency to create a performing ad campaign that converts into good leads or customers if the agency wants to receive payments from its client. In contrast with traditional advertising agency pricing models, the advertiser pays the agency only after having collected leads or the revenues from its customers’ purchase orders and not before.


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