Cost Per Lead (CPL)

CPL is short for cost per lead, meaning that the advertiser only pays when a lead form is completed and submitted. CPL is common in B2B marketing, where it’s unlikely that someone will make a purchase immediately. It can be a very effective way to buy, though there’s some risk of fraud if bots are programmed to fill in leads automatically.

With lead generation marketing, it’s really important that the leads are followed up on effectively, and there is a strong feedback loop in place so you have an understanding of whether they’re converting and how much money they’re generating. The risk really is that you pay for a load of leads, and then they’re not followed up on properly, or they’re just not of high value so you’re effectively paying for either nothing, or very little in return. It’s important to differentiate it from a CPA where you pay based on the outcome.