CPL: Cost per Lead

How much each lead cost. A lead is a potential customer, someone that showed interest in your business.


An example of a lead might be: someone that subscribed to your newsletter, someone that booked a call with you, someone that downloaded a free resource that you give on your site, etc.
In most cases CPC and CPL are synonim.

Each startups defines a lead in a different way, for instance a SaaS might defines leads as those that click on a pay-per-click ad, in this case CPL and CPC (cost per click) are the same.
You may do Facebook Ads, in that case, the CPL is defined by the cost that Facebook makes you pay every time someone click on your ad. Same thing for Youtube Ads and many others.

How to estimate

Estimating a realistic CPL can be very hard especially for first time founders or for those that don't have experience in a specific sector. Either way, there are some ways of coming up with an educated guess.

  • As a rule of thumb, B2C leads are cheaper than B2B leads. For instance, I had an app with a CPL of just 0.04$ doing Youtube Ads, but this can vary highly.
  • Costs vary highly per country in which you market, but getting a CPL lower than 1$ in a relative competitive market is pretty hard.
  • A good way to get an idea of a realistic CPL is by looking at averages per industry. I live you here a link
  • to an article, but you should also do some personal research (googling)
  • Each marketing channel (traffic source) has its own CPL and you should define a each one separately (something that Sturppy lets you do).
  • If you are mainly using Google Ads, or have no idea of an average CPL, you can open a Google Ads account (completely free), create a new traffic campaign and enter your keywords. Google will automatically give you an estimanted cost-per-click.
  • The more competitors, the higher the CPL will be. So look around for all the competitors that you might have.
  • Free products (like mobile apps) usually have a much lower CPL (obviously).