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What Is CPL? Cost Per Lead Explained

What Is CPL? Cost Per Lead Explained

Apr 5, 2024



What’s the main goal of running campaigns? Getting more leads and growing the ROI. Surely you will be able to generate some leads (and therefore ROI). But how can you be sure that the campaign is a success? What metric can help gauge the campaign's success? 

Enter Cost-per-lead (CPL).

Be it an influencer marketing campaign or social media, your CPL will let you know, whether it was a success or not. 

It provides insights about the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns in attracting potential customers to your business.

This guide dives deep into Cost Per Lead (CPL), explaining everything from its definition to strategies for minimizing it.

Let's get started!

What is Cost-per-lead (CPL)?

Simply put, CPL is the amount spent to acquire a new customer in your marketing campaigns. It is the compass guiding marketers in assessing the efficiency of their campaigns. 

CPL reveals the expense involved in acquiring each lead, serving as a crucial metric for fine-tuning marketing strategies for maximum cost-effectiveness.

Imagine launching an influencer campaign. By calculating the CPL, you can understand its success in real numbers. Also, you can compare it against other strategies to allocate your budget more effectively.

You can use the following formula to calculate the CPL of your campaigns.

So, for example, if an influencer campaign costs $800 and generates 50 leads, the CPL will be $16. 

Cost per Lead vs Cost per Acquisition

Understanding the roles of CPL and CPA can help marketers and businesses align their influencer marketing efforts with their overall performance goals.

  • CPL in Influencer Marketing: 

This metric helps gauge the effectiveness of influencers in generating interest among their followers. It's beneficial for evaluating the initial engagement and interest level generated by an influencer's content before any sales occur.

  • CPA in Influencer Marketing: 

CPA sheds light on the influencer's ability not just to attract attention but to drive tangible actions, like purchases. It's a critical measure for understanding the final impact of influencer campaigns on sales numbers and overall ROI.

The following table will give you a clearer idea of the difference between the two terms.

What Is a Good CPL in Influencer Marketing?

In influencer marketing, understanding what constitutes a "good" CPL (Cost Per Lead) hinges on several factors, including industry benchmarks and campaign objectives. Generally, a favorable CPL varies significantly across industries due to differences in audience engagement, product value, and marketing strategies. 

For instance, sectors with higher customer lifetime values may tolerate higher CPLs as the return on investment remains robust over time. 

When evaluating the effectiveness of a CPL in influencer marketing, consider:

  • Industry Norms: Comparing your campaign's CPL to industry averages provides a baseline for effectiveness.

  • Campaign Goals: Align your CPL expectations with specific objectives, whether it's brand awareness or direct sales.

  • Expected ROI: Balance upfront cost against the anticipated return, factoring in the influencer's reach and engagement rates.

These considerations ensure that your influencer marketing efforts are not only cost-effective but also strategically aligned with your broader marketing goals.

When assessing CPL effectiveness in influencer marketing, consider industry norms, the specifics of your campaign, and how the cost aligns with your ROI expectations. A blend of paid and organic strategies often yields the most cost-effective leads, balancing immediate needs with long-term ROI.

Factors Influencing the CPL in Influencer Campaigns

The cost per lead is not fixed but rather a variable measure influenced by numerous factors. Understanding these elements is crucial for adapting to changes in acquiring customers. 

Let's delve into the aspects that can significantly affect your CPL:

1. Influencer Selection

The reach, engagement rates, and audience demographics of the influencers you choose directly impact CPL. Select influencers whose audience aligns closely with your target market for more effective lead generation.

2.Campaign Design and Content

The type of content and how the campaign is designed can significantly affect lead costs. Tailoring content to resonate with the influencer's audience and choosing the right campaign type (e.g., giveaways, sponsored posts) can help lower CPL.

3. Industry Dynamics

Industries differ in levels of competitiveness and costs for acquiring customers. More competitive sectors often lead to higher CPL due to increased advertising expenses and demand for leads.

4. Marketing Channels:

 The selection of marketing channels plays a pivotal role in CPL. Various channels such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and more.

5. Target Audience

The specificity of your target audience can impact CPL. Highly niche markets may yield a lower CPL due to more precise messaging, whereas broader audiences may require larger budgets for outreach.

6. Ad Quality and Relevance

The quality and relevance of your advertisements to the audience can influence CPL. It is more cost-effective to attract qualified leads with well-crafted, targeted ads.

7. Geographic Location:

Geographical targeting can affect CPL, given variations in advertising costs and audience demographics across regions. Targeting specific regions may lead to different CPLs compared to nationwide campaigns.

8. Seasonality

Certain industries witness demand fluctuations based on seasons or trends, which can influence CPL. Adapting campaigns to these fluctuations can impact CPL.

9. Landing Page Optimization

The effectiveness of your landing pages in converting visitors into leads is critical. Well-optimized landing pages can reduce lead costs by improving conversion rates.

10. Ad Spend

Your marketing budget directly impacts lead costs. A higher budget can generate more leads, potentially reducing costs, while a constrained budget may result in higher CPL due to limited reach.

How to Improve Cost Per Lead (CPL)?

Improving your Cost Per Lead (CPL) in influencer marketing involves strategic adjustments and optimization techniques. Let's dive deep into actionable strategies that can significantly impact your campaign's effectiveness and efficiency.

1. Finding the Perfect Influencer

 find the perfect influencer to attract more engagement

As we discussed in the last section, choose the influencers whose audience aligns with yours. Here’s something to help you find the right influencers for your campaign

Or, you can always try where you can explore influencers from an extensive database (250 million).

2. Retargeting: A Second Chance to Engage

Retargeting is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, offering a unique opportunity to reconnect with users who have interacted with your content or visited your website but didn't convert. By targeting this specific audience segment with tailored ads, you can:

  • Increase conversion rates by reminding them of their initial interest.

  • Provide additional information or incentives to sway their decision-making.

  • Optimize ad spend by focusing on individuals already familiar with your brand.

3. A/B Testing: Refining for Perfection

A/B testing, or split testing, allows you to compare two versions of your campaign to see which performs better. This methodical approach to testing can be applied to various campaign elements, including:

  • Ad creatives and messaging to determine what resonates best with your audience.

  • Landing pages to optimize layout, content, and call-to-action (CTA) placements for higher conversion rates.

  • Different influencers to assess whose audience engages more with your brand or offer.

By continually testing and refining based on data, you can enhance campaign performance and lower your CPL.

4. Targeting More Specific Audiences: The Power of Precision

Narrowing your focus to more specific audience segments can dramatically improve campaign relevance and effectiveness. This precision targeting involves:

  • Utilizing detailed demographic, geographic, and psychographic data to define your audience.

  • Identifying niche segments within broader markets that may be more responsive to your campaign.

  • Tailoring messaging and offers to meet the unique needs and preferences of these specific groups.

By concentrating on segments with the highest potential for conversion, you can achieve a more efficient allocation of your marketing budget, reducing CPL.

5. Creating Personalized Campaigns: Connection Through Customization

Personalization elevates the user experience by making your audience feel recognized and valued. Personalized campaigns can:

  • Increase engagement by addressing the individual interests, needs, and pain points of your audience.

  • Strengthen brand loyalty by fostering a sense of connection and understanding.

  • Drive higher conversion rates through tailored recommendations and offers.

Implementing personalization requires a deep understanding of your audience, enabled by data analytics and insights. By delivering content and offers that align with individual preferences, you can significantly boost campaign performance.

6. Implementing These Strategies

To implement these strategies effectively, consider the following steps:

  1. Leverage Analytics Tools: Use analytics platforms to gather insights on audience behavior, campaign performance, and opportunities for optimization.

  2. Invest in Marketing Automation: Automation tools can help manage and scale your retargeting efforts, A/B testing, audience segmentation, and personalized communication.

  3. Collaborate with Influencers: Work closely with influencers who understand their audience well and can provide input on how to personalize and target campaigns for better engagement.

Suggested Read: 10 Influencer Marketing Best Practices for 2024 

7. Multi-Channel Approach

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. A multi-channel approach allows you to:

  • Reach Diverse Audiences: Different platforms attract different demographics. By spreading out, you ensure wider coverage.

  • Test and Learn: What works on one platform might not work on another. Use this as an opportunity to test different messages and strategies.

  • Leverage Strengths of Each Channel: Each social media platform has its unique features and strengths. Tailor your approach to each to maximize engagement and lead generation.

8. Innovative Technological Integration

The use of innovative technology can streamline processes, enhance targeting, and improve measurement, leading to a more efficient CPL:

  • AI and Machine Learning: These technologies can help predict consumer behavior, automate content personalization, and optimize ad spend.

  • Chatbots for Engagement: Integrate chatbots on your landing pages or social media platforms to engage visitors 24/7, answering queries and capturing leads.

Adopting these strategies in your influencer marketing campaigns can lead to more effective lead generation, higher conversion rates, and a lower CPL. 


In conclusion, understanding what is the CPL of your campaign is crucial to optimize your influencer marketing strategies. CPL offers insights into the efficiency of your marketing efforts and helps guide budget allocation to the most effective channels and campaigns. 

Remember, the goal isn't just to reduce costs. It's to generate high-quality leads that convert, driving sustainable growth for your business. 

By applying the insights and strategies discussed, you're well on your way to achieving more cost-effective and impactful marketing results.

Find the right influencers for your marketing campaigns and lower your CPL, try now!

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