Is it found in a breakdown by industry, or by channel, or some other benchmark altogether? Let’s dive into what’s good—and not so good—when it comes to cost per lead.
Upfront disclaimer: If you missed our deep dive into cost per lead (CPL) and why it matters, check it out first! Once you’ve got the CPL basics under your belt, this post will make a lot more sense because we’re getting into a bit of the nitty-gritty of CPL.
We’re looking at benchmarks by industry and channel, as well as walking through a CPL-driven budget worksheet that’s perfect for your next campaign.
CPL Benchmarks by Industry
The chart below outlines the Integrated Marketing Association’s research on low, high, and average costs per marketing qualified lead by relevant industries in veterinary medicine.
CPL Benchmarks by Media Channel
The chart below outlines the Integrated Marketing Association’s research on low, high, and average costs per lead by marketing channel.
CPL Projections for Budgeting Your Campaign
Use the worksheet below to collect the information you’ll need for your budgeting exercise.
Calculate how many sales qualified leads (SQLs) you need to achieve your sales target.
- How many sales (number of deals) do you want to close with your campaign? We use 100 in our example below.
- What is your conversion rate from sales conversations to closed-won sales deals? We’ve chosen 50%.
Target # of Sales Deals ÷ Conversion % = Total Number of SQLs Needed
The formula applied to our example numbers: 100 ÷ 0.5 = 200
Calculate how many marketing qualified leads (MQLs) you need to achieve your target SQL numbers.
- What is your conversion rate of MQLs to SQL? Let’s say 25%.
Total Number of SQLs Needed ÷ Conversion % = Total Number of MQLs Needed
The formula applied to our example numbers: 200 ÷ 0.25 = 800
Use projected CPL by channel to identify your total project cost based upon the number of MQLs you need to achieve your target sales goals.
Educational emails with strong lead magnets are an inexpensive way to bring leads into the top of your funnel. These campaigns often require additional lead nurturing to convert SQLs at an optimal rate.
- Target number of MQLs: 300
- Projected CPL: $50
- Total Cost (MQLs x CPL): $15,000
Webinars have the potential to convert a higher percentage of MQLs to SQLs than other channels because of their in-depth educational value. Therefore, the slightly higher CPL may result in a lower cost-per-customer acquisition if they convert customers at a higher rate. Your webinar budget should include all surrounding promotional efforts such as email marketing, social media, and direct mail.
- Target number of MQLs: 400
- Projected CPL: $60
- Total Cost (MQLs x CPL): $24,000
Content strategy can foster thought leadership and educate and direct prospects to lead magnet content, which in turn draws them into your funnel. Content ideas include articles, guides, key opinion leader educational assets, videos, or CE content.
- Target number of MQLs: 100
- Projected CPL: $70
- Total Cost (MQLs x CPL): $7,000
Use the total cost information to calculate your campaign’s projected cost, revenue, and ROI. Set-up internal dashboards and metric-tracking to ensure you have real-time visibility of actual costs, MQLs, SQLs, and sold deals by channel.
- Total Campaign Cost: $46,000
- Total Sales Target: 100 Deals
- Average Value of Deal: $15,000
- Total Projected Campaign Revenue: $1,500,000
- Projected Campaign ROI: 3160%
Final Note: Mind the Wasted Impressions
Before you deploy your next campaign, take an in-depth look at the cost-per-lead conversion by media channel—both in-house channels and third-party media partners. Communicating your message to an irrelevant audience can drive up your cost per lead. No need to pay for wasted impressions! Learn the 2 questions to ask about CPM to avoid wasted impressions.