Ronn Torossian Of 5WPR On How to Calculate and Analyze Costs Per Lead

Cost Per Lead Calculation 1

In the world of marketing and sales, understanding the effectiveness of campaigns and strategies is crucial. One essential metric in this regard is the Cost Per Lead (CPL), which helps businesses measure the efficiency of their lead generation efforts. Calculating and analyzing CPL effectively can provide valuable insights into the return on investment (ROI) of marketing activities.

How to calculate Cost Per Lead (CPL)

Cost per lead is calculated by dividing the total cost of a marketing campaign by the number of leads generated during that campaign. The formula is: CPL = Total Cost of Campaign / Number of Leads Generated. For instance, if a marketing campaign costs $5,000 and generates 500 leads, the CPL would be: CPL = $5,000 / 500 = $10 per lead

Campaign comparison

Compare cost per lead across different campaigns to identify which strategies are more cost-effective in generating leads. This analysis can guide the future allocation of resources.

Conversion rates

Combine cost per lead data with conversion rates to understand the quality of leads generated. A lower CPL doesn’t guarantee high-quality leads if the conversion rate is low.

Channel performance

Analyze cost per lead across various marketing channels (social media, email, content marketing, etc.) to determine which channels deliver the best value.

Customer lifetime value

Compare CPL with the expected Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to assess the long-term profitability of acquired leads.


Segment leads based on demographics, behavior, and interests to understand which segments have the most cost-effective CPL.

Lead-to-customer ratio

Calculate how many leads from a specific cost per lead range eventually convert into paying customers. This helps gauge the efficiency of lead nurturing and conversion strategies.

What is a good cost per lead (CPL)?

The assessment of a “good” CPL isn’t one-size-fits-all and varies widely based on factors such as industry, business model, product price point, and the overall marketing landscape. Generally, a good CPL is one that aligns with the business goals, budget, and industry benchmarks.

Industry benchmarks

Research and understand the average cost per lead for the company’s industry. This gives a baseline to compare against the company’s own CPL.

Profit margin

Consider the profit margin per customer. If the company’s CPL is significantly higher than the profit margin, the lead generation strategy may not be sustainable.

Sales cycle

Longer sales cycles might tolerate higher CPLs as long as the leads are highly qualified and more likely to convert.

Product complexity

If a company is selling a complex or high-ticket item, a higher cost per lead might be justifiable due to the potential for larger returns.

Lead quality

Analyze not only the quantity but also the quality of leads. A lower CPL with unqualified leads might cost more in the long run.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Compare the cost per lead with the customer lifetime value. If the CLV significantly exceeds the CPL, the company might have room for higher costs.

Competitive landscape

If the company’s industry is highly competitive, a higher CPL might be necessary to stand out.

Marketing strategy

Consider the marketing strategy. If a company is investing heavily in content creation, for example, its initial CPL might be higher but could result in lower CPL over time as content attracts organic leads.

Local vs. global

Consider whether the business serves a local or global audience. Local targeting might yield more cost-effective CPLs.

Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR, and The How Agency, a full scale digital firm.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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