b2b cost per lead

Lead generation can be a challenge for B2B marketers. On the surface, the more leads that you generate, the lower the cost per lead (CPL) is and the better you feel about the elements of the marketing campaign. To take this one step further, it is essential to understand who these leads are, what they are costing you and what next steps should take place to ensure the leads are on-target to the audience you want to reach. These insights can help your organization set goals and budgets for the current marketing campaign and any in the future.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through key lead generation calculations, techniques and best practices that can help you understand campaign results and take actionable steps for an optimized and successful lead generating marketing campaign.

1. Determine the Overall Campaign Budget

The first thing you’ll want to do for your marketing campaign is to determine what overall budget you have. This will vary by campaign and organization, but this should be the starting point for all campaigns. Oftentimes campaigns will be given a certain time frame to run, such as a month or twelve weeks. The budget could then be determined by a certain amount per week or month, but this depends on how the marketing campaign is planned. The more exact numbers for the overall budget, the better. This will then give you the constraints of how much you can spend for ads, other marketing costs and any additional tools. For example:

  • CRM Cost ($550/month) + Paid Ads ($150/month) + Marketing Costs ($400) =$1100 monthly spend/ $13,200 yearly spend

2. Establish a Target Number of Leads

Now that you know how much you have to spend on your marketing efforts, you want to calculate how many leads you would like to generate from the campaign. Then, over time, you can track your progress to see if it is on target with your goal. Taking into consideration the overall budget available, it is important to know what an acceptable CPL is. Will it be several hundred dollars per lead? Will it be almost one thousand dollars per lead? Establishing a target CPL amount or CPL range can help you gauge how the marketing campaign is performing and what your leads are costing you. As the campaign time frame comes to an end, you can evaluate performance and see what progress has been made.

3. Research Industry Cost Benchmarks

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a lead will vary per industry. For example, banking and healthcare are two very different industries that require different types of marketing, which means their average cost per lead will most likely differ. Certain websites have collected industry data and presented their findings for average cost per lead. These sites are very helpful when comparing how your marketing campaigns are faring and what the cost per lead is totaling. Through this research, you might also find if the marketing tools you are using are effective for your particular industry.

4. Pay Attention to Budget

Now that you know what you’re spending, you want to pay close attention to the budget. Depending on what marketing efforts are included in your campaign, it might require you to monitor weekly or even daily to ensure that you aren’t overspending, or even underspending. While this information is key in the immediate term, it can also be useful for future marketing campaigns. This can allow you to set goals and find new areas where you can acquire leads and generate revenue. Plus, this gives you data to make any future decisions. If one aspect of the campaign did not perform as well as intended, it might be worthwhile to switch to a different tactic or reevaluate how to make improvements.

5. Analyze and Filter Through Leads

It would be an ideal situation if every lead you received from your marketing campaign was exactly your target audience and the ideal individuals to target. But often you will generate leads that aren’t quite on point or match the buyer personas in place. Thus, filtering through the leads you receive and doing some analysis will ensure those that you do follow up with, put into a nurture email cadence or target ads to are the ones that fit target audience characteristics.

6. Evaluate the Cost Per Lead

As your marketing campaign elements are in play, it is instrumental to keep track of cost per lead changes and overall spend. When each activity has run its course or a certain period of time has passed and it’s time to evaluate, focus on the cost per lead. Did it match industry averages? Did it fit into the target range you previously set? Would there be any benefit to reevaluate and rework the component to potentially decrease the CPL? Asking and answering these questions can help make the best decisions moving forward.

Understanding the results of your marketing campaign and the cost per lead, in particular, can give you insight into the performance and effectiveness of the marketing tactics that were used.