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What’s a lead worth?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday September 4, 2009 )

While it’s a little like asking how long is a piece of string, a recent report provides a general idea.

Many well established merchants know how much a lead is worth to them, but if you’re just starting out, it can be hard to figure out a starting number, or even a range of how much you should pay for quality leads.

The Pontiflex CPL Benchmark Study was based on data for the period August 1, 2008 to July 31, 2009 across over 700 publisher websites. The leads for campaigns included in the report were non-incentivized, opt-in and purchased on a Cost-per-Lead pricing model.

For each sector, the first figure below relates to basic fields, that is information including first name, last name, email address and postal address. The second set is for premium fields; additional information such as telephone numbers and answers to custom questions. Prices paid are average in USD:

Average CPL overall – .60 :: $2.27
Technology – .43 :: $3.75
Health – .60 :: $3.36
Entertainment – .80 :: $3.00
Travel – $1.40 :: $2.50
Non-profit – $1.33 :: $1.85
Consumer Packaged Goods – .87 :: $1.13
Online retail and catalog – .59

A point of interest.. the Pontifex report quotes estimates that the ROI from an email address in the Online Retail and Catalog sector to be $43.52 – $118.

While the above can provide some sort of ball park idea, bear in mind that it also greatly depends on what you’re selling too. For instance, in the technology sector; you’d likely pay far more for a lead if you’re selling solar power systems vs. selling computer cables. Then other factors come into play such as profit margins, conversion rates and average customer lifetime value.

You can download the full report here.


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