Average Cost per Lead by Industry: What is a Good CPL? Insights From Digital Marketing Experts

May 8, 2024

The average cost per lead by industry is

  • Retail: $34
  • Telecom: $45
  • Fintech: $452
  • Higher Education: $982
  • Legal Services: $649

The average cost of lead could go as high as over a thousand to as low as $3 per lead, depending on the industry, level of competition, location, marketing channels, and your skills and experience. Cost per lead is the metric marketers use to determine the effectiveness of their lead generation strategies. To get the average cost per lead, divide the total money spent on marketing by the total number of new leads.

Digital marketing experts find lead generation as a profitable business model because companies need leads to attract potential clients. ZipRecruiter's data shows lead generation salary in the US could go as high as $50.48 per hour to $22 per hour. 

However, Dan Wardrope of Flexxable shares that beginners could encounter several challenges such as high level of competition, market dynamics and fluctuations, uncertainty in lead requirements, and long conversion time. And while the benchmarks of cost of lead per industry can guide you in pricing, growth hacking experts recognize that generating sales is still the primary goal.

 A Reddit user even says CPL doesn't matter "if it doesn't turn into sales."

This article will discuss the average cost per lead by industry in 43 sectors. We will cover the industries' growth forecasts and challenges for business consultants or demand generation agencies. You'll learn what a good cost per lead is and which industries pay the most for leads. Lastly, we'll discuss local lead generation that can give you a scalable and predictable source of passive income.

How Much Does It Cost to Generate a Lead in Different Industries?











Consumer Products


Travel & Tourism


Media & Publishing


Business Services










Coaching & Training


Addiction Treatment


Aerospace & Aviation




B2B SaaS




Business Insurance












Environmental Services


Financial Services






Higher Education


Hotels & Resorts




Industrial IOT


IT & Managed Services


Legal Services




Oil & Gas


PCB Design & Manufacturing




Real Estate


Software Development




Staffing & Training


Transportation & Logistics


1. Retail: $34 per lead

It costs $34 to generate a lead in the retail sector. The retail industry covers all companies that sell goods and services to consumers. It includes online and brick-and-mortar groceries, department stores, specialty shops, and discount stores. In 2023, the National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasted a 4-6% retail and sales growth compared to 2022.

Mordor Intelligence's data also shows that retail is a massive industry that is expected to reach $32.68 trillion in 2024. It's also US's largest employer, supporting 55 million workers. As online shopping booms, more retailers are using social media. They are also expanding digital channels to reach customers, especially Generation Alpha. Experts say Small Business Trends reported that Gen Alpha already has $360 million in annual disposable income.

2. Telecom: $45 per lead

The average lead cost in the telecom industry is $45. It can run as low as $24 per lead to $65. Telecommunications or telecom includes radio and TV broadcasting and cable and satellite services. It also encompasses internet providers, VoIP, and radar and satellite operations. The telecom industry has three main sub-sectors: telecom equipment, services, and wireless communication. 

TechReport's 2023 compiled statistics shows 64.4% make use of telecom services globally. McKinsey & Company also listed 7 tech trends that are reshaping the telecom industry. Trends such as edge computing, AI, and xRAN can lead to changes in how telecom companies approach lead generation and sales strategies. Telco companies may prioritize selling leads that align with services powered by these technologies. Some examples of these services are remote patient monitoring or virtual dressing rooms. 

3. Education: $55 per lead

The average cost per lead in the education industry is $55. However, Intelus also reported in 2023 that CPL rates in the education and e-learning can vary from $20 to $80. Lead generation costs differ in the education industry with factors such as offerings and target audience. Inflation also influences the CPL. WordStream reported that education or instruction CPL declined by 29% in 2022.

But the education industry remains a viable market. Zion Market Research's data shows that US education market would grow $2.3 trillion by 2028 from its value of $1.1 trillion in 2020. Marketers also have various options to focus on, particularly related to smart learning modes. Education providers now offer webinars, collaborative learning, virtual instructor led training, adaptive learning, simulation based learning, and blended learning. 

4. Marketing: $99 per lead

The average cost per lead for marketing companies is $99. The marketing industry covers traditional and digital channels. It includes campaigns through events, direct mail, social media marketing, and the use of mobile and video. Because it influences several business aspects, marketing needs research and data. These factors could influence the cost per lead in digital marketing. The long-term goal is to show product value and increase sales.

Gitnux 2024 Market Data Report also reveals that digital marketers offering lead generation services have opportunities in the growing digital marketing market. Experts predict that the digital marketing sector will reach $807 billion by 2026, with mobile advertising taking 69% of the budgets. 

5. Consumer Products: $105 per lead

The average cost of lead in consumer products is $105. Consumer products result from production and manufacturing for personal consumption. The average American household spends a substantial amount on consumer goods annually. Data from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that in 2022, families who earn $94,003 annually have an average annual expenditure of $72,967. The expenditures have increased by 9%. Housing was the largest expenditure category, accounting for 33.3%. Transportation followed at 16.8%. Other categories, such as personal care products and services, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products, added up to less than 5% of total expenditures.

6. Travel & Tourism: 

The average cost per lead in the travel and tourism industry is $106. However, the lead costs can vary depending on factors such as target audience, effectiveness of marketing campaign, and channels used.  Wordstream's most recent data shows that CPL in travel was among those that increased in value with +69% in 2022.

The travel and tourism industry offers various business opportunities for digital marketers, like accommodation, leisure and business travel, and food and drink services. Statista's forecast shares that the travel & tourism market revenue will reach $927.30 billion in 2024. The largest market in the sector is the hotels market. with an expected market volume of $446.50 billion.

7. Media & Publishing: $108 per lead

The cost per lead average in media & publishing is $108. Statista's data as of Feb. 9, 2024 shows that all revenue segments in e-publishing will  grow significantly by 2027, with eBooks leading the way at $15.3 billion. These segments include publishing eBooks, ePapers, and eMagazines. 

However, an industry survey by Reuters Institute showed that 47% of editors and digital executive are confident of the prospect of journalism in 2024 among 300 digital leaders and over 50 countries. One-tenth or 12% have expressed low confidence considering the declining advertising revenue and slowing subscription growth. The same survey also showed that 63% of the respondents are worried about the decline in referral traffic from social media. 

8. Business Services: $132 per lead

The average cost per lead in business services industry is $132. Marketers peg the minimum CPL for business services at $39. They add it could go as high as $225. Business services include any activity that supports other businesses. Some examples of business services are warehousing, shipping, event planning, advertising, and marketing. It can also cover consulting, communication, and insurance. 

Location may influence the cost per lead. In a video explaining Google local service ads, Ryan Steinolfson, the owner of Accelerate Marketing, shares that the cost you will pay Google to get the call may differ depending on your city. He says "if you're in a super large city, then typically there's going to be a lot of competition." With competition, the cost per lead, he adds, will be higher. 

9. Manufacturing: $136 per lead

The average cost per lead in manufacturing is $136. Xprt Media says paying $400 value per lead would put a manufacturer "in a good position." But, Xprt clarifies that the value will still depend on the marketing channel used. In its March 2024 data, Statista reported that from January 2021 to January 2024, paid channels in the US manufacturing industry is nearly $700 per lead. Meanwhile, organic channels are lower, averaging at $415 per lead.

Marketers looking to offer lead generation in the manufacturing industry may focus on the fastest growing sectors for opportunities. Citing Oxford Economics, Grant Thornton reported that five sectors are promising in terms of growth until 2027:

  • Motorcycles, ships, aerospace products, rail stock
  • Machinery
  • Computer and electronics
  • Motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts
  • Chemical products

10. Finance: $160 per lead

It costs $160 to generate a lead in the finance sector. This sector includes investment company, money management, and digital banking technology. So for marketers, the products for campaigns may include mobile banking apps or other financial products. Gitnux reported that in 2020, there were 211 million banking app users worldwide.

The financial services market is booming. It is expected to reach $37.5 trillion by 2027, up from $25.8 trillion in 2022 (CAGR of 7.5%) per Gitnux MarketData Report 2024. With this growth, the finance and insurance industry in the US employed over 7.6 workers as of 2023. 

11. Internet: $421.89 per lead

The average cost per lead in the internet industry is $421.89. This cost is based on the calculation using Metadata.io's Annual B2B Advertising Benchmark Report dashboard for year 2021. 

The internet industry is a very broad sector. According to Bartleby Research, the Internet Software and Services Industry includes businesses that develop and market internet software. It also includes those that provide internet services. These are the companies that offer online databases, interactive, design, and web address registration services. Database construction companies are part of this industry.

12. Technology: $208 per lead

It costs $208 to generate a lead in the technology sector. But the cost, according to Interlus, the cost per lead in the technology (and software) sector ranges from $10 to $150. It added that the complexity of the tech products and services may even drive costs up.

The tech industry is so broad. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) noted that hardware, software, and services make up 56% of the technology industry. Telecom services follows at 26%, while emerging technologies are at 19%.

FinancesOnline's 2024 Market Share Analysis & Data report shows that 62% of businesses invest in new technologies to replace end-of-life hardware. The second top reason is to reinforce business growth and refresh cycles at 52%. 

13. Coaching & Training: $132 per lead

The average lead generation cost in the coaching and training sector is $132 per lead. Alejandro Sanoja, founder of Latinpresarios and a personal branding consultant from Houston, Texas wrote that coaching is a business service. Coaches and trainers implement lead generation campaigns to get new clients. 

In 2022, the estimated value of the U.S. life coaching market was at $1.47 billion. Grand View Research forecasts its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to grow 4.85% from 2023 to 2030. 

14. Addiction Treatment: $297 per lead

The average cost per lead in addiction treatment is $297 per Belkins.io's data. First Page Sage, an SEO company, also reported that the average paid CPL in addiction treatment is $380, organic CPL is $213, and blended CPL is $297. On Reddit, a user shares that a lead in Facebook costs $80. 

Substance abuse is a major health concern, and the global market for treatment is growing in response. The addiction treatment market includes various therapies, rehab programs, and support systems. 

15. Aerospace & Aviation: $373 per lead

The average charge for lead in the aerospace and aviation industry is $373. Average paid CPL costs $469, while average organic CPL costs $277. Aerospace industry includes everything related to flight. It involves the research, design, manufacture, and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft.

Aerospace has different sectors, including military aircraft, commercial airliners, space, and missiles. Meanwhile, aviation is a subsector of aerospace. Aviation includes airports, airlines, and aviation institutions.Statista forecasts that between 2018 and 2027, airlines will spend $199 billion on marketing, planning, and customer services. 

16. Automotive: $283 per lead

The average cost per lead for automotive industry is $283, according to Belkin.io. Unlike other consumer products and impulse buys, cars have high purchase prices. Despite having a higher CPL, dealerships have reached a wider audience because of targeted digital marketing campaigns and online car shopping.

17. B2B SaaS: $237 per lead

The average cost per lead for B2B SaaS industry is $237. The average paid CPL for B2B is $310, while the average organic cost per lead B2B SaaS is $164. A good cost per lead for B2B is one that is in line with or below the industry benchmarks. It should also generate a positive ROI based on your strategy and budget. 

B2B SaaS (Business-to-Business Software-as-a-Service) are cloud-based software solutions. Businesses use them to streamline tasks like accounting, CRM, and office productivity. Citing data from Statista, AscendixTech reported that the number of SaaS companies will grow to 72,000 by 2024. In 2023, there were 30,000 SaaS companies. A SaaS Capital survey also revealed that SaaS companies spend 14% of their revenue on marketing, which marketers could benefit from.

18. Biotech: $255 per lead

The average cost per lead in the biotech industry is $255. The average paid CPL is higher at $274, while average organic CPL is $236. Biotechnology focuses on creating healthcare-related products from living organisms and molecular biology.   

Grand View Research's data shows that the value of the global biotechnology market in 2023 was at $1.55 trillion. Between 2024 to 2030, its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is estimated to grow by 13.96%. It added that the growth of the biotechnology market is high "due to the rapid advancements in genomics, molecular biology, cellular and tissue engineering, bioimaging, novel drug discovery, and delivery methodologies."

19. Business Insurance: $424 per lead

The average cost per lead for insurance is $424. Paid CPL for the insurance sector costs $460 on average, while organic CPL is at $388. Insurance products vary and depend on the specific needs of its customers. Gitnux's report reveals that 38% of small businesses in 2018 don't have business interruption insurance. This could serve as an insight that insurance providers and marketers should craft campaigns on more affordable and accessible insurance solutions. 

20. Construction: $227 per lead

The average cost per lead in the construction industry is $227. The average paid CPL is at $280, while average organic CPL is $174. The construction industry encompasses the complete process of planning, design, construction, maintenance, and repair of roads, buildings and other infrastructures. Based on a study called Global Construction Futures, published by construction economists at Oxford Economics, the global construction will grow by over US$4.2 trillion from 2022 to 2037. Autodesk Construction Cloud also reported that the industry needs to build 13,000 buildings daily until 2050 for the expected 7 billion people in cities.

21. Cybersecurity: $406 per lead

The average cost per lead in cybersecurity is $406. The average paid CPL is $411, while the average organic CPL is $404. Citing data from Cybersecurity Ventures, Gitnux reported that the total spending on cybersecurity in 2017-2021 surpassed an estimate of $1 trillion.

IBM shares that the 2023 average cost of a data breach was $4.45 million. This threat influences 51% of organizations to increase their investments in cybersecurity. The market for cybersecurity forecast also shows it would reach $345.4 billion by 2026. As more industries rely on digital infrastructure, the need for cybersecurity protection grows. This creates a demand for cybersecurity expertise and an opportunity for marketers in offering leads to cybersecurity companies.

22. Ecommerce: $91 per lead

The average cost per lead in ecommerce is $91. Based on Statista's data, between January 2021 and January 2024, the average organic CPL in ecommerce in the US is $83, while the average paid CPL is $100. TechTarget defines ecommerce as the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. Transactions in the ecommerce industry can be: 

  • Business-to-business (B2B)
  • Business-to-consumer (B2C)
  • Consumer-to-consumer or
  • Consumer-to-business

Statista reports that in 2023, global retail e-commerce sales reached about $5.8 trillion. It also forecasts that by 2027, the sales will surpass $8 trillion.

23. Engineering: $287 per lead

The average cost per lead in engineering industry is $287. The average paid CPL is $371, while the average organic CPL is $201. Collins define engineering industries as "the industries creating engineering products." Per Encyclopedia.com, it refers to the "industry devoted to the manufacture of engines, machine-tools, and machinery." WebFX reports that in 2023, the value of the engineering market grew to $1156.5 billion. By 2027, forecasts show it will reach $1316.06 billion.

24. Entertainment: $114 per lead

The average cost per lead in the entertainment industry is $114. The average paid CPL is $116, while the organic CPL is $111. The Department of Commerce says the media and entertainment industry includes businesses that produce, distribute and offer related digital services and products for television, motion pictures, and commercials. It also includes streaming content, audio and video recordings, eSports and the video games sectors.

Citing PricewaterhouseCoopers report (PwC), the Vault shares that the market size of the media and entertainment industry is projected to have reached $825 billion in 2023. In 2019, experts valued the market size of the entertainment industry at $717 billion.

25. Environmental Services: $278 per lead

The average cost per lead in environmental services industry is $278. For average paid CPL, the cost is $346. Meanwhile, organic CPL is $207. The World Trade Organization says environmental services comprise both infrastructure-related activities and non-infrastructure services. Examples of infrastructure-related services are sewage management, waste disposal, and sanitation. While non-infrastructure services include air pollution control, noise reduction, and site decontamination. 

A book titled "Natural Resource Management Policy," explains that the demand for environmental services can come from private and public sector looking for "least-cost approach to solving environmental problem." The CSIMarket reported that the gross profit in environmental services industry grew by 1.73% in the last quarter of 2023. 

26. Financial Services: $653 per lead

The average cost per lead in the financial services is $653. Statista's data shows that between January 2021 and January 2024, the average CPL  in the financial services industry in the US is around $760. Meanwhile, organic SPL id $555. Investopedia defines the financial services industry as the segment comprised of "banking, mortgages, credit cards, payment services, tax preparation and planning, accounting, and investing."

Gitnux Financial Services Industry Statistics report in December 2023 says the market would grow from $23,319.52 billion in 2021 to $37,343.95 billion in 2026. 

27. FinTech: $452 per lead

The average cost per lead in FinTech industry is $452. Statista's data also reveals that in the US, the average paid CPL in the FinTech industry is $490 between January 2021 and January 2024. Meanwhile, average organic CPL was "slightly above 410 dollars." While it includes retail banking and investment management, FinTech focuses on integrating financial services with technology. It covers applications for transactions related to crypto, payment, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, investment, and "robo-advisors."

In its 2022 Fintech Effect Survey, Plaid found  the top benefits of fintech for consumers. These benefits include:

  • Saves time
  • Aids in controlling finances
  • Saves money
  • Reduces fear and stress in managing finances
  • Helps recover from financial mistakes

Data shows that 58% of consumers save time using fintech, while 48% help them control their finances. 

28. Healthcare: $361 per lead

The average cost per lead for healthcare industry is $361. The average paid CPL in healthcare is $401, while organic CPL costs $320. Healthcare services have a diverse demographic because of the differences in medical conditions, income levels, and age groups. A Market Research.com report reveals that the telemedicine market is one segment of healthcare that is fast-growing. In 2021, telemedicine was valued at  $104437.92 million. By 2027, its revenue is valued to reach $272756.3 million in 2027.

29. Higher Education: $982 per lead

The average cost per lead in higher education is $982. Statista reports that between January 2021 and January 2024, the average paid CPL in higher education industry in the US is $1.26 thousand and $700 for the average organic CPL. Verified Market Research reports that the value of the US higher education market is $1,056.65 million in 2023. By 2030, the value would reach $1,839.29 million.

Researcher Slobodan Mijalković shares that private higher education attracts students seeking employment skills. Private higher education institutions focus on vocational specializations and business-oriented programs. An article by World Bank leaders also revealed that by 2030, there will be 380 million higher education students. The article was written by Vice President for Human Development, Mamta Murthi, and Global Lead for Tertiary Education and Senior Education Specialist Roberta Malee Bassett.

30. Hotels & Resorts: $266 per lead

The average cost per lead in hotels and resorts industry is $266. The average paid CPL costs $308, while organic CPLC costs $224. In the US, Statista says the value of the hotels market will reach $110.50 billion in 2024. Statista adds that market volume projection by 2028 will reach $128.40 billion with 79% of the total revenue generated through online sales. 

31. HVAC: $92 per lead

The average cost per lead in HVAC is $92, but it could go as high as $300. First Page Sage reported that the average paid CPL for HVAC is $115, while the organic is CPL cost is $69. But, Mediagistic published an article in 2018 citing a report by Energy.gov that an HVAC contractor spends between $200 and $300 to acquire a single customer. This is due to the different channels used by HVAC contractors for marketing, including customer referrals, community outreach, SEO, traditional media advertising, direct mailing, and special offers.

According to This Old House's compiled statistics, the demand for HVAC or Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning Systems is expected to have a growth rate of 7% from 2023 to 2030. 

32. Industrial IOT: $497 per lead

The average cost per lead in industrial IOT is $497. First Page Sage reported that the average paid CPL for industrial internet of things (IIoT) is $590, while the average organic CPL is $404. Statista's data confirms this. It says the average paid CPL between January 2021 and January 2024 in the IIoT segment in the US is almost $600. Meanwhile, organic CPL is around $400. Lanars explains that IIoT refers to a subset of IoT. It involves the gathering of data in manufacturing facilities. IIoT helps improve productivity and predict maintenance through monitoring. Some examples of IIoT are 3D printing, AI, and robots. G2 reported that industrial manufacturing companies are forecasted to adopt IoT technology at an 80% rate.

33. IT & Managed Services: $503 per lead

The average cost per lead in IT & managed services industry is $503. Paid CPL costs $617 while average organic CPL costs $385. IT and managed services refer to outsourced technical support for provision of infrastructure or solutions related to web development, or mobile development, among others. In its article, CPrime explains that managed infrastructure services include remote monitoring of hardware and software, testing, communication support, and cloud managed services. Gitnux reported that almost 64% of organizations avail of managed IT services, while nearly 70% of small to medium-size businesses outsource IT service for solutions and consulting.

34. Legal Services: $649 per lead

The average cost per lead in legal services is $649. Statista's data shows paid CPL in legal services costs $784, and organic CPL costs $516. As of November 2023, there are around 450,000 law firms in the United States. Legal services are professional assistance provided by lawyers and legal professionals. These services include giving advice on contracts, court representation, and writing legal documents. Martindale-Avvo's 2023 survey among 1,800 lawyers shows the importance of online resources for potential clients to hire an attorney. The recommendations include influencing visibility and SEO through online reviews, blogs, and SEO. 

35. Hospitality: $15 per lead

The average cost per lead of hospitality industry is $15 and could go up to $45. The hospitality sector is broad. Revfine, a platform for the hospitality and tourism industry, categorizes this service industry into:

  • Food and drink
  • Travel and tourism
  • Lodgin
  • Recreation

Statista's report also shows that the largest segments are accommodation and food and drink services. Globally, the hospitality market is expected to reach around $5.5 trillion this year. 

36. Oil & Gas: $637 per lead

The average cost per lead in the oil and gas is $637. First Page Sage reports that the average paid CPL is $772, while the average organic CPL is $502. The difference in cost is minimal when compared to Statista's data, which showed that the average paid CPL is $770 and the average organic CPL is "slightly above" $500.  The Corporate Finance Institute's oil and gas primer explains that this industry involves the exploration, development, and refinement of natural gas and crude oil. Investopedia reports that as of 2022, oil and gas industry is among the largest sectors and that it generates around $5 trillion in revenue worldwide.

37. PCB Design & Manufacturing: $376 per lead

The average cost per lead in PCB design and manufacturing industry is $376. For average paid CPL, the cost is higher at $480. Meanwhile, average organic CPL costs $271. PCB stands for printed circuit board. In an article for Wevolver, Jessica Miley shares that this industry involves a multi-faceted process where designers, engineers, and manufacturers of components converge. According to Global Marketing Insights, the PCB market reached $75 billion in 2021 and would grow to $120 billion in 2030.

38. Pharmaceutical: $131 per lead

The average cost per lead in the pharmaceutical industry is $131. For paid CPL, the average cost is $124. Meanwhile, the average organic CPL in pharmaceutical sector costs $135. Statista's most recent data shows that the projected revenue for the US pharmaceutical market is $636.90 billion in 2024. The same data shows oncology drugs is expected to have market volume of $114.60 billion. 

39. Real Estate: $448 per lead

It costs $448 to generate a lead in the real estate sector. First Sage Page reports that for paid CPL, the average cost per lead real estate is $480, while the average organic CPL is $416.  Leadshook reports that location influences the CPL. The cost could go higher in areas that are highly competitive. The MSCI Real Estate Market Size Report for 2021/2022 reveals that the global real estate investment market grew to $11.4 trillion in 2021, from $10.5 trillion in 2020. Grand View Research adds that in the US, the real estate market was valued at $3.69 trillion in 2021.

40. Software Development: $491 per lead

The average cost per lead in software development industry is $591. In the US, Statista's data between January 2021 and January 2024 shows that the average paid CPL in software development industry is $680. Paid organic CPL on average costs $510. Software development refers to the creation of computer programs to help businesses automate processes. 

Gitnux's article on software development statistics shows that in 2020, the US has the largest share of the market, with 42.82%. The industry's value in 2021 also reached $429.59 billion. 

41. Solar: $206 per lead

The average cost per lead in the solar industry is $206. For paid CPL, the average cost is $217. Meanwhile, organic CPL costs $196 on average. The US Energy Information Administration noted that solar power represented 54% of electricity generation projects in the US in 2023. Data from Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) reveals that, in 2023, the US solar industry experienced a 51% increase from 2022. Last year's installation of 32.4 gigawatts-direct current (GWdc) of capacity surpassed the 30 GWdc in 2022. SEIA added that residential solar grew by 12% and community solar by 3%. 

42. Staffing & Training: $497 per lead

The average cost per lead in staffing and training industry is $497. Insight Partners' report "Staffing and Recruitment Market Size and Forecast (2020-2030)" shows that the market had a value of $683.22 billion in 2022. The report projects that the sector will reach $1778.29 billion by 2030.

43. Transportation & Logistics: $588 per lead

The average cost per lead in transportation and logistics is $588. For the paid CPL in the US, Statista's forecast shows that between January 2021 to January 2024, the average cost is $670. Meanwhile, organic CPL was cheaper at around $500. Data from Precedence Research illustrates the growing logistics market. Globally, the market size was at $7.98 trillion in 2022. In 2024, the report estimates it will reach $9.98 trillion. 

What is a Good Cost Per Lead? Insights From Digital Marketing Experts

A good cost per lead is one where the business could receive the highest amount of profit than the cost spent to acquire the lead. For Outbrain, a native advertising company, "the lower an advertiser’s CPL, the better." Outbrain explains that factors, such as company size, industry, and annual revenue, could influence CPL. Outbrain adds: "Hence, there is no single answer that branches across every industry" related to the question of what qualifies as a good lead.

Niall Donohoe


Ultimately, a “good CPL” is one where the cost of acquisition is – on average – lower than the revenue received.

Monika Kisielewska


(A) good cost per lead is less than your gross profit per sale.

Niall Donohoe, a marketing expert from Bratislava, Slovakia, shares that the cost of acquisition in a good CPL is lower than the profit. Niall says the conversion rate is critical. You don't need to worry paying for higher cost per lead if you have a high lead-to-customer conversion rate. As an example, Niall illustrates that if your lead-to-customer rate is 15%, a CPL target of €120 ($129.21) may be reasonable if your target customer acquisition cost is €800 ($861.42).

Monika Kisielewska, an in-house SEO expert and content manager from Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland, adds that leads that cost less than a company's gross profit per sale is good. For Jonathan Torrey, Director of Marketing for Searchlight, a good lead must be turned into work. 

What Is Cost per Lead and How to Determine Cost per Lead

Cost per lead is the pricing model in digital marketing, where the advertiser pays a fixed price for each lead generated. A lead refers to a potential buyer, whether an individual or an organization, that has either interacted with your business or may interact in the future. Leads include those who visit your stores, view your content, or sign up for a free trial.

A typical cost per lead (CPL) can range from $30 to $200. What is a good cost per lead will vary depending on your industry and the level of competition within that sector. A 2024 report by First Page Sage found that the average cost per lead in e-commerce is $91. In entertainment, the average CPL is $114. In financial services, the average CPL jumps to $653. 

Formula: Cost Per Lead  = Total Marketing Spend / Number of New Leads 

To determine the cost per lead, use the following cost per lead formula: divide the total cost you spend on a specific digital marketing campaign by the number of leads generated.  For instance, if your digital marketing campaign costs $2,000 and generates 100 leads, your cost per lead would be $20. There are also available lead calculator tools which can compute how many leads you need to generate to earn your target revenue. 

How Many Leads per Month Should You Be Generating?

You should be generating over 100 leads per month. While the ideal number of leads per month varies per industry, this number is a good starting point. A report by HubSpot shows that organizations, on average, generate 1,877 leads per month. The same report highlights that generating more leads is a top priority for marketers in the coming year.

A decrease in CPL does not mean you should lower your charge per lead. It is a positive sign. But it shouldn't automatically lower your price. If your marketing efforts are generating high-quality leads, it is acceptable to have a lower CPL while charging a higher-than-average service fee. 

What Industries Pay the Most for Leads?

The industries that pay the most for leads are:

  •  Higher education ($982)
  • Financial services ($653)
  • Legal services ($649)
  • Oil and gas ($637)
  • Software development ($591)
  • Transportation and logistics ($588)

Hospitality has the lowest cost per qualified lead. The average lead generation cost per lead in the hospitality industry is $15.

What Factors Affect CPL in An Industry?

  • Lead definition. The definition of a lead can vary per business. Some consider simple actions like email opt-ins as leads. Some only count full-fledged inquiries or consultations. The variations in the desired lead affect the cost per lead. 
  • Campaign quality. The quality of the ad creative, targeting options, and overall setup of the campaign affect the cost per lead. Well-designed and optimized campaigns achieve lower costs per lead.
  • Budget. The amount of budget allocated to the campaign affects the cost per lead. Higher budgets may cause higher costs per lead, especially if not managed or optimized.
  • Skill and experience. The skill and experience of the advertiser in managing Facebook advertising campaigns influence the cost per lead. Experienced advertisers achieve better results at lower costs per lead.
  • Industry and niche. Different industries and niches have varying levels of competition and audience behavior. As discussed in the previous sections, some industries may have higher or lower costs per lead.

What Is the Average Cost per Lead on Facebook Ads?

The average cost per lead on Facebook ads is $10.52, per Revealbot's May 2024 data. Facebook ad cost per lead is more cost-effective compared to other advertising platforms, particularly Google and LinkedIn. Average cost per lead LinkedIn runs between $8 to $95. 

In his video "Realistic Cost Per Lead With Facebook Ads?," Ben Heath from Lead Guru suggests that a good cost per lead is typically under $30. Those under $20 considered very good, though this varies by industry and budget. Ben recommends assessing cost per lead as different factors impact the cost of advertising campaigns on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. These factors include the definition of lead for a business, campaign quality, budget and skills and experience. 

Lead with Facebook Ads also differs per industry. Wordstream's Facebook Ads Benchmark below shows that the average cost per lead Facebook in attorney & legal services is highest at $78.26. Meanwhile, average CPL in real estate industry is $12.43.

Local Lead Generation is the Best Way to Make Money With Leads

Local lead generation is the best way to make money with leads because you get full control over the business. Local lead generation involves ranking websites and offering the website to a local business. You treat the website as a digital asset which you own. This gives you leverage in determining the rental fee and even client selection.

Compare it with building digital marketing agencies and offering lead generation to businesses where you face the risk of losing clients. This could happen when the amount or quality of leads do not meet expectations. Also, the marketing budget of each company per industry varies. This could lead to unpredictable income, which is the opposite of the income predictability in local lead generation. You can fix the amount of rent that a local business pays. Costs could run from $500 to $3,000. 

For payment in marketing agencies, there can be a delay because of the time gap between lead generation and conversion in certain industries.  For instance, Dan Wardrope of Flexxable explains there are some industries like mortgage sector where sales process takes time. This could lead to delay in payments that newcomers in digital marketing may find challenging. With local lead generation, you get paid monthly at an agreed rate, making local lead generation the best option to get a stable stream of passive income.    

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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