Difference between CPM, CPC, CPL, CPA and Other Performance Marketing

CPM – Cost Per Mile

Originating from Latin, the word Mile stands for a thousand views. Consequently, CPM is a cost of your ad per 1000 impressions. An impression occurs whenever the ad gets successfully loaded on a viewed webpage or application. This form of pricing is most common with ads that score a lot of impressions, which usually comes down to banners and native ads. CPM rates usually range from fractions of a dollar to just a few bucks.

CPC – Cost Per Click (also known as PPC – Pay Per Click)

This one is as simple as it gets and quite self-explanatory. Advertisers pay whenever, and only if their ad gets clicked on.

CPA – Cost Per Action (or Cost Per Acquisition)

In the CPA model, advertisers pay only if a conversion – whatever it may be – happens. It means that advertisers have to set up some sort of goal, which they’ll interpret as a conversion before they start their campaign based on this model. This goal may be a sign up, a purchase, or even getting to the desired section of a website. Whenever a user achieves that, the advertiser pays the agreed rate. Obviously, this model is devoured by most advertisers, yet it’s not very popular among publishers.

CPL – Cost Per Lead (also known as PPL – Pay Per Lead)

Basically a type of CPA, CPL is limited to collecting leads. It’s used in lead generation campaigns, so the ultimate goal is just to get data (like e-mail addresses) from potential customers. A CPL model is perfect for promoting newsletter sign-ups.

EPC – Earnings Per Click

This metric typically refers to the amount of revenue that can be expected to be earned for every 100 clicks through to an affiliate link.

This metric is often displayed by affiliate marketing networks to help publishers evaluate and compare the earnings potential of different merchants.

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