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Ever heard of cost per lead? Learn how to calculate right now!

Gustavo Goncalves
Gustavo Goncalves

Jul 5, 2023

Before understanding how to calculate a cost per lead, it is necessary to know what a lead is and why it "costs something".

Well, "lead" is the nomenclature we give to our potential customers, in the case of educational institutions, potential students or future enrollees. And how do you find out who your leads are? A good marketing strategy helps you define this.

Personas, campaigns and actions marketing digital are some examples of how you can find out who your potential students are and who your qualified leads will be. Who engages more? Who is most like the person that you set? Your target audience is the reference for your lead search.

Now that you already know what is a lead For educational institutions, it's time to take a step further in your learning journey.

What we will learn in the post:

In today's post, we're going to find out what cost per lead is and how to calculate it. We will also leave a plus, which are the advantages of following this metric in capturing leads for educational institutions. Come with us?

After all, what is the cost per lead?

When you create your marketing plan, you set a budget, correct? This is the total cost you are investing to attract more students to your institution. The total budget is divided between campaigns and actions, thus facilitating the measurement of results later.

Very good!! From the start of a campaign to the end, let's say you've spent $100,000 of your marketing budget.

During this period, your educational institution generated 20,000 leads (potential future students). Your cost per lead was how much? That's right, 5 reais.

There is no secret, the cost per lead or CPL calculation is:


Why measure the cost per lead in educational institutions?

First, to find out how much your HEI invests financially to have a qualified lead enter the sales funnel. This data allows you to know the level of effectiveness of your educational marketing strategies: the lower the cost per lead, the more effective your campaigns are and the greater the institution's profitability.

Knowing the CPL by marketing action, you are able to identify which ones are generating the highest return for the educational institution. For example: you have a cost per lead of 5 reais on social networks and only 3 reais on sponsored links.

Thus, it is easy to prioritize actions and adjust your marketing budget so that it brings more results with the same amount invested.

It is also possible to identify flaws in your process of attracting and converting leads, based on the CPL. A high cost per lead can mean poor segmentation of your educational marketing strategies, investment in the wrong communication channels or even difficulties in defining exactly who your audience is.

A common problem that affects most educational institutions is thousands of applicants, hundreds of university entrance exams and dozens of enrolled students. Did you feel the values ​​decaying? This happens because we are not always able to identify at first who our real students are.

A university whose monthly fee is 2500 reais must target a different public than the one that offers a graduation for 600 reais a month. And this must be taken into account when drawing up your lead capture strategy for educational institutions.

A strong indicator that something is wrong is precisely the CPL. The more work you have to convert a lead, the greater the sign that something is escaping your view when creating your campaigns.

Read too:

Other metrics that contribute to your lead spend calculation

  1. Cost per click;
  2. Lead per sale;
  3. Cost per sale.

1. Cost per click

When using digital marketing strategies in your educational institution, other metrics end up being useful to help you with the right indicators to find your potential students. The CPC (cost per click) works in the same logic as the CPL, CPC = TOTAL INVESTED / NºOF CLICKS IN YOUR AD.

When you decide to create sponsored ads on search engines and social networks, you increase your range of possibilities for capturing leads. Calculating other costs and making this investment is a good idea to be more assertive in relation to your target audience.

2. Lead per sale

Another very important metric to further understand your CPL is the Lead per Sale (LPV). Basically here, you will be calculating how many leads it takes to actually close a deal.

For example, if you need 100 leads to guarantee enrollment, your LPV is 100 to 1. The LPV is a very important indicator when you adjust your marketing strategies to improve your results.

3. Cost per sale

Where will you invest more? On your social media? Inbound Marketing? Content production? The CPL, together with the LPV, can guide and answer these questions.

And this calculation is exactly your Cost Per Sale (COGS). Leaving aside team additions (seller costs, for example), the CPV is nothing more than understanding how much you are spending on strategies and actions to close an enrollment.

How to spend less on your leads?

The easiest way to know how much you can spend on your leads is to understand the following: your investment needs to be enough to reach the highest amount of leads.

However, this investment cannot or should not exceed your company's needs. This expense must be defined based on the size of the Institution, metrics and previous reports of enrollment numbers and, of course, available budget.

Some of the strategies mentioned at the beginning of this article on how to identify your leads are also triggers to lower your CPL. 3 of them may be essential:

  • persona maintenance

Building a persona for identifying your target audience and looking for leads is paramount. However, it's not healthy to create your persona and "never" look at it again. Constant verification of personas helps recreate and restructure marketing strategies.

It is up to your institution to define the best time for this maintenance, but a practical and less bureaucratic way to choose possible dates is the intake changes. For example, if your institution receives students every six months, ideally twice a year, if annually, once. And successively.

  • Engaging Content

E-books are great content for you to capture leads organically. As well as blog posts, videos on social networks and application of SEO techniques. 

Making the algorithms "work in your favor" and creating space for your leads to register (forms, landing pages, newsletter) are good techniques for you to increase your organic traffic and lower your cost per lead.

  • Good Digital Marketing Strategy

Investing in Inbound Marketing and automating your processes also helps to reduce yourCost per Lead (and its personnel cost).

Mapping the influence of your educational institution (georeferencing), customizing your target audience, strategic budget definition, setting deadlines and goals, are some of the techniques you can use to improve your CPL.

Did you like to know more about cost per lead? And how about learning how to attract and convert more students to your educational institution? Contact us!


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Tecnologias que usamos

The world changes all the time and technology is no different! Here at Mkt4Edu, technology is in our DNA, we work with many different softwares to make the whole process of automation and artificial intelligence work more efficiently and achieve more results.

Here, new softwares are tested all the time. Modern tools and new functionalities are tested all the time, there were already more than 200 tests so you can have the best result in your institution.

From customer acquisition to retention: Mkt4edu can make the difference in your marketing operation.


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