CPL, CPS, CPI… Don’t let these terms intimidate you! 

  • Kawthar Ali
  • February 6, 2020

CPS, CPL, CPA and CPI are terms that are often used interchangeably in the field of performance marketing, the field that has recently been introduced to the MENA Region over the last few years. For someone who isn’t familiar with the field, such abbreviations could sound like technical marketing jargon, but here we are to explain each model and show you how it is different from the other. 


For a start, all of these abbreviations are marketing metrics used to measure and report results of a marketing campaign and to help when setting a pricing model. Each model is used in a different scenario which is explained in this article. 



  • Cost per Sale (CPS)



CPS is one of the metrics used whenever a sale or purchase is made for a certain product. Every sale made will be tracked using different methods (coupon or link tracking), and according to that, the final cost is calculated. 

Such a model is usually used when the product acquired is something that can be purchased online easily. 

To make things more tangible, if a fashion brand or company wants to sell men’s footwear, it will usually be charged using this model for every pair of shoes or slippers that are actually sold and purchased by consumers as a result of a campaign. This action should be completed until the end due to the campaign, i.e: buying a pair of shoes. 



  • Cost per Lead (CPL)



CPL differs from CPS, where in CPL, the cost would be calculated when a lead is acquired only. Leads are people who are interested in a certain product or service and are a potential sales contact. 

In the CPL model, the purchased product or service usually is something that can’t be acquired or purchased on the spot, especially online. For instance, a consumer would need some time to purchase a property or a car. However, such a consumer can express interest online and later on meet the company’s representatives to discuss further details and inquire more about the product, i.e: the consumer becomes a lead.

This is why this model is used usually in such cases, where the expected results from a campaign is gathering leads rather than immediate sales.



  • Cost per Verified Lead (CPVL)



A subset of CPL is the CPVL model. The difference however is that in the CPL model, the campaign only results in leads or interested consumers, but in CPVL, the marketer takes an extra step by making sure that these leads would actually make an actual purchase later on. This means that  the consumer would make a down payment for an apartment for example or actually pay to buy a car. To know more about the special Lead Generation and Verified Lead Generation programs offered by ArabyAds, click here.



  • Cost per Install (CPI)



CPI is considered as a subset of CPA, the abbreviation for Cost per Action, as installations are a type of “action”. As the name suggests, CPI is the cost incurred whenever a campaign causes users to install an app or download a program. 

This model is usually used for mobile and software developers who desire to have their apps or software installed/downloaded. 


To sum it all up, such results are only paid for, not the campaigns themselves, nor the effort. Thus, this is why most companies and businesses prefer using performance marketing rather than traditional marketing solutions, as they guarantee “real” and “tangible” results that can be seen easily. 


Find out more about ArabyAds’ Performance Marketing Solutions.

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