Cost per lead (CPL), how much is required for the company to acquire a lead, is one of the obvious measures of success that most B2B marketers use
CPLs vary across marketing channels and depends largely on target audience
Exhibitions have the highest CPL compared to mass market channels, but its quality of leads is deemed better
TechnologyCatalogue.com, given its well-targeted and global user base, generates the quality of leads that exhibitions attract at a price offered by mass market channels
Lead generation—attracting potential customers to your business—is the primary driver for most marketing activities. B2B organisations use online and offline channels to reach our target market, capture their interest, and convert them into clients.
Websites, social media, exhibitions and cold-calling are the most common lead generation activities for technology suppliers. These are proven and tested ways to generate leads, but at varying levels of success and costs involved.
TechnologyCatalogue.com offers a channel for generating high-quality leads. Our platform visitors and our social media audience are composed mainly of end-user companies in the energy industry and related sectors. They go to our platform because they are in need of specific technologies to address their specific challenges. These people are therefore in need of your solutions!
Hence, leads generated from our platform are ones that are likely to convert. But the question you may have: how do we fare on cost and level of success versus other commonly used lead generation channels?
In this blog, we will examine the cost per lead—average gross spent per lead acquired— of popular B2B lead generation channels and compare them with that of TechnologyCatalogue.com.
Cost per lead per Industry
Leads are prospective customers that companies generate via marketing activities, and thereby valuable assets to companies. There are many ways to generate leads, especially for technology suppliers: exhibitions, organic and paid social media, online and offline advertising, and email marketing. These channels’ levels of success also vary and depend highly on targeting strategies (what works for who), budget allocation and consistency.
An obvious way to measure level of success per channel is by calculating cost per lead (CPL)—how much is required for the company to acquire a lead—using each channel. The cost remains regardless of the final outcome, whether the lead actually led to a purchase or not.
According to DeTorres Group (2021), B2B lead generation services cost between $40 to $190 per lead. Understandably, the wide range reflects the huge differences between costs involved per industry, per channel and even per time of the year.
In a recent study released by US-based marketing firm First Page Sage (Bailyn, 2022), the five industries that pay the most on paid lead generation channels (based on average CPLs of 30 key industries) were Higher Education ($1,262), Legal Services ($784), Industrial IOT ($590), Oil and Gas ($772), and Manufacturing ($691). Our platform links to multiple industries. On average, the cost per lead for these industries is in the range of $200 and $700.
The numbers mentioned above already take into account the costs incurred in multiple lead generation channels that companies use to acquire leads. For us to better understand the concept, let us then look at the average CPLs for major lead generation channels.
Cost Per Lead Per Marketing Channel
Here we will discuss the CPL estimates for key lead generation channels mentioned above based on reputable sources online. In particular, we chose exhibitions, webinars, social media, search engine marketing and email marketing. These are the primary channels/strategies used by technology companies per our conversations with technology suppliers on our platform.
Online Channels: Social Media, Search Engine and Email Marketing
Over 5 billion people are online, of which 4.65 billion are on social media, according to the latest statistics from Statista (2022). Major markets for technologies, understandably, recorded some of the highest numbers of internet users.
Social media as a marketing tool has gained enormous popularity given its reach globally and across all audience segments. In the past few years (and in the coming years!), LinkedIn has been the most effective social media platform for B2B lead generation. The range for CPLs for LinkedIn could be large given the differing LinkedIn services that companies can avail of and to the type of audience/industry you target.
Lead Generation Institute (2018), a US-based organisation dedicated to the continued support and education of B2B sales and marketing professionals, estimates that CPLs for LinkedIn advertising range from $51 to $99, with an average of $75. Advertising options for LinkedIn include boosting your posts and message ads that go straight to account users’ inboxes.
Search engine marketing (SEM) uses strategies aimed at making your company website (homepage and other pages) rank better on results pages of search engines such as Google and Bing. It can be done organically through search engine optimisation techniques, or paid through advertising. Lead Generation Institute estimates that the average CPL for SEM is $110, with a low end of $38 and high end of $181.
Last on this list is email marketing, which raises brand/product awareness by sending emails to potential or previous customers. These emails either feature existing and new products, announce promotions, or educate potential customers... all with the intention of gaining (back) their interest and consider purchasing your products. Email marketing, Lead Generation Institute estimates, has an average CPL of $53, with the low end at $33 and high end at $72.
Joining exhibitions to meet potential clients face to face is one of the most common lead generation activities for technology companies. This is why the global exhibition market, according to Research and Markets (2022), was valued last year at US 13.87 billion, of which about 41% came from the B2B segment. Before the pandemic hit, the global exhibition market was forecasted to grow to over $50 billion between 2020 and 2025.
According to Lead Generation Institute (2018), average CPL for events and tradeshows is $811, with the low-end of the spectrum at $180 and high-end at $1,442. Costs for physical events include not just the registration fee as an exhibitor or participant, but also the cost for transportation, accommodation, development of promotional materials during the event, staff remuneration, among others.
The high cost seems to have been justified in the past, but has dwindled later on, based on 2014 (Borowski, 2014) and 2017 (Friedenthal, 2017) B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Reports by Software Advice. Surveyed B2B marketers in 2014 pointed to events and trade shows as the marketing channel that generated the highest quantity and quality of leads. However, it was replaced by referral and advocate marketing three years later.
While there is a lack of recent data to cite, we believe that exhibitions remained to be an effective lead generation activity. However, costs have continued to rise and have now been exacerbated by higher travel costs.
Webinars have gained enormous popularity as a lead generation tool in recent years given its ability to (simultaneously) present to as many people globally without leaving your desk. The global pandemic that started in early 2020 has boosted the popularity of webinars as it was treated as an alternative to exhibitions, face-to-face meetings and other physical events.
While the pandemic has been largely controlled in most parts of the world and physical events are slowly coming back, webinars remain popular due to its on-demand nature where people can watch recordings at their convenience. According to Lead Generation Institute (2018), the average CPL for webinars is $72 (low: $45, high: $98).
TechnologyCatalogue.com: A cost-effective lead generation channel
TechnologyCatalogue.com is a powerful lead generation channel for technology suppliers given its reach in major sectors involved in the Energy Transition, mostly technology end- users globally. Since the launch in 2018, the platform has attracted over 400,000 unique visitors.The pie chart below shows where our visitors are coming from (2022 numbers).
Of the general visitors, we have platform users who registered on the platform. These are verified end-users or consultants who are scouting for technologies for their respective organisations, and most have gone through the pain of not being able to find what they are looking for on the internet. They give us the technology domains they are interested in as well as share their business needs.
The figure below shows where we have multiple registered end-users and from which organisations they are affiliated to. Their functions range from engineers to C-level. They are mostly from the oil and energy industry, with a significant number coming from related industries like maritime, mining, manufacturing and petrochemical industries.
As discussed, our platform users are exactly what technology suppliers would like to approach to introduce their products. They come from major markets and are affiliated to key industry players. Their functions in their respective companies are also the personas you would like to connect with and position your technology. Every lead is a warm or hot lead.
Joining the Platform as a Technology Supplier
Technology suppliers are joining the platform to gain global exposure to thousands of platform users. Through their tech pages, they can interact with interested end-users and instil buyer confidence and social proof with reviews from experts and users.
There are different packages available for technology suppliers. Our premium packages offer technologies more exposure through our highlighted technology feature that puts your technology on top of relevant modules and search results, and email and social media promotions. Access to their technology pages’ performance dashboard allows suppliers to see visitor analytics.
We also showcase these technologies on partner portals such as the UK Energy Technology Platform (https://uk.energytechnologyplatform.com/). Technologies will also be showcased on end-user platforms powered by TechnologyCatalogue.com, if the technology in in line with the business needs of a company that subscribed to our platform. See https://www.technologycatalogue.com/what-we-offer for further background.
An additional feature of the Pro package is a quarterly review with one of our consultants providing insights on the performance of your technology page, and how to position your tech to end-users. All based on our extensive technology deployment experience and our wide network across the industry.
TechnologyCatalogue.com also offers webinars that can be combined with paid subscription on the platform. Our webinar offering includes a suite of social media and email promotions, email campaigns and list of registrations on top of the actual webinar. For the webinar, we particularly target end-users that are known to have interest in the tech that you offer, based on data and insights.
In other words: with the platform, we not only help you to generate leads, but also ensure that those leads are of high-quality.
Cost Per Lead for TechnologyCatalogue.com
Our record shows that leads coming from the platform range from none to more than 100 per company per year. Costs and leads generated are mainly influenced by the level of exposure a technology gets on the platform and the subscription they are in. Platform analytics show that highlighted technologies, those that are under a paid subscription, are getting twice the number of leads as that of a (free) starter subscription. This observation is applicable across all points of engagement on the platform: tech page views, verified end-user visits, website clicks on tech pages and contact form submissions.
It is worth noting that while a technologies’ exposure on the platform is largely influenced by the type of subscription they have, information provided by the suppliers as well as reviews from tech experts and former/existing users (can be requested by the suppliers) are also key in converting page visitors into actual leads.
There are other hard-to-quantify engagements that highlighted technologies (with paid subscriptions) generate. These include impressions and clicks from our social media posts.
CPL estimates for our premium subscriptions, with a high end of $120 and low end of about $8, are far lower than most of the above mentioned channels. It is good to note that TechnologyCatalogue.com subscriptions offer a combination of all the channels above: social media and email campaigns, webinars and online exhibition of technologies to targeted audiences.
To compare, below figure shows the CPLs of main lead generation channels mentioned above versus that of TechnologyCatalogue.com.
TechnologyCatalogue.com offers a cost-effective addition, or even an alternative, to the primary lead generation tools for suppliers of innovative technologies. The platform offers a well-targeted and global user base, with visitors using the platform with the clear intention to find the technology they need for their respective organisations. In terms of costs, it clearly can compete with popular online channels such as social media, emails and search engines, and is way lower compared to exhibitions.
In short, TechnologyCatalogue.com offers the quality of leads that exhibitions generate at a price offered by mass market channels.On top of these, our offerings also combine your platform visibility with promotions on our social media channels and newsletters.
To learn more about how you can generate lead through the platform, email us at email@example.com.
Bailyn, E. (2022). Average Cost Per Lead by Industry 2022. Retrieved 22 July 2022, https://firstpagesage.com/seo-blog/average-cost- per-lead-by-industry/Borowski, C. (2014). B2B Demand Generation Benchmark – 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2022, from https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/demand-generation-benchmark-report-2014/
DeTorres Group (2021). B2B Lead Generation Pricing. Retrieved 22 July 2022, from https://www.technologycatalogue.com/blog/renewable-energy-frontrunners-2022
Friedenthal, A. (2017). B2B Demand Generation Benchmark - 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2022, from https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/b2b-demand-generation-benchmark-report-2017/
Lead Generation Institute (2018). Average cost per lead by industry and marketing channel: are you overpaying?. Retrieved 22 July 2022, from https://leadgenerationinstitute.com/average-cost-per-lead-by-industry-and-marketing-channel-are-you-overpaying/
Research and Markets (2020). Exhibitions & Events Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025. Retrieved 22 July 2022, from https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5025080/exhibitions-and-events-market-global-outlook
Research and Markets (2022). Global Exhibition Market: Analysis By Revenue Stream, By Mode, By Type, By Region Size and Trends with Impact of COVID-19 and Forecast up to 2026. Retrieved on 22 July 2022, from https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5579068/global-exhibition-market-analysis-by-revenue
Statista (2022). Global digital population as of April 2022. Retrieved 22 July 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/