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CPM, CPC, CPL, and CPA are all types of online marketing methods. Each of these acronyms is related to a different method of calculating costs of displaying ads on websites.
CPM stands for “cost per mile”, and mile means “1,000”. This ad campaign model is based on the idea of calculating the ad cost for 1,000 page impressions (each time the ad is displayed). For instance, if an ad site has a CPM rate of $1 USD and guarantees 10,000 page impressions for the ad, the cost to the advertiser will be $10 USD.
CPC means “cost per click”. The ad publisher is paid every time the displayed ad is clicked and the viewer is delivered to the advertiser’s website. The number of clicks the ad gets is monitored by the companies selling these ads in order to prevent the publisher from artificially inflating the number and increase revenue.
Cost per lead (CPL) means that a publisher is paid each time the advertiser gets a “lead” (a visitor signs up for something). For example, ads can be banners or hyperlinks leading to the advertiser’s website. When a visitor enters his or her e-mail address to sign up for the offer, the publisher is paid.
CPA, stands for “cost per acquisition/action”. It’s similar to CPL, however the advertiser pays when a user performs a particular action after arriving at the advertiser’s website. The payable action might be downloading a program, joining a course, purchasing a product, or something different.