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Understanding your patient CPL allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing spend and grow your practice more quickly. 

Your patient cost per lead (or patient CPL) is a metric that shows you the value of your marketing spend. It’s literally how much it costs you to attract the attention of a potential new patient to your business. When you know your cost per lead you can make important decisions on where to put your money to maximize the value of your marketing dollar. 

Best Guess Mentality

It used to be that healthcare marketing took a lot of best-guess efforts when it came to understanding the value of each campaign. You knew how much you spent where, of course, but when it came to effectiveness—as in which patients came to your practice as a direct result of your marketing—it was pretty murky. 

These days, with all the latest technology at your fingertips, you CAN track your patient cost per lead. Call and click trackers can be enabled so you know if a patient is reaching out from an online ad, an email, a postcard, or even a billboard. And with the right HIPAA-compliant integrations in place, you can track that person from the beginning to the end of their patient journey. In other words, you can know the exact patient value your marketing campaign brought in—no guesswork needed. provides the average cost per lead by industry. In the healthcare industry, they have calculated that cost per lead ranges from $36 to $286, with an average of $162 per lead. reports a much lower cost per lead for healthcare and medical of $26 to $50 per lead. These are broad averages over the whole industry, but they give an idea of what you may expect as you begin to calculate numbers for your practice. 

Patient Cost per Lead Calculation

To find your patient CPL, it’s a simple math equation. In the example below, we are using real numbers from one of our customers. These numbers show up on their marketing report from January through March, 2021. Boost in the chart below represents paid ads they have running on Google, and we’re tracking inbound calls from the ads. 

(campaign cost) / (number of patients who reach out from that campaign) = patient cost per lead

($2,548.96 on Google Ads over three months) / (2,799 inbound calls from those ads) = $0.91 patient CPL

Data to calculate your patient cost per lead

You can easily see that this client spent $2,548.96 on paid advertising, and from those efforts, they received 2,799 calls, giving a patient CPL of less than $1 per patient. 

Not all of those who called made appointments, however. The 170 patients who made appointments can be plugged into the same equation in place of the 2,799 to find the patient acquisition cost (PAC). In this case their patient acquisition cost is $14.99. That’s around $15 in advertising to bring in a patient that will generate an estimated $800 in revenue. (That $800 is the average patient value they provided for us.) 

The same data also lays a foundation that allows you to calculate your return on investment. 

Why It Matters

The technology we have at our disposal today is pretty amazing. The available data gives us the power to make informed decisions that will accelerate growth if we have the knowledge and expertise to tap into it. If you are not looking at your patient cost per lead as you make your marketing decisions, you’re missing valuable information. 

Understanding your patient CPL, PAC, and ROI positions you to bring in new patients and grow your practice with the confidence of data-backed decisions. Please be sure your marketing efforts include these valuable metrics to make the most of your marketing spend. 

Let us know if you have any questions or would like to see a demo to show how we can help you create a data-driven marketing plan, build your practice, and secure your independence.

You may also find these articles interesting: 

Measure Your Medical Marketing Spend

Best Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategies for 2021 

HIPAA-Compliant Integration Is Key to Automating Your Patient Acquisition