Definition of Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Cost Per Mille (CPM) is a digital marketing term that refers to the cost an advertiser pays for every thousand impressions (or views) of their advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the pricing of display ads, such as banners, on websites or social media platforms. CPM allows advertisers to compare the cost of different advertising options and determine the most cost-effective investment based on their target audience’s reach.


Cost Per Mille (CPM) can be phonetically transcribed as: /kɒst pər ˈmɪli/

Key Takeaways

  1. CPM stands for Cost Per Mille, also known as Cost Per Thousand, and it refers to the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand impressions or views of their ad.
  2. CPM is a crucial metric for comparing the cost-effectiveness of different advertising platforms, ad formats, and campaigns, allowing marketers to allocate their budget efficiently.
  3. While CPM measures the cost for a large number of ad impressions, it does not directly measure the success of an advertising campaign. For better results, it should be combined with other metrics like click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Importance of Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Cost Per Mille (CPM) is a crucial metric in digital marketing as it measures the cost of reaching a thousand impressions for an advertisement, helping advertisers and marketers assess the effectiveness and efficiency of their advertising campaigns.

By evaluating ad costs and understanding audience reach, CPM provides insight into how well a campaign is resonating with the target audience, allowing for better budget allocation and optimization to improve overall marketing performance.

Furthermore, comparing CPMs across different channels and ad formats enables marketers to identify the most cost-effective advertising opportunities to maximize return on investment (ROI) and achieve their marketing objectives more efficiently.


Cost Per Mille (CPM), often referred to as cost per thousand, is a vital metric for digital marketers, as it allows them to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. One of the primary purposes of CPM is to quantify the cost associated with displaying an advertisement on a publisher’s platform, taking into account the number of audience members reached.

By utilizing CPM measurements, advertisers can accurately compare various advertising options and allocate their budgets effectively. The metric provides a foundation for making data-driven decisions, thereby optimizing ad spend to yield higher audience reach and engagement at a more affordable price.

In the realm of digital marketing, the use of CPM is particularly advantageous for businesses looking to build brand awareness and establish a compelling online presence. Through CPM analysis, marketers can determine which channels, formats, or creatives resonate most effectively with their target audience and consequently adjust their strategies accordingly.

This information is invaluable for tailoring the user’s experience, retaining the focus on engagement, and ultimately increasing the likelihood of driving conversions. Furthermore, the in-depth insights garnered from CPM offer a means to negotiate better pricing with publishers by demonstrating the results of past performance, thereby maximizing the return on investment while continually refining a brand’s marketing efforts.

Examples of Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Example 1: Online News WebsiteAn online news website wants to monetize their high volume of page views by displaying ads to their visitors. They partner with an advertising platform that offers an advertising campaign with a CPM rate of $

That means the news website will earn $2 for every thousand impressions (times an ad has been shown) of the ads displayed on its pages. If the website receives 500,000 page views with ads in a month, the site will earn $1,000 from the advertising campaign (500,000/1,000 * $2).Example 2: Local Small BusinessA local small business owner decides to promote their services on a popular social media platform. The platform charges a CPM of $4 for displaying an ad to a target audience. The business owner sets a budget of $200 for the advertising campaign. In this case, their ad will be displayed to 50,000 people (200/4 * 1,000) within their target audience.Example 3: Mobile App LaunchA mobile app development company is launching a new app and wants to create awareness about it via in-app advertisements on other related apps. The company collaborates with an ad network that offers a CPM of $

With a budget of $1,500 allocated to this marketing effort, their advertisements will receive a total of 500,000 impressions (1,500/3 * 1,000) within the network of related apps they’ve chosen.

FAQ: Cost Per Mille (CPM)

What is Cost Per Mille (CPM)?

Cost Per Mille (CPM) is an advertising metric that represents the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or impressions of their advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the performance and cost-effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns, specifically banner ads and other display advertising formats.

How is CPM calculated?

CPM is calculated by dividing the total cost of an advertising campaign by the number of impressions generated, and then multiplying the result by 1,000. The formula for CPM is as follows: CPM = (Total Ad Spend / Total Impressions) x 1,000.

What is the difference between CPM and CPC?

CPM (Cost Per Mille) stands for the cost per thousand impressions, while CPC (Cost Per Click) refers to the cost an advertiser pays for each click on their ad. CPM deals with impressions, whereas CPC focuses on actual clicks. Advertisers using CPM pay for ad exposure, while those using CPC pay for engagement or interaction with the ad.

When should I use CPM in my advertising campaign?

CPM is typically used when the primary goal of the campaign is to increase brand awareness or when exposure is more important than engagement. It is also useful for campaigns targeting a broad audience, as it allows for many impressions at a relatively lower cost. CPM is recommended when the advertising budget is limited and spreading the message to as many people as possible is the priority.

How can I improve the effectiveness of my CPM campaigns?

To improve the effectiveness of your CPM campaigns, consider the following strategies: target your ads to a specific audience, use eye-catching visuals and compelling copy, select appropriate ad placements, track and analyze campaign performance, and continuously test and optimize ad creatives.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Impressions
  • Ad Inventory
  • Effective Cost Per Mille (eCPM)
  • Advertising Networks
  • Viewability

Sources for More Information

  • Investopedia –
  • Campaign Monitor –
  • Marketing91 –
  • AdEspresso –
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