Actual CPM per Broadcast Medium

This post is part question, part answer since I didn’t find much on google related to actual cpm per medium.

I’m curious what other business owners see for CPM; that is the advertising cost per thousand listeners / viewers / email recipients / eyeballs / etc.

Here’s my own experience…

Radio = $2 – $4 CPM

Radio has been my “seductive mistress” for the last 5 years.  She whispers messages of hope and the promise of “dedicated listeners who follow the host like a zombie army and buy everything he / she commands.”

I take the plunge into her bedroom once a year or so.  After the unique 800 number I’m spending $200/month on phone rings 20-ish times in a week — after 400,000 zombies with nothing better to do than listen to said host have supposedly heard my unbelievably well-crafted message — I tally up the stats.

About 40% of people buy the product.

20% ask for the price and hang up once they’ve heard it.

And the remaining 40% ask questions for 27 minutes, then ask us to mail them pricing and product brochures because they can’t afford an effing internet connection.

8 orders (40% of 20) at $100 an order is $800 in revenue.

Not profit, people…revenue.

You see, my employees get the idea somehow that I’m obligated to pay them to answer calls from said zombies.  And because I’m nice and I like them, I do.

  • Radio Cost Per Spot = The most expensive spot in radio is 60 seconds on The Rush Limbaugh show.  It’s about $14,000 for 60 seconds, host-voiced spot.  I don’t know the CPM off-hand, but he’s number 1 most-listened to radio host by a major landslide.  I’m typically offered around $500 – $700 for a 60 second.  But, if you get on a long-term contract and get bonus spots, I’ve had them as low as $23-ish.
  • Radio ROI = For me, it’s been in a range of .18 on the low-end to 1.8 on the high-end.  That’s measuring revenue, not profit.  So when I spend a dollar and get 18 cents in revenue in return, yes, I feel like Zach Galifinakis getting tazered in The Hangover.

Email (to 3rd Party Lists) CPM = $2 – $18

Email to 3rd Party Lists has been really good, and really REALLY bad.  What’s the difference?  If the list owner has a sizable audience of actual zombies that actually do what he recommends, then it works.  Any other message I’ve sent to any other audience has a negative ROI.

So basically, there is one list that works great for me, and all the others suck.

  • Cost Per Email = The one that works costs me $3,000 to have sent.  The ones that don’t work don’t matter.
  • Email ROI = As low as .05, as high as 4.25.

Print Media CPM = ??

I’ve done so little print media (magazines, journals, newspapers) that I really don’t know the number for this.

I did recently spent $3400 on a very targeted trade journal.  I negotiated from 1 ad for $3400 to 3 ads and a month long banner ad on their website for $3400.

But I don’t know if we had a single click from the banner or a phone call.  I haven’t checked our Google Analytics, and I didn’t use a unique 800 number in the ad.  I was too short on time to meet the deadline.  Shit happens.

Web Banner Ads = ??

I also have very little experience here.  Ever since I read about banner blindness, I just figured it probably wasn’t worth the effort.

However, I did negotiate a very strategic placement in a very relevant directory that is sort of like a banner ad.  They wanted $1500 for the full year, I got them to throw in $2000 worth of other “premium” stuff (which, let’s be honest, cost them nothing), so it seemed like a good deal.

And here’s the real kicker, since this directory has a very professional sounding name, I’m creating a logo to put on my website as a “3rd party trust icon / badge” saying, “Featured in Respected Buyers Guide Directory” to (hopefully) improve my own conversion rate.

Sneaky, eh?  😉

No Experience With…

I have zero experience in these areas. Newspaper Ads, White pages, Yellow pages…  Any one care to offer some numbers on

One thought on “Actual CPM per Broadcast Medium”

  1. Hi Patrick:

    How about CPBP and CPSMP? (Click Per Blog Post and Click Per Social Media Post)

    I have had much better success with blog posts that ruminate about a whole lot of issues of great public interest and then mention a product or a service (such as my book) in context. Since posting to blogs and social media is free I guess you need to value the cost as the cost of your time to set up a blog, post, and engage audience.

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