Cost per order (CPO) can also be referred to as the cost per purchase. It is a core metric in determining the success of an infomercial or advertising campaign.
In television, it is the cost of media to generate one product order. This figure is determined by taking the cost of a specific infomercial telecast and dividing it by the number of orders received. A $1,000 media time purchase that generates 100 product orders would yield a CPO of $10.
In internet advertising, it is the cost of the advertising divided by the number of orders. For Direct Response marketers, CPO is the most important metric as it indicates profitability. Other advertisers that cannot specifically determine attribution per media spent, often settle for cost per impression and cost per click metrics to determine the reach of internet advertising.