Converting high value traffic into customers is an art; the art of courtship.

This week I bet a lot of you are gearing up to woo someone special for Valentine’s Day.

But it’s a challenge, isn’t it? How do you get your desired to notice you, to be willing to give their attention to you, to be interested in you, and to spare their valuable time for you?

For those of us in the business of demand generation and lead nurturing, these questions about dating actually sound a lot like what we ask about our prospective clients.

Attracting new customers is a lot like dating, it’s an art form but it also requires a scientific approach for proper execution. A worthwhile date, after all, strikes a balance between mystery and good planning, leaving your S.O. wanting more.

So what can we learn about attracting new customers from the art of dating?

1. Figure Out What You Want

We all have an ideal guy or girl in mind. Do they have a beautiful golden mane that glistens in the sun? Are they beautifully sculpted like a god? Do they love long walks on the beach and writing wistful poetry that they whisper into your ear at night?

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Why hello there, mate.

In the dating world, we usually have a general idea of what our ‘type’ is. It should be the same for your marketing.

Get a better understanding of exactly who your ideal customer is by doing some diligent research and asking the right questions. Learn more from your current customer base by sending out surveys. If you’re a B2B, you might ask:

  • What’s their role at work?
  • What is their day-to-day like?
  • What are the biggest work-related challenges they face?
  • What’s their educational background?
  • What peeves them about vendor products and services?

If you’re a B2C, you might ask:

  • What’s their role home?
  • Who does the majority of the household purchases?
  • What is their day-to-day like?
  • What’s the biggest challenge to their day?
  • What’s the most important thing a product or service should do for them?

You can interview your customers through email surveys, or by taking your clients out to lunch to get their feedback. If you enable quick surveys to take place just after your signup process, you can immediately retrieve more information from your customers when they are most willing to provide it – when they sign up.

2. Get to Know Your Date

Once you’ve gathered enough information about your current customer’s needs and wants, pause to consider how your business or services fit for them. Then create Buyer Personas for your ideal prospective clients. HubSpot in fact has some great Buyer Persona templates you can use.

Use your imagination. If you can imagine that your ideal guy can wield Mjolnir like its NBD (which means carrying you over the threshold should be a piece of cake), then you can imagine some kick-ass Buyer Personas. Just think of your Buyer Personas, as your ultimate Playbook.


What’s their demographic? What titles do they hold? What’s their backstory? Give them one. What positive things would they say about your product, what are the negatives? What do they really care about?  Flesh out your ideal clients and get to know their buyer persona, truly understand what their needs are and what drives them to buy.

The more you know what you want – or rather who you want- to be your customers, that is, the easier it is to woo them.

3. Pursue a Relationship, not a One-Night-Stand

This is usually a pretty daunting task in the dating world. Props to all of you who manage to muster up the courage to walk up to someone at the bar and say “Hey you, want to be friends?” Of course, depending on your line the outcome isn’t always positive.

So how do you get in front of the right audiences during this awkward phase when they don’t know you, they might not even want to get to know you, but you really want to get to know them?

By building a relationship and like all strong relationships, that requires trust. How do you achieve this?

Boost your Content Marketing Strategy. Lead the conversation that should be taking place between you and your audience. Provide prospects with valuable, educational, and actionable content that’s useful. But don’t be pedantic and stay relevant. There’s nothing worse than having a date mansplain, or talk about things that you have absolutely no interest in.

Wait, there is something worse – a date who talks incessantly about nothing but their self. You’ve been on some of those dates, terrible right?

Exactly. Make sure your content marketing strikes a balance between valuable industry relevant content, and promotional “hard sell” content. Ensure your audience understands what your business stands for, your mission and how you benefit them, but don’t just talk about you. The majority of your content should actually consist of high value entertaining or educational material that audiences would enjoy.

4. Be Honest, Be Steadfast, Be a Gentleman

Those are the dating terms. Let’s translate them into marketing terms: be transparent, be consistent, and provide quality service.

This applies across every marketing channel. If you want to build a repertoire with your audience (read: date), then you must be honest. You can’t misrepresent your services and features, and you can’t over promise but under deliver. The second they discover you’re a fraud, say goodbye to dates 2 and 3 and everything else that comes with the third date.

You give your audiences the truth. Negative reviews show up on Yelp? You take that like a champ and you don’t delete those comments. Instead, you show your dedication to audience by acknowledging that feedback and strive to improve your service.

Consistency is also key across every marketing channel. On social media, you got to keep up a consistent conversation. For your content strategy, posting consistently will keep your audiences coming back for more. If you’re running paid ads on websites, make sure you consistently appear on the sites where your audience actually visits.

Consistency keeps you top of mind. It ensures you continue to pay attention to your audience. When you share an article on your blog for your audience, you’re saying “Hey, I was thinking of you and I thought you might like this.” When you “like” what they Tweeted, you’re saying “That’s a great point. I am listening to you.”

And together, that adds up to being attentive to you date, or rather your prospective customers, which is really just good customer service.

5. Don’t Look for Love in the Wrong Places

So you want a relationship. You want to settle down and maybe start a little fam. But for some reason, you are still looking for dates at 3 AM in the club. Come on! You know better than that.

Attracting new customers that you want to have as clients for life, is the same. Get in front of your audience at the right place and the right time and you need to keep your ads relevant. How?

When running programmatic campaigns, you have to ensure your targeting parameters are on point. You’re not going to run your ads for, let’s say Hummers, on a publisher that advocates green energy and environmental friendly lifestyles because you know that the audience reading that publisher is not going to be interested in your ad. That’s a waste of ad dollars.

makers mark liquor
Well placed.

To target your audiences better, choose to work with a vendor who can help you leverage data from a Data Management Platform (DMP), allowing you to layer audience behavioral and contextual data over your targeting. Better yet, get your hands on some first-party audience data (*ahem* ClearPier offers first-party publisher audience data) so you can segment your audience list and really target your ads.

6. Treat Your Dates as Individuals

You’re dating Sarah. Sarah like to go to the ice cream parlor for milkshakes which she dips into her french fries – she’s quirky like that. You met Sarah at concert. But you’re also seeing Sally who you met at a friend’s party. Sally is lactose intolerant, but she still likes dessert. When you ask Sarah out, you’re going to suggest going to that new hipster ice cream parlor on Queen and Spadina. She’s going to love it, she says yes. So you decide to try the same thing out with Sally. You suggest going to that new hipster ice cream parlor on Queen and Spadina. She, obviously, says no and is a bit turned off by you now.

What went wrong?

You didn’t tailor your messaging! 

It’s important to treat each of your customers as individuals and to segment your audience list so that when you communicate with your customers, you’re sending a targeted, relevant, and personalized message. Tailored messages are the only ones your audience will respond to, and it’s the same when it comes to Sally. Here are some creative ways you can segment your audience list. 

7. Prove that You’re Actually Worth It

So you’ve been on a few dates now, that is,  you have a few customers now. You’ve been keeping up your communication, staying attentive and delighting your customers with brilliant high-value content. Great.

The challenge here is to turn your customers into brand advocates so that you can then ask for feedback and testimonials to continue proving your value. But how?

Actions speak louder than words. First, deliver on the marketing promises that you about your product or services. Remember, provide attentive and quality customer experiences. And finally, appreciate your customers and show them you care.

Before you know it, they’ll be telling the whole world just how great you are.

8. If You Love Them, Let Them Go – But then, Retarget

It’s bound to happen. Your date might just not be that into you right at this moment. That’s okay, let them go. But then, you just got to get back in front of them and remind them of how great you are and they should get back together with you, stat.

Okay, this last analogy might be pushing it a bit. This is one of those few times where dating and marketing aren’t exactly the same. In the real world, applying “retargeting” strategy might be a little creepy.

In the digital marketing world, not so much! The reality is that the customer journey is not linear and often times there’s a long period of research that might take place before conversion actually happens. As marketers, we must be patient. But we can push prospective clients along towards conversion faster with pixel-based retargeting.

But keep this in mind when you’re retargeting:

  • Your frequency cap: no one likes to see the same retargeted add too often, following them around the internet wherever they go. Forget that. Put a cap on it. Retargeter recommends no more than 17-20 retargeted ads for your visitor per month.
  • Refresh your ads: seeing the same creative every where is terrible. It might even make people clear their cookies – not what we want. In fact, click-through rates can drop by 50% after 5 months of running the same creative. Stop creative fatigue, switch up your ads!
  • Segment your audience by stage in the purchasing funnel: the further along they are, the more likely they are to convert (e.g. if they’ve looked at your pricing page). If your visitor has only viewed your home page, they may still be looking for more information. By segmenting your audiences, you can retarget with the right ad to inspire the next action and push your prospects further down the conversion funnel.

9. When They Fall in Love, They’re Your Biggest Fan

Finally, just like in the dating world when your date actually falls in love with you, they become your biggest cheerleader.

The same can be said about prospects who turn into customers. But remember, it’s a relationship and it requires nurture and hard work. For marketers, this means continuing to provide the best customer service possible while listening to your audiences. Keep it up, and they’ll be a fan for life.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at