Bring in Fresh Prospects the Right Way

Written by Tim Edmundson

Prospecting is all about finding new customers to visit your brand’s site. They’re the top ring of that played-out sales funnel graphic you’ve seen a million times. And while the graphic is old news, what it represents is still relevant. To keep the sales cycle moving, you need to attract new customers to your brand by peaking their interest with effective, eye catching creative.

Sounds simple right? On the surface it is, but just like anything else that is worth doing it’s not easy. There is a lot of nuance that goes into attracting the right kind of audience to your brand – ideally you want your advertising spend to get ads in front of consumers who you would want to eventually convert. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your prospecting efforts to keep filling up the proverbial funnel.


We recently discussed the importance of segmentation and how it can help your campaigns reach the right audience. Segments are vital to any campaign, whether it be retargeting or prospecting – you just need to use the available data in a way that will get you the most impact for your efforts.

One of the more effective means of using your segment data to drive prospects is Look-Alike Targeting.

Look- Alike Targeting: Your data is telling you who your best customers are, so now it is time to take full advantage of that insight. Look-Alike Targeting is building a profile of site behavior, demographic, and contextual information of the type of customer who converts best on your site, and then using it to target new customers that may not have heard of you yet.

This type of targeting helps advertisers reach a new and significantly larger audience of online shoppers (typically 5x-20x the size of your current audience reach), and keeps your budget spend focused on consumers who have a higher chance of converting than the average joe.


How you go about prospecting for new customers is the key to the whole operation. Look-Alike Targeting is just one of the tools at your disposal – there are plenty of other ways to get your ads in placements that will have an impact.

Contextual Targeting: This uses keywords found on a site to determine whether you will serve an ad there or not. The idea behind this is that the content on the site the user is browsing relates directly to your product, and thus that person is more likely to be interested in your offerings. Contextual targeting uses selected keywords on a site to determine whether your ad will run there or not.

3rd Party Data: You have two primary sources of data – your own (1st party) and data that is sourced from a third party (3rd party, obviously). Utilizing third party data exponentially increases your reach and gives you insight into a much larger audience. From there, you can curate the data to focus on consumers you know will be receptive to your brand.

Vertical Targeting: The name says it all – target sites that match the vertical you’re after. If you’re selling bicycles, cycling enthusiast sites are a good bet.


Viewability is a hot topic in the digital ad world – this is the metric that determines the potential of an ad being seen by a living, breathing person. Advertisers everywhere want their ads seen by their potential customers; how will someone become your customer if they never see your offerings to begin with?

There is a bit of nuance when it comes to viewability as a metric – it isn’t a gold standard for all types of campaigns. We specifically and emphatically suggest it not be used for campaigns designed to drive conversions, such as retargeting. Viewability is an excellent metric to use when running a prospecting campaign, however. The entire point of a prospecting campaign is to be seen and raise awareness of your brand, and you can use viewability as a measuring stick to ensure your ads are being seen.

The IAB suggests a baseline of 70% viewability for ads, which means that ads carry a 7 in 10 chance of being viewed across a campaign. For prospecting, you can aspire for more, but one thing to keep in mind is that asking for too high of a viewability rating for ad inventory will limit your reach. Only 1.8% of digital ad inventory carries a viewability rating of 90% or higher; only 20% of ad inventory has a higher rating than 70%. Keep this in mind when kicking off your prospecting campaign, and find a balance between reach and viewability rating to ensure you’re reaching enough consumers.


You can have the best data and ad placements on the internet, but it would all go to waste without effective creative. Sequenced messaging with compelling offers are your best bet in catching your audience’s attention.

Your target audience is not familiar with your brand, so you need to give them a compelling reason to click. Put your best foot forward and make sure you’re using offers you know have been effective in the past with your current crop of customers to draw in more (especially if you are Look-Alike Targeting).

Take advantage of sequenced messaging to give a logical introduction to your brand; start with video ads for the first few days to introduce your brand, then after your audience has seen the video campaign, utilize dynamic products (the most popular products on your site is a good idea) along with a strong offer to bring them in. This one-two combination is effective in grabbing your soon-to-be customers’ attention, and showing them exactly what you have to offer.


With the right approach, prospecting can be an effective tool that will keep fresh customers coming through to your brand’s site. And once you have their attention, its only a matter of time before you start seeing the sales roll in and then it’s time to reach a whole new audience all over again.

Interested in learning more on how to get the most out of your prospecting campaigns? Visit for more information.