How to Stop Attracting the Leads You Don’t Want

Filter out the noise

Managing a marketing campaign can often feel like a battle against a tide of leads. But not all leads are created equal.

To maximize your return on investment, it’s key to filter out the noise and stop attracting the leads you don’t want. Here, we present an effective strategy to help you do just that.

1. Defining Your Anti-Buyers

The first step in this process is to define your anti-buyers. Anti-buyers are the types of leads that, for various reasons, are unlikely to convert into profitable customers. These could be people who don’t fit your target demographic, have needs that your product or service cannot meet, or are just too costly to acquire.

Identifying your anti-buyers involves looking at a range of factors. These include persona characteristics, demographics, professional background, psychographics, user behaviour, goals and motivations, and pain points. Look into your customer database and feedback trends to identify common traits among past customers who were problematic or unprofitable. Acknowledge the limitations of your product or service, and identify segments that do not align with your value proposition.

2. Building Your Anti-Buyer Vocabulary

Once you have identified your anti-buyers, the next step is to build an anti-buyer vocabulary. This is a list of words and phrases that are commonly associated with your anti-buyers. These can be derived from their unmet needs, goals, motivations, and pain points.

For example, if your anti-buyer is a mid-level manager named ‘Bargain-Hunting Betty’ who values simplicity and affordability and is overwhelmed by complex features, your anti-buyer vocabulary might include words like ‘complex’, ‘customizable’, ‘scalable’, and ‘premium’. These words should be included in your marketing materials to deter your anti-buyer.

3. Refining the Framework

With your anti-buyer personas and vocabulary defined, the next step is to refine your marketing messages. Use your anti-buyer vocabulary to craft key messages that appeal to your ideal customers and deter your anti-buyers. The messaging should highlight the features and benefits of your product or service that align with the needs and wants of your target audience, and downplay or omit those that appeal to your anti-buyers.

For example, let’s expand on our anti-buyer vocabulary for Bargain-Hunting Betty. We know she doesn’t value or want complex features, so a key message could be, “Program your algorithms,” or “Deploy advanced features with API integrations.”

4. Case Study: IKEA vs. Perigold

A good example of this strategy in action can be seen in the contrast between IKEA and Perigold. IKEA’s marketing messages focus on affordability, functionality, and sustainability, appealing to budget-conscious consumers who value practicality and eco-friendliness. Perigold, on the other hand, emphasizes quality, originality, and exclusivity, targeting consumers who are willing to pay a premium for unique, high-quality home furnishings.

5. Mastering Your Digital Marketing

The final step in filtering out the noise is to master your digital marketing. This involves leveraging keywords, optimizing your content for specific, niche keywords, and avoiding broad terms that could attract your anti-buyers. Use your anti-buyer vocabulary to create a list of negative keywords that you don’t want your content to rank for.

Another important aspect of digital marketing is strategic targeting. Use your anti-buyer personas to create highly targeted audiences on social media platforms. Include demographics and interests, keeping user behaviours in mind to deter your anti-buyers. Create specific, targeted ads using your anti-buyer vocabulary to further filter out the leads you don’t want.


In conclusion, filtering out the noise involves a series of steps. It starts with defining your anti-buyers and building an anti-buyer vocabulary. Then, refine your marketing messages to appeal to your target audience and deter your anti-buyers. Finally, master your digital marketing by leveraging keywords and strategic targeting. By following these steps, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are focused on attracting the right leads, leading to a more profitable and efficient marketing campaign.

Remember, the goal is not necessarily to attract more leads, but to attract the right leads. Follow this playbook filter out the noise and focus on the leads that matter.

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