Imagine you could know exactly when a potential customer is ready to buy. That’s what intent signals can do for your marketing efforts. By understanding and using these signals, you can target the right people at the right time with the right message. This guide will show you how to identify, interpret, and use intent signals to boost your marketing success.

What Are Intent Signals?

Intent signals, also known as intent data or buying signals, are clues that tell you a potential customer is interested in what you have to offer. These signals can come from various sources, both online and offline, and indicate that someone is moving closer to a purchase decision.

By understanding these intent signals, businesses can target their marketing and sales efforts more effectively. Imagine reaching out to someone who has already shown interest in your product rather than someone who has no clue about it. This increases the chances of a successful conversion.

Intent Signal Types

There are various types of intent signals, ranging from explicit actions like downloading a whitepaper to implicit actions like spending a long time on a specific product page on your web page. 

Let’s dive into some of these types.

Engagement Intent Signals

These are actions that potential buyers take that indicate active interest in your brand or product. They're like little breadcrumbs that show someone is considering you.

  • Website Activity: This could include things like spending a significant amount of time on product pages, visiting pricing pages, or downloading product brochures.
  • Social Media Engagement: Liking, commenting, or sharing your social media posts signifies interest. Someone engaging with content related to your industry or competitors could also be a clue.
  • Event Participation: Attending industry conferences, webinars, or visiting your booth at a trade show suggests they're actively researching solutions.

Research Intent Signals

These signals reveal what kind of information potential customers are actively looking for online. By understanding their research journey, you can gauge their buying stage.

  • Search Queries: The keywords someone uses to find your website or related topics can be very telling. Tools can track searches that indicate buying intent, like "[product name] pricing" or "[competitor] vs. [your product]."
  • Content Consumption: If someone is downloading whitepapers, ebooks, or case studies related to your product category, they're likely in the research phase.

Hiring Intent Signals

Hiring intent signals, and other human-level signals, are particularly useful for B2B marketing teams. By looking at a company's hiring activity, you can understand their focus and potential needs.

  • Job Postings: If a B2B company is hiring for roles related to the problem your product solves, it suggests they're looking for solutions in that area.
  • LinkedIn Activity: Tracking changes in a company's LinkedIn profile, like adding new positions related to your product area, can signal buying intent.

Technographic Intent Signals

These signals focus on the technology stack a company uses.

  • Software Adoption: If a company starts using software that integrates with yours, it might indicate they're looking for complementary solutions.
  • Website Technology: Analyzing the technologies used on a company's website can reveal their priorities and potential needs.

Company Activity Intent Signals

These signals look at newsworthy events or changes within a company that might trigger buying decisions.

  • Mergers & Acquisitions: If a company undergoes a merger or acquisition, it might need new solutions to support their growth.
  • Funding Rounds: Companies that receive funding are often looking to scale their operations, creating opportunities for relevant product sales.

Intent Data Signal Examples

Understanding intent data signal examples is important to help us understand which events are most likely to trigger sales for your ICP. 

Explicit Intent Signals

Explicit intent signals are traditional “classic signals” such as filling out a lead form to sign up for a product trial, asking for a demo from sales, attending a webinar, or downloading an ebook. These actions clearly show a prospect’s interest and readiness to learn more about your product or service.


- Requesting a sales demo

- Submitting a contact form

- Registering for a product trial or a free account

- Downloading a whitepaper

- Attending a webinar

Implicit Intent Signals

Implicit intent signals are more covert and don’t require the prospect to make the first move and leave their phone number. Examples are browsing product and pricing pages on a website, visiting help docs, and doing online research. These signals require marketers to be more observant and proactive in identifying potential interest.

For example, if someone spends a lot of time reading your blog posts about a specific product feature, this might indicate they are considering whether your product fits their needs.


- Browsing product pages and reading case studies on your site

- Checking out your pricing page

- Reviewing your product implementation documentation

- Researching solutions and reading reviews about your company or competitors

Where to Get Intent Data Signals

Marketers can acquire buyer intent data signals from two main sources:

First-Party Data

This refers to data collected directly from a company's own website, marketing campaigns, and customer interactions. This might include things like:

  • Website Visitor Behavior: Pages viewed, time spent, forms submitted.
  • Content Downloads: Ebooks, whitepapers.
  • Webinar Registrations: Events attended.
  • Email Engagement: Opens and clicks.

Third-Party Data

This data is collected by companies specializing in intent data aggregation. These providers gather data from a variety of sources, including:

  • Website Audience Data: Companies like UserGems, Leadfeeder, or ZoomInfo track website visitors and identify the companies they belong to.
  • Public Web Browsing Data: Some providers collect data on online browsing activity across the web.
  • Social Media Engagement: Social media interactions such as following industry publications, engaging with competitor content, or joining relevant groups can all be signals of purchase intent.

Most Common Intent Signals in B2B Marketing

B2B marketers rely on a variety of intent signals to gauge a prospect's interest in their products or services. Here are some of the most common ones:

Website Behavior

  • Page Visits and Time Spent: Tracks which pages visitors view and for how long. In-depth exploration of product pages, pricing pages, or case studies suggests a high level of interest.
  • Content Downloads: Downloads of whitepapers, ebooks, or other gated content indicate a desire to learn more about a specific topic relevant to your offering.
  • Form Submissions: Filling out forms to request a demo, free trial, or consultation is a clear sign of strong purchase intent.
  • Video Engagement: Watching product demos or explainer videos suggests active research and a willingness to invest time in understanding your solution.

Search Queries

  • Industry-Specific Searches: Keywords related to challenges your product solves or specific functionalities you offer indicate active research and potential buying intent.
  • Branded Keywords: Searches that include your company name or product names show existing brand awareness and a higher likelihood of considering your solution.
  • Informational vs. Transactional Keywords: Informational searches like "how to..." questions suggest earlier research stages, while transactional searches like "best [product type]" indicate a later stage with a purchase decision potentially nearing.

Content Consumption

  • Blog Readership: Regularly following your blog content demonstrates ongoing interest and a desire to stay informed about industry trends or solutions relevant to their needs.
  • Email Engagement: Opening and clicking through emails, particularly those focused on specific product features or case studies, suggests active consideration.
  • Social Media Interactions: Liking, sharing, or commenting on your social media content indicates interest in your brand and the topics you discuss.

Engagement with Marketing Activities

  • Webinar Registrations and Attendance: Signing up for and attending webinars on relevant topics showcases a strong interest in learning more about potential solutions.
  • Event Booth Visits: Engaging with your representatives at industry events demonstrates a willingness to explore your offerings further.
  • Participation in Online Communities: Actively participating in industry forums or groups discussing challenges your product addresses indicates a high level of interest in potential solutions.

4 Ways to Use Intent Signals in Marketing and Sales

ABM intent data is used in B2B marketing quite a lot. By understanding your prospect’s online activity, you can get an idea of their needs and tailor your outreach accordingly. For instance, if a prospect is researching topics related to a specific product you offer, you can target them with content and messaging that speaks to their particular needs.

1. Prioritize High-Intent Target Accounts for Sales Outreach

  • Identify High-Intent Accounts: Use intent data to pinpoint B2B companies actively researching your industry, products, or competitor solutions. These are high-priority leads for any salesperson to focus on.
  • Score Leads Based on Intent: Assign scores to leads based on the strength of their intent signals. Leads with website visits to product pages, content downloads, and demo requests deserve immediate attention.
  • Personalize Outreach: Tailor your SDR strategy and outreach messages based on the intent data. Highlight solutions that address the specific challenges the prospect is researching.

2. Personalize Your Marketing Strategies and Campaigns

  • Segment Audiences by Intent: Group website visitors or email subscribers based on their intent signals. This allows you to deliver targeted content and offers relevant to their stage in the buyer's journey. This also allows you to narrow down your ideal customer profile to better solve particular groups’ pain points.
  • Dynamic Content Based on Intent: Use marketing automation tools to display personalized website content or product recommendations based on a visitor's browsing behavior.
  • Targeted Email Campaigns: Segment your email list based on intent and send targeted campaigns with relevant content offers, case studies, or webinars.

3. Deliver the Right Message at the Right Time

  • Nurture Leads with Educational Content: For prospects in the research phase, provide informative blog posts, ebooks, or webinars that address their specific challenges.
  • Promote Solutions with Targeted Ads: Use intent data to target online ads to prospects showing interest in your industry or competitor solutions. Showcase your unique value proposition and benefits.
  • Trigger Automated Outreach: Set up marketing automation workflows to automatically send nurturing emails or trigger sales outreach based on specific intent signals, like a high-value content download.

4. Align Marketing & Sales with a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

  • Consolidate Data Sources: A CDP can unify data from your website, marketing automation platform, CRM, and third-party intent data providers. This creates a single view of the customer journey.
  • Gain Deeper Customer Insights: By combining intent data with other customer data points, such as demographics and purchase history, you can build richer profiles and better understand customer specific needs.
  • Align Marketing & Sales Efforts: A unified view of customer intent allows better alignment between marketing and sales teams, and smooth collaboration on targeted campaigns.

Stay on Top of Intent Signals with UserGems

The buying journey is no longer linear. Buyers actively research solutions online, making it vital to identify those exhibiting strong purchase intent. UserGems equips you with the intel you need to spot these buying signals and turn your leads into paying customers.

With UserGems, you can identify high-value prospects actively researching your industry, personalize your marketing campaigns for maximum impact, and nurture leads with targeted content that speaks directly to their specific needs.

Don't let buying signals go unnoticed. Book a demo today and witness the power of intent-driven marketing and sales.

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