Behavioral Targeted Lead Nurturing: It’s All About Context

Value is imperative in today’s B2B marketplace. Your product needs to address customers’ immediate—as well as their long-term needs. Current marketing practices take customer needs into consideration when producing content for lead generation programs. This same practice needs to be considered for B2B lead generation strategies.

Finding success with B2B lead nurturing in today’s market means profiling customers to identify the decision-maker. As well as, targeting your content marketing to the right buyer, at the right time. This is especially important because most executives don’t usually reveal their contact details, even to potential business partners.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Context matters now more than ever in generating and nurturing leads.
  • Drip and triggered emails are better alternatives to blasts. Learn when to use either of them.
  • Personalization, gamification, cross-selling, and follow-ups are tools that give context to your content.

Aside from using a variety of profiling techniques, marketers should also be creative in engaging and retaining the attention of prospects. These numbers prove that the power of context, and a personalized strategy in lead nurturing are beneficial for your business.

  • 67 percent of B2B marketers saw around 10 percent increase in sales opportunities; 15 percent of these opportunities are increases of at least 30 percent.
  • Nurtured leads offer an average of 20 percent growth in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured ones.
  • Lead nurturing emails have a response rate of four to 10 times compared to standard email blasts.

Blast vs. Drip vs. Triggered

Email marketing is still one of the most successful ways to nurture prospects. However, you should learn to stay away from—or at least improve—the practice of email blasts or sending single email campaigns without follow-ups. From the definition alone, it’s clearly unwise to use such impersonal methods when you’re trying to engage with potential leads.

Here are two far more effective alternatives to email blasts:


Drip emails are time-based campaigns that help turn a blast into numerous follow-up touchpoints. It involves coming up with a logical sequence when sending out customized messages over a period or schedule, although each email doesn’t necessarily have to be directly related.

One challenge when implementing drip emails is that you have to make an educated guess about your customer’s behavior to know the “right” time to send it. Segmenting your list by demographic data, behavioral criteria based on buyer personas, or other categories created for a specific campaign can help contextualize the message.


For instance, a bike retailer can send an invite to owners for a tune-up in January, then another one after two weeks offering discounts for a tune-up. This form of communication encourages action from the audience, educates them, and may help your brand stay top-of-mind.


Also known as behavioral or nurture campaigns, email strategy involves executing personalized campaigns based on the recipient’s behavior. Specific behavior is preferred, like the number of times they’ve visited your website or the types of content they prefer to read.

Just about any behavior or action can be used as a trigger. You can implement contextual marketing when creating content, including finding the right schedule to email each prospect. This kind of campaign aims to offer educational value to help through the buying process, while encouraging engagement that enables you to nurture your relationships. Concluding this strategy to be the best option for conversion-focused campaigns.

Ways to Inject Context into Your Nurturing Efforts

How your prospects’ respond to your marketing efforts offers valuable insights into how you can properly inject context in lead nurturing. Here are some ways to use behavioral data once its collected:

Create an Opt-in Email Popup

Without contacts, there are no leads to nurture. If you’re an e-commerce site, an action that you can take to collect emails (aside from the less aggressive tactics like a first-time site visit or completing a purchase) is when a customer adds a product to their cart for the first time. It’s a simple action that shows the lead is interested in your product, with a significant chance of purchase.

Here, you could drive conversions by using a popup window that asks them to provide their email address to get a discount code for their first-ever purchase.


Replace or Add Web Content (Dynamic)

This pertains to making elements on your website visible to only a select few, depending on their behavior or action. Amazon uses this to redirect traffic when it detects that a person accessing the site is from a particular location. Instead of going to the U.S. site, users get directed to a unique homepage depending on where the visitor currently is.

Another possible application is having a predetermined series of generic campaigns with specific rules that make content visible to only a few categories of customers. For instance, showing ads to a customer for a product that they has viewed repeatedly over the last few days.

Personalized Offers, Coupons, or Discounts

Not all customers are of the same value to your business: someone who has bought a product every week should be more of a priority than those with a single purchase. The rule that might activate this email will depend on you for example; email discounts to a customer who has bought three times or more over the last three months.


Motivations for gamification in e-commerce are often based on extrinsic rewards like discounts. However, it can also appeal to other types of intent. For example, Victoria’s Secret’s Scavenger Hunt, which appeared on their website over the span of a few weeks, was promoted to increase engagement. It was also an opportunity for them to expose customers to more products on their website.

Upselling and Cross-selling

These techniques can improve your average order value. A classic up-selling strategy is showing similar products (often more expensive) when a customer views related product page. For buyers who tend to purchase several products in the same session, you can turn to cross-selling and show complementary products instead.


Follow-ups to Downloaded Content or Webinars 

When a lead downloads content from your page, its best to email them in acknowledgment. This is a chance to offer other material that the leads may find useful, like a demo request or free trial. You can also ask them to share the content with friends or colleagues to increase campaign reach. Just make sure to include a CTA so the next action is clear.

Because the lead has shown interest in your content, you can also send them optimized drip emails that are equally educational to deliver value, build trust, and eventually convert. They become more aware of what solutions your organization can provide.

When it comes to webinars, you can record a thank you video to attendees a day after the webinar. If registrants failed to attend you can send an “on-demand” video to follow up. In addition, you can prompt a secondary conversion on the webinar to drive re-engagement.

Nurture Customers with Content

The effectiveness of nurturing depends upon the quality and type of content, as well as the pace and delivery of the content. In traditional marketing, the direct interests of the prospect aren’t always considered. However, modern marketing is changing to the point where brands know more about the leads and the specific content they’re looking for.

Thanks to the progression in marketing technology, the digital and social footprints left by leads on public channels like your website can now provide valuable insights. Analyzing and measuring their actions against a behavioral and demographic framework and updating the existing information in your marketing systems are crucial in nurturing the right context.

Need a Cheat Sheet? Download Our Behavioral Targeting Infographic!

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

1 thought on “Behavioral Targeted Lead Nurturing: It’s All About Context

  1. Excellent mix of information Anna. thank you
    this is the “stuff” we would all benefit from if our sales team knew more about, or could even HALF-way keep up with what marketing teams are doing to help.

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