Many sales and marketing professionals are confused about the meaning of ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu when it comes to inbound marketing. They sound a bit like health food products, but in fact they represent the different stages of the buyer's journey (top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel), each of which requires the right content to be delivered at the right time to move the prospect through the funnel.
It's a fact: 50% of qualified leads are not ready to make a purchase when they first convert. So, rather than pestering them with old forms of selling, such as frequent sales calls, here's a lesson on nurturing your inbound leads through the use of ToFu, MoFu & BoFu content creation and related promotional tactics.
Watch the video for a quick overview and then continue reading below for more details about how to effectively nurture leads with such content.
What is ToFu, MoFu & BoFu?
ToFu, MoFu and BoFu are shorthand references to the stages of the inbound marketing and sales funnel, requiring specific lead nurturing strategies.
1. ToFu: Top of the Funnel
At the very top of your sales funnel you're looking to attract a much larger audience of potential leads, because you're working to attract relevant traffic without deliberately filtering or discouraging conversions. The most common form of ToFu content would be your blog articles. From there, calls-to-actions should lead ToFu prospects to conversion opportunities, like tip sheets or eBooks that encourage leads to exchange their contact information for the helpful content inside.
Your goal with ToFu content should be to educate your audience on a specific question, need or pain point that they're looking to address, but without a sales tie-in. You'll get the opportunity to do this with your MoFu content as explained below.
2. MoFu: Middle of the Funnel
Once a lead converts on an initial ToFu content offer, they'll progress into the MoFu stage. This is viewed as the most complicated funnel stage because of the broad diversity of interested leads who haven't been fully qualified.
In this stage of the funnel, your content should continue to educate but also start the process of positioning your company as the solution to the lead's needs and challenges. Advanced eBooks are a great form of content in this stage, but case studies, white papers, quizzes and videos will do wonders for building your credibility.
3. BoFu: Bottom of the Funnel
So, you've attracted a healthy collection of leads with your ToFu content and continued to engage and warm them up with your MoFu content. Now what? In comes the BoFu stage which is obviously the most crucial since you're going for the sale.
For many industry types, your BoFu stage may not consist of content at all. At this point your leads know you and are comfortable engaging one-on-one. This is where a free assessment, evaluation or trial works nicely to start the dialogue and to begin to fully qualify your most interested leads. If you have an e-Commerce-based product, you can leverage a discount code to use at the time of the transaction to establish some urgency around making the purchase.
Automating Distribution of Your Lead Nurturing Content
Although the concept of lead nurturing through ToFu, MoFu and BoFu content may sound simple in theory, it's not. It takes significant time to consider your overall lead nurturing strategy, create the necessary content, and evaluate the leads you convert as they move down the sales funnel.
Making the effort will definitely pay off! Research shows that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads and those leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
It's unrealistic, however, to think you have the time in your day to manage this process manually. This is where a marketing automation software is a must if you plan to implement multiple lead nurturing campaigns. The ROI on such an investment will come quickly for most companies, as those that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6–9 months.
Automating your campaigns doesn't mean you have to lose your personal touch. You can still deploy emails with a customized greeting or subject line and have them sent from a specific contact within your company. They can be created before a lead even converts and then triggered based on a specific conversion that is then scheduled at a frequency that aligns with your company's buying cycle.
This frees up your time to create more compelling content and keeps your sales team well fed with warm MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) that are closer to the point of making a purchase of your product or service. Learn how to develop your Buyer's Journey to leverage ToFu, MoFu and BoFu content by downloading our Buyer's Journey Worksheet.