TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU: 3 Sales Funnel Stages Explained

A buyer’s journey is divided into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

TOFU (Top Of The Funnel), MOFU (Middle Of The Funnel), and BOFU (Bottom Of  The Funnel) are abbreviations and terms used by marketing and sales professionals to refer to the three different stages of a sales funnel

To move a potential client or buyer from one stage to another, businesses need to implement different content strategies to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.

In this blog post, we’ll look into the three stages to learn what content strategy businesses could implement on each of them to attract, retain, and convert leads.

What Are TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU?

TOFU: Top of the Funnel

TOFU is the first point of contact, and it is the awareness stage. Here you’re looking to attract a high volume of leads which generally have a problem to solve and are looking for information.

It’s believed that 80% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. So at this stage, it’s all about educating your leads. 

Introduce your company to the customer, explain to them what you do, and offer them solutions to their pain points. Your goal here is to develop brand awareness and credibility with the quality content that you’re offering. This could be in the form of:

  • keyword-relevant blog posts,
  • checklists,
  • short videos,
  • quizzes,
  • e-books,
  • social media posts,
  • research reports,
  • infographics,
  • influencer or brand ambassador endorsements, or
  • social media or display ads.

Additionally, to attract traffic, we recommend you optimize your website to help it rank better on search engines using relevant keywords on the product and home pages as well as blog posts.

Remember, at this stage, the buyer isn’t ready to make a purchase yet, so your content should not mention anything even remotely related to a sales pitch. Don’t worry; if you succeed in this stage, you’ll have a chance to pitch in the next ones.

MOFU: Middle of the Funnel

Due to its vast diversity of interested leads who have still not qualified, many consider MOFU the most complicated sales funnel stage. 

In this ‘consideration’ phase, your goal is to convert prospects into leads by providing them content that is focused on solutions and on why your product is better than your competition. So, it’s your time to shine and establish your company as an expert within your industry.

To reach this group of potential clients on a deeper level, your content should be more targeted. For example, you could offer:

  • podcasts,
  • webinars,
  • drip e-mail sequences and newsletters,
  • comparison charts,
  • templates,
  • testimonials,
  • slideshows,
  • in-depth videos,
  • ratings,
  • case studies, and
  • e-books that are in greater detail than the ones that you disbursed during the first (TOFU) stage.

The greater the trust your leads have, the more likely the loyalty and conversion.

Don’t forget that you’re still working on establishing a trustworthy relationship in this stage, so don’t go in for the sale strongly and don’t compare vendors. Instead, compare solutions and continue to nurture your leads.

BOFU: Bottom of the Funnel

BOFU is all about decision-making. It’s the golden closing stage where the users are highly qualified and ready to purchase. BOFU will include a narrow yet high-value audience.

At this point, the leads have completed their research, defined their solutions, and are now in the position of comparing several vendors and closing the deal. Not all of your TOFU leads will become BOFU leads, and that’s normal and completely natural.

In this stage, instead of asking for general information, the queries are mostly pricing specific.

At this point, the right offer can be just the push they need. To gain a competitive edge, you could offer your leads:

  • personalized e-mail offering a free demo or trial,
  • free assessment,
  • one-on-one consultation
  • product demonstration,
  • product features,
  • product comparisons,
  • discounts or coupons, and
  • contests or giveaways.

… basically an incentive that will hook them.

The Take-Away

Research shows that businesses that skillfully nurture their leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads and those leads make 47% larger purchases than leads that are non-nurtured. Amazing, right?

The concept of lead nurturing may sound simple, but it takes time to match the right content with your persona’s needs at each stage. All 3 of these stages are not stand-alone components – they must work together to succeed.

Many companies adopt marketing automation software to implement multiple lead nurturing campaigns. Even if it’s automated, you can still personalize the subject line and have them sent from a specific contact within your business.

Customers today expect a better and more personalized experience and don’t want to feel rushed. They also don’t want to be told what to buy but make that decision themselves. So, businesses shouldn’t resort to cold pitching as their one and only marketing technique.

Instead, companies must think out-of-the-box, be patient, and they need to focus on educating and providing resources as buyers progress through the sales funnel. Worry not, and your patience will pay off!

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