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ToFu, MoFu & BoFu Explained: Supercharge Your Sales Funnel

If you’re selling something on your website or you’re thinking about creating an online sales funnel, I’m sure you’ve heard the terms ToFu, MoFu and BoFu.

In this post, we’ll find out what these terms mean, why it’s important to understand what they do and how to use the concept of ToFu, MoFu and BoFu to get more sales.

What is ToFu, MoFu and BoFu?

When you want to buy something online, you first research if a product or service is available that can help you solve the issue you’re facing.

It could be new USB cable to replace an old broken cable or software to help run your business better. It doesn’t matter.

All buying decisions take place in these 3 steps:

  1. 1
    Awareness: This is when you become aware that there’s an issue you need to resolve.
  2. 2
    Interest/Consideration: This is when you learn more about the products/services which are available and you’re trying to figure out which solutions meet your needs (quality, features, price, after sales support, etc)
  3. 3
    Purchase Intent: This is when your research is almost complete and you have shortlisted some products/services in anticipation of making a purchase.

It’s not just you or me who follow this process, every paying customer you’ve ever had for your product/service has followed this process on their journey from first visiting your website to eventually becoming a customer.

This process is called the “buyer’s journey” and for us digital marketers it’s a sales funnel.

sales funnel

To make the sales process more effective, we need to break the sales funnel into 3 parts.

This gives us ToFu, MoFu and BoFu:

ToFu: Top of the funnel (awareness stage)
MoFu: Middle of the funnel (interest/consideration stage)
BoFu: Bottom of the funnel (purchase intent stage)


We’ll see why this is important in just a second, but first:

There’s no fixed time period for someone making a buying decision.


For inexpensive products like a new USB cable, the time between realizing you need a new cable to actually placing an order, can be very short.

For more expensive products, like a $1000 per month business software, this process can sometimes take several months.


It depends on what you’re selling and the requirements of your target customer.

Why is understanding ToFu, MoFu and BoFu so important?

Depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey, there will be 3 different kinds of people who visit your website looking for different types of content.

It’s important that your content matches with the stage that your visitor is in their buyer’s journey.

Getting this wrong can confuse or alienate your visitors and cause you to lose sales.

Lemme explain it with an example:

Let’s suppose you run a website that sells running shoes and also has some blog posts about how running shoes are made.

ToFu (awareness stage) visitors:

People who are just looking for general information and are at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. They aren’t ready to buy yet, they’re just doing their research and trying to figure out what kind of shoes to buy.

They’ll be interested in your article about the different kinds of running shoes available in the market. 

MoFu (interest/consideration) visitors:

People who are looking for more in-depth information. These people also aren’t ready to buy yet, but they are interested in learning more about which kind of running shoes best fits their individual requirements.

They’ll probably be interested in your article about the different kinds of soles used to create different kinds of running shoes.

BoFu (purchase intent) visitors:

People who are ready (or almost ready) to buy. These people now know exactly what kind of running shoes they want to buy.

They’ll be interested in review or comparison articles like: Adidas ABC vs Nike XYZ, which is best for running a half marathon?

The BoFu stage is where the customer finally makes a purchase and you get paid. That makes BoFu the most important stage of your funnel.

That’s why, when you’re starting to build a new sales funnel, I recommend building the BoFu portion first.

I don’t own these brand names have no affiliation with them. Adidas and Nike are registered brands of Adidas AG and Nike, Inc. respectively

How to use ToFu, MoFu and BoFu for max results?

To maximize sales from your content marketing efforts, you’ll need 2 things:

  1. 1
    You’ll need content for all 3 stages of the buyer’s journey. So if you have only sales pages and review pages on your site (BoFu content), then people looking for ToFu and MoFu content won’t visit your site because there’s nothing there for them on your site.
  2. 2
    You’ll also need to create 3 different calls to action which suit each kind of visitor.

Understanding the difference between each stage of the funnel is important because people on your website aren’t looking for the same thing.

If a visitor is on your website reading an article about “different kinds of shoes”, then that means that this person isn’t sure about what kind of shoes they want to buy.


So if you show this person a popup offering a 10% discount on running shoes, if they make a purchase within the next 30 minutes: it isn’t going to work because that person isn’t ready to buy anything just yet.

This poorly placed popup will just get in the way of the article they were reading and it’ll probably just annoy them.


On the other hand, if this popup shows up when someone visits a sales page, then that person is showing more interest in actually buying the product.

So there’s a very good chance that this person, who’s been waiting to make the final decision, will finally make a purchase if you give them a time limited coupon.

The step by step process:

The first step is to identify which content on your site is informational content (ToFu), persuasion content (MoFu) and sales pitch content (BoFu).

If some content ToFu, MoFu or BoFu content is missing, create it.

Once that’s done, the next step is to figure out the correct call to action for every page and post on your site.

This way you’ll be able to target the right person, with the right message, at the right time.

And targeting the right person with the right message at the right time is the way to maximize conversions.


Let’s start by deeply understanding the visitors at each stage of the funnel.

Understanding ToFu visitors:

Visitors to ToFu content pages are casual information seekers.

And they look for info the web just like you and I do.

We search for the info we want, click a search result, consume the content and then leave and probably never come back.


But just take a moment to think about the website owner, in this case it’s you.

You’re the one who worked hard to create the content AND put in the effort to get in to the top first page of google.

So now when people visit your site, you need a way to connect with them again so you can tell them more about your product/service, before they leave.

The best way to connect again and again with ToFu visitors, in my opinion, is to create a compelling lead magnet and ask for their email address.


Now you have permission to reach out to them and take your time explaining why they should buy from you.

You can get some ToFu content visitors to come back to your website again if you invest in retargeting ads. But because these are casual information seekers, not qualified prospects, your ads probably won’t get you the results you’re hoping for.


That means retargeting ToFu content visitors is generally speaking, expensive. So if you’re running a small or medium business with a small advertising budget, this strategy isn’t for you.

How to get traffic:

You know your business better than anyone else. So start by making a rough list keywords that you think casual visitors to your website might be interested in.

Next, take one keyword at a time from the rough keyword list and input into keyword suggestion tools to expand your keywords list.

In the final step, shortlist some keywords by checking the volume and difficulty of these keywords to make sure you only creating content for keywords that your website can rank for.

If your website is small and doesn’t rank well

If your website is small and doesn’t rank well, then creating content for highly competitive keywords is a waste of time. Your content simply won’t rank well enough to get you the clicks you need.


You can still rank for keywords with very low search volumes because they are much less competitive. But that’s also a waste of time because you still won’t get enough clicks.


The best approach is to find the sweet spot and look for keywords with low enough competition and high enough search volume.


Obviously, that can be a bit tricky especially for beginners. So if you’re new to SEO, here are some resources that will help you understand how to get traffic from search engines:


SEO Beginners course: SEO Sprint from Thrive Themes
SEO Intermediate course: Blogging for Business by Ahrefs
SEO Blog you should subscribe to: Backlinko
SEO Videos: Moz WhiteBoard Friday

A note about using jargon in content (click to expand)

Most people think that it’s bad to use common terms and acronyms used in your industry (jargon) in your online content. That’s because too much jargon can confuse the visitors who aren’t industry insiders and might be off putting for them.

But that’s not entirely true: jargon has a place in your content, BUT you should use it differently in the different stages of sales funnel.


Here’s how to use (or not use) jargon in the ToFu, MoFu and Bofu content:

Don’t use jargon in ToFu content. It makes it difficult for casual visitors to understand your content. Keep it simple and stick to the basics.



For MoFu content, introduce some common jargon but make sure to explain the terms before you start using them.

People visiting MoFu content are more interested in what you’re selling. So learning some commonly used industry terms helps them understand things better and feel more comfortable in their ability to make the right decision for themselves.


For BoFu, it’s good to use at least some jargon.

Using jargon in BoFu let’s people know that you’re an industry insider and you know your stuff. That helps them feel more comfortable in trusting you and makes sales a little easier.

Best Call To Action for ToFu

You could try to pitch your product/service on ToFu pages, but instead of pushing to make quick sales to people who didn’t really come to your site to buy anything, I suggest you play the long game.

Delay the sales pitch.

First focus on converting as many visitors to email subscribers as possible.

Once people are on your list, then earn the trust of your subscribers by honestly telling them why your product/service fits THEIR needs and how your product/service is better than your competitors.

If you do it right, people will want to buy your product/service anyways, and you probably won’t even need the sales pitch at all.


The best way to convert your website visitors into newsletter subscribers, is by offering a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is something you offer to your website visitors in exchange for them opting in to your newsletter. Once they sign up, you have their email address and their consent to send them marketing emails.

Use this free guide to learn how to create the perfect lead magnet.

Understanding MoFu visitors:

People at the MoFu stage are looking for more information to help them make the right decision.

For these visitors you should have informational and entertaining content about what makes your better than others.

A great way to do this is to write an article or create a video about how your product or service can help your customers solve the issues they are facing.

You can also create content about how you care about your after sales support is so good and how your customers are leaving good reviews and testimonials for your company.

Best CTA for MoFu

While most people who visit ToFu content are likely to be new visitors, some people who visit MoFu pages on your site will be new and some will be returning visitors from your email newsletter.

For the new visitors, it’s still important to have an email signup form on your MoFu content pages.

But for people who are already subscribed to your newsletter, you should hide the signup forms. That’s because someone who has already signed up might signup again using a different email address, and then you’ll have 2 email addresses for the 1 person on your email list.

This is bad for many reasons (too many to explain in this post), but you can avoid this situation by hiding your opt in forms for existing subscribers.

This feature is available with tools like Thrive Leads and Optinmonster. They even allow you to replace your opt in forms with a Call to Action (CTA).

The CTA can encourage subscribers to browse more content, or offer a special “subscribers only” discount or pretty much anything you like.

Understanding BoFu visitors:

BoFu visitors have almost completed their research and are close to making a buying decision.

BoFu content is review pages (if you’re an affiliate) and sales pages (if you run your own ecommerce store for physical or digital products).

Either way, your content needs to persuade (not manipulate) the visitor that your stuff is worth buying. You need to use this space to remind people of the benefits they will get or the problems they can solve when they make a purchase.

You also need to assure them that their purchase is safe and if you offer a risk-free trial or a money back guarantee, this is the perfect place to mention it.

This is also the place where great copywriting can make a huge difference to your sales.

If you need help with writing the perfect copy, check out Copywriting Course, created by Neville Medhora who used to write copy for Appsumo.


Not only does he teach you copywriting, you can also get feedback for your existing copy where professional copywriters help you create the perfect polished copy for your page.

Best CTA for BoFu

Once people reach the BoFu pages of your funnel, it’s time to close the sale. That’s why the best CTA for BoFu content is a “buy now” button.

For ecommerce stores, a smooth checkout experience can reduce friction and increase conversions.

You should also have a process setup for abandoned carts to bring back the people who added a product to their cart but dropped off before making a purchase.

You can also use a countdown timer to help increase conversions and generate more revenue for your store, but make sure to use it ethically.


Besides these, the are many other marketing gems like tripwire funnels, perfectly timed emails, engaging newsletters etc. that you can use to boost the performance of your funnel.

But I can’t explain all the tactics in this post, so please join the Funnel Gems newsletter where I explain exactly how to use clever (but ethical) marketing tactics that you can use to maximize your earnings from your funnels.

Click the link below to join my newsletter.

Conclusion

A sales funnel can have people entering the funnel at any stage: Top, middle or bottom of the funnel.

And every sales funnel can also have people dropping off and leaving the funnel at every stage.

You can’t convert every visitor to your website into a customer (no one can), but your aim should be to maximize conversions at each stage.

Using the right call to action (CTA) at the right pages, will improve your conversion rates, and your income, dramatically.

But people visiting your website usually don’t move through your funnel on their own.

You need to guide them to the next step in the customer’s journey.

The best way to do this is with automated emails the send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. 

And that’s exactly why I created Funnel Gems.

To teach you the ins and outs of clever (but ethical) marketing strategies and also to show you how to implement them step by step into your sales funnel.

I’m always creating new content to show you how to create an automated, profitable sales funnel.

To learn more: join my newsletter using the link below.

Cheers,
Pulkit from Funnel Gems

About the Author

I'm obsessed with building profitable online funnels.
I created this blog to teach digital marketers the skills, tools & techniques needed to generate evergreen revenue from their online business.
Blogs I like: ActiveCampaign, Ahrefs, Backlinko, Thrive Themes.

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