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In an age where prospects are more educated than ever, we the marketers need to be able to offer tailored information based on what stage the prospect or lead is in. Marketing funnels are completely about stage, and without staging your efforts, you will end up with one hot mess of a marketing campaign.

Think of marketing funnels as you would a fine dining experience. Your meal typically will begin with an appetizer, followed by your main course, then dessert. The server knows not to offer you something off the dessert menu when you first sit down at your meal. Guiding your prospect through a lead marketing funnel is only natural, and easier than you may think.

Marketing’s three-course meal can be broken down into the following three categories: ToFu, MoFu, Bofu.

 

TOFU: Top of the Funnel

This is the very top of your sales funnel. You’re dealing with a larger audience of leads, and while there is targeting involved, you’re not discouraging anyone nor filtering out too many leads at this point.

You should be offering lead magnets, freebies, and showing off your brand to the new prospect. This can be in the form of relevant blog articles,  videos, or free seminars. Call-to-actions come into play once your lead seems to be a conversion opportunity, meaning they’ve stayed on your webpage for longer than two minutes, etc.

Your goal should be to educate your audience, identify any problems they may be experiencing which may have led them to your page, and begin to position yourself as the industry expert.

 

MOFU: Middle of the Funnel

The moment your lead converts from the initial ToFu offer (say, they signed up for your newsletter because they downloaded a free white paper or content asset from your website), they enter the MoFu stage.

At this point, your lead still isn’t quite fully qualified, and many times the lead will drop off here if what you’re offering isn’t matching their needs fully… and that’s totally okay. That is the point of the MoFu stage: don’t get discouraged when a lead drops off! It’s better to qualify at this stage than the latter, or the next one.

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. You want to build credibility in this stage, cementing your business as THE solution for their problem.

 

BOFU: Bottom of the Funnel

You and your lead have created a relationship at this point, and they may be ready to take the next step. You had the proverbial main course, and now comes the sweet stuff: The profit for you, and the solution for your lead.

This is your chance to go in for the sale via the information that has been shared previously between you and your lead. This is where a trial run comes in handy, or a discount code: you want to ease your lead into their purchase by incentivizing the first purchase and providing value, while establishing urgency around making the purchase.

Many companies have developed methods to automate this process, however, depending on your business, automation may or may not be the best option. The most important goal is to remain honest, and provide value to your lead every step of the way, and to not get discouraged if a lead falls off the funnel.

The key to success is to track prospects at each stage of the journey so your sales team will be set up for success. Your marketing team will gain valuable insights, and your business will thrive!