TOFU, MOFU, BOFU Explained




These acronyms sound deliciously confusing, don’t they? They are three components of a marketing and sales funnel, and for many growth-focused companies, they are the KEYS to conversion.

In this episode, we dive into the strategies, the implementation and a few SIMPLE but super effective ways to incorporate these funnel elements into your business.

Let’s break down the acronyms. 

  • TOFU – Top of the funnel.
  • MOFU – Middle of the funnel.
  • BOFU – Bottom of the funnel.

Depending on the size of your team or the complexity of your business, you may have one person managing all three elements of the funnel – or maybe a dedicated team who handles each part.

I find that in general, in my work as a fractional CMO and CRO, it’s often more helpful to break down roles and assignments by parts of the funnel than it is by department or title.

For example – your social media manager or blog coordinator is likely part of the marketing team, right? But is she ultimately responsible for the final sales conversion, for leads that she drove into your pipeline? 

Conversely, if you have a killer sales team – they can sell ketchup popsicles to people wearing white gloves – are they also expected to get people into the funnel to begin with?

Even with an “all hands on deck, a rising tide lifts all ships” culture, if you don’t clarify the main owner of the outcome at each level, you and your team may find yourself frustrated and with a funnel full of leaks.

TOFU – Top of the funnel.

Examples of content that would lead people into the first stage of interaction with you could be blog posts, social media content, podcast episodes, a lead magnet, a newsletter.

It’s the awareness stage and it’s critically important. It also doesn’t need to feel pitch-y or sales-y! TOFU is intended to be all about value and education, but in an ideal situation, the TOFU team hands off the lead to the MOFU team by driving them to a place where their information can be captured.

The TOFU team can promote webinars, lead magnets, white paper downloads, etc. that the MOFU, or middle of the funnel, team then picks up for nurturing, warming up and collecting key data.

So, let’s talk more about MOFU – and I’ll admit, this is my personal favorite in the funnel.

The MOFU team is responsible for helping to gather data from the lead…to drive them to RELEVANT content, based on that data…and to ensure that they are qualified as a buyer, client, customer or whatever you consider to be the end goal.

MOFU essentially enriches content that the TOFU team teed up. I love, for example, a webinar or live event – the TOFU team drives awareness, the MOFU team hosts a value-packed event, capturing some additional information about the lead or prospect along the way, builds trust and then hands a ready-to-convert person to the BOFU team.

BOFU – bottom of the funnel. The sharks. The conversion team. The closers.

The BOFU team thrives when they have a qualified lead, who is primed or warmed up to purchase, who has already provided helpful data – directly or indirectly, which I’ll get to shortly – and can make. the. dang. deal.

The BOFU team might offer a live demo, or a discovery call. The BOFU crew could create and use its own follow-up sequence, aka a sales sequence. Maybe they offer a special discount or free trial as a bonus for joining now. The BOFU team could leverage case studies or testimonials to overcome objections.

It’s sort of like a relay – the TOFU team starts the event, hands off to the MOFU member and the BOFU team anchors the team for the win.

Now, I mentioned “data” a couple of times. Here’s one bonus nugget for you to consider – although I’ll dive into this in a lot more detail in future episodes.

The MOFU team has an opportunity to get qualifying and other data at every point in their funnel. A few examples:

  • In the webinar, consider asking ONE question in addition to the first name and email address. Maybe it’s a dropdown list of options – like “what is your main business goal for the next 90 days?” or “what interested you in signing up for this event?”
  • In a follow-up email, share some relevant content like blog posts, podcast episodes, etc., and depending on which link they click, tag it to note their interest.
  • In another follow–up email, consider adding a short survey link or assessment form, so that you can ask more questions about their business, their pain points, and their interest in working with you.

The more information you gather in the middle of the funnel, the most streamlined the BOFU team’s job is – and the more VALUE you can share as you nurture the lead.

I love funnels. I love them! But carving out these three distinct sections is something that many businesses MISS as they pursue growth.