Trust in digital advertising is at an all-time low thanks to various data misuse scandals and the public's growing awareness about how their data can be exploited. While GDPR can be seen as the regulators big stand on behalf of consumers, the industry itself should be taking a proactive approach too. So what should advertisers and vendors do? Ben Humphrey suggests five key areas where they should take action.
While at the moment the acronyms TOFU, MOFU and BOFU do not mean much, and instead sound like a super-hero family of cartoon characters, they do actually have an important meaning behind them. In fact, these are possibly some of the most critical acronyms around in terms of marketing and sales funnels. The TOFU, MOFU and BOFU marketing funnel acronyms also help by breaking up the complexities of a marketing campaign into manageable and memorable stages.
No matter what stage your business is at currently, when running any marketing campaign an automated marketing and sales funnel is truly revolutionary for both you and your sales. This not only manoeuvres prospects through your marketing machine, but also saves you valuable time in labour terms, which results in you being able to continue to concentrate on the important aspects such as potential sales opportunities as well as maintaining and improving relationships with existing and potential customers. Despite this, many businesses that we have worked with can be cautious of the funnel initially, often citing it as too complex or involving too much excess work. Though funnels can be very complex, an effective funnel can actually be very simple and easy to manage – especially when using the TOFU and BOFO acronyms, which I’ll demonstrate using one of our clients as an example:
James Wooldridge was looking to develop his brand and implement a new marketing strategy for his health and safety business Risk Management Circle, and much of the work we did together followed the TOFU, MOFU and BOFU acronyms:
TOFU – Top of the funnel: awareness and conversion
This first acronym is the starting position of the journey for both you and your new prospects. This is the place to which your traffic will be directed, in order to be converted into a new lead. At this position, the main objective should be to transform visitors to your website into new prospects, via completion of a web form or getting them to call you. Of the stages, this is the broadest of the funnel, meaning that content does not have to be dense or lengthy. Instead it should contain key information to keep prospects engaged as well as interested enough to exchange their details for your information.
The Important Required Elements:
- Landing pages
- Sign-up forms throughout your website
- A direct mail campaign
- A paid traffic campaign
In the case of Risk Management Circle, one of our priorities was the introduction of landing pages, which would help James to drive his traffic and promote his business. These were connected to his CRM and triggered automatic follow-up email marketing. We also made the addition of sign up forms by utilising call-back requests. These simple but fundamental changes put James in a far stronger position to build his marketing lists and share his content.
MOFU – Middle of the funnel: relationship
The second stage is MOFU. Once a new subscriber enters this stage, you have successfully turned this into traffic that you didn’t control, to traffic that you can now control – as well as determining what to do with it.
Unlike the last stage, this is where you enrich your new subscriber with as much content and value as possible to help educate them, all while securing the relationship as well as building trust. Such trust will also result in you being more prosperous when the time comes to actually selling your product or service to the potential future client.
The selling points can also be generated faster based on the user’s activities. For example, they may click on an email that transfers them from the first email to the sales email. This could also then send through a notification to alert the sales team, automatically order a piece of direct mail, or even both!
The Important Required Elements:
- Sales pages
- Auto-responders for email to educate and direct to sales pages
- Trigger tags
- Prospect engagement and relationship building
- Sales team
- Direct mail – brochures as well as product samples
For Risk Management Circle, we did a lot to improve engagement, starting with making the company seem more accessible to prospective clients. Contact forms, clickable links to customer service emails and social media pages were placed throughout the page, as were product sample forms offering free guides, making the site more interactive and with plenty to offer the client.
BOFU – Bottom of the funnel: sales and customer love
The final stage is BOFU and this is the stage in which the funnel becomes a reality and you get to determine the real-time success of your marketing campaign.
This is where you have transformed the prospect from an official relationship into a transactional relationship. It is therefore the ideal opportunity for you to stand out and impress your new customer with exceptional service and attention to detail. You should make them feel special, perhaps even sending thank-you cards in order to make them feel special! You now have the perfect opportunity to boost your sales with up-sells of additional products and services you offer, and to resolve any problems for them.
The Important Required Elements:
- Additional up-sell sales pages
- A welcome email series
- Drip training content
- Customer surveys
- Welcome packs – including thank-you cards
- Timed triggers to plan follow-up calls
Risk Management Circle was introduced to, and continues to implement, a content marketing strategy in order to further build an audience for James to promote his services to. This, in combination with automatic follow-up emails triggered by downloaded content, as well as a company blog through which clients could gain insight as to the latest developments and offerings, has enabled Risk Management Circle to grow a dedicated following and reach formerly inaccessible customers.
Hopefully, the next time you come across the acronyms TOFU, MOFU and BOFU your initial thought is not cartoon characters, but instead marketing funnels and how your prospects can be moved from one point to another with a view to making more sales.
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