Tofu and Mofu, the path to optimum lead conversion and why you need to develop a taste for them as marketer

Not all things are equal, and certainly not your prospective clients. A discussion aimed at getting you started to design a lead conversion path, a visitors journey through your website, the marketing and sales funnel. 

Tofu and mofu refer to top of funnel and middle of funnel respectively. What is meant by this is that there is such a thing as a marketing/sales funnel through which a person coming into contact with your company flows. The funnel is a bit of a bad choice of analogy as not everyone that gets put in at the top also ends up at the bottom, but for better or worse everybody uses this terminology.

Tofu is a food an a term in inbound marketingTofu and mofu should really rather refer to the flow a person follows when first attracted to you and your products. Hear my carefully chosen words – being attracted to you. This is the key in inbound marketing, to be so attractive that prospects naturally gravitate towards you and self-define the process of going through the sales process.

In inbound marketing your website visitors decide if and when and how they want to proceed through to the next stage of conversion.

How best is this flow defined? At first there are those people who might have a vague interest in what you’re doing. They somehow end up on your website because whatever it was that made them come here seemed to possibly solve their current problem. bounce rateNow once that person has found your website the question is are they’re going to bounce off straight away (it’s the ominous “bounce rate” in your Google Analytics figures) or are they sticking around poking and reading and poking and reading. Or I should probably say, reading and clicking and reading and clicking. What kind of flow does your website offer?

Do you lead your visitors down a particular path? How easy do you make it for them to follow a track that leads them to a sale eventually?

I’ve spoken to a client today about a CSI project they are promoting. They are looking to convince other companies to invest in this particular project. It’s a fantastic project but it takes many pages to explain it. It’s very complex and has a lot of detail, but that’s in this case a good thing, you really know where the money goes and all that.

blah blahBut the page they’ve got at the moment is so long and so detailed that unless I’m really keen and made up my mind already that this looks really interesting and so it’s worth my time to read it all and get familiar with it, it’s going to deter me as potential donor rather than attract me. It’s what I call a typical mofu if not already bofu (bottom of funnel) offer. This is one of the stages in the flow of a person who is on the path of turning from a suspect to a prospect to a client, and it’s right at the end.

In order to read the whole thing I have to already be turned onto the whole project idea. What’s missing in this particular case (and in many, many others) is a typical tofu offer. Something to pull me into the whole story. Something short and sweet that is helpful to me, and makes me curious to find out more. Something that takes me by the hand and gently pulls me in the right direction.

Now what this tofu offer should be is anybody’s guess. The options are millions. On my own page here for example the free ebook I offer on “How to generate more leads with social media” is just such a tofu offer. I’m inviting you to get an overview of how to do social media for business. You as a person in my flow do not have to commit too heavily just yet. I’m not asking a lot from you, just your email address in fact. In return I hope I’m giving you good value back. But I’m not doing any hard sale on you at all.

I let you decide if you want to get down the path further. If you’re at a point where this e-book is not providing you enough information you will come back to me and ask for more. As it happens continually for me. I get emails all the time form people who have read my e-book and now want to learn more and really get this whole inbound marketing and social media marketing. And it is that precise moment when it’s time to do a mofu offer. Again choosing my own example here, a free inbound marketing assessment. Still no money exchanges hands. Because we’re not there yet. You have to still investigate more if what I can offer you is what you need and vice versa I want to make sure you’re a good fit for being one of my clients.

The key in all of this tofu and mofu is to

let the visitors/suspects/prospects decide the speed of conversion.

Let them decide when and how they convert to the next deeper engagement with you. Each step along the way is asking more commitment from either side. Once we’ve spent an hour together on a call during the free assessment we both have a good idea of where to take it next. Doing this process has helped me realise that I need to come up with some solution for all the small businesses who can’t possible afford my consulting fees. They definitely need what I’ve got to offer but it’s coming at a price that is out of reach for them. Going through this process of defining my path and executing the steps along the way has helped me to define new products and services (watch this space!). It helps me to create offers that truly match what is needed out there.

Here now the key take aways

for you and what you should do next to define your own tofu-mofu stages for flowing your visitors along a conversion path to a sale:

  1. On a piece of paper draw a path and map out what the steps are for a person to convert to a client at the end of it.
  2. Try and define at least 3 conversion points (e.g. my steps are conversion 1 could be clicking on a link on Twitter, conversion 2 is getting an ebook, conversion 3 is a free consultation, conversion 4 is a group or individual client)
  3. Understand that these conversion points aren’t necessarily linear. They can happen one after the other or they can happen in any order, over time or all at the same time. It’s the visitor who decides this. You just offer the opportunity to do so.
  4. Map out how you can measure the conversion at each point.
  5. Plan your website content accordingly to make it as easy as possible for your visitor to follow this path and let THEM decide when they want to convert again

This is a tricky process. Don’t expect you’ll nail this at the first attempt of thinking about it, especially if you never have given any thought to it before. Give yourself the time to develop this path. Just one, eventually there might be more down the line, but just start with one. But don’t overcomplicate it either. For most small businesses this can be very simple. Astonishingly simple in fact.

If you want to please feel free to leave your own steps below in the comments with a link to your website and I’ll comment on them, I’ll be happy to give you a bit of feedback. And I’m sure others will also be able to give you feedback of whether you nailed it or not.

In closing let me tell you, there’s not enough tofu in the world. Now you know why :)


inbound marketing assessment south africa