Bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU, or BoFu) refers to the final stage of a customer’s product consideration before they either convert or walk away. These customers are often highly qualified leads who are very familiar with a particular business product or service and have done a lot of research. BOFU comes after TOFU (top of the funnel, being introduced to a business and its content) and MOFU (middle of the funnel, becoming more engaged with the company and product). The bottom of the funnel is the most narrow segment of a business’s customer list but also the most likely to have conversions.
Nurturing leads as they move down the funnel has changed in recent years: marketing and sales are no longer just about pummeling customers with cold calls and pushing them to make a decision. Now, good companies take time to develop relationships with their potential buyers. Customer relationship management involves a great deal of work, thought, and time as companies teach possible leads more about their products and services. Teams often use software to record data, track leads, and take time to personalize communications with prospects. Marketing and sales funnels now require teams to build a trustworthy brand and take time to show potential customers how useful and reliable the brand is.
Highly qualified leads, or sales qualified leads, are an important part of the sales funnel. Unlike TOFU customers, they:
- Already know a decent bit about the business and product
- Have given information to the business
- Have talked at least a little with a representative
- Are actively searching for a product
- Are often close to purchasing a product (whether from the business or a competitor)
Highly qualified leads (HQLs) take the most time to nurture. Businesses must make their brand, goals, and offerings extremely clear and visible to obtain these leads. This includes regular high-quality content production, social media publication, and targeted email marketing at the top of the funnel; continued follow-up and content offerings in the middle of the funnel; and good conversations and helpful pre-purchase resources at the bottom of the funnel.
Standard bottom-of-the-funnel techniques and resources to help leads convert include:
- Free product trials. These will show leads exactly how the product is going to work once they’ve implemented it.
- Following up with helpful and well-timed content and assistance (often emails). The further along these leads are in the funnel, the more personalized and timely the contact should be.
- Case studies and customer testimonials. These will give leads a concrete example to feel confident in the product’s quality.
Lastly, businesses benefit from following up with a lead if they do convert and purchase the product or service. Continued customer relationship management, even after a purchase, builds trust in a brand and allows a client to remain a possible customer for the future.