How To Become An Iron Chef Of Inbound TOFU

When it comes to inbound marketing, serving up the right top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content is the most effective way to generate new leads for your business. If your TOFU properly suits their palates, your leads will convert. But here’s the ugly truth: Many companies are serving up terrible TOFU, and their contacts aren’t biting.

This blog post will teach you how to become the next Iron Chef of Inbound TOFU.

The goal of TOFU is to bring leads into the top of the sales funnel in order to nurture them through to the middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU), and ultimately convert them into customers at the bottom (BOFU). TOFU content does this by building trust and perceived value over time by solving peoples’ problems. The key to a truly successful email nurturing campaign is simply serving up the right content. As it turns out, the type of content may be just as important as the quality of that content.

Test Your TOFU

Relevance employs a prolific TOFU email nurturing campaign with nearly 20 workflows, 57 email scripts and 62 offers. The marketing team has recently completed an audit of this process to determine which types of TOFU content were the most effective at converting leads. This audit covered a total of 31,337 email deliveries over the course of eight months. Here are the results:

TOFU-email-table.jpg

There are other factors aside from the type of content that will affect click-to-open rates within an email. These include type and position of graphics, expression of the value proposition, time split between email offers and relation of the offer to previous ones. But the element that has the greatest effect on the ultimate success of your TOFU is its barrier to consumption – and this is a direct reflection of the type of content.

Misguided TOFU: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That! more-tofu-videos-no-time

The lower the barrier to consumption, the more likely the contact is to engage with the content. For example, infographics typically perform outstandingly well as TOFU content because they present useful information in a digestible manner that is engaging and efficient for processing lots of information. Videos, on the other hand, while useful and probably informative, are long and drawn out. The high barrier to consumption leads to low engagement rates and this can turn off your leads if presented too early in the nurturing process.

Nurturing leads is like raising a puppy—it must be handled patiently and with the proper techniques in order to reach the desired end goal. In order to effectively bring in new leads nurture them through to the middle of the funnel, your TOFU strategy must be tight and tasty.

The Recipe for Tasty TOFU

Avoid using videos and webinars as TOFU. The barrier to consumption is so high that you will turn away potential customers too early in the funnel process. Instead, utilize these content offers in the middle of the funnel after more intelligence is gained and leads can be more accurately targeted with value propositions. Also, increase your infographic offerings—not only do people naturally gravitate to pictures and diagrams to process information, but these also have huge viral potential due to their low barrier to consumption. Don’t believe me? Check out Slideshare’s infographic about infographics… It’s infographic Inception!

Finally, if you want to be sure about the effectiveness of your content, check out our Ultimate A-B Testing Tool that will give you statistical evidence in 2 simple steps. Alright, you’ve got your work cut out for you – so get started now becoming the next Iron Chef of Inbound TOFU!

Photo credit: hiphopwired.com, gameshows.wikia.com

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