Top-of-Funnel Marketing 101: A Surefire Model for Scaling Any Channel

Top-of-Funnel Marketing 101: A Surefire Model for Scaling Any Channel

You want to know why so many SaaS founders struggle to grow their top-of-funnel marketing? 

Strategy. Systems. They simply don’t have ‘em.

That’s why your first go with LinkedIn ads is 🔥, but you can’t even get your tinder lit on  Google. You don’t have the formula locked in yet.

Now, don’t worry. Everyone makes this mistake with top-of-funnel marketing at first. The key is…DITCHING your ad-hoc approach. Stat. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna show you how to do (in just 5 minutes!).

Of course, you’re welcome to watch Coach Marcel’s 23-minute training — fresh outta the exclusive SaaS Academy vault — for FREE. Your call.

 

 

Alright now. Let’s dive in. ⬇️

 

What Is Top-of-Funnel Marketing? 

Top-of-funnel marketing. ToFu marketing. You hear lead generation teams bat both terms around a lot, but what do they even mean? 

First off, they’re the same animal, ToFu’s just a fancy acronym some B2B SaaS marketing guru coined a few years back, along with MoFu (middle-of-funnel) and BoFu (bottom-of-funnel) marketing. 

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The key word here is “funnel.” Your funnel’s the foundation (& infrastructure) of any marketing channel. It’s the LinkedIn or Google ad that drives cold leads to your lead magnet landing page. It’s your lead magnet. It’s the email sequence you send to put some fire under their butts. All of it!

And ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu simply describe where in the buyer journey your leads are: 

Top of Funnel 

Cold prospects in the Houston-we-have-a-problem stage. They’re looking for solutions (just not yours — YET). Snag ‘em with a blog or ad.

Middle of Funnel

Warm leads enjoy a quick win thanks to your lead magnet. 

Bottom of Funnel 

Scorching hot leads ready to demo your SaaS.

 

Where Do SaaS Founders Go Wrong with ToFu Marketing?

They hit a strike on Facebook and think their game is PBA-Tour-ready. So they take their top-of-funnel marketing to Google, LinkedIn, and even TikTok. But every ad’s suddenly a gutter ball. Goooooodbye hot streak!

What happened?!

Youngin funnels. All of ‘em. Sent out to complete with the big dogs before they’ve even perfected their game. 

Sound familiar? Keep reading for the down low on how to validate your funnel (and SCALE your ToFu marketing on any channel!). 

 

Your #1 Top-of-Funnel Marketing Model for Growth

How do you know if your funnel’s ready for the road?

The Channel Maturity Model. It’s your strategy for pinpointing the formula for success, both with your funnel and on a specific channel. Because every channel’s a little different: people have high intent for specific answers or solutions on Google, but they’re usually just looking for kicks on Facebook. Catch my drift?

To lock in your top-of-funnel channel growth, you need 3 things:

Your Scorecard

You can’t know what’s working not unless you measure AND track your results. That’s why you need a scorecard. Metrics you’ll want to follow include your customer acquisition costs; payback time on a specific channel, total conversions through the funnel; and channel cost. 

✅ Pro Tip: Use first-touch attribution because the touch points your leads hit along the way are far less relevant than the channel bringing them in. When you know where leads are coming from, you can calculate your customer acquisition cost and payback time by channel.

Your Process

Your process is the “glue” that holds your Channel Maturity Model together: it’s your strategy on paper and boots on the ground putting it into practice. Because YOU can’t do or remember everything! You need a team. 

Trust me. Your investment will pay off if they’re good at what they do. 

✅ Pro Tip: Hire experts. Always. Conversion copywriters. Designers. Marketing managers. And, of course, a growth marketer to drive your testing strategy. 

Your Testing

You gotta test. Over and over again. FOREVER. 

Why?

Digital advertising is expensive and competitive. Look at Facebook. Dirt cheap 10 years ago. Lambo-level spendy now. Because it blew up. Demand for ad space is high and supply low. It happens to most good platforms (watch out TikTok marketers!). 

If you want your dollars to go far on crowded platforms like Facebook, you gotta test, test, test. You gotta optimize. You gotta innovate. Leave no opportunity to boost your return on investment untapped. 

And the best method for testing? 

High Tempo Testing

Even with testing, you NEED a strategy. Mine is High Tempo Testing. 

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say, for example, you want to accelerate customer payback time for a channel. That’s your “North Star Metric.”  What do you do?

Step 1: Ideation

Your team needs to ask questions and brainstorm where the bottleneck in your funnel is. Maybe your landing page is dead-ending your high-converting ads. 

Step 2: Prioritization

Next, your team prioritizes what to test: the landing page headline.

Step 3: Measure and Document

Finally, they’re gonna measure the results of their tests and document them so you don’t waste time testing the same variables again. And they’ll repeat this process over and over until you’re heading right for that North Star Metric. 

✅ Pro Tip: If you want to get there faster, up your testing frequency. One test a week = 52 chances per year to improve your channel’s performance.

 

Putting It All Together

The Channel Maturity Model works ONLY if you have all three elements: scorecard, process, and testing. Try to take shortcuts — and it won’t work. Here’s why.

➡️ If you put a process in place and test without a scorecard, you’ll essentially be flying blind; you won’t know what’s working. And you’ll waste time testing the same things. 

➡️ Add the scorecard to your process but skip the testing, and you’ve got nothing to measure. You’ll flatline real quick.  

➡️ Test and measure without a process, and you can’t scale because everything is on YOU. Drop the ball, and any results you’ve gotten on the channel go… POOF.

 

Now for the Rest of Your Funnel

Now you know how to crush it with your top-of-funnel marketing — but what about the middle (MoFu) and bottom (BoFu) parts of your funnel? 

‘Cause bringing ‘em in is only half the battle, my friend.

You still gotta convert ‘em. And that’s EXACTLY what’ll you’ll do with the Lightning Bolt Lead Gen Stack in your toolbox. Grab yours now — so you can whip those leads into demo-ready shape in no time!

 

The Only Lead Generation Playbook You'll Ever Need

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