January 12 2642

What Are TOF, MOF, and BOF in Facebook Ads?

If you are reading this article, you are probably just at the very beginning of your journey in the marketing industry. Moving forward a little, these acronyms are related to the stages of a marketing funnel or a "customer’s journey".

A Marketing Funnel: What Is This?

A marketing funnel is a path that a customer takes all the way through to purchase a product or service. Usually, customers discover a new product, consider its functionality and value, compare it to similar available products, and make the final decision. In short, a marketing funnel illustrates a decision-making process divided into several stages that require specific marketing strategy and targeting.  

Facebook Ads do not need a special introduction as the platform has proved to be one of the most efficient in terms of business promotion. However, running ads on Facebook doesn’t mean that you get new customers at once. Getting high conversion (or sale) rates requires thorough planning. Although some beginners might consider Facebook Ads setup a bit confusing, in fact, you need just to develop a proper strategy — create a Facebook Ads marketing funnel that consists of several stages and target the right audiences at the right time.

As you should have guessed already, the marketing funnel stages include TOF, MOF, and BOF. Actually, the principal difference between them is in targeting. Now, let’s see what is hidden behind these quizzical acronyms.

TOF: The First Stage of Your Funnel

TOF (or ToFU) stands for the "Top of the Funnel". The top of any funnel is its largest part; in terms of marketing, at this stage, you need the largest audience and maximum exposure. Some marketers call this stage “the awareness stage”. The task here is to make people aware of your product or to let them know that this product exists. At the TOF stage, your objectives are brand awareness and engagement. Generally, there are two key types of audiences at the "top of the funnel": interest-based and lookalike audiences.

Interest-based audience. You begin the targeting process with interest- and behavior-based audiences so that the platform will show your ads to people who might be interested in your product following their previous interests (likes and interactions) and behavior (shopping history). To facilitate further analysis, you’d better split audiences by single interests to discover what interests generate more purchases.

Lookalike audience. Apparently, you can’t start your Facebook Ads campaigns with lookalike audiences. However, you can add a lookalike audience using the service provided by the platform — Facebook has rolled its own service of creating a lookalike audience based on the data collected from users.

MOF: The Middle Stage of Your Funnel

MOF (or MoFU) stands for the "Middle of the Funnel". At this stage you have a "warm" audience — people know that your business exists, visited your website, or interacted with your Facebook posts. This stage is also known as “the consideration stage”. Obviously, you need other advertising material at this stage. Try to consider the following aspects:

  • What problems your product (or service) solves.
  • Why your product stands out.
  • What people are looking for in this type of product.

Now, there are two types of people that can be included in the target audience at this stage:

Engaged audience. You can make more sales if you retarget your active audience on Instagram or Facebook. When your audience is involved with your content, comments, and reacts to your posts, that means you offer something they like.  

Viewed content. Let’s say, when a potential customer is not interested in a product, he won’t open a product page. Thus, those people who viewed your product page are potentially interested in the product you offer. In this case, retargeting is crucial.

In fact, the MOF audience delivers impressive results in the eCommerce niche, particularly for businesses using Facebook Pixel.

BOF: The Final Stage of Your Funnel

BOF (or BoFU) refers to the "Bottom of the Funnel". In some sources, this stage is referred to as "the decision stage". Now, you are almost there, at the finish line. What you need is to let customers click the button "Buy". At this stage of the purchasing process, you target people who added products to their carts but didn’t complete the purchase. There might be several reasons why they changed their mind, including shipping fees, taxes, or even currency exchange rates. This is the right time to mention all additional benefits, such as free return, free shipping, or any other advantages. Obviously, you need new creatives and a call-to-action to retarget this group of customers. These customers showed a strong interest in your product, so you want them to complete the purchasing process.

Tony from Tony Does Ads shared his variant of the report for one of his campaigns. The data looks pretty organized and gives a clear idea of the marketing funnel structure:

Do you build your marketing funnels?
8 votes
Yes — 75% No — 25%


If you need sales, you need a funnel. As you see, at different stages of the funnel (TOF, MOF, and BOF), you should target and retarget specific groups of potential customers to reach maximum sales. A marketing funnel makes the marketing process easier and more structured; thus, it simplifies and clarifies a strategy and tools used at every stage of the customer journey, consequently saving your time and resources.

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