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What is a Tripwire

How to Make More Money Series: What is a Tripwire (and How to Use It)

This is part 1 of a 4 part series to help you earn more money in your business!

One thing I love to instill in my marketing coaching clients is how much easier life can be when you build sales funnels. To nurture a buying habit in a customer is one of the best ways you can ensure regular income and a more loyal customer base without throwing a ton of money at ads or outreach.

So let’s start with one of the smallest steps that can have a huge impact: using a tripwire.

What is a Tripwire

A tripwire is a page that is shown after someone signs up for something free in your funnel. It’s a small purchase, no more than $50, and is usually a discounted product or service (the discount is usually a way to show gratitude for them signing up for your list). It can even be a coupon for a future purchase, though this isn’t the best method (I’ll explain why in a sec).

Some people use tripwires without offering anything for free first! I’ve found it’s usually more beneficial for newer businesses to start with a freebie first to cultivate a bigger list of customers, but if you’ve got a loyal fan base OR a fantastic inherent knack for conversions, then by all means go for it!

Why a Tripwire is Important

Tripwires are incredibly important in your sales funnels as they begin the subconscious habit of buying from you. Even if the tripwire doesn’t convert into a sale every time, it still begins the understanding that you should be associated with purchasing something of value.

What Things Can Be a Tripwire?

It should be something of medium value at a discounted price. It can be a bundle (though I’d save this for upsells), or an add-on to the lead magnet. Some ideas:

  • Expanded e-book or guide
  • Audio version of e-book
  • Part 2, 3, ….of a series where Part 1 was free
  • Collection of content (like a collection of blog posts on a certain topic turned into a book. I use Beacon for doing stuff like this)
  • 30 minute quick question coaching call

And so on

What are Bad Things for Tripwires?

I find that sending coupon codes as a tripwire is a poor use of the system because it doesn’t trigger the immediate need to buy. Sending a coupon in exchange for signing up for a newsletter can be a great lead magnet, but I wouldn’t recommend using it specifically as a tripwire. However, offering a special price on your most popular item immediately after they sign up to receive the coupon is an interesting way to create a better funnel (just don’t let the coupon work for the special one-time price, otherwise you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Frame it as “save that coupon for another day, get this awesome item at a special price here!”)

Key Things that Need to Be in a Tripwire

Scarcity – whether it’s quantity or time, you’ll need to promote an urgency to buy now

Easy ways to pay – Make sure your checkout system can make this as easy as possible to buy. Use a service that has multiple ways to pay, like Stripe or PayPal integrations. 

Quick delivery – if it’s a digital product then utilize something that can do auto-delivery of digital goods for purchases. I use DPD for this exact reason and it’s been amazing.

Immense value – You want this purchase to be so good that people are blown away at how cheap it was. Don’t feel like you’re giving things away at a loss, instead understand that by providing crazy levels of value with a small price, you start to build positive experiences with a customer who will be much easier to convert at a higher level in your funnel.

Workflow of a Tripwire

Here are the ways I build tripwires:

1. Build a lead magnet

I use a variety of things depending on what I want to create. I’ve used Apple Pages, Canva, Photoshop, and Beacon to create various lead magnets

2. Create automation in my email software

Currently, I’m testing out Automizy but I’ve used ConvertKit and MailerLite before that to ensure that whatever lead magnet I create will be automatically delivered to the new email subscriber automatically. The email will also include a short PS that has the tripwire link, but with an emphasis that time is running out to get it.

3. Set up a quick page with a subscribe form

I have ElementorPro and a few templates preloaded that I bring up quickly. If you’re not on WordPress or don’t like to do your own coding, Leadpages can handle this VERY quickly. The subscribe form then hooks up to the automation in my email software.

4. Add a redirect to the subscribe form after completion

This heads to the tripwire page automatically

5. Create a short sales page with a one-time offer

Again, I use ElementorPro to do this, but LeadPages could do this easily if you don’t want to build your own. Tripwire pages have the offer, a bunch of notifications that this is not accessible forever (use countdown timers), and an easy way to pay and complete checkout. If you want to get really serious about scarcity, utilize timeout conditions on this page. LeadPages can do this, I think, but for WordPress, you can use either ThriveLeads or this countdown timer plugin called Finale.

6. Ensure the paid product/service is delivered quickly OR next steps are immediately shown

DPD has a few options where you can either have a download button automatically show up after successful completion, or have a message displayed letting the customer know what happens next (you can also add a link to book a time with you if it’s a coaching call or something like that)

And that’s it! Once you start adding tripwires to your funnel you’ll begin to see more sales trickle in on a regular basis that ends up making a huge difference to your bottom line.

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