What Is a Tripwire and Why Does My Business Need It?

Like spring turning into summer and summer turning into fall, you can count on the fact that at one time or another, your business will experience a mini plateau… or slow season, if you will… sometimes there’s a really good reason for this (like a global pandemic shutting businesses down and forcing people to stay at home). But other times, it just… happens… seemingly for no rhyme or reason.

Nothing has changed. Your marketing tactics and targets are still the same. And you’re still receiving the same A+ feedback from current clients and customers. But new business? Not a chance.

So what gives?

The truth? Probably nothing. Ebbs and flows in business are to be expected but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a few tricks up our sleeves to get us back to generating strong and steady income.

One of our favorite tricks is the TRIPWIRE.

What Is a Tripwire?

Sounds pretty suspicious, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, this standard business tool has no tomfoolery in sight.

A tripwire is a super low-priced offer, a can’t-say-no, gotta-grab-it-now product or service. You’ll usually see these type of offers priced at $9, $7 or for the low, low price of only $1 (in our best infomercial voice).

Don’t think you’ve ever seen one? Think again. Remember when Columbia House sold 12 CDs A PENNY?!

The gist is simple:

Offer something so affordable that people can’t resist—and then nurture and upsell them in your funnel.

While tripwires are great tools for reigniting your sales, they don’t only have to be used when you’re ready to send out an SOS. Instead, they should be used as simple the step in your funnel that helps warm your audience and get people past the initial purchasing hurdles.

5 Examples of Tripwires That Convert

We already mentioned the ingenious tripwire that helped Columbia House to grow into a billion-dollar company but maybe you’re stumped thinking about what irresistible offer your business has. Here are 5 ideas you can take and customize to fit your customer or clients’ needs:

  1. Customizable Templates and Workbooks (bonus points if they relate to your lead magnet!)
  2. Swipe Files (like the one AutoGrow offers for only $7)
  3. Trial Memberships For $1, or even FREE (because who doesn’t love trying something for nothing… or next to nothing?)
  4. Partial Products (Don’t give the WHOLE cow away for free… but a taste of the milk wouldn’t hurt.)
  5. Bundles or “Vault Access” For a Discounted Rate (You want people to say, “You mean I get ALL OF THIS… FOR ONLY THAT?!” Mind blown, purchase complete.)

So… Why Not Free?

It’s important to note that a TRIPWIRE and a LEAD MAGNET are two entirely different things. Your lead magnet is a freebie that gets people to initially sign up for your email list or dish out their contact info. A tripwire, on the other hand, helps to turn leads into first-time buyers.

According to DigitalMarketer.Com, if someone takes that $7 “front end” offer they are 10X more likely to buy the main product.”

And there’s also this —-> People tend to devalue FREE.

Crazy, right?

A lead magnet works because people understand that the value they are receiving is in direct correlation to the sacred contact info they are sharing. In a post about tripwires, CrazyEgg.com shares something marketer Ramit Sethi once said after trying to give away FREE copies of his otherwise $2,000 course, “People value what they pay for…You’re not doing [prospects] a disservice by charging them, you’re actually doing a profound service for the people who want to take action.”

He stated that when people paid for digital tools, they were more likely to actually use it than if it was free.

4 Steps to a Successful Tripwire

Are you still with us here? Surprisingly, setting up a tripwire doesn’t require as much work as launching a brand new product or service. In fact, your most successful tripwires will likely be “valuable knockoffs” of products you already offer. Here’s what we mean:

Step ONE: Take a look at your current sales. What’s working, what’s not and where do you have wiggle room to charge less for something while still making a small profit, or at least breaking even?

Step TWO: Identify a high-converting product that has wiggle room in its price point.

Step THREE: Using that product or service as inspiration, “slim it down” so that it overcomes any purchasing hurdles in regards to cost but still delivers a power punch of value. Alternatively, for products such as clubs, you can choose to keep your price the same but offer a trial membership.

Step FOUR: Set that baby up in a sales funnel—STAT. Add nurturing emails that position you as an authority and bring people to know, like, and trust you, and then upsell into your core offer.

Want to develop a powerful lead magnet and nurturing email sequence in just ONE DAY?
Join us for the Virtual Copy Clinic.

Whether you’re experiencing a lull in sales or are ready to add another element to your funnel, creating your first tripwire is exciting. Remember, it’s all about the low-price entry point. There’s a time and a place for your hundred and thousand dollar offers—but this ain’t it.

Keep it simple, keep it cheap, but keep it valuable! And if you know you need this but realize you just don’t have the time to do it yourself, let’s chat. We’d be honored to help you craft the perfect tripwire your audience can’t help but purchase without hesitation. We’ll get your profits flowing in no time! 

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