One powerful thing about buyer psychology is this:
Once you get someone to say the first “yes”, it becomes way easier to get the second “yes!”.
Numbers have it. 79% of marketing leads never turn into sales.
This means, getting a prospect to commit – even as little as $1 – is how to qualify leads to customers from the get-go.
Than constantly chasing new customers. Which are always hard to qualify.
While offering free trials, demos, free memberships, etc. are ways to qualify buyers – Tripwire marketing strategy has been a foolproof way to separate tire-kickers from action takers in your sales funnel.
Tripwire marketing allows you to get buyers in the door by offering a low-ticket front-end irresistible product, so they bring out their credit cards to make a purchase. Which qualifies them as buyers who are likely to ascend your value ladder and buy more from you.
If you’re like me, who has bought a couple of digital products, then you must have come across tripwire funnels.
That is what the rest of this guide is all about.
We shall go into details on:
- How tripwire marketing works
- The Benefits
- 8 Real-life tripwire examples
- 10 tripwire ideas
- Steps on creating your first tripwire funnel
- Free Tripwire funnel templates
And finally, the FAQ section addressing all of your worries about tripwire marketing and funnels.
Let’s get started.
What is a Tripwire funnel & How does it work?
Your goal as a marketer or business owner is to get prospects to bring out their wallet and buy something from you.
Which is no easy feat.
People need to trust, know, and like you enough before they can feel confident enough to give you their money.
However, selling them on a lower inexpensive BUT valuable product would absolutely get them in the door easier than getting them straight to your core offer.
A smaller purchase leads to a big purchase. To even bigger purchase. It’s always a slippery slope.
Tripwires are often “splinters” of your core/expensive products, repackaged in a way your audience can’t refuse.
Let’s say your main offer is a course sold for $997.
Taking out one module from the course, repackaging and turning it into a separate product, making it incredibly cheaper…
Is a great way to create a Tripwire that upsells people to your expensive course.
Since Tripwire is a low-priced product, a lot of people are more likely to give it try.
Once they see the value – helping them solve a part of their major problems – their mind comes to rest.
Like, since they spent small money and got such value – spending more should definitely get them to their promise land.
Do you get the point?
Inherently, this builds a healthier relationship between you (the seller) and the buyer, and trust is established.
The Russell Brunson Tripwire Experiment
Some years back Russell Brunson conducted an experiment.
He sent traffic to a high-converting landing page selling a $197 product. After a lot of tweaking, the page was converting at 1%.
That is, for every 100 cold audience sent to this page – 1 person must make a purchase.
Next, he decided to splinter a part of the $197 product. And repackaged it into a CD, DVD, or a book as a free-plus-shipping tripwire.
And offered at a ridiculously cheaper rate.
With the aim that after people take on the lower-priced item, they’ll be offered an upsell to buy the main $197 product.
Now, here’s what happened:
The “splintered” low-cost product converted at 8%. Not bad right?
However, the most interesting thing is that about 25% of customers who took on the free-plus-shipping tripwire offer bought the $197 product as an upsell before the “thank you” page.
In essence, instead of making $197 per one hundred visitors – he made $394!
In addition, eight new buyers on his list for every one hundred visitors.
This is to show you how powerful and what difference a tripwire can make in your life.
Besides building a list of qualified buyers and selling them at the backend of your sales funnel – it also helps you to validate your offer with a quick sale. And self-liquidate your ad costs…
To avoid spending time and money on the wrong audience. More on this below.
What are the Benefits of Tripwire Marketing?
The goal of your tripwire offer isn’t to profit now.
The amount of money made on people who took up your offer on the front end shouldn’t be a metric for success.
Countless multimillion (and billion) dollar businesses make a ton of losses from their frontend offer. It is deliberate.
The big money is made at the backend.
As the goal is acquiring qualified customers you’ll stick around for a very long time
Below are other benefits and reasons why businesses are surviving while implementing the tripwire funnel.
#1. Instantly Turns Cold Leads to Hot Buyers
Selling is all about establishing a connection, nurturing, and building a solid relationship with buyers.
Just as it is in a relationship, it’s impossible to agree to become someone’s partner just after the first date or even the second meeting.
The same thing applies to selling online.
Your job is to walk the prospect through the sales process. Building rapport, uncovering needs, delivering value, and gaining commitment.
This takes time.
With the help of a tripwire funnel marketing technique, you instantly convert them from being a total stranger to a customer.
At the same time creating long-term, profitable relationships with your target audience right from Day 1.
#2. Build and Grow your Email list
Like I hinted earlier, the huge money on tripwire funnels isn’t made on the front end.
A larger percentage of people who took on your tripwire offer won’t immediately buy anything further than that in your funnel.
These are logical buyers.
People who take their time to decide if they should buy now or not. They are the fence-sitters.
And tend to consult their partners, give it thought, and do some research before buying.
You might be wondering how does building an email list relates to this?
Well, immediately anyone buys your splintered offer, they’re automatically added to your list, segmented, and placed on an automation sequence.
Where you try to kill all of their limiting beliefs, eliminate every sort of objection, and so on.
So even if they take on the upsell or not…
They’re still yours to follow up with and market to in the nearest future.
Isn’t it crazy? Making frontend sales and same time building the most valuable online asset with your tripwire.
#3. With Tripwires, You Self-Liquidate Your Ad Costs
The best tripwire funnels cover their own cost.
With your tripwire funnel, you can literally turn your customer acquisition cost to zero dollars while building your list for free and also making a ton of profits from your upsells.
Do you know what this means?
It means you can outspend your competitors so that you can acquire new customers and become the recognized leader in your market.
Just by neutralizing your ad cost and immediately creating customers.
#4. Attract Actual Buyers
How do you tell you aren’t wasting time on the wrong set of prospects?
For almost half a decade I’ve been involved in online business – one of the common lessons learned is that:
Those who pay, pay attention.
You know sometimes you feel guilt or fear that you’re charging people to learn from you.
But the thing is:
When you realize the only way for people to take action and change their lives is to make a commitment.
That’s when you’ll realize it’s totally okay to charge for sharing what you know that could change someone else’s life.
In fact, you’re doing them a disservice if you don’t.
I see myself running around circles and not going in 100% to implement when I grab stuff for free. I don’t know about you.
But the most success I’ve had online was doing the work on something I invested in.
The same thing happens when I teach people for free. And when I charge them.
This is not their fault. It is just human nature.
The tripwire allows you to focus your valuable time, energy, and marketing on paying customers instead of freebie seekers and timewasters.
Who are likely NOT going to do anything with the free info anyway.
8 Real-Life Powerful Tripwire Examples & Campaigns
On a serious note, it was difficult for me to find tripwire examples outside of the online marketing space.
Heck! Marketing is my breakfast, launch, playground, and dinner.
However, I scouted online to curate a few examples other marketers already found. To complement with some of the internet marketing tripwire examples I’ve discovered over the past years.
Although we’re getting to the practical side where I walk you through creating yours from scratch.
So just use the campaign examples below as an inspiration to model after.
Tripwire Example #1. Expert Secrets Book – Free + Shipping Offer
Over 90% of all tripwire offers are free plus shipping offers. It’s the most popular tripwire strategy known.
Here you essentially give the product away for free or a nominal amount and simply charge for shipping and handling.
Russell Brunson uses this model in selling all of his books.
One of them being –
Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice.
As you can see this popular book Expert Secrets (cost $24.95) free of cost as long as you are ready to pay the shipping of $9.95.
That’s not all.
After entering your shipping information, you’ll be taken to the checkout where you’re presented with 2 bump offers.
- Expert Secret Audiobook – $37
- Expert Secrets live event recordings – $97
There are also two additional upsells within the entire funnel which helps increase the overall average cart value.
The idea is that people are going to read this book and get a ton of ideas on building and monetizing a tribe of die-hard followers/buyers.
Doesn’t matter if they take on the bump and upsells or not. It’s an eye-opening book.
The book funnel is an opportunity for Russell Brunson to start a relationship with the buyers.
Then they get to become a recurring user of ClickFunnels – Russell’s main product – which would play a big role to market their expertise.
Tripwire Example #2. Content Multiplier Formula – Free + Shipping Offer
Content Multiplier Formula is the formula for getting millions of followers, engagement, and sales following Peng Joon’s proven process to publish, automate and monetize content across several platforms.
It follows the same 2-step order form funnel for the free+plus-shipping model used by Russell Brunson.
A physical copy where buyers pay $7.95 to cover shipping and handling costs.
Here’s the checkout page:
With two order bump options for buyers:
- Get 100,000 Followers on Facebook and Verified in 29 Days – $37
- Access to the Content Multiplier Formula $537,814.22 Case Study – $97
Can we easily assume he duplicated Russell Brunson’s book funnel? Similar price points, funnel structure. Maybe…
Nevertheless, Peng’s free plus shipping book is indeed a great front-end low-cost offer to keep delivering value to his buyers and sell at the backend.
Tripwire Example #3. Kartra – $1 dollar trial for 14days
Besides the free plus shipping offer.
Another popular tripwire marketing strategy is the paid trial option. $1 trial.
A good example is Kartra.
Kartra (one of the best marketing funnel software) offers a $1 trial to the entire funnel builder platform for 14days.
As a tripwire to get people to use, feel, and fell in love with the software – building and automating their business with Kartra.
Once the trial is over, users will be charged the regular amount which is $99 per month for the Starter plan, $199 for the Silver plan, $299 for the Gold plan, or $499 for the Platinum plan.
Instead of offering a totally free trial like most of its competitors – with this type of tripwire – Kartra weeds out a large portion of the people who signup for everything they run across, with little intention of using it.
Plus, it only attracts people who are committed and actually ready to give the product a try.
Tripwire Example #4. Ahrefs – $7 dollar trial for 7days
Another SaaS product with the paid trial offer is Ahrefs.
A popular all-in-one SEO software.
Ahrefs offers a $7 trial that gives customers access to all the features they need to carry out a full-fledged SEO campaign.
Users can choose to cancel before their 7days trial period elapses or get charged at $99 per month for the Lite plan or $179 per month for the standard plan.
The thought is clear:
Anyone who’s ready to pay $7 for 7days in order to use a product of $99/mo – then such a customer has shown interest in using the product.
Instead of a free trial which can attract lots of users – but not many paying customers at the end of the day.
Tripwire Example #5. Kanagear Free plus shipping
This is actually our first non-marketing-related tripwire marketing funnel example.
I discovered Kanagear while researching for this post. It is an eCommerce store that sells pet gears.
They have free plus shipping products on some of the products on their online store. Not available for every product.
Check out this Heart and Paw Necklace offer:
It costs $25. However, you only have to cover shipping and handling.
You can see the shipping fee right here on the checkout page:
Shipping and handling cost $11.97. Plus an option to pay an additional $1.95 for item insurance.
Tripwire Example #6. Disney Movie Club – $1dollar for 4 movies
Another awesome example I saw while researching this guide is the Disney Movie Club.
You’d signup to join their membership program that allows you to buy Disney movies on both DVD and Blu-ray at a discounted rate.
For a new subscriber – you’ll be getting 4 movies for as low as $1.
Plus, free shipping. Cool!
The low-cost tripwire offer is actually a no-brainer to anyone who’s really interested in becoming a Disney Movie Club subscriber.
That said, there is membership terms you definitely need to agree to on this offer – buying five more movies in the course of 2 years at a regular price.
Tripwire Example #7. Perfect Webinar Scripts – 7 dollar scripts
Perfect Webinar Scripts is a low front-end digital product for marketers who desire to use webinars to promote their products.
A simple webinar presentation scripts built by Russell Brunson of ClickFunnels.
The tripwire costs $7.
With an order bump offer – “The Powerpoint And Keynote Files” for $47.
With of course a ton of upsells and downsells within the product sales funnel.
- Upsell #1: 10X Secrets – $297
- Upsell #2: 10X Closing Secrets – $297
- Upsell #3: Virtual FHAT Event – $497
All relating and aligned to building and designing a successful webinar presentation.
Tripwire Example #8. Underdog Advantage – Free plus shipping book
This is a book I’ve bought myself. So, I thought of including it.
The Underdog Advantage: Rewrite Your Future By Turning Your Disadvantages Into Your Superpowers
A free plus shipping book by Dean Graziosi that retails for $19.97 – offered for free. Where customers only have to cover shipping and handling fee.
It is a two-step order form – similar to the Expert Secrets book and Content Multiplier funnel example above.
It comes with a few order bumps:
- The success bundle – $37
- Jumpstart Your Success Course – $29
And 2 core upsells:
- The audiobook – $47
- 1 Year INNER CIRCLE Monthly LIVE Coaching With Dean – $97 for a 95% discount
10 Tripwire Product Ideas & Inspirations
The fastest way to create a tripwire offer is to splinter off one of the best parts of your product or services and put it into a form that can stand alone and solve a problem for your ideal audience.
But the big question is:
How do you know which part of your product to sell separately as a tripwire?
Well, it’ll be difficult to for me say without having an idea of your core offer.
As it depends on your industry and the type of product you sell.
I’m confident that the below tripwire product ideas will kick-start you on the right path:
#1. Free Plus Shipping
This is the most popular Tripwire model in history.
It is used mainly when you want to ship a physical bundle or product to your customers.
For example, it starts with a simple sales page and a compelling offer (“Free book! Just pay shipping”).
After the prospect enters their information, then they’ll be offered One-Time Offers (OTO) or upsells to your core high-ticket products.
This converts cold traffic better than any other product-based funnel I’ve seen.
The two-step order form type works best for free plus shipping offers. As seen in the examples above.
During step one, a potential customer is asked for and submits their contact information. During Step Two, the potential customer selects their product and enters their credit card information.
The actual power of the two-step comes from the ability to follow-up with a potential customer if they didn’t complete Step Two.
#2. Paid Trials
While offering free trials is a faster way to acquire lots of leads.
In my opinion, it doesn’t actually put any penny into your bank. And you aren’t even covering the cost used in acquiring these trials.
Don’t get me wrong. Trials can work great as tripwires. But NOT as efficient as paid trials.
Paid trials help validate your offer.
To see how real users are responding and interacting with your product during their free trial periods.
This works exceptionally for SaaS, memberships, and courses.
You can give your customers a limited-time trial for a little $ to test things out. Depending on your pricing and how you deliver.
$1 for 7 days, $1 for 14days, $7 for 7 days, $7 for 2weeks, etc.
#3. Coaching and Consultation
This is a tripwire type O & G Tax and Accounting services use in creating happy clients and building profitable relationships.
Some weeks ago when I wanted to file my taxes as a non-US business owner.
A very good friend of mine shared 3 links to different tax filing and accounting services. (if that’s what it is called)
At that time, I checked out their websites. All offered paid consultations, except for O & G Tax services. They included an option for a free consultation.
The options were as follows:
10 minutes – Free consultation
15 minutes – $25
30 minutes – $50
1 hour – $100
The free 10-minute slot was more than enough for me to ask everything I need to know on filing my taxes for my LLC.
At the end of the day, I became a client.
And will continue to use them because they were very friendly, patient, and helpful to me.
I never hesitated to give them a 5star review when the owner asked.
If you’re in the coaching industry or in the business of rendering services, this type of tripwire works best.
You can offer a free 5-15 minute 1-on-1 consultation via Zoom, Skype, phone, chat or email as a tripwire to qualify your buyers.
If you’re kinda worried about the logistics involved with shipping a physical book to different parts of the world.
Then you can have it in digital format and sell it as your tripwire product – to lead customers down your sales pipeline.
No need for them to cover shipping costs.
Just make sure it solves a specific pain point and of high value and certainly NOT a cookie-cutter fluff bundled together.
Remember trust, relationship, and long term fans is what we’re after.
I’ve found $7 to be the ideal price point for a tripwire eBook.
Another digitized form of a tripwire. Templates.
Templates are DFY (Done For You) reusable or duplicatable blueprints you can offer to your audience. It saves their time and cuts the cost of having to build things from scratch.
For example, if you serve small business owners, you can give out invoice templates.
An accountant? Accounting template
Funnel designer? Funnel template
You name it.
There are literally thousands (if not millions) of things that can be created and offered as templates.
Build one for your market and use that (for free or sell) to acquire and qualify the ideal set of people into your world.
Take a look at Canva – Canva Templates.
Using templates as an entry point has been one of their greatest customer acquisition strategy over the years.
I mean they have hundreds of templates for everything graphic-related.
Similar to templates, spreadsheets are also valuable tripwires.
They can serve as quick and easy “plug-and-play” solutions for your audience. To help organize, track, manage, and calculate stuff.
One huge brand that takes advantage of spreadsheets in acquiring users is Airtable.
They have templates in form of spreadsheets for almost everything.
- Content calendar
- Recipe Database
- Personal CRM
- Social Media Calendar
- Job Search Template
- Conference Planning Template
- Lease tracker etc
No! You don’t need to be as big as Airtable to deploy this.
Just create (or outsource) a specific simple spreadsheet in your niche and sell/offer it as a tripwire.
Other Tripwire Ideas…
- Video tutorial on how to achieve X without doing Y (niched focused)
- Expert interviews
- Case studies
Steps to Create Your Tripwire Funnels (plus, downloadable templates)
With the availability of numerous funnel builders and marketing platforms in the market.
From the simplest to the most complicated of them all.
Whichever you’re already using, or plan to use – the tripwire model still remains the same. Nevertheless, for this walkthrough, I’m going to be using ClickFunnels.
Why use ClickFunnels for your Tripwire funnel?
It’s the simplest platform out there. I use it almost every day in my business. Tons of pre-built templates. Easy to customize.
ClickFunnels is a complete funnel tool with an inbuilt checkout system. Highly optimized for sales conversion.
Works for all. In every niche.
With ClickFunnels, you can easily build complex (and of course simple) sales funnels including landing pages, checkout pages, order bumps, upsell/downsell pages, and thank you pages with the click of a button.
It also comes inbuilt with a stupid-smart automation and email marketing platform.
That lets you follow up with buyers who never bought your upsells.
Plus, a segmentation feature to segment hot buyers from cold buyers.
To create your tripwire marketing funnels inside of ClickFunnels – here is how it works (assuming you already grabbed a free trial):
Step #1: Pick a funnel type
In the Cookbook builder – you select the funnel type you want to build:
For tripwire funnel, you’re “Selling a product”. Then for the Goal, you’re “Selling A Low Ticket Front End Product ($0-$37)”.
As you can see above, selecting these options would give you two funnel types. Tripwire and Dealday.
Step #2: Pick a funnel template
After picking the “2-step Tripwire Funnel” as your funnel type, you’ll be taken to the next step.
There are options for both free and paid. But I will suggest you go with the FREE ones.
For this illustration, I’m selecting the “BREEZE” templates.
Get the funnel…
This takes us to:
Step #3: Customize your tripwire funnel & pages
One of the reasons why I choose to build my funnels and pages on ClickFunnels is that it is way easier to use, learn than most editors of the majority of the platforms out there.
Once you understand how page structure works, you can knock out any funnel that fits your product and brand.
On any builder. And ClickFunnels makes it stupidly simple to master.
Here’s how the dashboard looks:
- Two-Step Order Page: The main tripwire sales page
- OTO/Upsell Page: The page where they’ll be presented your core product. A sales page
- Downsale Page: A page to get your main product if they turn down the upsell (more on downselling here)
- Offer Wall: A “Thank you page” designed to pitch an offer or sell someone else’s as an affiliate.
Read more on how the ClickFunnels editor works at goto.clickfunnels.com/etison-editor-features.
Step #4: Set your automation rules, A/B test & launch
The email marketing feature inside of ClickFunnels is where the money is at.
While you can create, schedule, and deliver your emails seamlessly and easily all within ClickFunnels…
Follow-up funnels isn’t just an email autoresponder.
It lets you see exactly who is coming into your funnel and then market to them based on who they are, where they came from, and the actions they take in your funnel.
And follow up with them via:
- Text notifications
- Push notifications
Finally, don’t forget to A/B split test your funnel for various copies, color, CTA, and tripwire offer to discover your winning formula.
Best Tripwire Funnels & Templates (Built with ClickFunnels)
As promised, below are a few premium tripwire funnel templates to download and get ideas:
#1. Free plus shipping book funnel template (Content Multiplier Formula)
Source: Funnelytics vault
#2. Free plus shipping book funnel template (Dotcom Secrets)
Source: Funnelytics vault
#3. Flash eCom discount sale tripwire funnel template (cozy blanket)
Source: Funnel Fridays
#4. Health/supplement tripwire template
Niche: Health, supplement, fitness
In need of specific tripwire examples or templates in your niche?
Let me know in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions on Tripwire Marketing
What is a tripwire funnel?
A tripwire funnel is a simple marketing strategy that entices customers to make a small purchase to get them to big bigger ones down in the funnel or later in the future.
You have to be comfortable losing a few $$ on the front end to make a killing on the backend.
As the goal isn’t to make money on your low-cost product. But to self-liquidate your ad cost and create new customers rapidly.
What are the main benefits of tripwire marketing?
The main benefits of tripwires are:
- They attract actual buyers
- Cover ad costs and pay for themselves
- Grows your email list
- Turns cold leads to hot buyers
- Lets you outspend your competitors
What can I use as my Tripwire offer?
Your Tripwire offers can be in the free plus shipping model, audiobook, case study, product trials, templates, spreadsheets, mini-courses, webinars, virtual events.
Be creative as possible when creating your tripwire.
Give people something that really meets their needs and answers their prayers.
How can I implement the tripwire marketing technique in my business?
To implement tripwire – here’s how you do it:
- Offer a low priced item splintered off your core product
- Build your tripwire funnel using ClickFunnels
- Write your copies with the help of Funnel Scripts
- Send traffic and acquire lots of paying customers
- Upsell qualified buyers to your main offer
- Segment your list
- Follow up and build a relationship with those who didn’t convert
- Use social proof, discounts, an urgency to convert logic buyers
How do I make my tripwire convert?
First of all, be clear with your benefits emphasize more on your what your product does.
Use Funnel Scripts software to craft an enticing copy for pages.
Not just great copies.
Your tripwire must be of high quality and relevant to your audience’s journey. I don’t mean you should give away all of your ‘secrets’ in your tripwire.
I mean it should build enough trust and push people to buy the remaining piece of the pie. Which is your core offer.
Finally, your tripwire needs to have a super-low barrier of entry. And mustn’t be hard to buy no matter what.
What is the ideal price of a tripwire product?
In my opinion, it depends. It can be free or as cheap as $1. Or could be as expensive as $197.
Ideally, for eBooks, it can be $7. For mini-courses – $47. For free plus shipping books – follow Russell books model. For consultation – free – $45. Again it depends.
What is the difference between a tripwire and a lead magnet?
The main difference between a tripwire offer and a lead magnet is that tripwire requires a commitment of $ to access while a lead magnet is free.
With lead magnet, you attract both action takers and timewasters BUT with tripwire marketing, you attract ONLY serious, qualified buyers.
Lead magnets are free offers, opt-ins, freebies, ethical bribes.
Tripwires are splinters, self-liquidating offers, etc.
While it is best to test the two to see which converts best – paid tripwires tend to win more. They qualify buyers who are ready enough to pay now.
How do promote my tripwire offer?
Creating a product and building your a converting funnel to do the selling is one thing.
Driving targeted visitors to buy is entirely another struggle on its own.
Well, to promote your tripwire offer, you can do that through paid ads:
- Facebook Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Instagram Ads
- Google Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Paid Influencer marketing
Of through free/organic medium:
- YouTube videos
- Facebook groups and profile
- Email marketing
- Guest post
- Referral marketing
Do you want to build a strong, profitable business? Do you want your customers to trust your more?
Want to create an irresistible offer that entices customers to buy your expensive product without thinking twice?
Well then it’s time for you to implement a tripwire funnel into your marketing strategy.
I hope you found this latest tripwire funnel and marketing guide helpful.
Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:
Is the concept of tripwire new to you?
Which of the ideas and tips do want to try first?
Did you find the tripwire funnel examples and templates helpful?
Let me hear your thoughts in the comments box below.