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How to Create and Sell a Compelling Tripwire Offer

           If you're not familiar with the term, a "tripwire" is a low-ticket, introductory offer designed to be a low-risk, first step into your sales path. While you CAN make some money with tripwire offers, they aren't so much immediate profit-generators as they are customer-generators, which are more valuable.

           They are also sometimes referred to as "splinter products" as they are often a splintered-off piece of your main offer. In any case, they can/should also solve big roadblocks or "next steps" for your leads.

            For example, Disney doesn't care that much about immediate profit when you buy or rent their new movie for $20 because they know that the REAL value comes in making you or your kid a fan, which leads you to spend on their REAL profit-centers such as merchandise and theme parks.

            In fact, many successful businesses have no problems with taking a LOSS on their up-front product because they know that acquiring customers is infinitely more valuable than short-term profits.

          Splinter products (tripwires) can be low-cost, simple to create, and and introduce you to your customers.

Michael Killen

From Single to Scale

            Tripwires allow you to:

  • Turn leads and prospects into customers
  • Identify your buyers and hottest leads
  • Have customer credit cards on file (convenience for future purchases)
  • Build trust and establish your expert position, whether they buy or not

            ...and more. Remember that your main goals here are to identify and acquire buyers (NOT profit), so let's discuss some important factors and tactics to keep in mind when creating your own tripwires.

8) NOT (Necessarily) For Profit

            I already mentioned this in the introduction but it's so important that it bears repeating. Plus, many new and even experienced business owners just can't wrap their heads around the idea of doing or selling something that doesn't generate immediate profit, or that even sells a loss.

            This doesn't mean that you MUST take a loss or merely break-even on tripwire offers, but consider any profit as a cherry on top, and not as the cake itself.

            I've already mentioned Disney, but now let's take a look at the entirely different example of retail stores. Every kind of retail store which relies on "real-life" foot-traffic employs "loss leaders", which are unbelievably underpriced products, which they place at the front of their advertising or promotions.

            Of course, once you get to the store, there is a very high chance you will buy some of their regular-priced (or even over-priced) products "while you're there." Loss leaders and tripwires serve a similar purpose, which is to get customers "in the door" so that they can purchase the REAL money-makers.

    Rather than get customers to make sales, it is smarter to make sales to get customers.

Dan Kennedy

No BS Guide to Trust-Based Marketing

7) Price


It's about a lot more than just your costs

            Given that the whole point of tripwire offers is to be low-risk for customers, I'm generally a fan of pricing them at under $20. This is not a hard rule, however, as plenty of people have success with $30, $50, $100, or even $500 tripwire offers.

            As with almost every aspect of business and marketing, it all comes down to your ideal customer and your brand identity. Ferrari and/or Gucci may not get much value from offering $7 products, and cheap tripwires may even DE-value their brands, but that isn't a valid worry for must businesses.

            You can experiment with different tripwire offers at various price-points, but just remember that the whole point is to turn your ideal prospects into CUSTOMERS, however that works best for you.

6) Consider Your Main Offer

            So now you know that the point of any introductory offer is to serve as a first step toward your main offer. This means that to create your step 1 (tripwire), you'll need to work backwards from your step 3/4 (main offer).

            For example, if you're a personal trainer or fitness coach, then your tripwire might be a guide or video-course on how to lose weight, or eat healthier, or gain muscle, or whatever your ideal customers want. Just make sure that people who want your tripwire are likely to also want your main offer.

            Complementary products work well as tripwires, which are useful tools for people who want the solution that your businesses provides. Whether you help people lose weight, or increase confidence, or grow their business, your tripwire should complement your service, and help them along the way.

Value Ladder

            Above is a graphic of the/your value ladder, which is simply the name Russell Brunson gave the idea of your full offer suite. Your tripwire should be a mid-step between your free and main offers.

            When customers receive value, they naturally want to move forward and get additional value from the seller they now trust...If each ladder step provides awesome value, they will naturally want to keep ascending.

Russell Brunson

Dotcom Secrets

5) Lead Magnets + Tripwire Ideas


Choose and attract the customers you want

            Tripwire offers are actually almost identical to lead magnets (FREE introductory offers). While tripwires differ in that they cost (a small amount of) money, here are some important similarities:

  • They should deliver a quick win and be easily "digestible"
  • They should be useful, relevant, and valuable to your ideal customer
  • They are often (but don't need to be) aesthetically pleasing and nice-looking

            It's hard to differentiate lead magnets and tripwires because they are both so important to your business. Many would argue in favor of either one, and many successful businesses only employ one.

            Of course, there is no reason why you can't enjoy the fruits of having both! In any case, here are some examples of valuable offers that you can use for tripwires, lead magnets, and more:

  • Templates and scripts
  • Personalized assessments/results (quizzes)
  • A piece of your main offer ("splinter")
  • Guides and reports
  • Worksheets and resource lists
  • Calculators
  • Video Course
  • Webinar, training, or presentation
  • An introductory session or call
  • Swipe files
  • Books and other "Free + Shipping" offers
  • Organizers and planners

          The leap from spending nothing to $10,000 is so great that you need great sales copy, testimonials, guarantees, and time to bridge that gap. The gap from $10 to $10,000 is substantially less.

Michael Killen

From Single to Scale

4) Consider a Physical Product

holding book

There's something special about holding something in your hands

            The fact that you "get to" charge for your tripwire offers allows you to invest more in making them valuable and compelling. One way to add perceived value to any offer is adding a physical component.

            It's an unfortunate truth that most free, low-ticket, and even high-ticket digital offers are either:

            1) opened once, stored, and then never seen or thought of again, or
            2) never opened at all.

            This is fine is some ways, but definitely leaves room for improvement. By offering something tangible that your customer can hold in their hand, you practically guarantee that your product will remain on on their desk or bookshelf or nightstand for a good amount of time. At the very least, they'll probably look at it more than once, which can actually be pretty valuable to you.

            For one reason or another, physical goods are perceived by our brains as more valuable, which may encourage more purchases and at higher price-points. Yes, they may cost you more money to print and distribute, but many businesses have found these costs to be minor in comparison to the benefits.

Tactics LM

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14 Tactics to Generate Consistent Leads!

3) Thank You Pages

ty note

Don't ignore your most valuable real estate

            Now let's discuss placement, which the phrase "location, location, location" accurately reminds us is crucial. Actually, we'll only discuss one placement here which are your thank-you pages.

            Most businesses who offer lead magnets (AKA free offers - which every business should) take their fresh new leads to boring, sterilized thank-you pages after their leads sign up for the lead magnet. That's not very nice, given that their leads just did exactly what was asked of them.

            It's also a significantly wasted opportunity, since thank you pages are the most under-utilized pieces of digital real estate on the entire internet. Your thank-you pages are great places to place all types of things, but they are particularly good for tripwires, and similar up-sell offers.

            The time when people (your leads) are MOST likely to take action is RIGHT AFTER they've taken another action. So why not serve them up a tripwire offer after they sign up, or buy something else?

            Tripwires can also work very well as standalone products placed ANY-where, so create several and experiment with which placements, price points, and types work best for your business.

2) Urgency & Scarcity

            Related to the thank-you-page placement idea, tripwires also work well if you incorporate an element of scarcity into them.

            Actually, EVERY offer works better with urgency and scarcity but we'll just focus on tripwires here.

            For example, if your tripwire (or one of them) can ONLY be found/purchased from your thank you page, then that will encourage many more people to take it.

            Combined with the fact that they just took an action (if they are on your thank-you page), this urgency triggers many of those on-the-fence to buy.

         The basics are urgency and scarcity. That’s what gets people to take action.

Russell Brunson

Expert Secrets

1) Give Deserved Respect


You tripwires do your most important task for you

            For your tripwires that are not exclusively on thank-you pages, then you should provide an entire sales page for each one. The low price of tripwires (and the lack of profit) leads many business owners to consider their tripwires as second-rate citizens, when compared to the rest of their offer suite.

            But your tripwires deserve as much respect as any of your other offers, which includes dedicated landing/sales pages, email sequences, and even advertisements.

            Remember that tripwires do your heaviest lifting and most important task (acquiring customers), so give them the respect, attention, and resources that deserve, and they'll reward you handsomely.

          What could you take someone through, within your core product, that costs as much as buying two cups of coffee and in the time it takes to drink them? That’s your splinter (tripwire) product.

Michael Killen

From Single to Scale

This post contains affiliate links.

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