Tripwire Funnel

tripwire funnels

Tripwire funnels are one of the most popular types of sales funnels that can prove to be a big success for your brand. Using a tripwire offer, you can bring in customers at a low price and then upsell them further products or services.

The idea of using a tripwire is that it’s irresistible to buyers, which is why it’s offered at a low price and delivers good value. After this offer has been purchased, it makes it easier to upsell higher-value products because there’s a greater level of trust from the customer.

Tripwire funnels might seem complicated at first, but they are really not that difficult to understand. Once you know what they are and how to use them, you can build on your fundamental knowledge and start creating tripwire funnels that convert. This guide will provide you with all of the steps that you need to build a successful tripwire funnel and to measure and monitor it.

Let’s start by looking at what a tripwire funnel is and how it works.

What Is a Tripwire?

A tripwire is aptly named because it’s the thing that sets everything in motion. It’s essentially a low-ticket product that offers a lot of value to prospects. It costs them very little or even nothing to get the offer, but it’s their entry and introduction to everything else that you have to give them. It’s an offer that’s impossible to refuse because it takes little effort or money to obtain it but still delivers an excellent value to customers.

A tripwire is used to tempt new subscribers to your email list. They have just opted in, and it’s your chance to grab their attention right away. Once they have taken the leap and purchased something from you, they’re much more likely to do it again. That’s when you have the opportunity to bring them your products with a higher value.

Using a tripwire funnel speeds up the relationship with the customer. If people join your mailing list but aren’t interested in your core offer straight away, a tripwire allows you to upsell it to them once they have purchased something more affordable. They will be able to see clearly the value that you can bring to them, and they will have the necessary trust in you to make future purchases.

How Does a Tripwire Funnel Work?

A two-step tripwire funnel typically begins with an opt-in page. This can be a page where you give something away for free, whether it’s a downloadable white paper or a free plus shipping offer on a product for customers to try out. After the opt-in page, you can then have an order form, which could then take the person to a one-time offer (OTO) page or a one-time down-sell.

Note: A one-time offer (OTO) is an offer that is given just once, designed to offer an incentive to customers who have just made a purchase to spend more money. A down-sell is used to narrow a customer’s expectations and match them with a solution that meets their needs.

tripwire funnel

After either upselling or down-selling to the customer, they will then land on a page thanking them for their purchase. This page can also be used to encourage them to take the next step, whether it introduces them to other funnels or other products and services you have available.

How a Tripwire Funnel Will Help You to Convert

Using tripwire funnels can help to boost the conversion rate for your business. An appealing offer with a low cost is an ideal way to increase conversions. The next step is to then make sure that you are offering enough incentive to make bigger purchases.

While it might seem like simply offering something for free is the best thing to do, that’s not always the case. People will often value something that they have to pay for more than they do something that they can get for free. Attaching a price to something shows that you value the product that you’re offering, which will mean that the people buying it will value it too.

When considering conversions, your tripwire offer could sit in several places in your conversion funnel. It could belong at the top of the funnel after you have increased your web traffic using methods such as SEO or content marketing. It might also work in the middle of the conversion funnel, using an email campaign to promote your offer to people who have converted through a free lead magnet. It can even help to retain customers by bringing them back with an excellent deal and then moving them onto a high-value offer.

How to Use Tripwire Funnels for Your Business

There are a few ways you might use a tripwire for your business, depending on your industry. Try these ideas for your business:

  • Authors: No matter what type of written material you are offering, providing a sample can easily entice people. Offer the first chapter of your book as a physical product or a digital download.
  • Ecommerce: For e-commerce store owners, you might choose to offer a small product with free postage. For example, a jewelry store could sell a low-cost bracelet. For upselling, consider the products that may interest people who are interested in the tripwire product.
  • B2B brands: Business-to-business companies can have great success by offering white papers. They can be useful for free lead magnets or can make good tripwire products too.
  • Retail/brick and mortar stores: Consider taking a similar approach to e-commerce by offering a free product with shipping. After purchase, you could offer a coupon that could be taken to the store.

Key Terms for Tripwire Funnels

These key industry terms for tripwire funnels will help you to understand some of the jargon. Make sure you understand them before you start creating your tripwire funnel.

Tripwire funnel: A sales/marketing funnel that includes a tripwire offer, which is low-cost and irresistible to prospects to encourage them to buy your core offer later.

Upsell: A product offered to someone already going through a sales funnel as an add-on to what they have already purchased.

Down-sell: A product you can offer to a lead when they have rejected the initial offer.

One-click upsell/down-sell: An upsell or down-sell product that can be purchased with only one click.

One-time offer: A one-off offer that can’t be purchased elsewhere and won’t be offered again.

Email drip campaign: An email campaign consisting of multiple emails sent out at different times to tempt people with offer

How to Get Started with Tripwire Funnels

There are many ways that you might use a tripwire funnel for your business. Before getting started with creating a funnel, it’s a good idea to think about how you might use one to create more conversions. This could differ depending on your industry and the nature of your business. For example, a B2B business might offer a free white paper with shipping, and then upsell the core product once a lead has made their purchase.

This podcast hosted by David Woodward will give you a summary of all that you need to know:

1. Set Up Your Lead Generator

The first thing that you will want to do is start generating some leads. This will be the start of your tripwire funnel, and you will do it with a free offer. You will give people some free content, or perhaps a free physical product, which will help to start building trust in your brand. It will show that you can provide something of value to your customers. And if you’re willing to provide something good for free, you can provide even more value to paying customers. This lead generator will allow you to collect contact information so that you can move onto the next stage.

Creating a lead magnet is a different lesson, but it’s still an important part of your tripwire funnel. It’s a good idea to refresh your skills and knowledge on how to make the best lead magnet and what makes an attractive offer. It should be something that your whole market will find valuable and something that offers value. It might be something that you’re giving away for free, but it needs to offer enough value that people are tempted by it. Provide a quick solution to your audience’s problems that will draw them in.

2. Choosing a Tripwire Product

One of the simplest ways to start creating a tripwire funnel is to use product splintering. This works by taking your main offer and splintering off part of it to offer as a tripwire product. For example, you might be selling an educational course that includes written materials, video guides, and a platform for engaging with other learners. You could take one part of the course, such as one part of the written materials or a useful template, and offer it at a low price as a tripwire product.

This technique works because you can easily tell the customer that they have just purchased one part of the whole package. Their next step can be to purchase the whole thing and benefit even further. They won’t need to spend too much on the initial offer, but they will get a taste of the value that the whole course can offer them.

Product splintering could mean offering one module from a complete course, one of the resources held on a membership site or just one thing that would be included in a software package. For a subscription-based model, it could even be a low-priced subscription level that provides limited features or services. If you offer a trial for a subscription, you won’t need to offer an upsell product. If the product isn’t canceled once the free trial is over, the monthly fee kicks in.

If your tripwire product is a physical product, this is usually offered for free, but the customer is asked to pay for shipping. This still keeps the product at a low price, and the customer feels like they’re getting something almost completely free.

Your product could cost anywhere between around $7 to $97, depending on the price of your core offer. Make sure that your main product is ready to go before offering the tripwire product. The tripwire product should be relevant to the lead magnet you offer, too, so that each step in the funnel is connected.

When you’re deciding what to offer as a tripwire offer, consider the following things:

  • Offer a taste of your main product using splintering – this is even possible with physical products that are part of a kit or set
  • Promise quick results and excellent value in a simple way – fix a problem to show what you can do
  • Choose a cheap price to make the offer irresistible
  • Offer something that can be consumed rapidly and possibly downloaded quickly too

There are various formats your offer could be delivered in, including video and audio files, ebooks, and more.

Once you have decided on a tripwire product, you will need to continue building your tripwire funnel that helps to convert people into customers.

3. Create a One-Click Upsell

Your customer has bought your cheap tripwire product. The next thing to do is offer a one-click upsell for your product or service. This means redirecting the customer to a new sales page, where they will see a new offer. By clicking just once on a “buy now” button or link, they can buy this new offer. They have already entered their credit card details, so they won’t need to do it again.

This upsell can be in the form of a one-time offer, giving your customers a special price that they will only have access to this once. If they don’t go for it now, it will have passed them by. Be sure to match your tripwire offer well with the core product that you’re offering. Ideally, your tripwire product is a small part of the main product, so you’re giving your customers a taster before they invest in the real thing. The one-time offer is time-sensitive, letting your customers know that if they don’t buy it now, they won’t be offered that price again (even if you might perhaps offer them a good deal again later).

Your upsell could be on a different one-time offer/upsell page. It could also be part of the same order form for anyone ordering the tripwire product. In the first part of the form, you can ask them to enter their contact details and where they want the product to be shipped. The second part of the form can then give them the chance to upgrade to your core product and make a saving right away. The offer can be made to stand out by highlighting it in red or bold text, with a simple way to add it to the order, such as ticking a box.

4. If the Upsell Is Rejected

If the customer says no to the upsell, an alternative is using a down-sell instead. This allows you to keep the customer engaged, even if they aren’t attracted by the upsell. They might not be buying exactly what you want them to buy, but they will still be buying something. You might offer them a secondary product that you want them to consider.

Another option that you could offer is a payment plan. This could tempt the customer to make the purchase you want them to make, but allows them to spread out the payments. Alternatively, if you are selling a physical product, you could use this offer to sell a digital version of the product. This can encourage people to buy because they can receive the product immediately and won’t have to pay postage for it.

You should be careful with the way that you offer a down-sell because it might put some people off. If you have already tried to offer them something that they don’t want, they might dislike having something else offered to them. However, if you are smart with what you choose as your down-sell, you might convince them to make a purchase. You should ensure you’re still giving them plenty of value but make it look more attractive financially or in another way.

5. Thank You/Offer Wall Page

Finally, you can take your customer through to a “thank you” page once they have completed their purchases. This page confirms that their order is complete and that their product is on its way or available to download, or that they can now use your service. It shows your appreciation for their custom, and it can also be used as an offer wall page. This means you can provide other offers and next steps, leading them to other funnels or products that you have to offer.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that this page doesn’t matter. You might have already converted your leads in some way, but that doesn’t mean that you’re finished with them. You should think about how to keep them engaged and what you want their next move to be. Perhaps you want them to go on to consider some of your other products. Or you might direct them to your blog, forum, or other community spaces to get them to stay engaged with your brand.

6. Using Email Campaigns to Promote Your Core Offer

Another option for encouraging customers to buy your core offer is to use email marketing. They might not be ready to invest in your core product right away, but you know that they were willing to spend money with you. You now have their email address, which you can use to keep them engaged. Even for leads that didn’t choose your tripwire offer, there’s still a chance to promote it to them.

An email drip campaign can be used for both your opt-in leads and those who go on to buy the tripwire product. You can nurture your leads via email to entice them to come back to your website. For those who have yet to buy your tripwire product, you can use email to promote it to them. If they have already bought it, you might use a one-time offer and other methods to convince them of the value of your key product.

You might not jump straight to offering your core product after a customer has bought your tripwire item. It can be worth spending some time encouraging people to visit your blog, browse your new products, or benefit from another free resource that you have to offer.

Creating Tripwire Offers That Convert

For a tripwire funnel to work, you need it to have a good conversion rate. As with any other type of conversion, there’s no set conversion rate that you should be aiming for. What you can achieve will depend on a range of things, including the industry or space that you are selling your product in. Taking up a look at some case studies can be useful to see what conversion rates you might be able to expect. One case study shows a company that was able to get a 10% conversion rate with their tripwire product, with an upsell rate of 26%.

The key to creating a tripwire funnel that converts is to start with your core product. You need to select a top-selling product if you have a range of products to choose from. If you haven’t yet completed the main product that you want to sell, you need to start on this first. You don’t want to simply offer a watered-down version of your main product as a tripwire product. It’s best to have the primary offer, so you can use part of it as a tripwire product.

Your tripwire product needs to demonstrate the value that you can offer without requiring the customer to spend much money. However, it’s not just about the product that you are offering. You also have to consider many other things, including your order form and various elements of your website. The best thing you can do is to launch your tripwire funnel so that you can start testing and work out what could be improved.

Testing and Measuring the Performance of Your Tripwire Funnel

To test your tripwire sales funnel, there are several elements that you will need to cover. 

Some of the metrics you should measure include:

  • Opt-in conversion rate
  • Tripwire conversion rate
  • Upsell rate
  • Cost per customer acquisition
  • Average customer cart value

Firstly, you should take a look at the conversion rate for your opt-in page. While this isn’t technically just part of the tripwire funnel, it’s still important to achieve the best conversion rate that you can before moving onto other things. It’s difficult to say how high your conversion rate should be. Some people are able to achieve as high as 25% or more, while others may only achieve 2.5%. A conversion rate of about 3% is average, 5% is better, and 10% is among the best across all industries.

You can measure the performance of your opt-in page using a variety of tools. Essentially, the information that you need is the number of visitors to your site and the number of leads that you get from your opt-in form.

If you don’t have a good opt-in conversion rate to start with, it won’t lead to a good conversion rate for your tripwire product. There are many ways to improve your opt-in page. Firstly, the look of the page itself can make a difference. The copy that you use or the layout of the page can affect the conversion rate. Your freebie offer also makes a difference to how many leads you might be getting. You might want to consider testing out some different offers and other elements to see what works best. Split testing can be a great way to do it. If you’re not sure where to start, using a proven opt-in page template can work.

After improving the opt-in rate for your page, you should then consider the next part of your funnel. This is the page where you will be offering your leads your tripwire product. Having a valuable product ready to go is obviously the most important part, but there’s also more to the process. The quality of your copy can make a significant difference on this page, so don’t neglect it. Of course, what the page looks like is also important, and so is the usability. Your conversion rates can be affected by how attractive the page is and how easy it is to use your order form. Using A/B testing can help you to work out what works well for your brand.

Of course, in addition to knowing the conversion rate for your tripwire product, you also need to know how many people continue to purchase your main offering. Knowing your upsell rate will show you how successful your tripwire funnel really is. This is the number of people who converted to your more expensive product after buying the cheap tripwire product.

In addition to conversion rates, you also need to know some other key metrics. You should measure your cost to acquire customer (CAC) and your average cart value. It’s essential to know how much it costs you to turn someone into a customer from the beginning of the customer journey to when they make a purchase. The average cart value tells you how much on average each customer spends in one session.

While it’s great to have a high conversion rate, your funnel might not be as successful if you’re having to spend a lot of money on converting each customer, especially if they are not spending a lot of money with you. The cost to acquire a customer should be below the average cart value to ensure you make a profit. Of course, customer retention will also help to increase the value of each customer. However, it’s important to consider how many repeat customers your business model gets

Making Improvements for Better Performancer

There are always ways to improve your tripwire funnel and make it high converting if it isn’t already.

You can use conversion rate optimization techniques to boost conversions for your opt-in, as well as other parts of the funnel. Understanding how visitors interact with your website can be a key element of knowing the best ways to improve the performance of your tripwire funnel. It helps you with the first stage of getting people to opt in, as well as the next steps in the funnel. For example, using a heat map might show a particular part of your page where there is a lot of activity. This could be a good place to put your opt-in or tripwire offer.

You should use A/B testing for different elements of your tripwire funnel to find out what works best. Some of the things that you should try out include:

  • Page layouts and placements of forms and opt-ins
  • Copy, as well as where copy is placed, text sizes, colors, and styles
  • The price of your tripwire product
  • The price of your one-time offer
  • The tripwire product that you’re offering, including content and format
  • How you deliver digital content – e.g., download vs. sent to email inbox
  • Digital products versus sending a physical product
  • The product that you are upselling and the way you promote it
  • The down-sell product that you offer

After you have made improvements to how many people are choosing to purchase your tripwire product, you also need to get them to go on to buy your core product. If they buy your tripwire product, they might come back later to buy the core product. Using email marketing can help you convince them to come back and spend more money.

However, ideally, you would be able to get them to invest in the core product right away. This requires you to look at the upsell page that you’re using, or perhaps the form you’re using if you have a two-part order form.

Create a tripwire funnel that converts, and you could enjoy huge success. There are many ways to test your funnel and find out what works best.