How Tripwire Marketing Earns Trust & Wins Clients

Tripwire can help you turn your audience into customer at a low-cost. When the customer pays you a good amount & you deliver according to their expectations then they will probably offer you something big.
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Glenn Burgess

Glenn P Burgess Author, Speaker - UK's No1 Fintech & SaaS Marketing expert.

Tripwire can help you turn your audience into customer at a low-cost. When the customer pays you a good amount & you deliver according to their expectations then they will probably offer you something big.

The Role a Tripwire Plays in Your Value Ladder

The term “value ladder” guides people how to be loyal customers. The offer helps them to know where they are in their decision-making process which enhances the price & value.

At first, a customer only invests some time in reading the blog & is certainly not ready to make a purchase. Then, if they find the blog valuable, they will share their email in exchange for a free offer.

You’re building trust, they’re getting warmer & we’re on our way.

The tripwire connects your free content & your marketing emails.

Mostly people start sending newsletters to stay in contact at this point. Although, we know that this person might be one of the 75 – 80% of people who does not check their emails.

A customer is different from a random person so if you make an appealing offer at the very moment, some people who signed up for your list will become a customer right away.

You can definitely earn money by selling tripwires but more importantly you have to earn trust. So, make that your foremost priority.

The customer might not be too upset if they did not spend a lot of money even If your offer did not meet their requirements. However, you certainly lost a customer.

The ladder that I teach in my Bullseye Offer Formula is mentioned in the following illustration. It is the first time that you will put a price tag on the value you are providing which is higher in value than your free offers (blog posts, freebies, webinars, etc.) & less than your 1-1 services.

It has to be digital products (not a discounted consultation or service) so you are able to check & make the best use of your time.

To learn more about the value ladder take a look at free masterclass. You can easily find more detail about its usage & the results of my first tripwire.

The Benefits of using a Tripwire

Tripwires provide a way for hesitant customers to vet you

I learned this about tripwires after implementing it into my business. I thought people would buy them as a part of the marketing funnel (blog post > opt-in freebie > tripwire offer).

However, I did not expect them to be available on a products page as well. They purchased one of my digital downloads as a first step instead of considering my higher priced 1-1 services.

I have experienced this multiple times that I have gotten on a sales call & they start with, “Yeah I read your book…”

Most of the times what they purchased had nothing to do with what they wanted to hire me for. (For instance, one client hired me to create his brand identity & messaging but he purchased a guide that I wrote about mindset.)

Then I came to know that it was not that I had earned their trust & they went up the value ladder, it is that they were eyeing the top rung of the ladder & skipped back down to the low-priced offer as a way to overcome final objections & lingering doubts.

Use tripwires to help you gauge interest in larger offers

You can use tripwires to create new ideas for larger product or service offerings. Here is what I did with one of my tripwires…

One of my tripwires is The Font Personality Swipe File. The problem I identified is that it is hard to find the perfect Google font combination when designing websites or branding. And this is actually what I mean by “solves a specific problem.”

Therefore, I worked on it for several days & researched every single Google font & created a swipe file of 75 combinations using a brand personality framework. Through this people could easily do a quick exercise & then find a bunch of suitable options.

I did not create a huge typography or brand identity course. I simply offered a quick win for one specific problem. I had a few other ideas for digital products that would solve their problem. In that case, the larger product would be an “upsell” to the lower offer. 

The customers that buy are DIYing their brand or the designers or people who offer design services.

Tripwires can be a great way to understand your audience & what they need help with, and it does not cost you a lot of time either.

Remember, that even if a tripwire does not benefit you, there are still chances that you will make some sales to cover the costs of creating it.

Tripwires Can Be Used As Bonus Incentives For Larger Offerings

Once a tripwire has been created, you can easily add a bonus if it relates to another product or service.

For instance, my Brand Story Blueprint is a low-cost offer I created that helps people write their key brand statements & get clarity about their brand positioning.

The brand plan is my initial branding project assessment which relates to my branding services and asks a lot of the same questions that I ask my new clients.

One of my friends has a catalog of digital products. She uses them to “downsell” by offering them to people who did not want to accept her expensive tag offers. She also uses her tripwires as bonuses for her larger courses.

Make Passive income by using Tripwires

Lastly, by adding tripwire to your marketing mix is certainly the gateway to make extra passive income.

If you are thinking to create a course, then try tripwires as a first step. They take less time to create.


I can earn for years without spending another minute on it which the best part. My goal is to add more tripwires to the mix & grow my audience & create more consistency in my cash flow.

What Makes a Great Tripwire?

Firstly, keep in mind that the goal is to earn trust, not revenue. A great tripwire is a low-cost offer ($50 or less). However, it should provide much more value than the actual price. A few internet marketers offer tripwires at 12, 7, 5 & even $2.

If we keep in mind the value ladder then this should help your customer solve a bit of the problem which should relate to your free content & your paid offerings.

Therefore, Think about

  • What problems do you solve? (With your 1-1 services.)
  • What problems do they have?
  • What is the outcome or transformation they want?

Then think about…

  • How can you solve a segment of the problem by breaking it down?
  • What can you create that will be useful to them & have a huge payoff. For instance, how can you save their time, money or help them achieve a goal.
  • What would be relevant to your most popular blog content & how can you help them take the next steps?

Make sure that you do not start solving all the problems of your dream clients as the key to a great tripwire is that it solves a particular problem. Make it precise to your content & services.

Examples of Tripwires You Can Create Easily

As we are mentioning digital products here, so, we are talking about content & that can either be:

  • Written content
  • Audio content
  • Video content
  • A blend of all three

See your strengths & choose the format that will be most beneficial to your audience once you have an idea for what you can create.

  • It might be an interactive .pdf or a .pdf guide, calendar, or swipe file.
  • It might be an audio guide that people can listen to in their car or while at the gym
  • Or maybe it is a video of masterclass or tutorial
  • PDF Workbooks, Swipe files, Checklists, etc.

All you need to do is too hop on Google Docs & start creating. Then, simply save it as a .PDF.

If you want to give them a professional, branded look then Biz-in-a-Box templates & training for Canva is the right choice as it is free. Moreover, there is also a pro plan which is extremely affordable.

With Biz-in-a-Box, you can get everything you need to market them & your business too. She also includes video tutorials for how to design them & tons of templates are available.

She uses the term “products’ for tripwires. You can get templates for ebooks, workbooks, checklists & worksheets, ebook covers, & opt-in graphics.

Audio guides

I simply record audio by using QuickTime & do not have a professional microphone. I’m not the person who would go crazy investing in expensive microphones to start with so I either use earbuds that have a microphone built-in or my Blue Snowballl.

I have not personally tested it, but probably the Samsung mic is better than the snowball & the price is almost the same but if you want to go for something fancy then you can try the Rode Podcaster.

However, let’s focus on what is more important. The goal is to help them solve a problem & if you can do that, people will overlook audio quality issues.

Adobe Premiere Pro is basically for video editing but moreover, it can edit audio files too so I prefer that. If you do not have Adobe then you can try out Audacity.

Gumroad is a good option to sell an audio file. All you have to do is to sign up for an account & use the free plan to start.

Video tutorials, workshops, masterclass, small drip course

You can make it more presentable by creating a video presentation or a series of smaller videos to be delivered as a “drip course”.

Use tools like MailerLite or ConvertKit to create automated emails that link to the videos. The good thing is that if you are getting started with something like this it is free until you hit 1,000 subscribers.

The videos can be as simple as collecting payment using PayPayl or hosting your videos as “unlisted” on YouTube.

The simplest way to host & sell videos is to set up Teachable. All you have to do is to upload the videos directly into the lesson & they handle all the hosting for you & you can even set it as a “drip” course.

If you have supplemental text, checklists or workbooks or documents, you can upload them as well. They also have an option to handle VAT for you if you sell to people in the EU. So, it is really user-friendly. Gumroad also works this way.

How to Set Up a Simple Marketing Funnel Using a Tripwire

Once you are done creating a low-priced digital product, you cannot just stick it on a “products” page on your website & expect people to buy it. The idea is that the offer must be so fascinating that they cannot resist getting it at that very moment.

Remember that the bridge between you free offers is blog post > free opt-in incentive & your email marketing content.

Adding a tripwire will look like this, then:

Free content > Free opt-in incentive > Tripwire > Email marketing

You must be thinking that where exactly does it “GO,” though?

Well, it happens instantly the time they sign up for your email list when they are most engaged, so it is normally done in one of two ways:

  1. It is presented on the “thank you” page that you redirect people to after they opt-in to your email list
  2. It is offered in your welcome email

They are unlikely to become a customer quickly (the goal) if it is simply a low-priced offer that they can get anytime & anywhere.

The offer must be unique if you want to create urgency & scarcity for something that really is not scarce.
You will need some tools for that. There are lots of expensive funnel products but with your own creativity & skills you can easily set this up.

Method 1: The One Time Offer Page

What you have to do is to send them to a “thank you” page as soon as they sign up for your mailing list. Most of the email providers have this feature.

Besides a simple “thank you” message, you will also present a special offer like:

  • An exclusive offer that is not available anywhere else
  • A one time offer that will not be made again
  • A limited time offer for new subscribers
STEP 1: Create a Landing Page

A landing page only consists of the offer which means it is different from the web page as it will not have header navigation, footer, links to other things & follow me on social media.

You should learn the set-up of landing page on our own domain as committing to using a third-party landing page service is a monthly expense which is even not worth it.

There are greater visual builder tools like Elementor or Thrive Architect that allows you to do the same thing.

STEP 2: Integrate a Countdown Timer

I have been using Countdown Dynamite & have been pretty happy with it & is an affordable option. It is pretty simple to set up.

Countdown Dynamite is a plugin that integrates with WordPress. All you have to do is to just turn it “on” on any page where you want it to appear & tell it how long you want the timer to run like 15 minutes. After that the page redirects to a page of your choice once that timer runs out. It absolutely gets the job done in $9.

So, you should not use the one that offers it for a limited time & if they don’t buy, the page expires.

Keep in mind to work fast or turn the timer off while working or go into your post to clear cache & restart the timer because your countdown timer runs out for you as well & if you are working on the page, it will tell you time is up & redirect you.

You can go for Thrive Ultimatum as well because they always go beyond my expectations & are conversion-focused.

Method 2: The Email Offer

Deadline funnels is another good option to give customers a limited offer & put the countdown timer directly in the email.

The people are mostly interested in the initial emails you have sent them. In the welcome email you can make them a limited, one-time exclusive offer or you can even set up a welcome sequence where you can tell them a little about your tripwire. You can also offer it first without a timer, & then offer a “last chance at this price” email with a timer.

If you cannot get hold of one method then try another. Keep testing & modifying until you get some people to accept the offer & this is what conversion optimization is all about.

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