Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by scottkandh
What is a Tripwire?
In a nutshell: Your changing your viewers from being a follower to being a paying customer.
This post is for bloggers (like myself) who are setting up a Tripwire for the first time. So right now, it’s a work in progress. The majority of the key elements for a Tripwire are in place (on my website). I have fine-tuned all of the information. The only component that I’m missing because of lack of experience is the actual purchase of the promo. A lot of work goes into ensuring that your Tripwire is “properly” set up. Right now, the missing component (for my Tripwire) is that there isn’t a way to purchase it because I haven’t set up Step 6 to collect the payments. I tested the program and I have the plug-in installed (Easy Digital Downloads). However, the test said nothing was in the cart so I need to retrace my steps.
There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to do a tripwire which I’ll cover, but the end result is that when someone signs up for your list, you make an offer and you can make some money.
If you are reading this post, there is a good chance that you want to make money from your blog.
Am I right? There are lots of ways to make money blogging, but today I want to focus on how you can create a high converting tripwire to diversify your income.
Reader’s Digest version: A tripwire is a super discounted offer that is given after someone opts-in for one of your freebies or content upgrades. The offer is usually a one-time-offer that can only be accessed on that page or is a timed offer that is only normally available for 15 – 30 minutes.
Longer explanation of a Tripwire: The way that it normally works is that you go to a blog. You see something that attracts your attention called a Freebie. It’s usually in the form of free templates, a checklist, a Free Online Course, etc. The point is that it’s something of value to you. You click on the first button and then in the background your product will be available for you to download, unless you need to confirm with a valid e-mail address. So now a second screen will pop-up. This is the 2nd chance offer to provided something with more of an intrinsic value than the first item you selected. Sometimes you have to make your choice before the timer expires and the offer will expire.
In this blog post, I’ll provide step-by-step instructions to set up a tripwire for your own business (except for the payment plug-in which I’m struggling with at the moment).
A tripwire’s design does not make you a lot of money, but it may start getting some extra dough rolling in than if you didn’t have it in the first place. Now a tripwire isn’t necessarily designed to make you big money but it’s a great way to get started with making passive income.
The idea for a tripwire is to have your audience make a small investment in something that you offer. It’s one of the quickest ways to gain trust with your audience.
Why are tripwires so dang effective?
They tap into one of the most effective ways to increase conversions. Urgency!
If you have products, but you aren’t giving your potential customer a reason to buy now, chances are that they won’t. With a tripwire, they have to choose in that moment if they are going to act.
Your tripwire should be an irresistible offer. Something that is so good that the person wouldn’t want to miss out on it (remember we all have the fear of missing out). My tripwire has discounted my Online Course from $30.00 down to $9.00. As I mentioned, when I tried the trial test, it said nothing was in my cart, so there’s a hiccup in my plug-ins setup. More than likely because it’s not synced to PayPal. I made the mistake of selecting all options instead of just PayPal. I’m hoping that was the glitch.
Your offer can be irresistible for a few different reasons,
1. It is a product that isn’t available anywhere else. If they want the product this is their one and only chance to get it. They literally can only buy it on that specific page.
2. It is incredibly discounted – Usually, a tripwire is a product that is either inexpensive or heavily discounted. Most tripwires are at least 50% off.
Overview, here is how a Tripwire works
A person gets to the email form> person subscribes > person is redirected to your tripwire offer, good for a limited time > person either buys or they are taken to the checkout page.
If a person tries to get back to the offer, they are redirected to an offer expired page
While there is some work to set up a Tripwire, once set up you are automatically and consistently pitching your product you can earn income on autopilot.
This part is especially important for your customers to trust what you are saying is true. They shouldn’t be able to go back after the time has expired and get the deal. Therefore, you need to use a tool to ensure this isn’t possible.
A tripwire requires its own landing page that can only be accessed for a set period of time.
After that time has passed when someone goes try to go that landing page, they need to be redirected to an offer expired page.
You’ll need to set it up so that once they do qualify for the offer, they are taken to that tripwire landing page. This involves creating at least two landing pages. As well as a trigger, which could be an opt-in form or a page.
What You Need to Know about Tripwire Products
Before we dive into how to figure out what your first tripwire product should be about, there are a few things you need to understand about the way tripwire marketing works.
1. Your Tripwire Should be Directly Related to the Freebie They Signed up For
Here’s the thing—people who just signed up for your list are excited to get their freebie, but that doesn’t mean they trust you yet. If you’re going to ask for a sale, you need to make it something that’s a no-brainer for them.
The easiest way to do that is by offering them something you already know they want.
Here are a couple examples:
- Someone signs up for a free self-care checklist, and the tripwire offer is a self-care toolkit, mini course, workbook, etc.
- Someone signs up for some free social media templates, and the tripwire offer is a bundle of your highest-converting templates. At some point, I plan on creating a tripwire for Pinterest Templates.
- Someone signs up for a free eBook on goal setting, and the tripwire offer is a planner to help them track their progress
Another option would be mapping out the steps your subscriber needs to take after downloading their new freebie. After they finish it, what will their next steps be to achieve their bigger goal? How can you provide them an easier solution to get there faster?
2. Keep Price and Size in Mind
As I said above, your new email list subscribers don’t know (or trust) you yet. Asking for a lot of money, even if it’s for a no-brainer product, isn’t going to work very well.
On top of that, the results your tripwire brings to the people who purchase it have the ability to accelerate their trust in you. You want to give your customers some quick wins while they’re using/going through your tripwire.
With those things in mind, here are some general guidelines:
- Tripwires are typically discounted to between $5-$27 (I wouldn’t recommend going over $50)
- Tripwire products are typically small products, like a pack of templates or a mini course, so they’re not overwhelming
I wouldn’t recommend making your signature course a tripwire! It should typically be a lower-ticket product that has the power to build trust quickly, so people will be more likely to buy your higher-ticket products.
3. Tripwires are Typically Discounted for a Limited Time
Typically, a tripwire is a product that’s offered at a steep discount for a limited time only—I usually see between 15-30 minutes.
If you set it up correctly, you know the people signing up for your freebie will want your tripwire product. They’ll be faced with two options:
- Pay the cheaper price right away
- Or wait and pay more later
And when they’ve got a countdown timer staring them down, that’s some surprisingly good incentive to get them to purchase right then.
Here’s a brief overview and the components of a tripwire which include several facets:
Creating the Trigger (your freebie)
Create the opt-in form or landing page that will trigger to get them to the tripwire page. I do this with ConvertKit. The Freebie (Trigger) points to the Tripwire Landing Page (next).
- A Tripwire Landing Page (a.k.a., The No, & Thank You Page)
The Tripwire Landing Page
On the tripwire landing page, it starts out letting them know that their request for the freebie has been received and, in the meantime, you’ve got this great offer for them.
Tell them about the benefits of your product and then explain that it normally costs $x but for a limited time (displayed with a timer) they can get it for $x, usually $7-$9 depending on the product.
They then see a button to buy, or they can say no thank you.
The “Buy” button links to the checkout page from the program that you plan to use.
The “No, Thank you” button takes them to my previously set up “thank you” page.
The No, & Thank You Page
Once on the Tripwire page, if they decide they don’t want the offer they can click “no, thank you.” Then it will take them to your thank you for signing up for the freebie page.
It lets them grab the free download they originally signed up for and then prompts them to share the opt-in page with their friends. It includes social share buttons with custom messages and images, so they just have to click and share.
Now this is a little chicken before the egg situation because you need the opt-in page to make these buttons work.
However, you want the original opt-in page URL for the Thank You Page but when creating the original opt-in and tripwire you want the thank you page URL.
An Offer Expired Page (the Offer has Expired – yourwebsite.com/offer-expired
This is the page someone will see if they try to get back to the tripwire landing page after the offer has expired.
On this page, explain that the tripwire offer has expired but they can buy the product for full price. Include an image of the product, a brief description to remind them what is included in the product and a button for them to buy.
The Checkout Page (the Page for you to get paid)
First, you want to make sure you have the products set up so that they can be bought using the checkout. (This could be the missing element why my cart was empty). I’m going to check out the plug-in again.
I personally for the first time set up a processing payment plug-in. One blogger uses Podia for their product management/payment processor. According to them, it’s easy to set up and it will deliver digital products upon purchase so you don’t have to worry about that extra step. Additionally, Podia allows for payments via credit card or PayPal and it integrates with the email marketing service, Convertkit, that way you can tag buyers making it easy to ensure you don’t pitch products to them that they already bought.
In Step 6 I discuss some of the various plug-ins that you can use for setting up your processing payment plug-in. FYI, I selected Easy Digital Downloads (but it’s necessarily as easy as I thought since it isn’t working at the moment).
There are seven steps in creating a Tripwire
Step One – Create a freebie – for your ideal clients to download
This is the first step to setting up your tripwire. As I mentioned before, once they sign up for the freebie, they’ll be directed to your thank you page. This is where you’re going to place your tripwire offer.
You’ll need a Redirect with ConvertKit. I highly recommend ConvertKit because there you’ll be able to make your freebie’s landing page, your tripwire page, your thank you page, and your offer has expired page. On the forms page, under settings, set your form to go to the tripwire page instead of showing the success message.
You will still have your email set up to send the freebie to them automatically, but instead of just seeing a success message, they will get the tripwire offer. Be sure to tell them on the tripwire page that the freebie is in their email!
This is the freebie that I initially had on my blog. It was created using OptinMonster so I’ve converted it to ConvertKit. Basically, it has the same design except for now it has the redirect to use as a tripwire. The redesigned form is in Step Four, 2nd Page.
Step Two – Decide on and create your product
This could be a workbook, an eBook, a discounted trial to your membership, an Online Course, Pinterest Templates, the possibilities are endless.
If you have products already, then take your biggest selling product and create a miniature version of it to sell at a reduced price. For example, the first module of a course you have created (at a lessor price from the full version).
You can also talk to your visitors and find out from them what they would like to see you offer.
Step Three – Decide on how much to sell it for
Tripwires are offered at a reduced rate for a limited time only. By putting a time limit on your offer, it prompts people to make a purchase rather than deliberating over it.
For example, my tripwire is my Online Blogging and Pinterest Course. It’s available online for $30.00. However, with the tripwire, you can get it for a lot less, $9.00 for the next 15 minutes only.
Step Four – Create the (5) landing pages that you’ll need
You will need five pages for your tripwire set-up:
- 1st Page – Where your audience can sign-up for your freebie. You can see an example of mine here.
- 2nd Page – A page for your tripwire. This acts in place of the thank you page that you have in place after someone signs up to your email list. Here’s where you need to ensure that you mention that their freebie is in their e-mail. Above (in Step 1) is my newly designed freebie page (as mentioned earlier). My tripwire is working the way that it’s supposed to. I can’t even see it, because the offer has expired.
Creating your tripwire page: This is a short pitch about your product with a countdown timer (I use Evergreen Countdown plugin, since it’s free. Once the timer expires, the person cannot access the discounted page anymore and is redirected to the full price sales page. I like to use Countdown Timer Ultimate; however, it doesn’t feature the capability to redirect to another URL once the timer is complete. At least not in the Free version. Normally, the amount of time for a timer is 15 to 30 minutes on most blogs.
The Tripwire Page is where you need to put your Buy and No, Thank you Buttons.
Buy > Goes to the Checkout Page
No, Thank You > Goes to the Thank You Page – See Note below.
Here’s an important step that I left out that I didn’t put on my “Buy Now” button (on the Tripwire page).
When building your landing page, you need to make sure to link your ‘Buy Now’ button to your discounted product in SendOwl (or whichever digital product host/payment processor you use).
Note: However, some of the pages that I’ve seen I don’t recollect seeing a No, Thank you Button and it’s usually just a Buy button. Then once the visitor closes the page, the offer disappears, and the file can be downloaded (or is sent to your email). So it may not be absolutely necessary for you to add a No, Thank You button. The best way is to look at other blog offers that you’ve seen and set yours up to match.
- 3rd Page – A Thank you page that your customers are redirected to after they have purchased your tripwire.
- 4th Page – The page to redirect to once the offer has expired. This could either be a ‘full price’ page of the tripwire offer or a regular thank you page (which should differ from the 3rd page).
- 5th Page – A Checkout page – where they make the purchase.
Here’s a good example for the Funnel Steps of your tripwire that pertain to your offer page and offer expires page.
NOTE: Obviously since my tripwire isn’t working, the Steps I’ve outlined above aren’t working exactly. So I hope you have better luck than I have.
It’s possible, I might have one extra step or one missing step. I’ll update this post, once I figure it out.
Step Five – Add scarcity by using a Countdown Timer
I use the Evergreen Countdown for WordPress plugin on my website (because it’s free) but there are many countdown timers available. A popular one is Deadline funnel but this comes with a monthly cost so if you are on a budget and are using WordPress for your website or blog then I recommend Evergreen Countdown Timer.
It’s time to set up or adjust your timer settings, like how long the timer is if you want to exclude certain days and the formatting of the timer. Recommended time: 15 – 30 minutes. But you can set it up for longer if you’d like.
Step Six – Set-up a system to take payments
There are several good programs to use:
- WooCommerce for WordPress
- Easy Digital Downloads plug-in (for WordPress) (this is the one I initially have tried). I’m confident that I just tried to pick too many cards at once. In the meantime, until I update this post and get it working, you may just want to select PayPal only instead of all of the cards.
Step Seven – Create your welcome sequences
AHA, I didn’t have these either. But I don’t think it necessarily what’s wrong since the cart showed that it was empty. Oh well, I think this part is a little more than what’s actually required to setup your tripwire. This is more for the people that have purchased your product or people that haven’t purchased your product and you’d like to contact them later.
Finally, we come to the last piece of the puzzle where you’ll need to create what’s called a welcome sequence.
These are e-mails that need to be set-up to be automatically sent after someone signs up to your list.
It’s a series of emails – usually around 5 but they can be as little as 3 or as many as 7. The first will be the email that delivers your freebie. You then want to use the following emails to warm up your new subscribers and to build trust with them.
How to Figure out What Your Tripwire Product Should Be
So now that you know a little bit about tripwires, it’s time to take action! Let’s get your tripwire funnel set up so you can start making some passive income!
There are three main ways to figure out what your tripwire product should be. Let’s dive in!
1. What Freebies Do You Already Have?
If you’ve already started growing your email list, what opt-in freebie do most of your subscribers sign up for? Which one has the best conversions?
If you have a super popular opt-in freebie already, how can you make it better? Maybe it’s an eBook—could you create a workbook for it? I’ve seen that work really well as a tripwire!
If you already have a great freebie, this helps you to save time and work while setting up your tripwire funnel because you don’t have to create a new freebie and a new product!
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What past freebie did my audience love the most?
- How can I create a new product that serves them EVEN MORE on that subject?
2. What Lower-Ticket Product Do You Already Have That Could Be Your Tripwire?
Instead of creating a tripwire from an old freebie, you can also do the exact opposite. Do you already have a digital product or course that you could discount to be your tripwire? And if so, how can you downgrade that product to make a new freebie?
Maybe it’s a mini course. Could you condense the first module into an eBook and give it away as a freebie? Or maybe you could give the general steps your subscribers will need to take to get to their desired goal, but you leave out some key details?
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What low-ticket item in my product suite could I offer at a one-time-only discount to sell it passively as a tripwire?
- What would be a good freebie that’s closely related to it that new leads would find helpful?
3. Do You Already Have a Freebie and Paid Product That Fit Perfectly?
Another way to figure out what your first tripwire product should be is to take a look at your current freebies and product suite.
Do you have a freebie and product that pair perfectly together, and you just have to set everything up? I love it when this happens because it means less work! Yes, please!
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What’s the next step someone needs to take after downloading your freebie?
- Do you have a product that walks them through that next step?
And there you have it! Now you’re all ready to get started with creating your first tripwire product.
If you use a good email system (like ConvertKit) then you can tag anyone who doesn’t purchase your Tripwire and send them an email sequence with more information about the product and how it can help them.
Then, you can offer the tripwire again at a slightly higher price at the end of that email sequence or decide if you want to offer it at the same price.
How to Automate Selling Products from Home
Now that it’s downloaded to your computer, you will need to set up the automation.
This will depend on the tools that you use and the way that you sell things. I have personally used CourseCraft to sell my products.
Tools for creating a sales page include (but are not limited to):
- Optin Monster
- Thrive Architect
Once you have your sales page created, you simply need to grab the URL and input it in the thank you page “redirect” section of your email service provider.
Since a tripwire product doesn’t require a launch or an email list to get started, you can create one at any point in your blog career.
As you brainstorm who your ideal customer is and the perfect tripwire for that audience, keep in mind that you want to be able to solve their problem and provide value by offering it as a steep discount.
Tripwire sales are generated based on new sign-ups, so once you are getting consistent subscribers, it’s time to start creating! Then, you can shift your focus back to other parts of your blog while you make money passively.
After your tripwire is set up, you can focus on creating more high quality, keyworded content that will bring in more subscribers (and more eyeballs on your tripwire sales page).
You can also focus on things like ad income from blog post content, tweaking your tripwire sales page to increase conversions, and creating other digital products for your niche.
I hope that you have found this post to be helpful for setting up your tripwire. Please drop me a line with your Tripwire and let me know which plug-in you decided to use (for the purchasing). Who knows, maybe I’ll be buying one of your products some day and you can teach me the final step that I’m missing. One of the beautiful things about blogging is that some of us learn together.
Related posts for you to view on my website: