Ever been to Ulta and walked by the perfume counter and been lured by the cute mini version of a scent you wanted to try?
This trick is one of the cleverest ways to lure customers to try the more expensive version of a product. Maybe you weren’t ready to drop the $75 on the Eau de parfume yet but the $10 purse-sized version was right up your alley. Better yet, they drop a $5 coupon into your bag just for trialing the scent and giving your feedback. It’s the hook that turns you from a newbie into a customer and it’s called — a tripwire offer.
Even though it’s got a name that makes you give it a side-eye — it’s actually a very old tried and true form of marketing used online and in brick and mortar businesses.
So what’s a tripwire offer anyway?
It’s a product or service specifically designed and priced to convert as many leads into customers as possible. Your goal is NOT to make a profit from your tripwire, but rather to dramatically increase your customer base and cover all of your lead generation expenses.
It’s important to price it just right so that it’s affordable but reinforces your signature offer. It’s a great way to warm up your leads to what they’ll get when they buy the more expensive product you offer. But the added value is once you create it and validate it’s effectiveness it will continue to bring in revenue and leads for you time after time.
If you have a funnel that guides your ideal customers through a series of touchpoints you’ll want to make sure your tripwire offer is a great preliminary step to them buying a higher-priced offer. Keep your tripwire product under $50.
Let’s take a look at sample funnel offers:
Company Profile: You sell boutique babysitting services to price-conscious single moms who are trying to get back into the dating pool.
1. Free Offer: Your funnel may start with a free product opt-in; The Babysitters Checklist.
2. Tripwire Offer: a $25 babysitting day pass which gives mom’s a day or evening to try out the service to see if it will be a good fit for them.
3. Low-Priced Offer: a $150 monthly plan which includes 4 weekly day/evening babysitting passes and some light household duties.
4. Premium Offer: a $650 monthly VIP babysitting day/evening passes which include priority scheduling, running errands, some light household duties, and one overnight stay.
Every offer in your funnel leads up to selling your Premium or Signature offer.
Check out the sample tripwire ad I created for this imaginary babysitting service. Notice the ad addresses several pain points that single moms may have: cost, not enough time for herself, and most importantly, the safety of their child. A bonus is that your child will have fun!
Here’s what you need to know to create your tripwire offer
1. You must know your ICA very well, to create an offer that will resonate with them.
2. Be able to answer this question: What is something your customer values that would get them to see the quality of what you can deliver? And you can afford to take a loss on for the ultimate reward — getting them to upsell to a higher-priced offer. (Sometimes customers know FREE does not get the results they want so they are willing to make an investment.)
To put your tripwire offer into your funnel consider these steps:
- Create your tripwire offer and focus on both copy and visuals — be sure you can deliver on the promise you make in your offer.
- Create a nurture email sequence so that you can provide it to your customers when they are learning and engaging with your company. The tripwire should upsell to your other offers once clients have been able to try it out.
- A/B test your tripwire for maximum conversion rates.
- Make sure you ask for feedback once your tripwire is running to know if it’s working.
(A note about testing: When you test anything you are testing all aspects of the offer, the where you place the offer, the price, message/copy, the title, and call-to-action; all elements are integral to its conversion rate.)
Some good tripwire ideas for you to consider
- Digital book or ebook
- Trial service or product
- Short consultation – 30 min or less
- Video series where you teach a concept
- Content upgrade
- Webinar or Workshop
- Cheatsheet or checklist (people love these!)
So to recap, a tripwire offer is a time-tested method for generating leads and revenue for your business.
It’s a great way to not only get information from your ideal customers, but it can help you pay for your ongoing marketing efforts as you move your ICs through your offerings funnel. The key is to create an offer and then test it out to see if it resonates with your audience. I encourage you to create a new tripwire for your business and keep an eye on how it helps you boost sales. At the very minimum, you could create a new stream of revenue for your business.
To create your own tripwire I’ve created a handy guide you can download.
Until next time, continue to dream!