How to Create a Tripwire Funnel | This Time-Tested Method

Gabriel Ryan
August 11, 2023
December 12, 2022

A tripwire funnel has the potential to do great things for your online business. A tripwire offer is a selling strategy where you sell an item at a low price offer to acquire customers and then upsell them with complementary products or services.

A tripwire is supposed to be an irresistible offer,  which is why it's often offered at an insanely low price and with a satisfaction guarantee. In addition, by selling this offer, you create trust with the customer, making it easier to sell them other, more expensive products down the line.

At first glance, tripwire funnels may seem complicated, but they are quite easy to understand. Once you understand what tripwire sales funnels are and how to use them, you can start tripwire funnels that work.

This blog post will explore the ins and outs of creating a successful tripwire funnel and how to gauge your progress accurately. However, before setting up a tripwire sales funnel, let's define it and see how it works.

What Is a Tripwire Funnel?

The name "tripwire" is quite perfect, as it's the thing that starts everything. It's a low-cost product that offers plenty of value to potential customers. Although the offer may be free or cost very little to the customer, it is their introduction and entryway to everything else you have available in stock.

This offer may seam cheap and easy to obtain but it still provides customers with excellent value. And while it may provide almost no profit to the business owner, you will have obtained a high quality lead for future sales. They've just opted in. You can snag their attention right away.

After a client has made an initial purchase, they're significantly more likely to buy from you again. That's when you can offer them your more valuable products. In addition, tripwire sales funnels allow customers to get to know your company faster.

A tripwire funnel is an effective marketing strategy that allows you to sell your core offer to people who have already shown interest in your product by joining your mailing list. When potential customers see the value you can provide them and trust in your transaction and customer service quality; you increase the chances of them returning to purchase from you.

How Does a Tripwire Funnel Work?

A successful two-step tripwire sales funnels always start by directing potential customers to an opt-in page. You can use this page to offer website visitors something for free, whether it's a downloadable guide or a "free plus shipping offer" product deal.

After the opt-in page, the individual should be directed to an order form. This could lead them to either a one-time offer or a down-sell page. As the name suggests, a one-time offer (OTO) is an incentive given to customers who have recently made a purchase designed to encourage them to spend more money.

A down-sell is finding a solution for the customer that more closely aligns with what they need/expect rather than trying to upsell them. After the customer completes their purchase, they will be redirected to a page thanking them for supporting your business.

You can use this page to convince them to take the next step with you, whether that means subscribing to one of your sales funnels or exploring a product you offer. 

Why Use A Tripwire Funnel For Your Business

The primary benefits you derive from your tripwire funnel are some of the following:

It Reduces or Offsets Marketing and Advertising Costs

You will need to invest money to gain traffic for your business online. Creating, marketing, and advertising your product online can be costly. A tripwire offer allows you to increase profits while spending less.

It Creates an Unending Loyalty

When you create an enticing tripwire offer that provides a high value, people will be thrilled with what you have given them.  They should continue to engage with you for future purchases, as well as be on the lookout for more promotions from your company. 

It Encourages Micro-Commitments

A tripwire offer is a prime example of how beginning with a smaller purchase can lead your customer to spend more money in the future—establishing trust and comfort early on sets the stage for success down the road. Your potential customer becomes a subscriber, purchases a small product, and finally buys a larger one.

Tripwire Funnel Vs. Lead Magnet

Many people think that lead magnets and tripwire sales funnels are the same, but they are quite different. The primary purpose of a lead magnet is to entice potential customers with free incentives.

Customers trade their email or other contact information to access a lead magnet. Instead of offering a free incentive, the tripwire funnel uses a low-cost offer. A sales strategy can be more effective when two methods are used together.

The Major Factors That Make a Tripwire Successful

Using a tripwire funnel alone does not guarantee success. Your offer must have the following factors for your tripwire sales funnels to be successful.

Low Cost but High Perceived Value

For your tripwire to be successful, it should have a low risk, be of low commitment, and cost little but provide high value. To create an effective tripwire product or service, ensure that the customer perceives it as much more valuable than what you're charging.

When customers see special tripwire offers, they often wonder if there is a catch. By stressing to your customers that there is zero risk in accepting your offer, you will increase the likelihood of them doing business with you.

You may also offer a money-back guarantee to ease your customers' minds. For example, if your tripwire offer is a product or service trial, let your customers know they can cancel it anytime without being charged extra.

It Must be Useful but Incomplete

Your tripwire products should not only offer value, but they should also make customers want to come back for more. It should make them want to return to your website and buy more products or services.

For instance, assuming you're selling an online course. You could increase conversions by offering the first few chapters of the course for a free offer. This will give your customers value and encourage them to buy the full edition of the book later on. Your tripwire logically leads to your final goal: selling your core product.

Specific and Relevant

If your tripwire product doesn't relate to what you're selling, people won't want to buy it. So always ensure a natural connection between your core products and your promotions.

 For example, suppose you offer a free ebook on indoor gardening to persuade visitors to join your email list. In that case, your tripwire could be related to an indoor gardening webinar.

Then your core product could be a complete indoor gardening course in DVD format. All of these digital products work well together. In general, base your tripwire offer on your core offer and not the other way around.

Grow Your Business with
Deadline Funnel

Deadline Funnel gives each of your leads a unique and authentic deadline for your offer.

Sign Up

Tripwire Funnel Examples: Types of Tripwire Offers

If you’re wanting to create a successful tripwire sales funnel for your business, it is helpful to study examples of other successful companies' successes and understand the reasoning and methods behind them. To better understand how tripwire funnel sales campaigns work, the following are some tried-and-true methods:

Low-Cost Trials

A low-cost trial is an effective way of getting cold prospects to become loyal customers. For example, suppose you have a digital product company or provide online training courses. In that case, this amazing marketing opportunity could result in more sales, membership numbers, and higher market recognition.

Tangible Products

This kind of tripwire offer is beneficial to both the business and the consumer. The customer only pays shipping costs in return for your tangible product.

Many successful and well-known authors use this tripwire technique to help promote their books. You can switch up your product depending on the type.

Complementary Products

Complementary products are a great way to create a tripwire funnel. You can boost sales and optimize profits from your eCommerce store by selling complimentary products. For example, if you own an online store that sells mobile devices, a tripwire offer using headphones would work well.

Online Events

You can reach a whole new audience and expand your email list by hosting a lower-cost online event, like a webinar. It acts as an effective tripwire in digital marketing. When they receive something of value for free, they are more likely to spend money on products or services you offer in the future.


You can use various forms of communication, such as telephone calls, emails, or online chats, to offer a free consultation on a specific issue(s) as an incentive.

You can adjust your tripwire marketing type from the ones provided earlier, depending on what will be most advantageous for your business goals. Regardless of your choice, always ensure that your offer to customers is high-quality and desirable.

How and Where to Use a Tripwire in Your Sales Funnel

A tripwire funnel is an effective marketing strategy used at the top or middle of a sales funnel to increase conversions.

Top of Funnel

With this strategy, you bring visitors to your website through SEO, social media platforms, paid ads, and so on. After that, you offer them a product at a low price point (tripwire offer).

If a customer buys the tripwire offer, you can sell them an order bump at a discount, followed by one or two upsells before your final pitch for the core offer. Upsells can be delivered to customers through a sequence of emails. This is an efficient way to convert leads into customers quickly.

Middle of Funnel

A tripwire funnel can be placed in the center (middle) of your sales funnel to induce higher conversions. Using this strategy, you funnel visitors to your sales page, offering a lead magnet (freebie) in exchange for their email address.

You can generate more interest in your tripwire offer by sending emails. This method is beneficial if you have an email list of subscribers. With this funnel strategy, you can generate leads and bring back previous customers who have stopped engaging with your business.

How to Get Started with Tripwire Funnels

A tripwire funnel can benefit your business in several ways. However, before you start building a funnel for your website, it's worth considering how to use it to increase conversions. If your tripwire doesn’t lead your customers to a larger buy in, it could be detrimental to your overall ROI. 

Create Your Lead Generator

The first step in the process is generating leads. This is where your tripwire funnel will begin. You'll do this by offering something for free. A surefire way to get people on your side is by offering them free stuff.

This could be free content, a physical product, or anything else that will help build trust in your brand. It will show your customers that you are dedicated to providing them with value. As a result, you can attract more loyal customers by offering something of value for free.

With this lead generator, you can quickly and easily collect contact information and move to the next stage of your sales funnel. It may be a different task, but creating a lead magnet is essential to your tripwire sales funnels.

Keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date on making the best free lead magnet and what makes an attractive offer. The thing you're promoting should be something that will benefit your entire target audience and offer them value.

Your freebies should be high quality and offer value so people will want to take them. Then, give your audience a quick and easy solution to their pain points that will make them want more.

Choosing a Tripwire Product

One easy way to create a tripwire sales funnel is through product splintering. This strategy involves taking your core offer and creating a high-quality tripwire product from a smaller part of it.

For example, if you're selling an online educational course with written materials and video guides, you might consider adding access to other learners. You could take one part of the course, such as the written materials or a template, and offer it as a tripwire marketing strategy.

This approach works because you can briefly let the customer know they only bought a component of the primary product. The next step for the customer would be to purchase the whole package to gain more benefits from the product.

The initial offer will be very cheap for them, but it will give them a glimpse of the value that the entire course can provide. 

This could also mean selling just one component included in a software package. If you're running a subscription-based business, you could create different service levels at different price points.

By offering a free trial for your subscription service, you nullify the need for an upsell offer. Once the free trial period expires and the product isn't canceled, the monthly subscription fee starts.

If your tripwire product is a physical item, you could consider offering it free. Then, the only charge to the customer would be the shipping cost. This way of pricing keeps the product affordable for the customer, and they feel like they're almost getting it for free.

Your offer could be delivered in various formats, such as audio and video files, ebooks, or something entirely different. Deciding on a tripwire deals is just the first step – you also need to create a funnel that will convince people to buy it.

Develop a One-Click Upsell

After your customer has purchased your budget-friendly tripwire product, your next move should be to offer a one-click upsell for your product or service. The customer will visit a new sales page to find an updated offer.

Customers can purchase this new offer by clicking the "buy now" button. They inputted their credit card information already; they can make this purchase seamlessly.

You can use a one-time offer as your upsell, giving customers an exclusive price they'll only have access to during this specific interaction. If they miss this opportunity, it will be gone forever. 

The idea is that your tripwire product is a glimpse of the main product, so you're giving potential customers a preview before they commit to the purchase. The one-time offer is only available for a limited time, so customers must buy it now or miss out on that price.

You could place your upsell on a separate one-time offer/upsell page. This could be included as part of the order form for anyone purchasing your inexpensive products. In the first section of the form, request that your customer provides their contact information and desired shipping destination.

The second half of the form can allow the customer to upgrade your core offer, and doing so immediately saves you money. You can make your offer more noticeable by highlighting it in red or bold text. You can also add a simple way to include it in the order, like ticking a box.

If the Upsell is Rejected

If the customer refuses your upsell, try offering them a lower-priced alternative. Even if your customers don't purchase your main product, there's a chance they'll buy something else from you. You could propose a complimentary product to them that interests them.

Another potential solution could be a payment plan. You can finally get that customer to buy what you're selling by tempting them with easy payments. If you have a physical product, consider selling the digital version.

You're more likely to make sales if your customers can receive the product immediately and don't have to pay for shipping. However, use down-selling with caution, as it could cause potential customers to back out. If you have tried to sell them something they're not interested in, don't be surprised if they're unwilling to buy anything from you.

But, if you're strategic about the product you offer as a down-sell, they might be convinced to make a purchase. While ensuring you continue to provide them with plenty of value, make it look more appealing by saving on costs or changing the appearance.

Offer Wall Page

Finally, once your customer has completed their purchase, you can direct them to an "order confirmation page” or” thank you page." This page confirms that the order is now complete. If applicable, their product will be shipped, or they can download it.

They may also begin to use your service if appropriate. For example, you can use an offer wall page to show appreciation for their custom. Using this method, you can provide other items and services to your customers, which will direct them toward other sales funnels or businesses you are a part of.

Don't underestimate the importance of this page. Even if you have already turned your leads into customers, that doesn't mean you're done with them. Remember what will capture their attention and what you would like them to do afterward.

Maybe you want them to buy additional items from your store as well. You could also direct them to your blog or other online spaces where they can stay up-to-date with your brand.

Using Email Campaigns to Promote Your Core Offer

There are many other ways to encourage customers to buy your core offer, but one efficient way is through email marketing. There's always a chance that even though your customers may not be ready to buy your main product, they're willing to make other purchases with you.

Now that you have their email address, try using it to keep them engaged with your content. You can still promote your tripwire offer to a lead even if they didn't choose it the first time. An email drip campaign can increase conversions for those who opt-in and those who buy your main product.

Regularly emailing your leads can remind them of your website and encourage them to visit again. In addition, you can use email to promote your tripwire products. This is a great way to get people who have not bought it yet to consider your product.

If you've already made a sale to a customer, you can use additional offers or other persuasion techniques to show them the value of your main product.

After a customer buys your tripwire offer, you might want to wait before offering them your main product. It's worth taking a little time to get people to visit your blog, browse your new products, or take advantage of another free resource.

Testing and Measuring the Performance of Your Tripwire Funnel

Even though you have a tripwire funnel, don't think you can set it up and never check on it again. You need to track key metrics to understand your funnel's performance. The data that should be measured include the following:

You can also assess how well your tripwire funnel works by testing different elements against each other. Making a few tweaks will help you discover which elements work best.

Below are a few things you may want to adjust:

You can create a well-oiled machine that generates leads and sales by testing different options and tweaking your tripwire funnels.

Is a Tripwire Funnel Strategy Right for My Business?

Below are a few questions to consider before you determine if a tripwire funnel could help your business grow:

A tripwire funnel could help resolve some of your business issues if you responded yes to any questions above. Even if people choose only to receive your freebie and forego your upsell, you're still building your email list.

This gives you plenty of opportunity to sell your products and make future sales. This is a win-win situation for both parties. However, if customers purchase the upsell product immediately, that's another win for you. Once you set up your tripwire, the automation process begins. With this technique, you can take it easy and watch the sales come in!

Final Words: How Tripwire Funnel May Improve Your Business

You know how to get people to visit your website, and you may even have a lead magnet set up. But if you cannot convert your leads into paying customers, all your work has been fruitless. 

A tripwire is an effective marketing technique that can help you turn leads into customers, resulting in increased profits. If you haven't tried it yet, now's the time! Try using the strategies in this article to create your tripwire offer. You'll be surprised by how much it improves your conversion rates and profit margins.

Most Popular

4 min read
Quit Selling Ice To Eskimos — Finding Product Market Fit
Read More
7 min read
The Webinar Marketing Playbook — Free 6-Step Guide To Masterclass Profits
Read More
Cross-Selling and Upselling: How To Use Both To Increase Sales
Read More

Convert More Leads to Customers on Autopilot with Evergreen Email

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.