Tripwire Offers Marketing: Examples, Pricing, and Funnel Strategy (Free Customer Hack)

Before we talk about tripwire offers, there’s something we should all understand.

Nothing in business is free.

It costs money to get new customers (whether through ads, interactive content, blogging, or social media) and that eats into your profits.

It’s easier and cheaper to sell to an existing customer.

They’ve bought from you so know the quality you deliver, are part of your database, and are more willing to spend on complimentary products.

The hard part is getting those customers in the first place.

You could use ads or other methods to build a list and sell your main product after some time.

Or, you could offset the cost of ads by creating instant customers.

In essence, you’ve turned your customer acquisition costs to zero while leaving room to earn massive profits with your main product.

A tripwire offer makes this possible.

Think of the tripwire offer as a way to increase the amount you can spend to advertise and acquire new leads without throwing the economics of your business off.

In this post, we’ll dive deep into what a tripwire offer is, the major components, and ideas with tons of examples for making them.

What is a tripwire offer?

I want to start this off by saying I don’t like the term tripwire offer. At KyLeads, we refer to them internally as front end offers.

When you call something a tripwire offer, it seems like you’re tripping your customers up and tricking them into buying what you’re selling.

That’s not cool.

Your aim should be to add value and build a lasting relationship that encourages your users to trust you.

Tripping them up isn’t a great way to start that process.

Moving on.

A tripwire offer is a relatively low-cost high-quality product specifically designed to build your customer list. They’re priced at $5 – $50 with the majority being less than $20.

The price point you choose is dependent on your brand. If your average product is one thousand dollars then a front end offer can be as high as $200.

A common example of a tripwire offer is free plus shipping. Brands give away a product for free and just ask you to pay shipping.

The products are sometimes so cheap they’re gaining a small profit which offsets their advertising costs. They’re building a customer list for free.

Free plus shipping isn’t the only type of tripwire offer you can make. We’ll get into more ideas later in this post.

Benefits of a front end offer

There are many benefits of using tripwire offers to build your mailing list. Some of them are obvious and some are a bit nuanced. All of them will help you move closer to your goals

Offset marketing and advertising costs

When you have a longer sales cycle, the costs of selling, advertising, and marketing can add up quickly. A well thought out tripwire offer will not only offset those costs but yield a decent profit.

It costs money to generate traffic on the internet. Some people may argue that blogging and social media are free. They are – kind of.

While you may not pay for them directly, they still cost time.

Is your time worthless?

Not at all.

At the very least, your time is worth $20/hour.

I know I spend more than an hour researching, writing, and promoting every blog post for Optimizing For Humans. That’s not including the time I spend on other social media platforms creating native content.

That content needs to get clicked on and perform or we’re losing money. A tripwire offer makes sure we offset those costs from the beginning.

Build an email list

This is the most obvious benefit of a tripwire offer. You build an engaged mailing list that you can sell to over and over again.

If you’ve been working on the internet for any amount of time, you’ll be familiar with the saying “the money is in the list.” I agree.

You own your mailing list and no algorithm change, policy change, or legislation will deprive you of that. Once you have the list, it’s up to you to keep them engaged which is another topic in itself.

Create loyal customers

This is the most important part of tripwire offers. It’s nice to have interested subscribers but it’s even better to have loyal customers.

A common mistake people make when promoting tripwire offers is they throw together anything and put it on display. People, because of the price point, will buy it.

The quality is poor so they form a bad impression of you. All your upsells, downsells, and cross-sells will fall on deaf ears.

In this case study, they had conversion rates of 10% for the tripwire offer and an upsell rate of 26% for the main product.

When done right, people are ecstatic you gave away so much value. Work hard to be part of the group that creates happy customers from the tripwire offer.

Micro commitments

When faced with a big decision, the fight or flight mechanism kicks in. When confronted with an immediate decision, people tend to choose flight. That won’t be the decision in your favor.

In his book One Small Step Can Change Your Life, Robert Maurer talks about the science behind this process.  Our survival mechanisms have evolved over the years to treat any new stimuli as a threat until it’s proven otherwise.

Micro commitments soften the blow by allowing them to make smaller decisions over time. Your prospect signs up for your mailing list, buys a small product, then buys a bigger one.

All the while, they’re slowly committing to your brand and message. A tripwire offer is a small commitment your prospect makes brand which sets them up to more comfortably complete a larger commitment.

Components of a front end offer

As we’ve mentioned before, a tripwire offer isn’t something you throw together and start selling.

There are four components that make an effective front end offer.

  • Relatively cheap

All price points are relative. Most front end offers are between $5 and $50 dollars. That figure isn’t written in stone. We have some front end offers priced at $12 and other ones priced at $97.

When you price your tripwire offer, look at how much other products in your portfolio cost. For example, if you have a flagship course for $1997 then you can get away with pricing a smaller course for $197.

Or, you can create a different type of product altogether. If you’re known for high-quality shoes, what’s stopping you from selling gloves or socks at a lower price point that complements them?

 

  • High quality

This is the place most people drop the ball. They think their front end offer can be lower quality because it’s cheap.

Why?

A tripwire offer is the first interaction many people have with your products. If you fail to impress them in the beginning then why would they buy a more expensive product from you?

Research (Gunyadin, Selcuk, & Zayas, 2016) has shown first impressions last for months and persist even when contradictory evidence is presented.

When your front end offer is poor, people will associate that with your entire brand even if you show them ten thousand positive reviews.

The bottom line is that you should price it fairly and over deliver.

  • Related to your core offer

A front end offer is meant to offset your advertising costs while growing your mailing list and customer list.

What happens if you’re building a mailing list that doesn’t care about your core offer?

You’ll be stuck with customers who won’t buy your main products. It’s easier to make this mistake than you think.

Let’s say a business uses a bottle of diet pills as their tripwire offer. On the backend, they sell a twelve-week intensive fitness boot camp and private lessons.

On the surface, it’s all weight loss so they should sell pretty well. In reality, the kind of person looking for fitness training and the kind of person looking for diet pills are quite different.

In one case the person wants results without working too hard. In the other case, the person is willing to put in the work (and time) to get the results.

  • Very easy to use

It shouldn’t take another product to explain how to use the first one. Whatever you offer should be easy to redeem, implement, or get.

There should be minimal effort for someone to get results from your offer. Certain things are no brainers like selling a watch. Just make sure you don’t make them jump through hoops to redeem the offer.

Other things may be a little more difficult like information on particular techniques EG photography or photoshop.

The onus is on you to distill whatever you’re offering into a form that’s easy to consume, use, or apply.

Ideas and how to create a tripwire offer

We’ve covered a lot of ground and you already know how to use a front end offer, the benefits, and the key components. Now, the only thing left is to build it.

Use part of an existing product

Though this is the fastest way to create a tripwire offer, it’s not feasible in every situation. There’s no way to give away part of a pair of shoes.

The ideal products for this strategy tend to be information products. If you have a flagship course that sells for a few thousand dollars you can spin off the first few modules and offer it as a low cost alternative.

You can also condense or repurpose your product into an express version made just for that purpose. For example, a course can be developed into an Ebook or a few short videos full of actionable content.

 Lower or smaller versions of physical products

This has been done in many forms over the years.

You know those people who stand around in Walmart or Sam’s club with small free samples for you to try out? They actually sell a lot of product.

Marsh supermarkets increased their in-store free samples after running tests which boosted sales by as much as 2,000%.

The process is based on reciprocity. People are grateful for you because you introduced them to a new product without the risk. They feel compelled to do something in return.

The only thing they can really do for you is buy more products.

That’s what thrive market did to boost sales. They gave away some and people came back to buy.

You don’t have to actually give it away for free. You can also give it away at a small cost that comes off as free.

Have you seen the free plus shipping offers on Facebook and Instagram? They’ll give you the product for free but you’ll have to cover the cost of shipping.

They’re able to do this (and turn a profit) because the product is so cheap and they’re counting on you coming back to buy from them in the future.

Books

With the advent of self-publishing and on-demand printing, books have become a viable revenue stream. They earn full-time incomes just from selling books on Amazon.

Though that’s possible, we’re looking it from another direction. This is the perfect lead generation method to build your customer list.

You can either self-host the books or add them to Amazon. Amazon doesn’t give you data about the people who buy your products. Our aim is to build a customer list so this doesn’t work for us.

There’s a way around it.

Add calls to action inside the book to funnel traffic to specific landing pages. You know the people who land there have already bought your book and you can market to them accordingly.

The better method and the one we prefer is to self-host your books. You can go the print on demand route or an Ebook route. The choice is yours. The important part is that they’re being added to your database as a customer.

You can couple the book with a free plus shipping offer. They get the book for free but it’s necessary to pay shipping. You can offset the printing costs by pricing the shipping to cover the costs of everything.

Low-cost software

Most software is on the SaaS model where you pay for it every single month or year. When you sell high-quality software for a one-off payment, people are ready to buy.

The challenge here this model are ongoing development costs. If the software needs to be maintained and is constantly evolving then this method may not be the best for you.

If, on the other hand, you can generate enough revenue on the backend from the software then this could be a viable strategy.

Neil Patel is using free software to generate leads for his advertising agency.

Instabuilder is a landing page builder you can buy for a one-off payment.

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are an interesting way to generate customers. They’re easy to create if you have the knowledge and are super valuable.

There are even marketplaces dedicated exclusively to spreadsheets.

Be sure to include clear instructions for your spreadsheet or people may use it incorrectly.

Megan Minns uses a low-cost annual planning spreadsheet to introduce new audience members to her content.

It consists of two videos and multiple spreadsheets that help them make the most of their revenue goals. At only $12, it’s well within the range of tripwire offers.

The next time Megan Minns wants to market to her customers, they’ll be ready to listen.

Template bundles

In many niches, there are complicated strategies or techniques people use to get results. Throughout your time, you’ve likely adapted or created your own techniques for doing things.

That information can easily be distilled into and packaged into a high-quality template or bundle of templates.

Design Bundles offers a lot of different templates for their customers. One of them is a boutique marketing bundle. It’s a series of templates to help with designing.

It only costs fourteen dollars but as of this writing, it’s on sale for seven dollars.

Small Business Marketing Tools provides marketing tools and strategies for small business owners. One of their products is an advertising and marketing plan.

Normally, they’re six dollars apiece but when you buy them as a bundle it costs ten dollars.

These are just a few ideas to create your tripwire offer. Keep in mind what a front end offer is supposed to do and you’ll be able to use a wide range of products to achieve that goal.

How to use tripwire offers with quizzes

The beauty of using a quiz for lead generation is that you give personalized results. With those personalized results, you’re also in a unique position to give personalized offers.

Your subscribers are most engaged right after they sign up for your mailing list. Take advantage of this opportunity by offering up a high-quality tripwire offer on the thank you page or first email.

To do it in KyLeads, you’ll just need to create an outcome that redirects your subscribers to a page where your front end offer lives.

On the page they land on, the first thing is to present the personalized results they got from taking the quiz. After that, merge the content of your page into your front end offer.

The same thing is possible with normal opt-in forms, but quizzes work even better because the content is personalized.

For example, if you have a quiz related to fitness and your outcomes are:

  • In shape
  • Out of shape
  • Average shape
  • Body builder

You’d have four different pages where the quiz takers go and the one they land on is dependent on the outcome they get. For each of those pages, you can do one of two things:

  • Create a different tripwire offer for each outcome.
  • Use one tripwire offer and position it differently for each of the outcomes.

The key is to make sure the offer is closely tied to the outcome your quiz taker got.

Whichever route you choose, test your copy and offers until your tripwire is offsetting the costs of lead generation.

Examples of front-end offers

Let’s look at a couple examples of tripwire offers used in different mediums and at different times. They all share a few similarities which we’ve gone over in this post.

Matt from AutoGrow offers his blog readers a swipe file with multiple templates they can use at different places in their funnel.

All you need to do is pay a very reasonable fee.

Agora is a well-known financial advisory research firm company that writes some of the most compelling copy I’ve seen on the web. In the above image, they’re giving away a popular book with a free plus shipping offer.

They also include a subscription to their newsletter – their core offer – in the tripwire offer.

DoorDash is a food delivery company that specializes in getting you food from places that don’t normally deliver. Their major selling point is speed and the exclusivity.

In the above Facebook ad, they’re offering new customers the chance to try out the service for just a dollar. Note how they remove any limits and restate the promise of their core offer.

Columbia House Records has been around so long that they were selling vinyl records. They’ve also been creating compelling offers for decades.

Here, they’re giving away records or tapes at a price they can’t afford. The fine print in the corner stipulates that you have to buy at least eight more over the course of three years at the regular price.

This is interesting because you’re essentially signing a contract in order to get the first offer. Think of it like a signing bonus.

If you’re a music lover then I’m sure it would’ve been an easy decision.

Conclusion

Tripwire offers are a proven way to offset your advertising costs and ensure you’re building an engaged customer list.

There are tons of products you can use as a front end offer but they all share certain characteristics.

  • They’re very fairly priced
  • They’re high quality
  • They’re easy to implement
  • Closely related to your core business

It may take a bit of testing to understand the perfect tripwire offer for your business but once you’ve gotten it, you’ll see the benefits first hand.

Let us know what you’re using as a tripwire offer in the comments and don’t forget to share.

Thank You Page Marketing: 6 Hacks to Increase Engagement


Have you ever been on a website, saw an irresistible offer, got it, and felt disappointed in the thank you page?

Instead of continuing an incredible interaction, the relationship becomes sterile and transactional. The thank you page is an often neglected part of your website. It’s just something you have to create – right?

Not exactly. It’s a backbone of human interaction. Whether it’s receiving a gift or asking for a favor, there’s one thing we almost always say, thank you. For most of us, it’s a reflex.

When it comes to saying ‘thank you’ on the web, there’s no difference. Well, there’s one difference, you can generate revenue from saying thank you the right way.

How?

With your thank you page. They’re an important but overlooked way to continue the interaction with people who’ve taken your desired action.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn how to make thank you pages that create loyal fans, generate revenue, and produce tons of goodwill for your brand.

Let’s get started

What is a thank you page?

A thank you page is where your new subscribers or customers are taken after submitting their information through your opt-in form or sales page.

In simple terms, this is the page saying “Thank you for performing my desired action. Here’s what you should do next.”The thank you page is valuable because it acknowledges and confirms the action was the right one.

This taps into the psychological principle known as the confirmation bias. People look for signs and information that confirm their preexisting beliefs. They believe they made the right choice by taking your desired action. You let them know they’re right.

Moving forward, they’ll associate those positive thoughts with your brand. The entire process happens on a subconscious level. Below is an example of a what a simple thank you page could look like.

thank you page image

 

Types of thank you pages you should be using

There are many ways to go about crafting your thank you page. What you choose, will, of course, depend on your goals. Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can use thank you pages for maximum impact.  

Include a video on your thank you page

The fastest way to grasp something is by doing it. The next best thing is to visualize it. You can capitalize on this fact.

Videos give your audience something to do while waiting. Use this opportunity to confirm they took the right action as well as move them towards the next step in your funnel.

A simple introductory statement is all you need:

An email is racing towards you, check your inbox in a few minutes.  Meanwhile, watch the short video below.

Xcube Labs not only puts a video on their page, they convey a lot of information to their new subscriber.

The video doesn’t talk much about the white paper. Instead, it focuses on Xcube’s thought processes and principles when designing.

At times, people keep the confirmation and delivery emails delayed on purpose. That way, they won’t be distracted from the message on the thank you page.

Videos encourage longer dwell times and (mostly) have a positive impact on the person interacting with them. When they’re well crafted, it encourages them to dive deeper into your content.

Use a video marketing tool like Wistia to get granular metrics on the performance of your videos. The Longer someone stays on a page, the more engaged they are.

Types of video to use on thank you page

  • Welcome video
  • An informational video that tells them what to expect
  • Video that lets the subscriber know what the next steps are
  • Video that showcases a low-cost product

Try shorter videos and continue to adjust the content until you’re satisfied with the result.

Ask your visitor to subscribe to different platforms

Your primary goal with this tactic is to increase your following. This is the best time to take make a small ask because your subscribers will never be this engaged with you again.

Use this page to generate maximum results with minimum effort. Users have already shown they appreciate what you’re offering. Now is a great time to ask them to connect with you on social media.

You can ask them to:

  • Follow you on FB
  • Connect with you  on Snapchat
  • Subscribe to your YouTube channel for more content like this
  • Etc

Here’s an example from Pixabay.

We also do it at KyLeads.

Social media is a great place to spread the word about your brand. Your thank you page helps you build the following that’ll give you solid social proof.

Benefits of driving engagement to your social channels:

  • Provide promotion for your product.
  • A great avenue to connect with your new users/subscribers.
  • Users can share your link in their timeline.

Give subscribers limited time offers and discounts

The fact that you have subscribers means you’re doing something right. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Or at least make one they’ll have to think about before saying no.

Offer them a limited edition discount voucher. Or maybe, get something that is exclusive to new subscribers. The idea is to provide incentives, and the main concern is to make it clear: it’s a one-time deal. It won’t be available again no matter where they register.

A one-time offer is used to increase sales by offering incentive’s that aren’t available anywhere else. The key is to make sure it’s not available through some other means.

If you slip up on that part, the people who took advantage of it will feel cheated.

For example, you can try selling your eBook at 25% off if the purchase is made from that page in a certain amount of time. Make it clear that the eBook won’t be available at that price point ever again.

If they’re at all intrigued with your offer, you just gave them a solid reason why they should be paying for a product right away.

Tips on when to use discounts on thank you page and how to structure them

  • Look out for a product to sell from the thank you page that’s similar to what the user is registering for.
  • Be honest regarding the ideology that this is the cheapest you can purchase your product (that means don’t offer the same thing cheaper somewhere else).
  • Incentives play an important role. Try to make them as exclusive as possible for the subscribers on your thank you page.

Check out this example below.

The experiment thank you page with coupon code

If you dial in the offer correctly, you have a buyer coming your way.

Get subscribers to fill out a survey

Prepare a quick and short survey. Present it to the people who just signed up by placing it on your thank you page. Since they’ve already taken one of your desired actions, they’re more likely to do it again.

Pro tip: Ask the user to fill the survey to unlock a free e-book or other bonus.

There’s a reason you do this. When someone subscribes to be a member of your audience or buys something, you only have a finite amount of information about them. Sure, you could segment based on what they downloaded or bought, but why not ask them to segment themselves.

In your survey, you can ask many questions:

  • How did they find you
  • What they’re trying to accomplish
  • What they do for a living
  • Etc etc

This will give you deep insights into who’s visiting your website. There are many popular survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Slamingsurveys. We’re also building in the ability to survey with KyForms – stay tuned.

But always remember, there’s a fine line between asking your customers to take a survey and irritating them.

The above example shows you exactly how to use a survey on your thank you page.

Here are some quick tips to make an effective thank you page survey:

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Ask direct questions.
  • Where possible, stick to multiple choice questions.
  • Ask one question at a time.
  • Ask questions they don’t have to think too hard to answer (instead of “describe your ideal day,” ask “are you looking to improve x”)

Send users to helpful links

Your subscribers went through your content and subscribed. They love what you’re doing. Now, give them more of what they want. It’s the best time to showcase your other products/featured content.

Here’s how you can do this:

Create pages that highlight the most useful content on your website. Divide it into different sections.

For example, if you have a fitness brand, you can group the links by:
–              Strength training
–              Cardio
–              Healthy eating

Add a short description and link to these useful resources.

Note: You should already have the categories through your blog. All you’re doing is curing the best in each category.

Take a look at this example from ByRegina below.

thank you page by regina

The main premise is that users have already opted in to get more content. Why make them wait? Showcase the best you have to offer right away.

Display testimonials

Payments done online are a bit different from the traditional market. Mainly because it’s less concrete and more threatening. That’s why trust is essential.

One of the fastest ways to gain trust is by showcasing what other people are saying about your brand. Remember the confirmation bias? If done correctly, this will add value and reduce buyer remorse.

Here’s an example of this in action:

This will help reinforce the positive feelings they’ve already associated with your brand.

People won’t hesitate before buying if they trust you. Whether they stick around is another story.

Conclusion

The whole point of customizing a thank you page is to make your funnel more efficient. In other words, it’s meant to continue the process of building a meaningful relationship.

What we’ve given you here are a few ways to get started. Some techniques will work better than others. The key is to keep testing until you find a winner.

Thank you pages are, most of the time, underused. Figuring out your thank you page may result in a huge upside if done correctly.

Let us know about any techniques you’re using in the comments section.

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