What is a Tripwire (or activation) product?

You’re trying to sell your products and services on your website and you’re just not getting the results you want.

It seems like the sales cycle takes so long and there are so many tyre kickers.

It almost seems like it’s not profitable in the end when they finally make a purchase!

The problem is not that your customers aren’t connecting the dots, it’s that you aren’t giving them enough dots to connect.

According to the Harvard Business Review, a customer is anywhere from 5 – 25 times more likely to purchase from you than a prospect. That’s why it’s sooo important to get that first sale from a new prospect, at any price.

Enter the “activation” or “tripwire” product, which is a low cost, irresistible offer and it is the first point at which your prospects open up their wallet.

The tripwire is designed to bridge the gap between new prospects and selling your core offer. Selling something at a very low price point helps you to acquire customers at a lower barrier of entry than your core offer, and helps lead the prospect on that journey to eventually purchasing your core offer.

What is a Tripwire (or activation) product?

It’s a tiny, weeny product.

Again, we’re not trying to make a lot of money from your tripwire product, we’re only trying to make customers. So make sure your tripwire is priced at a fraction of your core offer, make it easy to purchase and easy to access (like a download for example).

Imagine you are selling a marketing coaching program for $100 per month. Most of your website traffic will not join your program, but some might buy a marketing guide for $20.  This guide is your ‘tripwire’ and the people who buy it are now ripe for targeting to upgrade into the coaching program. Or you might have a series of tripwires, each one costing a little more than the last, drawing people into eventually buying your main product or service.

How do you make yourself a tripwire? It’s usually a subset of your main product.

I can’t think of a business that couldn’t develop a tripwire product. The easiest way to figure out what to “productise” is to simply break down your main service or product into components, and sell those components separately.

You could sell a 30 minute consultation, some kind of guide in the form of an eBook or series of videos, a “need to know” type checklist, an eBook.

For example, a personal trainer has a website selling monthly training packages. Most of her website traffic will never end up signing on. But she could also offer a three part video course entitled “The 5 most common causes of sports injuries and how to avoid them”. She could sell this course for as little as $1. Now it’s safe to assume that more people will purchase the course than sign up to a higher commitment training package. However, once they are signed up, she is building an audience of paid up prospects she can sell to at a later date. She is also building trust and rapport with this audience without any one on one commitment from her, leading to a more loyal customer base.

How do you sell your tripwire?

There are various ways you can display your tripwire product on your website – for example, the side bar of your blog, through pop-ups or smack bang at the top of your homepage but the best way we know how to sell it is as part of a marketing funnel (yes, that complete thing this website is selling – go buy it now you cheeky blighter).

In short, you offer your website audience a free lead magnet in exchange for their email address, then you send them a series of high value nurture emails solidifying your expertise in the subject and towards the end of the nurture sequence, you email your audience the details of the tripwire product.

You should link the topic or theme of the lead magnet in a logical way with the tripwire product e.g. “You’ve read the free guide, now turn that knowledge into real results by purchasing X”.

What to do after you’ve sold your tripwire product

Besides celebrating with some very cheap champagne, you now have the details of paid up people to add to your sales funnel (or marketing funnel). Stick those details in your email marketing software that will automatically shoot them off a series of scheduled emails, where you gently introduce them to your main product or service – (Mailchimp is an email marketing program that offers all of this for free).