It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain the trust of prospects and get them to hand over their hard earned cash for your product or service. If you’ve been in business for a day, you’d probably know that by now.
But, as business owners and entrepreneurs, our first goal is to increase the number of customers for our business.
The biggest game changer for online businesses in the past year or so that was responsible for converting more prospects and leads into customers, is …. the TripWire.
But first …
What is a Tripwire?
The Tripwire is an irresistible, super low-ticket offer that its ONLY aim is to convert prospects into buyers.
See how I highlighted ONLY ? Nop, not by mistake.
I did that because the aim of the tripwire is NOT (I did it again) to generate profit.
The aim of the tripwire is to change the relationship between you and your leads by turning them into customers.
Now here’s the trick:
The most strategic way to make the Tripwire really irresistible is by selling it at a super low cost and, in some cases, at a loss to you.
Yes, you heard me.
Your goal here is not to make a living from selling Tripwire Offers. You are trying to turn leads into buyers. You’re trying to acquire buyers because there is nothing more valuable than a list of buyers.
How to make Tripwire offers?
A very common and effective way to pitch your tripwire is right after someone opts in to become a lead.
It could be right after they give you their email, give you their phone number or any other way you capture leads.
Tripwires usually work really well when they’re priced between $1 and $20.
Because the key is to make your prospects unable to resist your Tripwire Offer and you do that by making it a low barrier entry offer.
The whole point is to offer them really high value at a low price.
The value should always outweigh the price – By far. It should be a no brainer for a qualified lead.
Here’s a classic example of a Tripwire Offer from Columbia Records (remember these guys) ?
Columbia House took over the music industry by making an irresistible offer to their prospects (13 records or tapes for $1).
Of course, they were running this tripwire offer at a loss. I mean seriously, if you buy these 13 records and melt them down into a plastic block, it’ll be worth more than a dollar.
Okay seriously now…
Columbia house understood that acquiring a list of buyers is the more valuable than the loss they’re taking on the front end.
At their peak, they raked in as much as $1.4 billion in sales during the mid-90s.
Tripwire examples are all around us. Think of
- The ridiculous flat screen TV deal at Best Buy
- The rock-bottom price of a Kindle Fire
- The “Get $50 worth gift card for $10” Groupon offer
- And so on…
The Secret behind tripwires
Okay, now that we’re friends , I’m going to let you in on the secret psychological reasons behind why tripwires work like magic.
Lets cut to the chase…
It all comes down to two fundamentally important factors that change the buyer’s psychology.
One of the great benefits of a Tripwire offer is that it allows your customers to show commitment to you and your brand. It allows them to show commitment in two ways.
These two ways are the same ways that we all show commitment to anything in our daily lives.
So, the first way we show commitment is with our:
We all show commitment with our wallets in almost everything we do. We show commitment when we invest in something that we are interested in. We show commitment when we give money in exchange for something else.
When columbia records said we’re going to give you 13 records for just 1$, they were getting commitment from their prospects.
Yes, it’s only a 1$.
Yes, they were losing money.
But they were after something more scarce and valuable: Commitment.
And this approach to get commitment made them own 16% of all sales in the music industry at one point.
Pretty neat huh ?
Now the second way we show commitment is with our:
We show commitment when we give our time.
Time is the most valuable resource we have as human beings. Its non-tradable, non-negotiable and we can’t get more of it.
(Only Peter Theil is trying to mess with this in case you haven’t heard)
But the fact is when someone buys your tripwire, they’re committing with their time.
It could be as simple as spending time to read the book you just sold them, or watch the course that they purchased or maybe attend the webinar/session that they get with your tripwire.
It all require their time.
It requires them to deviate from their schedule and spend time with your product or service.
And when you get somebody to deviate from their ordinary schedule and invest time with you and your product, guess what ?
Your gaining commitment.
Okay, now the second reason why tripwires work is because they change relationships.
Let me explain …
Tripwires are a lot like first dates.
Hello ? Still there ?
Hang on a sec.
When a guy asks a girl out for “coffee” what he’s really asking for is a small step forward in their relationship.
If the date was good, then it makes sense to go on a second date, be in a relationship, move in together and eventually get married.
Same thing with your prospects.
A tripwire is a small step forward in the relationship between you and your prospect.
At its essence, all human relationships progress similarly through different stages. It’s a gradual process, not an instantaneous one.
(This is why you never ask for marriage when you first meet someone you like)
The same way you should never ask for a $2000 sale as soon as someone becomes a prospect.
I see many online businesses do that… Someone new lands on their website, or opts in to become a lead and BOOM. they ask for the sale.
Really ? Really !
You’d get slapped if you do that on a date. (I’ve tried it)
You have to move the relationship slowly through the natural stages of human intimacy.
Yes, It’s human intimacy.
Because at the end of the day, you’re not into B2C business nor in the B2B business.
You’re in the H2H business.
Human to human.
And you should treat it that way.
Once your leads become customers, once they go from stranger to a customer, the relationship is changed.
This change in the relationship comes with a decreased resistance to your future sales messages.
Even if your tripwire is as low as 1$, the magic of becoming a customer will still work in your favor.
The value of the tripwire doesn’t really matter as long as your prospect takes out their wallet to pay you for a product or service, their psychology change and that’s what makes the tripwire so powerful.
The only goal of the tripwire is to turn their relationship status to “customer” (Not on facebook, that would be weird)
Now that you know how the tripwire strategy works, and why it does wonders to your business, you’ll be able to identify a tripwire offer the next time you see one in the wild. You’ll also be able to identify how it works and why it does for different businesses.
And most importantly, you’ll be able to create YOUR tripwire…
so this brings us to…
How to Create YOUR Tripwire.
Good. Now we’ve established the importance of creating a tripwire and how this will help you create the maximum number of customer that will be more inclined to purchase your core products in the future – especially when you amaze them with your tripwire.
So the next step is to create your tripwire. (That’s for the action taker in you)
Truth is, the most effective way to create your tripwire is through what we call Product Splintering.
What is Product Splintering ?
Product splintering is the process of breaking off bits and pieces of your Core Offer and selling them as a stand-alone offers.
Let me show you what I mean…
One of my businesses is in the fitness market. Our core product is a $197 training that helps you get shredded, lose weight and gain muscle in 12 weeks.
From this one Core Offer, we were able to splinter out several smaller, stand-alone products.
These “splinter offers” were put on at the start of our sales funnel as a Tripwire Offer.
A very popular Tripwire offer is the “Fat Burning Challenge” which is a $7 program that originally is a small module taken out of the core product.
Makes sense ?
In another business of mine, our core offer is a program that helps lifetime smokers quit smoking and never relapse.
We were able to splinter out a $19 minicourse called “Knockout Your Cravings” that gives our prospects great techniques to get over their cravings and start taking control over their addiction.
If you’re in the services business, let’s say a design agency, a good example of a tripwire would be a logo design. This is essentially a splintered offer from a brand redesign or a website redesign.
A low dollar consultation would be another splintered offer for a consultancy agency.
An low-cost Adwords campaign launch would is another great splintered offer for an advertising agency.
A 1$ trial offer is a great example for a SaaS company.
A chapter of your book for 1$ would be a suitable tripwire for an author.
You get the point. *Drops the mic.*
Product splintering is one of the most effective ways to create your tripwire products because
- One, it gives your prospect a taste of what your product or service is like and the quality they should expect.
- And two, it qualifies them as highly valuable customers because they are interested in the exact same thing that your core product and premium products are all about. (Therefore, they would definitely be interested in your future higher prices offers)
Once the relationship is turned from prospect to a customer after the tripwire sale, it’s easier than ever to move your customers to purchase your core offer (your full course, your consulting service, your website redesign, your monthly SaaS fee, etc…)
Go it ?
Great ! That was fun.
Ok, let’s wrap up in one sentence. *clap clap*
So … the strategy behind the Tripwire is simple:
Convert the maximum number of leads and prospects into paying customers, even at the expense of your profit margin, while keeping in mind that acquiring a paying customer will deliver much more profit as they go through your funnel towards your core offer.
Let me know what your tripwire is going to be in the comments below.