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How to Setup and Make Money with a Tripwire

I’m sure you’ll agree that both growing your email list and making money are important aspects of blogging as a business.

But you maybe also thought you had to do one and then the other…..

You had to grow your email list and then warm them up and then pitch them a product to sell….

You absolutely can do that, and probably should, but that doesn’t have to be the first time you pitch them a solution for a price.

There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to do a tripwire which I’ll cover, but the end result is that when someone signs up for your list, you make an offer and can make some money.

In this post, I’m going to break down, what a tripwire is, why you might want to use one, and how to set one up.

What is a tripwire

A tripwire is an offer that becomes available to someone immediately after opting into your email list. You offer one of your products at a significant discount for a limited time.

Why You Should Consider Using a Tripwire

Some of the best reasons to use a tripwire include:

  • Qualify buyers
  • Use sales to pay for ads to grow your list in a never-ending cycle

Qualify Buyers

Someone has just opted into your list, they like you, they’re interested in you, so why not say thanks with a great deal? They already said yes once, this gives them the opportunity to say yes again. 

You want to keep people on a yes path, so why not offer something that makes the implementation of the freebie they just got easier. It’s a way to continue to help them and help your bank account.

This way you qualify them as a buyer. If they bought from you once, they’re likely to buy from you again.

Pay for Ads

Ads are a great way to drive traffic to your opt-in, but they are also an expense. If you have a tripwire, it could be used to offset the cost of the ads, pay for them entirely, or even earn you additional income. 

The more money you have for ads the more people you get to subscribe and the more chances you have to sell higher-priced offerings later.

Here is how a tripwire works

A person gets to email form> person subscribes > person is redirected to your tripwire offer, good for a limited time > person either buys:

>taken to the checkout page

or moves on:

If a person tries to get back to the offer they are redirected to an offer expired page

While there is some work to set up a Tripwire, once set up you are automatically and consistently pitching your product and can earn income on autopilot.

So the tripwire should be the absolute lowest cost for this product.

For your customers to trust what you are saying is true, they shouldn’t be able to go back after the time has expired and get the deal. So you need to use a tool to ensure this isn’t possible.

The time limit helps to provide scarcity, and if they can go back and get it after the time expired it’s not really scarce and they won’t believe you the next time you say something is limited.

So now that you know what a tripwire is let’s dig into how to set up a tripwire.

How a Tripwire Works

As I mentioned it requires its own landing page that can only be accessed for a set period of time.

After that time has passed when someone goes try to go that landing page they need to be redirected to an offer expired page.

You’ll need to set it up so that once they do qualify for the offer, they are taken to that tripwire landing page. This involves creating at least two landing pages. As well as a trigger, which could be an opt-in form or a page, in my case it’s both.

So the components of a tripwire include:

  • A Trigger
  • A Tripwire Landing Page
  • An Offer Expired Page
  • A Checkout Page
  • A Product Delivery Page (optional- instead you could have it sent via your email marketing service)

Setting up a Tripwire with Thrive Ultimatum

As part of my Thrive Themes annual membership, you get access to all their tools which includes Thrive Ultimatum (though it can be bought separately).

Ultimatum allows you to set up certain limited time campaigns. So this could be a limited time sale, that is visible from any page or it could be the tripwires that I set up for nearly all my opt-ins.

These campaigns in Thrive Ultimatum can be for a limited time or they can be evergreen. Generally tripwires are evergreen because you want anyone that opt-ins into your list to be shown the tripwire offer. You don’t want to have to set it up for a limited time every month.

Whenever you are setting up any sort of process for your audience/subscriber/customer to go through, you want to start at the end. Because the previous step needs to be able to link to the next step. It just makes it easier to set up for any redirects you need to create.

The Checkout Page

First, you  want to make sure you have the products set up so that they can be bought using the check out.

I use Thrivecart (and I’ll show you how to set up a tripwire with just Thrivecart as well) for my product management/payment processor. It’s easy to set up and it will deliver digital products upon purchase so I don’t have to worry about that extra step.

I like that Thrivecart allows for payments via credit card or PayPal and it integrates with my email marketing service, Convertkit, that way I can tag buyers making it easy to ensure I don’t pitch products to them that they already bought.

The No, & Thank You Page

Once on the Tripwire page, if they decide they don’t want the offer they can click “no, thank you.” Then it will take them to your thank you for signing up for the freebie page. 

It lets them grab the free download they originally signed up for and then prompts them to share the opt-in page with their friends. It includes social share buttons with custom messages and images so they just have to click and share.

Now this is a little chicken before the egg situation because you need the opt-in page to make these buttons work. 

However, you want the original opt-in page URL for the Thank You Page but when creating the original opt-in and tripwire you want the thank you page URL. 

So I’d just go back and add the URL when you have it.

The Offer Expired Page

This is the page someone will see if they try to get back to the tripwire landing page after the offer has expired. 

On this page, I explain that the tripwire offer has expired but they can buy the product for full price. I include an image of the product, a brief description to remind them what is included in the product and a button for them to buy.

The Tripwire Landing Page

On the tripwire landing page, it starts out letting them know that their request for the freebie has been received and in the meantime, I’ve got this great offer for them.

I tell them about the benefits of the product and then explain that it normally costs $x but for a limited time (displayed with a timer) they can get it for $x, usually $7-$9 depending on the product.

They then see a button to buy, or they can say no thank you.

The buy button links to the checkout page from Podia. The “No, Thank you” button takes them to my previously set up “thank you” page.

Creating the Trigger

Finally, I create the opt-in form or landing page that will trigger to get them to the tripwire page. I do this with Thrive Leads which makes setting up the tripwire in Thrive Ultimatum easy because it automatically lists Thrive Opt-ins as trigger options.

Putting it All together in Thrive Ultimatum

Once all the pages are created, go to Thrive Ultimatum and set up a new campaign. I’d recommend starting with a blank campaign rather than one of their preset templates.

For campaign type, choose Evergreen.

Set the time for the campaign availability to 1 day.

Also select, activate lockdown – this is the feature that will ensure after the offer is expired the subscriber is taken to the offer expired page, ensuring they can’t access the tripwire again.

For trigger type, select Thrive Leads Conversion and select your opt-ins that should trigger the campaign, you can have more than one.

Under Display settings you should select your tripwire landing page.

In the Lockdown section, you will select your pre-access page, typically the landing page for your freebie

the promotion page = tripwire landing page,

offer expired page = offer expired landing page.

When I use Thrive Leads conversions as a trigger I don’t typically use the generate email link, though I may in the future, this allows the subscriber to get to the campaign via that link included in an email.

The design displays a CTA about the offer and includes a countdown timer. I usually just have it display on the the tripwire page and extra incentive that the offer is only available for a limited time.

If you wanted to simplify it you could have a single download page with the offer listed there, I’ll talk more about that in the next section where I talk about setting up a Tripwire with Deadline Funnel….

Setting up a Tripwire with Deadline Funnel

If you want a tripwire to only be available for 20 minutes or any amount of time less than a day, then Thrive Ultimatum will not work, in which case I would recommend using Deadline Funnel.

Deadline funnel is a monthly or annual subscription starting at $49/month.

But it’s super easy to get set up and going.

To use Deadline Funnel for your tripwire, you’ll first need to install a snippet of code in the header on your site, once that is done you can get your first funnel set up in a few minutes:

Deadline funnel utilizes the same pages as Thrive Ultimatum but doesn’t require them as you don’t have to have an opt-in to trigger the tripwire deadline.

Deadline funnel gets triggered when they land on the page, so for shorter tripwires, you can have a single page with the opt-in download button and a special limited time offer.

After the deadline runs out they go to a clone of the page that I created with the button now directing to the full priced item in Thrivecart

What I love about Deadline Funnel is that I can insert the same code into Thrivecart so even if they know the link of the discount, it locks them out after the timer runs out.

Once you have your pages created you’re ready to create your Deadline Funnel.

Setting up Funnel Steps in Deadline Funnel

First, you need to make sure the code is installed on your website, then in Funnel Steps add:

  • the page you want to be displayed before the timer runs out and
  • Where you want people redirected to after the timer runs out

The Appearance of Your Timer

Just like you can adjust the appearance of your timer in Thrive Ultimatum, you can do so in Deadline Funnel. However, the lowest tier of Deadline Funnel does limit you in your choices.

You can choose a base – basically the shape of the timer

And a color palette from which you can choose if you want it to be:

  • Medium,
  • Subtle, or
  • Bold

Under settings, you can choose if you want it to display immediately or after a set delay.

Once you’ve made your appearance choices you hit “Save and Exit”

Timer Settings

Finally, it’s time to setup or adjust, your timer settings, like how long the timer is if you want to exclude certain days and the formatting of the timer.

Setting Up a Tripwire with Thrivecart

If you already have Thrivecart or are considering purchasing Thrivecart (in which case this could help you take the plunge), then it’s pretty easy to set up a Tripwire.

Setting up the Tripwire Steps in Thrivecart

Once again you want to start with the end in mind. Meaning you first want to create your full-priced product in Thrivecart. Once you have the Checkout page and all the other settings for your product set you can create the Tripwire version.

To create the Tripwire Version you want to “clone” your full-priced product.

Once you’ve cloned the full price product you’re going to rename it to reflect that it’s a Limited Time Offer/Tripwire.

Then you’re going to edit the product:

  • Change the price to reflect the tripwire offer
  • Add a timer to the checkout page
  • Have the timer redirect to the full price product page after it runs out

Once you have your tripwire page created you can connect it to your opt-in. I would not recommend using Thrivecart as your freebie landing page, so stick with whatever you’re using (personally I use a combination of Convertkit and Convertbox) and upon form submission have the subscriber redirect to your Thrivecart Tripwire page.

That’s it!

Note: I don’t recommend using a coupon code for a tripwire because it usually is cookied and will likely still work after whatever timer you’ve used runs out.

Evaluating Your Ad Spend ROI

If you’re using ads to drive traffic to your email list, a tripwire is a great way to fund those ads.

It also makes it easy to see how much you can afford to spend on each subscriber. For example, if you have a 7% conversion rate on your Tripwire that costs $9, you earn $63 per 100 subscribers.

Let’s assume your opt-in landing page has a 30% conversion rate (many of mine do). To get 100 subscribers you need about 333 people to land on that page.

$63/333 = $0.18

Which means you can afford to pay $0.18 per click on your ads. 

While you’ll likely see more earnings from people being on your list, tracking that can be a little bit harder. Using a tripwire to fund your ads or if it’s a really good tripwire – earn extra income, can be a simple way to evaluate your spend.

Bottom Line

Tripwires can be a great way to earn extra money. They can also be a way to pay for ads if you use ads to get eyes on your freebie landing page.

Different businesses use tripwires for all sorts of different reasons. I like it because you’re immediately qualifying if a subscriber is going to be likely to buy something from you in the future. If they buy once they are likely to buy again.

Overall, tripwires are just an easy way to earn extra money on autopilot while also growing your email list.

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