If you’ve got a good product or service, it should sell fairly well as long as you’re driving targeted traffic. However, in today’s overcrowded marketplaces, both in real life and online, it can be difficult to get visibility and to convince potential customers that your product is a good buy for them, so a tripwire marketing strategy may help move them along their journey towards making a purchase with you. Many businesses spend a small fortune on their marketing strategy, hiring people to specifically sit on their social media accounts and interact with possible clients, but this leaves a big hole in the budget. Using tripwires not only reimburses some of (or, better yet, all of) the costs of lead generation, but it can also increase your conversion rate of potentials into actuals.
What is a Tripwire?
If you were a grocery store, your tripwire would be your loss leader – those products that you put on sale at the front of the store that give unbelievable value. These are the buy one, get one free or big discounts. The idea is that customers fall over this tripwire and come into the store ready to spend the money that they saved. This positive feeling of frugality often leads to higher purchasing rates as people feel that they can treat themselves a little more.
Above all, your intent is not to profit from the tripwire offer. Yes, it means that you’ll have some customers who simply take advantage of what you’re offering and then go no further.
In most scenarios, with the right tripwire, the customers will find themselves too far in to back out, and you’ll turn them into paying clients. However, even in this scenario, the money that you make from those one off customers will go a long way to covering your lead generation costs in other areas.
To Charge or To Give Away?
One of the biggest challenges facing any marketing manager tempted to use tripwire marketing is whether to charge for the service or to give a limited version away for free.
The old saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, meaning that anything that comes for free often has strings attached. To this end, the general public are often wary of products that are offered for free initially, as they know that they are either going to be charged for them after the trial period is over or that the product will have limited capability. The risk with providing a free service, even if you believe that people will eventually get frustrated and will want more, is that while you will generate a large customer base, you still have to turn the screws to convert them into paying customers. Free lead magnets that provide value on one specific part of an overall bigger picture are extremely effective when done correctly.
On the flip side, asking for a small charge for the tripwire product will often make people steer away from signing up, especially if they think that they can get a similar product elsewhere for free. This small charge will give you a smaller customer base, but the benefit is that they have already parted with some money, which means that they’re more likely to spend more to get a better service. For most businesses, a top end of $20 for a tripwire will generate a new set of customers, as well as the all important cost covering of the lead generation.
Tripwire Marketing Ideas
The main idea of a tripwire product is to have it priced so low that your customers will have a hard time saying no to it. It also has to have a high level of intrinsic value to them so that they will come back for more. Some ideas of perfect tripwires include:
- A free product with enough shipping and handling to cover the cost of producing & shipping
- A free product that asks for a sign up to unlock its full functionality
- Something small but with high perceived value, such as business cards or web domains
- Limited time offers of a special low price
In any case, you need to have a way for your tripwire marketing efforts to generate money to offset the costs of lead generation and a way for moving the potential customer further along your marketing funnels.