If you’re looking for a way to generate more passive income in your business, adding a ‘tripwire offer’ on your website is certainly a smart idea.
If you’re not familiar with this term, a tripwire is a small paid offer you present to someone after they opt into a freebie on your site. For example, if you offer a free ebook on your site, a good tripwire offer might be a $20 mini-course that dives deeper or expands on the topic covered in the free ebook.
Now that you know what a tripwire is, it’s important to understand the components you need to set one up on your site. A lot of entrepreneurs think setting up a tripwire requires a ton of tech skills or fancy tools — so this stops a lot of people from ever even experimenting with this potential passive income stream.
Here’s the good news though, you really only need 4 main components to set up a tripwire on your site. (And since you’re reading this post, you probably already have one of them!)
In today’s post I’ll break down the specifics of each component and share tools to consider, so you can set up a tripwire offer on your site — the simple way.
To start, you need to offer freebie. And if you’re reading this post, chances are, you already have a freebie (or multiple freebies) available on your site.
All you really need is some type of free content — like an ebook, a worksheet, a free training, etc. — that your audience would find valuable enough to give you their email address in exchange for it.
This component is key because tripwires work especially well when whatever you’re offering (at a small price) relates to the freebie content someone has just opted into receive.
Once you have your freebie content good-to-go, encourage people to opt in with calls-to-action (CTAs) in your blog posts or with a pop-up on your site.
As soon as you have a solid freebie displayed on your site, you’re ready to incorporate the next essential tripwire component…ecommerce.
An E-Commerce Plugin
E-commerce plugins add shopping functionality to your existing website. Basically, they allow people to make purchases on your site.
Here are two popular e-commerce plugins to consider:
- WooCommerce: is great if you want to sell both physical and digital products because it supports both. So, if you do sell physical products or think you might like to in the future, WooCommerce would probably work best for you.
- Easy Digital Downloads: I prefer Easy Digital Downloads because it’s straightforward and easy to use just as the name suggests. I find that there are less things to mess with, making it a cinch to navigate and set up. Plus, it easily allows you to grab a shortcode for products which can be quickly embedded into any page, blog posts, etc.
Both are free and offer paid add-on features that can be installed for further functionality if you find you need it (for example, if you want to sell a workshop or masterclass).
A Countdown Timer
A big part of what makes a tripwire offer effective is that it’s only available for a limited time (e.g. 10 minutes) after someone opts into your freebie. For this reason, a countdown timer is another key component you’ll need when adding a tripwire to your site.
That said, here are a couple tools you can use to set up your countdown timer:
- Evergreen Countdown Timer: is a free plugin that’s super straightforward – just set how long you want the offer to show on screen and tell it where you want users to go once the timer ends (i.e. the URL). Evergreen will create the shortcode for you to grab and then you can embed it on whatever page you choose.
- Deadline Funnel: At $37/month, this option can be a little pricey for just starting out. One advantage it has over Evergreen is that it works with email, meaning you can embed Deadline Funnel (i.e. the actual countdown) into email using marketing providers (like ConvertKit).
When deciding on a countdown timer that’s right for you, consider if your audience will have a reason (or time) to check their email before purchasing your tripwire offer. If you want people to to purchase when they see the offer page, you may not need a tool with email functionality.
The purpose of the offer is to encourage people to make a decision to purchase quickly. That’s why small offers like digital products work so well – if purchased, the product is supplied with a quick download and you can begin to generate passive income.
Remember: the offer will only be featured for a limited time until the page expires, so make sure it’s enticing enough that people are encouraged to purchase.
Additionally, you need to think about the price. My rule of thumb is to pick a relatively inexpensive price so it’s not too hard for people to make the decision to invest. In general, less than $30 tends to be the ideal price for most tripwire offers such as:
- An e-book or workbook
- An on-demand workshop or masterclass
Offering a discount on strategy/consulting can also be a great idea. But in this case you’ll want to price the offer high enough that you still get paid an appropriate amount for your time, so just keep that in mind.