James Bachini

Lead Magnets, Autoresponders & Tripwires | The Modern Sales Funnel

This article is part of a free online course where you can learn digital marketing.

Lead magnets, autoresponders and tripwires form key components of a very popular sales funnel.

The Modern Sales Funnel
The Modern Sales Funnel

Traffic is pushed into the funnel from traffic sources such as paid ads, content marketing and social media outreach. The visitor is directed to a landing page which is optimised to collect an email. 

Let’s look at each component individually:

  1. Lead Magnets, Autoresponders & Tripwires in 90 Seconds
  2. What is a Lead Magnet?
  3. What is an Autoresponder?
  4. What is a Tripwire?
  5. The Core Offer
  6. Conclusion

Lead Magnets, Autoresponders & Tripwires in 90 Seconds

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What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a small introductory offer delivered in exchange for an email address. Items that can be delivered via email work well but there’s no limit to what you can use. 

Lead Magnet Ideas

Here are some lead magnet ideas.

lead magnet example
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Original research
  • Lists of tips & tricks
  • Industry guidelines
  • Cheat sheet
  • Toolkit / resources list
  • Video transcript
  • Mp3 download
  • Recorded webinar
  • Consultation
  • Online demos
  • Free trials
  • How To/Instructions
  • Slides
  • Newsletter
  • Free shipping
  • Quiz/survey
  • Online tools or audits
  • Spreadsheet template
  • Mindmap
  • Anything printable

The content has to impress and add value as it will form the first impression of the brand.

The landing page that asks for a user to enter their email address is known in the industry as a squeeze page. It should be a highly optimised single page lander. For examples check what online marketing gurus, marketing agencies and SaaS companies are doing.

The higher the perceived value of the lead magnet the higher the conversion rate. Normally a single item form is used as collecting additional data at this stage will reduce conversions.

Tip. Temporary mail boxes such as mailinator and 10minutemail have become popular and cause a problem for lead magnet campaigns. Block these client-side with an error code that states it’s not possible to use them. This will prevent visitors taking the content and not leaving a valid email where you can contact them in future.

Designing an eBook or report is easy using Google Docs where you can save a document as a PDF.

Designing an eBook using Google Docs
Designing an eBook using Google Docs

What is an Autoresponder?

An email autoresponder will then drip content to the prospect. My preferred method for doing this is to start fast and then slow down over the course of the autoresponder. The first email goes out within a day, the second two days later, then 3 days after that etc. It will vary from niche to niche but the idea is to balance getting as much content as possible in front of the prospect with keeping the unsubscribe and spam report rate as low as possible.

This is an example of a standard email autoresponder series for the first month:

Day 0Warm Welcome Email, Verification Link
Day 1Getting Started Guide
Day 3Tripwire Product Offer 1
Day 6Tips & Tricks
Day 10Opportunity to Refer Friends
Day 15Webinar/Video Link
Day 21How To Guide
Day 28Tripwire Product Offer 2

Note here that we have two separate tripwire products. It’s worth noting that there is no limit to the number of lead magnets and tripwires that can be used in a sales funnel.

Here is some server-side javascript code for Node.js/Deno that I have used to manage a list.

emails.autoresponder = () => {
    let emailsSent = 0;
    const emailLimit = 100; // per hour
    console.log('Starting Autoresponder');
    const ts = new Date().getTime();
    Object.keys(Pkr.users).forEach((uniq) => {
        const u = Pkr.users[uniq];
        if (!u.email) return false;
        if (!u.nextEmailTS && emailsSent < emailLimit) {
            u.lastEmailRef = 1;
            emailsSent += 1;
            u.nextEmailTS = ts + (86400000 * u.lastEmailRef);
            console.log(`Autoresponder${u.lastEmailRef}: ${u.email}`);
        } else if (ts > u.nextEmailTS && emailsSent < emailLimit) {
            if (emails.onboarding[u.lastEmailRef+1]) {
                u.lastEmailRef += 1;
                console.log(`Sending autoresponder ${u.lastEmailRef} to ${u.email}`);
                emailsSent += 1;
                u.nextEmailTS = ts + (86400000 * u.lastEmailRef);
                console.log(`Autoresponder${u.lastEmailRef}: ${u.email}`);

For non-developers there are mailing services such as Sendgrid, Mailchimp, Awebber all of which can be used to setup a standard email autoresponder campaign. Out of the three I’d recommend Sendgrid although their free tier has now been reduced to 100 emails/day.

Here is a screenshot of the Sendgrid autoresponder (automation) setup.

Sendgrid autoresponder (automation) setup
Sendgrid autoresponder setup

Tip. If your business is B2C and you can get away with a personal, informal email style then do so. All of the following will increase open and read rates across the email series.

  • Well placed, subtle jokes and humour
  • Embed gifs with Giphy
  • Emojis 🙌
  • Personal sign off
  • Unique, authentic writing style

What is a Tripwire?

A tripwire is a non-core offering that you can sell at a very low price to initiate trade with a new customer. Tripwires are offered at a low price to increase sales of a higher priced core offer.

The ideas comes from the concept that it is easier to sell a new product to an existing customer than it is to sell an existing product to a new customer. A high value product or service is hard to sell without building a lot of trust. However if the company can deliver exceptional value and quality in a smaller product then it will serve as a taster and set the stage for larger purchases at a later date.

Consumers like to spend money with companies they have previously purchased something from before. This lowers the barriers to the sale of a company’s core offers.

Tripwire Examples

Here are some examples of tripwire type products.

  • eBooks
  • Video Courses
  • Locked Content
  • Product trial / First months service
  • A stripped down version of core product
  • Core product with restrictions
  • Consultation via phone, email or video call
  • A starter pack

The idea is to offer a product at a price well below the perceived value. The price should be so good that the customer can’t refuse. 

Lead magnets and tripwires should both target relevant pain points that a customer may have related to the company’s core offering.

The first sale is key. The customer now has an account, they know how ordering products with your company works, they know the level of service to expect and they’ve been blown away by the value for money provided by the tripwire.

The quality of the tripwire product must be exceptional. If the customer feels “meh” 🤷‍♂️ about their purchase then they will fall out of the funnel.

The Core Offer

This should be the fundamental value proposition of the company. Whether it be via email, video call or retargeting ads, it’s time to pitch the main product.

The existing customer can be seen as a warm lead and the conversion rate for sales should be higher increasing revenues.

During a pitch it is common to put upsells, profit maximisers and subscription services into the pitch to generate the maximum revenue from the sale.

Repeat sales is the final stage of the funnel where ongoing email communications hopefully brings the customer back for more.

The Modern Sales Funnel

Lead magnets, autoresponders and tripwires form the core of many modern sales funnels.

  1. The lead magnet offers a free product in exchange for an email address.
  2. The autoresponder sends out regular emails to build trust with the customer.
  3. The tripwire is a small product offered at a very low price, exceeding customer value expectations.

Once the prospect is a customer the funnel has built enough trust to increase sales of the company’s core offers.

This article is part of a free online course where you can learn digital marketing.

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Thank you.

James Bachini

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Thank you.

James Bachini

Disclaimer: Not a financial advisor, not financial advice. The content I create is to document my journey and for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not under any circumstances investment advice. I am not an investment or trading professional and am learning myself while still making plenty of mistakes along the way. Any code published is experimental and not production ready to be used for financial transactions. Do your own research and do not play with funds you do not want to lose.