How To Create An Opt-In Tripwire Funnel

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I’m Courtney Fanning the copywriting and brand strategy brains behind Big Picture. I use my literal master’s in selling stories to help 1:1 clients and DIY students write purpose-driven copy that sells and scales. 

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Written by Courtney
Copywriting & brand strategy brains behind Big Picture.

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What Is Tripwire Marketing? I’m dusting off my marketing cap and giving you the inside scoop on a little something I like to call, “SURPRISE MONEY!” Okay, so IRL it’s called an opt-in tripwire funnel. A tripwire is a small offer (usually under $50) sold to new email subscribers immediately after they opt-in to one of your freebies.

Since your most engaged readers are your newest readers, an opt-in tripwire is meant to accelerate the buyer journey. Instead of waiting until they receive your welcome email or welcome series to engage with you again, the opt-in cuts in line and asks for the next dance right then and there. Plus, conversion rates for tripwires are typically higher because the offer is a lower price-point.



Let me lay down the metaphorical law when it comes to choosing the best opt-ins for each buyer stage, how to create an opt-in that actually leads to sales, and why the heck an opt-in is one of the four non-negotiable assets to have before launching your website.

➡️(If you don’t have an opt-in, those links should get you up to speed and on your way to creating an opt-in, asap.)⬅️

The goal of an opt-in isn’t actually about building an email list, it’s about nurturing your audience in order to sell a service/product/membership/course down the line.


But did you know you can also monetize your opt-ins???

Sure, a new subscriber is great, but what about a new subscriber and an immediate sale before you’ve had to write one new word of copy?


The Buyer Journey & Opt-In Tripwire Funnel

1️⃣ Miranda is looking for a particular solution and heads to the Google box to see if someone on the internet can help her.

2️⃣ Miranda comes across your website and really likes what she sees. But, she’s a savvy consumer and wants to do her research, so she downloads your opt-in, which of course, perfectly targets one of her needs.

3️⃣ She submits her email, confirms her subscription, and is redirected to a Thank You page notifying her that her freebie is zooming across the internet to her inbox. AND WHILE SHE’S THERE ON YOUR PAGE…

4️⃣ [ENTER THE TRIPWIRE] You wonder if she might like this other product of yours. It’s related to the freebie she’s about to receive and as a thank you for showing interest in your work, you’re offering the product at a no-brainer price she won’t find anywhere else on your site.

5️⃣ How convenient! This is definitely something Miranda finds value in, so she purchases your tripwire offer and leaves your site a new subscriber (that you can continue to nurture via your welcome sequence!)


How to not be icky with your tripwire.

A lot of tripwires place a countdown timer on the page using various countdown plugins, but I don’t like doing that. Playing the scarcity card feels gross to me. I’d rather offer up a sweet, sweet deal and let you decide, of sound mind, whether it’s right for you. (Plus, no extra tech integrations means you can get your opt-in up and running without spending a dime.)

Do countdown times work like a charm? Yes. Could someone go back to that tripwire link at any point and purchase my product for cheap? Sure. But you’re not selling your highest ticket item so honestly, no biggie.

I love to help and share and teach, and does that make me a not-shrewd business owner? Probs. But marketing is an ethical minefield, and I prefer to run things in a way that I can still sleep soundly at night.


How to set up your own opt-in tripwire (the non-techie and non-scary way.)

➡️ Watch this 5-minute video for a quick tutorial on how I set up my tripwire using ConvertKit. ⬅️


Why ConvertKit? You can use a similar workflow with any email service provider, but ConvertKit has all the capabilities to store subscriber info, deliver my opt-in, redirect subscribers to a Thank You page, process and fulfill a product sale and pay me within 24 hours. (Without any tech harder than copying and pasting an embed code onto your website. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.)

Click here to get started with ConvertKit for FREE!  


See My Tripwire In Action.

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