Two Best Sales Funnels For Online Course Creators

I work with amazing online course creators. They are great at what they do – creating and improving courses, communicating with students… That’s their full-time job. On top of that, they are trying to figure out how to scale their business, and to learn all the best ways to do that. I admire them. It’s not easy to do all of that. 

There are so many different suggestions out there about how to market your online course:  drive more traffic, run more ads, start a YouTube channel, record your own podcast, do a webinar, write more SEO friendly content, set up a funnel… It’s overwhelming.

Do you feel the same? 

I can’t tell you what to do in other marketing areas, because I’m not an expert on everything. But when it comes to funnels, I will share with you three proven strategies for scaling your online course business.

You don’t have to learn about all of the different sales funnels. I’m going to give you a shortcut so you can implement what’s proven to work. I talked about this in a lot more detail, with many examples, in my webinar, Funnels for online course creators. 

But if you want a short summary or you prefer to read, then keep reading 🙂

There are two funnels that we use on a regular basis at Data-Driven Marketing because they are the best for online course creators. These are:

  • The tripwire funnel 
  • The webinar funnel

We also spend a lot of time on email promotions, because they’re such a great way of getting customers into your funnel. Email promotion to a funnel is the third most effective tactic for selling more online courses.

Ok, now that you know, let me give you useful resources about these three tools, so you can go ahead and set them up. 


A tripwire offer is a cheap but useful offer you give to your audience right after they sign up for your lead magnet (a free gift you give to your audience to subscribe to your list). The idea behind a tripwire is simple: make an irresistible low-cost offer to gain a new customer. 

Once people have bought an inexpensive item from you, they are more likely to purchase something else. Additionally, if your traffic is high enough, your tripwire sales can cover your ad costs. That’s the real value of a tripwire funnel. 

Using this method gives you the best opportunity to upsell your new buyer once they are in your sales funnel. If you’re interested in turning more visitors into buyers, then read this blog post.


The webinar funnel is a bit more complex and it will take you more time to set it up. But webinar is a great tool for selling online courses. 

Webinars are great for building trust and showing people how you can help them. They’re a powerful tool. You can set up an automated webinar funnel and then you’ll be literally making money on autopilot. It’s not easy, but it is possible. 

One of our former clients, James from BNB Mastery, has an automated funnel that brings him 271% ROI.

This is what an ideal webinar funnel looks like:

I wrote a very detailed guide on how to create the ideal webinar funnel. You can read it here

Creating an evergreen automated webinar funnel is one of our specialties. If you need help, book a call here.


Some of the best online course creators I work with do at least two email promotions to their list monthly. They are great at using all the resources they already have. 

If you have an email list and people who applied to receive useful content from you – use it!

Can it really make a big difference?

One of our clients, Seonaid, is making an additional $10,000 per month just because she started doing two promotions per month. If your email list is smaller, your results won’t be like hers but it will still make you additional money.

Is email promotion a funnel? No, but you can send people to a funnel from your email promotion offer. If you add an upsell and order bump to your offer. 

Upsell is a more expensive offer you show to people after they’ve bought something. Usually, it’s related to what they already bought and it can be your other course or level 2 of what they already purchased. 

An order bump is a small offer shown on the order page. People can just check the checkbox to include the order bump in their offer. It can be a workbook or something additional that goes well with the purchase. 

Both of those can increase your average cart value and your profit. 

I hope you see now there’s no need to try and figure out everything by yourself. You now know what works and what are best funnels for online course creators. 

If you end up stuck at any point, need help, or have additional questions book a call here.

Tracking & Analytics

Sales Funnel Conversion Rate and Analysis

Do you ever feel like you have 1,000 things you could be doing in your marketing, but you don’t know which is the most important? You’re working on improving your sales funnel conversion rates but you’re not sure if what you’re doing is working? You work on something for weeks and it makes no difference.

Can you imagine how it would feel if you knew for sure what to do? If you could do the 80/20 analysis, meaning find which 20% of your marketing efforts are bringing you 80% of sales? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

We specialise in working with people who run online courses, so this blog post is mostly about that market. But it should be helpful whatever business you’re running. 

It’s all about making better use of your data and analytics.

Is tracking sales funnel conversion rates really that important?

What we see with the most successful businesses is that they know exactly what their numbers are. Those businesses are great at tracking what their customers do on their site. They make data-driven decisions, and that means they can improve their sales funnel conversion rates.  

If you want to scale your business, numbers should be your friends. 

Let me explain why…

There are hundreds of different parts of a funnel you can improve. 

But how do you know which part to work on next? Which one will earn you the most money? 

To find that out, you need to know two things: how you’re doing right now, and how that compares with everyone else.

In other words, you need to have data showing how well you’re performing, at each stage of your funnel. 

And you need to have benchmark data, which lets you understand how everyone else is performing.

How can data help you?

There are two big benefits from having this information.

  1. You can easily see where you can make the most difference

When you compare your current results with the benchmark data in your industry, you can see which number is furthest from the benchmarks and is likely to make the biggest difference. That will help you decide what to work on.

For example, let’s say your current opt-in rate on your website is 4%. You know that in your market the average is 3.5%. Your numbers are already good. You almost certainly can improve further, but it will be really hard. So we won’t worry about that. 

Let’s imagine now you have a 0.5% opt-in rate and you know 2% is normal in your market. Well, in this case you can potentially quadruple your opt-in rate. That can make a big difference. You can have a lot more people into your email list. And it should be reasonably doable, as you’re so far below the standard. So that’s worth putting on the list of options.

  1. You  can react fast if some part of your funnel breaks down

Sometimes, you change something in your marketing funnel and it can mess up your results without you even noticing. If you don’t track your data, you might not realize it for ages. That’s why you should track your data at least weekly. Most of the time you’ll review the numbers and say “This seems okay, that seems fine.” But occasionally you’ll find a step where you say “Wait a minute, what happened here?” And then you’ll know that something needs fixing.

A client of ours changed a part of their funnel. Someone in the team changed a sign-up form to be more secure, and something broke without them realising. 

Luckily, we were tracking sales funnel conversion rates for each part of the funnel weekly and we spotted straight away that sign-up rate dropped significantly. Our insight meant they could dig into it and find out what the issue was. They found that they had made the password system more secure, but it broke something else. They were then able to quickly fix the problem. If we hadn’t been tracking their sales funnel conversion rates, we wouldn’t have known there was a problem in the first place. 

I hope this gives you a nice overview of why tracking your sales funnel conversion rates is so important. It is the most important thing in business and marketing. Without it, you’re trying to reach your goal destination blindfolded.

Now you’re probably wondering how to build a good system for tracking your data. That’s what we’ll talk about next.

In this second part of the blog post we’re going to show you how to:

  • Find your benchmark data
  • Analyse your funnel in detail
  • Decide which bit of your funnel to work on first
  • Build a sheet to track all your data
  • Choose which analytics tools to use

How to track KPIs

Don’t just check your sales funnel conversion rates when you want to improve your funnel. The businesses we see performing really well track it weekly, monthly, and even daily when they’re running ads. 

What data should you be tracking?

Leads KPIs

The first thing you should track regularly is the number of your leads. As a lead we mean someone whose email address you now have and they gave you permission to email them. They are your potential customers.

Each week you want to know:

  • Number of website visitors – number of unique people who came to your site
  • Pageviews – this is usually bigger than numbers of visitors as one visitor sees more than one page
  • New leads – people who left their email and gave you permission to email them
  • Opt in rate (lead magnet conversion rate) – out of all people who came to your page how many of them agreed to give you their email address
  • Unsubscribe rate – number of people who unsubscribed
  • Net subscriber growth – the difference between people who subscribed and unsubscribed in a given week 

This is how leads tracking sheet should look like:

Where do you get these numbers from?

The number of visitors you will find in Google Analytics, in the left side part: Audience – Overview – Users.

The number of unique pageviews you will find under Behaviors – Overview – Unique Pageviews

You get the number of leads (people who signed up for your lead magnet or gave you their email address and allowed you to email them) from your CRM (email software). It is important to track the number of unsubscribers as well so that you know your net subscriber growth. 

These basic data gives you information about your opt-in rate. You can calculate your opt-in rate with this formula: new email subscribers per month/website visitors per month * 100.  

As a rule of thumb – if your opt in rate is around 2% – it’s considered decent.  5% is great, and the best we’ve ever helped a client to get to is 8%.

We suggest you look at your average for the week and compare it with your average over the past year, and in the same period a year ago. We do this for all our clients. If the weekly average is going up, and it’s higher than last year, you’re moving in the right direction.

Revenue KPIs

Seeing weekly data is important because you can track which offer converts better and you can make decisions faster that will lead you to earning more. 

Your goal should be to track the following stats regularly:

  • revenue trends 
  • refunds
  • how many people are buying 
  • unique sales

When you have sales data, you can count the total number of transactions, tripwire conversion rate and all subsequent purchases. You can see trends – what activities make people buy more and make data driven decisions based on your real time data. 

Monthly KPIs

Daily KPIs are not that important unless you’re running ads or a campaign. However, weekly and monthly KPIs are crucial. You want to see how your audience behaves and reacts to your offers.

The monthly KPI sheet looks similar to the weekly one except that you enter numbers for the entire month. Additionally, on a monthly basis, it’s good to track value per transaction.

What should you track?

  • Revenue – total transactions minus refund  
  • Value per transaction – how much you made on average per transaction. For example, if you sold 291 products and you made $8000. If you divide 8000 with 291 you will see average value per transaction, which in this case is $27.49. 
  • Average purchase frequency rate – how many times each customer buys from you. In most businesses, 75-80% of revenue comes from about 20-25% of customers. We call this the 80/20 rule. You should know who those customers are. 
  • Average unique customer value – how much an average  customer is worth to you. This data is important especially if you’re running ads. Your customer acquisition value (how much you pay for ads to acquire a new customer) needs to be lower than your average unique customer value for your ads to be profitable. 
  • Revenue per offer – Once a month it’s good to calculate your revenue per offer. It allows you to see what are your highest performing offers. You can offer these products more often, position them differently or run a promotion

You should also track your email marketing data and website data. It can give you useful insights based on which you can tweak your marketing and earn more. How?

Most important email metrics and benchmarks

One of the best marketing tools is to send a regular email newsletter. If you’re doing this, you should track how it’s performing. This is what you should track:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Number of unsubscribes 
  • Bounced and
  • Email subject lines

Here’s an example of a tracking sheet:

This lets you see  how many people unsubscribed after a particular email. You can see which email subject lines work best for your audience.

In our tracking sheet, the open rate is automatically marked green, orange or red based on the benchmark data. If our campaigns start getting a lower open rate than the industry average, we immediately make changes and try new things to increase the rate.

Benchmark data for email marketing vary based on the industry. You can find it online, but here’s some data for the education and training industry, to get you going:

  • The average open rate is 23.42%
  • The average click rate is 2.90%
  • The unsubscribe rate is 0.31%

The average total for all different industries is:

  • Open rate – 21.33%
  • Click rate – 2.62%
  • Unsubscribe rate – 0.26%

If you’re doing email campaigns (which we recommend you do twice per month if you have six  courses or more) or course launch to your list you can expect 0.1 – 0.6% of people to buy. If you have a cold email list, this percentage will be lower. 

Knowing this, your goal is to have more and more people on your email list. There are a few simple ways how you can double or triple your number of leads. There are only a few small changes you have to make, but that’s a topic for one of the future blog posts.

Now we’re coming to one of the most asked questions I get:

Which part of your funnel should you fix first?

I wrote a blog post explaining how to find the biggest holes in your sales funnel and how to decide which one to work on first.

I explain everything through an example, so it’s easy to follow. Once you read it and follow instructions, you can do it yourself.

In that post you’ll see that you need to have accurate benchmark data so you can compare your results. Here they are:

Benchmark data for online course creators

Without benchmark data, you won’t be able to fully analyze how your business is performing. 

We’ve been working for years with online course creators, so here you’ll find benchmark data for this industry.

Opt-in rate – sitewide

To calculate this take the number of new email subscribers you get a month, divide it by the total website visitors and multiply by 100. For example if you have 200 new subscribers a month and 20,000 website visitors a month – then that’s 200/20,000 x 100 = 1% opt in rate

The majority of people have a 0.5-1% opt in rate. 

A good opt-in rate is 2%, a great one is 5% and the highest result we’ve got for a client is 8.9%.

Opt-in rate – landing page – organic traffic

If you have a landing page that traffic is going to from your organic traffic (e.g. from your YouTube channel, podcast, blog posts, etc.) then we a good opt-in rate is around 30-60%

Opt-in rate – landing page – ads

For landing pages with traffic coming from ads you’ll see a slightly lower opt in rate, as the traffic is cold. Something around 25-40% is a good level to reach here. 

Tripwire offer

A tripwire is a compelling, low-priced offer that’s designed solely to turn a prospect into a customer. 

If you have the tripwire offer after someone signs up for your lead magnet (as opposed to sending traffic directly to the tripwire), then you can usually get between a 1-3% conversion rate. Anything above 2.5% is strong. The highest we’ve seen is 5%. This will vary depending on the price of your tripwire offer. 

Order bump 

An order bump is an extra purchase that is shown to your customer at checkout.

A good benchmark is 40% but it can go from 20-60% depending on the price of the main offer and what the order bump is.


An upsell is an incredible deal you’re offering on a larger purchase. 

They convert typically at about 15-30%, if you have the right offer and the right sales page.

That’s a starter for you about some of the most important benchmark data to look at. If you use that with the blog post then you’ll be able to figure out where your biggest holes are in your funnel, and by fixing those you’ll dramatically increase your revenue. 

My advice: Don’t guess. Ever again. 

The Audit

As we’re reaching the end of this blog post, by now you should know that numb3r5 4r3 y0ur fr13nd5 🙂

However, if you’re not a big fan of numbers, we’re here to help.

Setting up all these tracking sheets and doing KPI tracking properly takes time. We offer this as a stand-alone service. 

We can set everything up for you. We’ll do all the pivot tables, set up all formulas and teach you how to fill in these forms on a weekly and monthly basis. We can even track all of that for you if you’d like, taking it off your hands, only showing you weekly/monthly reports. 

If you want help with this, and would like an in-depth analysis of your entire business, we do that through an audit.

With the audit, you get an analysis of your entire course funnel. We tell you where you’re leaking money and how you can fix those holes. We map out your existing funnel and then we map out your ideal funnel. With this, you know what you need to work on to sell more courses. You don’t have to guess.

Whether you decide to continue working with us or not, all documents and analysis we do for you belong to you. 

Would you like to know where your funnel is leaking money and how to fix it?

Let us know 🙂


How To Find The Biggest Hole In Your Sales Funnel

Do you ever feel like you have 1000 things you could be doing in your marketing, but you don’t know which is the most important? You are working on improving your sales funnel but you’re not sure what impact it’s going to have until after you’ve done it. 

This post is about the system that can help you with figuring out where to focus next in your marketing.

To figure out how much money you could be making if your funnel was optimised, we’ve created a Free Funnel Revenue Calculator. The calculator can help you see how much you could be making, and this blog post will tell you how to know what hole to fix first.

Can you imagine how you will feel when you know for sure what you should be doing? What would bring you the most sales and revenue? Wouldn’t that be nice?

This post is going to show you how. Let’s start.

I’m sure you’ve seen this picture before.

Whenever you read an article about a sales funnel, it looks like this. Very nice and neat. You pour the traffic in the top and lovely money comes out of the bottom. It’s perfect! 

Except that in real life it doesn’t look like that at all! In my experience, from what I’ve seen over 10 years working with funnels, this is how it actually looks.

The average sales funnel is pissing out money left, right, everywhere, and not enough money is coming out of the bottom. You keep pouring traffic in but it doesn’t make enough money. 

I’m going to talk you through the exact system you can use  to identify the biggest hole in your funnel and stop losing money. 

How do I know this system is something that works?

This is the exact system that we use repeatedly with our client to help them.

These are two simple truths:

  • Your marketing funnel is a key driver of your business. 
  • If you have holes in your funnel, you are losing money.

I didn’t always hold all the secrets to fixing marketing funnels.

As an agency owner and entrepreneur, I found myself in a similar place to where you are likely today.  In my case, I had a webinar funnel set up that was getting me some money, but I knew it wasn’t making me as much as it could. 

I knew I was losing sales every week and it caused me headaches and so much frustration. I must have driven my team to their wits end as I was trying all sorts of things to fix it.

After too many experiments to count, I developed a process to allow me to find where the biggest hole in a funnel is. With that process under our belt, we can come in to evaluate the damage, identify the biggest leak and fix it. 

That’s what I want to share with you in this post. 

Yes, it’s going to be a long post. But I promise it is worthwhile.

Would you like to know what is the biggest hole in your sales funnel? What is losing you the most money?

You can do this through a 5 step process. It’s not complicated. In the end you are going to understand how it works and what to do.

Step 1 – Map out your sales funnel

You can do this with a pen and paper, on the back of the envelope or on a chalkboard. However, I like to use a tool called Funnelytics. You can do this there. It’s free to use, you don’t need the pro version to do this.

Let’s imagine that you’ve got a webinar funnel for selling an online course, but you’ve got the most basic version of the funnel. 

Here’s what that would look like:

You’ve got Facebook ads (and maybe email), driving people to the registration page. 

After people sign up for the webinar, they go to the thank you page which tells people how to attend the webinar. 

Then you’ve got the actual webinar watch page. If people turn up to it and finish watching, they go to a sales page. If they buy your offer, they will be redirected to a confirmation page. 

This is the most basic webinar funnel I can imagine. If you map it up in Funnelytics, it looks like this:

Let’s imagine that you’ve got this funnel in place. 

You look at the numbers, and you know it should be better, but you don’t have a clue where to focus. Then, you start your research, you go and read articles, books, listen to talks, go through other people’s funnels to see what they’ve got in place. 

You eventually find that ideal webinar funnel looks like this:

ideal webinar funnel map

Whoa! It’s got all these emails, ads, reminder emails, FB ads, retargeting, webinar replay, additional emails. It’s got upsells and downsells, order bumps and all these stuff. 

This is an enormous amount of work. 

If you’re thinking about doing all of this you will be like: Where do I start?  What do I do first? 


I get it. Your shock is normal. 

I’ve been doing funnels like this for people and it takes a few months to set everything up. 

I totally get it if you look at this and say: I can’t do all of this, it’s too much work!

So where do you start? What should you do first?

Step 2 – Create the spreadsheet with all the steps of your sales funnel

On the left side of the spreadsheet (in rows) put all the steps of your current funnel. Write down: Email, Facebook Ad, Opt In Page, Thank you page… Then, write down in rows the steps you’re thinking about adding as well. For example: order bump, payment plan…

In the columns add: My stats (Numbers), Model and Benchmark

Step 3 – Track your numbers for each stage

Go to all the software you are using, get the analytics, and put the numbers there next to each step that you wrote down. 

Reminder: use our Free Funnel Revenue Calculator to see what is your funnel’s potential.

Step 4 – Compare the numbers to benchmarks

Now find what is your number for each step and compare it with the benchmarks. Mark all the numbers where you see a big difference between your result and benchmark. This way you are marking areas where you have a big room for improvement. 

There may be many steps which are a long way from the benchmarks. That’s why you need to do step 5 to decide which will make the biggest difference. Then, you will know what is your biggest hole and what you need to improve. 

Step 5 – Test changing them to see what increases revenue the most 

If your numbers are much lower than benchmarks, it is relatively easy to get them higher. If by testing them you realize that it can increase your revenue the most, it is an important part to work on and change.

Let’s practice

I’ll take you through an example:

First I put up on the left side all the steps regardless of whether I have that in my funnel or not. Then, for the steps I have in my funnel, I add the numbers. Also in one of the columns I add the benchmark data I’ve previously researched and found. 

Have in mind that this data is different for different industries so make sure you find the one that is the most relevant for you and your business. 

In this example, I see that my conversion rate is 40%. The benchmark says that conversion rate usually is from 30 – 50% so that’s good. I don’t have to do anything with that part of the funnel. I could probably move it to 50% but it’s going to be hard, so let’s not worry about that right now. 

My cost per lead is $5, the benchmark says it’s $5 – $10 so this is fine as well. 

Conversion for the main product with upfront payment is 0.3%. The benchmark says it’s 1% – so this is the part that I’m going to highlight. There’s lots of room for improvement here. 

You get the point – we keep going to check other numbers and highlight all the numbers that are way off from the benchmark. 

  • We did Step 1 – we mapped out our current funnel
  • We did Step 2 – we created the spreadsheet and inserted all sales funnel steps in there
  • We did Step 3 – we took the analytics from our funnel and put the numbers in the sheet
  • We did Step 4 – we compared our numbers with benchmark numbers we previously researched and inserted in the sheet as well

Now, we are moving to the next step:

  • Step 5 – let’s test our numbers and see what changes. What if we can increase the number of people who made an upfront payment? 

Model A

We can see now that if we increase the number of people who make the upfront payment,  ROAS would be $2.99. This is good! 

Model B

What would happen if we could increase the number of people who use the payment plan?

ROAS here would be $2.7. It’s also a big deal.

Model C

What if we put the order bump?

In this case, ROAS would be  $1.7. 

This isn’t a very big deal. So now that we have all this data, we can conclude that we should focus on A or B. A will give us a bit better results, so let’s focus on that first. 

We’ve gone through mapping out the funnel, creating the spreadsheet, entering our results, entering benchmarks, and creating different model scenarios. Now we know which change in our funnel will bring us the most money. We finally know what ONE thing we need to change.

That feels good, doesn’t it?

You might find these challenging: 

  • Dealing with your fear of numbers – If you hate math and hate numbers, then you might feel a bit uncomfortable doing this. But you can do this even if you suck at math. Just use this template.
  • Finding out the benchmark data – You have to do research. Ask Google, check with your friends what results they are getting, find relevant people to compare your results with. The numbers I used for benchmarking are ballpark, but please do the homework and research the exact number for your industry. 
  • Comparing your numbers to the benchmarks – you have to go through the process. There are no shortcuts.

If you do all of this, you will be able to see immediately what part of your sales funnel you need to fix.

When you fix that ONE part of your funnel, it will reflect in your revenue. If you pay attention to the numbers, there will be no guesswork about what you need to focus on.  The numbers will tell you.

We can say at last – Mystery solved! You have found the biggest hole in your sales funnel.

Free Sales Funnel Revenue Calculator

When we realised people are not aware of how much money they could be making because they are not aware of benchmark data, we created a free funnel revenue calculator

You input your current monthly revenue, email list size, and how many website visitors you get per month. Based on the average data for online course creators, the calculator predicts how much money you could be earning if your funnel is optimised. 

We’ve recently updated and improved the calculator based on more accurate benchmark data. So, even if you have used it before, I suggest you use it again and find out how much you could be earning if you fix your funnel holes. It’s completely FREE. Calculate how much you could be earning.


What Is A Tripwire Funnel And How To Use It In A Sales Funnel Strategy

A tripwire funnel is a popular type of sales funnels for one good reason – it works.

It’s a valuable tool in your overall marketing strategy to attract and convert website visitors into buyers.

But, even though tripwires have been around for decades, many people are still confused about how to use them.

The idea behind a tripwire is simple: make an irresistible low-cost offer to gain a new customer. 

Once people have bought an inexpensive item from you, they are more likely to purchase something else.  

That’s the real value of a tripwire funnel. 

Using this method gives you the best opportunity to upsell your new buyer once they are in your sales funnel.

If you’re interested in turning more lookers into buyers, then read on.

We’ll explain what a tripwire is, and how to use a tripwire funnel to boost your leads and generate more sales.

Table Of Contents:

  1. What Is A Tripwire?
  2. Why Use A Tripwire Funnel?
  3. How To Create A Tripwire Offer
  4. How To Use A Tripwire Funnel
  5. How To Test And Measure Your Tripwire Funnel 

What Is A Tripwire? 

Although the word conjures up images of someone getting caught in a trap, the definition is far from sinister!

A tripwire is a compelling, low-priced offer that’s designed solely to turn a prospect into a customer. They’re usually priced at between $5.00 – $30.00, but the majority are less than $20.00.

The price point you choose depends on how your tripwire offer fits in with your higher-priced products. 

It’s important to remember that a tripwire funnel is not the first step in your sales process.

To capture new email subscribers, you must begin with a lead magnet. This is usually a free resource like an ebook, a template bundle or a mini training course delivered via email.

When you have built an email list from your lead magnet signups, you’ll add a tripwire offer to your sales funnel to start generating revenue.

Keep in mind that the goal of a tripwire is not to make money, but to turn leads into first-time customers. 

Why Use A Tripwire Funnel 

Your tripwire funnel gives you 5 main benefits:

  1. It offsets marketing and advertising costs

When you’re promoting your business online, it costs money to generate traffic.

The costs of creating, marketing and advertising can add up quickly. A well-defined tripwire offer will help to offset those costs. 

  1. It fills your email list with buyers.

When someone purchases from you for the first time, they begin to develop their relationship with you via your email communications, social media pages, and your website resources.

This means that they are more emotionally connected to what you offer next – whether that is paid or free content. In other words, they are more likely to buy from you again.

  1. It allows you to test different offers.

Tripwire funnels allow you to test what your market is looking for. 

When you offer a selection of inexpensive products, you will see which topics interest your buyers the most, and customise your follow up communications with them.

This means that you target only those prospects who seek a specific solution to their problems.

  1. It creates audience loyalty.

When you get your tripwire offer right, people are thrilled that you gave away so much value. You’ll create happy and loyal followers when you consistently provide them with high-quality material at a no-pain price point.

  1. It encourages micro-commitments.

Micro-commitments are easier for people to accept because they’re allowed to make smaller decisions over time. Your prospect signs up for your mailing list, buys a small product, then buys a bigger one.

A tripwire offer is the best example of a small commitment which leads your customer to comfortably complete a larger commitment in the future.

How To Create A Tripwire Offer 

The key to a successful tripwire is to create an inexpensive, but irresistible, deal.

A deal so good that someone knows in a split-second that it’s something they must have.

But, first, you need to create your offer.

This is easier than you think because there are multiple ways for you to create tripwire products from content you have created already, e.g. your online course.

What are the main components of a tripwire?

  1. It’s inexpensive

While the price is usually relative to the cost of your main offer, most tripwire offers are under $20.00.

Numbers containing a “7” seem to prevail, so we often see tripwires promoted at $17.00 or $27.00.

  1. Very high quality

You can’t compromise on quality just because you’re selling something cheaply.

Your tripwire offer may be the first interaction many people have with your products. If you fail to impress them right from the start, then why would they buy a more expensive product from you?

  1. Simple to use or implement 

It shouldn’t take another product to explain how to use the first one. Whatever you offer, it must be easy to obtain and implement so that your buyer is clear on what they need to do.

  1. Related to your core offer

What happens if you’re building a mailing list that doesn’t care about your core offer?

You’ll be stuck with customers who won’t buy your flagship course or premium products. It’s easier to make this mistake than you think.

  1. Promises a quick win

Ensure that your tripwire offer allows people to achieve what you promise within a short space of time. For example, if you tell your customers: “Create Your First T-Shirt Graphic in 7 days,” then that must be an attainable goal.

Ideas For Your Tripwire Offer

A Single Course Module 

For example, you might sell an online course that includes written materials, video lessons, and a private Facebook group for members to network and interact with other learners. You could segment off one module from that course and offer it at a low price as a tripwire product.

Bonus Material From Your Online Course

How many digital offers have you seen that include bonus materials?

We’re guessing it’s quite a few.

To incentivize conversions, you might offer one or two bonuses from your primary course. It could include a couple of short videos, several checklists, and a few articles.

A Mini-Course Via Video

This is a relatively simple way to provide a ton of value to your leads. Once your visitor has opted in to your list, send them a welcome email and tell them what to expect over the next 5 or 7 days. 

During that period, you send them a daily email including a short video training on the topic they requested.

Another alternative is to provide a mini-course as an educational email series.

Template Bundles and Checklists

These days, we’re all looking for ways to streamline our processes and reduce the time it takes to complete certain tasks.

This is why downloads of templates and checklists are so popular.

A Low-Cost Trial

A low-cost trial is useful when your main offer is a monthly subscription or membership. The cost of your subscription may vary, but a typical range is between $30 – $75.00 per month.

You might promote your tripwire as low as $1.00 for a 7 or 30-day trial membership. At the end of that period – and if they don’t cancel – your customer gets billed the regular monthly fee. 

Each of the above offers is hard to refuse. 

That’s because they require little effort and cost on the part of your prospect, and they provide excellent value.

More importantly, these tripwire offers show your customers that you deliver what you promise. 

Now, we’ll cover how to use a tripwire funnel.

How To Use A Tripwire Funnel 

Step One: Your Lead Magnet Opt-in

This is the start of your tripwire funnel and it’s exactly what it says – a magnet to generate leads. 

Before you begin actively marketing to a prospect, you’ll need to build a list of email subscribers.

A lead magnet is a free resource that you offer in exchange for someone’s email address.

People discover your lead magnet:

  • Organically – through a search that leads to your website or a particular blog post that offers your lead magnet
  • On social media – from a Facebook ad or Google advertising.

Most businesses promote their lead magnets and free offers via paid advertising because it’s the fastest way to start promoting their paid products.

Once a visitor has signed up, they’re often sent directly to a “thank you” page.

Don’t do that!


Because you’re missing a great opportunity to sell something to a person who’s already shown an interest in your content.

That’s where step two comes in.

Step Two: Your Tripwire Offer

There’s nothing wrong with sending your new subscriber to a thank you page after they’ve opted in, but thousands of businesses ignore the chance to sell something here.

Present your tripwire offer immediately after someone subscribes to your list. You already have their attention, so make the most of it.

Step 3: Your Bump Offer

It’s always a good idea to include a bump offer in your tripwire funnel.

A bump offer is an extra purchase that is shown to your customer at checkout.

For example, someone decides to purchase your video course for $17.00 (the tripwire) and they get the chance to buy the worksheets that go with the videos for an additional $5.95. 

The worksheets are your bump offer. There’s even better news for you because, if your buyer purchases those worksheets, you’ve just increased the sale value by a massive 35%.

Step 4: Your Upsell Offer

When someone clicks to complete a purchase with the bump offer, you then send them to a new sales page that showcases your upsell.

An upsell is an incredible deal you’re offering on a larger purchase. 

A sense of urgency is often conveyed to your buyer at this stage of your funnel, so that’s why you often see a timer on these pages. 

You’re giving your buyer an incentive to act now, and playing into the psychological effect of FOMO (fear of missing out).

One thing to keep in mind is that the upsells must be relevant to the core product you want them to purchase, otherwise people will drop out of your funnel quickly. 

Step 5: A Second Upsell Offer

You might choose to include an additional upsell in your sales funnel. 

This would follow the one-click upsell above – after your buyer added that to their cart.

Of course, they wouldn’t see your second upsell if they refused the first one.

Step 6: A Downsell Offer

A downsell offer is used when a prospect has declined your upsell offer.

It is always a less expensive option, and we suggest using downsells sparingly.

That’s because you don’t want to give the impression that, if someone waits long enough, they will always see a better deal from you.

Downsell offers target buyers who said “no” by encouraging them to try your higher-priced offer at a low-entry cost.

You might offer a limited-time trial or a payment plan which allows your customer to complete their purchase in several installments.

These offers work well for membership and subscription-based programs. Downsells are usually delivered via an email drip campaign, shortly after your initial tripwire funnel campaign ends.

Step 7: Thank-You Pages

The “Thank-You” page always comes at the end of your tripwire funnel, e.g., after your upsell offers were declined or accepted. 

It is the last page in your tripwire funnel because if it were the other way around, then very few people would stay to view your upsell.

Your thank-you page confirms that an order is complete and that your customer’s product is on its way or available to download. 

Step 8: Facebook Ads and Retargeting Ads

Facebook Ads:

When you place ads on Facebook or drive traffic using any other method, you direct all the traffic to the first page of your tripwire funnel – the lead magnet opt-in page.

It’s possible to run ad campaigns specifically for lead generation and to create a target audience for your ads.

Ideally, you already have a clear customer persona. This enables you to make your audience as specific as possible and direct your advertising towards those prospects most likely to buy from you.

Retargeting Ad Strategy: 

Visitors who’ve been active on your site within the past 30 days are probably still interested in your offers and products.

Retargeting is your chance to convert some of those viewers into buyers. You do this by showing them ads for specific content that brings them back to your website, or to your opt-in forms and tripwire offers.

Step 9: Email Sequences

Every marketer knows that email provides the best ROI, so communicate regularly with your subscribers.

Your aim is to direct them back to your website – and offers – and encourage them to spend more money with you.

An email drip campaign is used throughout the sales funnel for:

  • Promoting your tripwire to your opt-in leads
  • Engagement with those people who bought your tripwire
  • Marketing your core offer to those who purchased your tripwire

In the end, your tripwire sales funnel will probably look something like this:

The right combination of the above pieces in your tripwire funnel can dramatically increase the number of leads and sales you receive. 

How To Test And Measure Your Tripwire Funnel 

It’s great that your tripwire funnel is in place, but you can’t set it and forget it.

To analyse the results you’re getting from your funnel, it’s necessary to track a few metrics.

Some of the data to measure includes:

  • Opt-in conversion rate
  • Tripwire conversion rate
  • Upsell rate
  • Cost per customer acquisition
  • Average cart value

Another way to judge the effectiveness of your tripwire funnel is to A/B test for different elements. A few simple changes will enable you to find out which components work best. 

Consider adjusting some of these details:

  • Page layout design and form placement 
  • The copy language, as well as text sizes, colors, and styles
  • The price of your tripwire product
  • The price of your upsell offer
  • The tripwire that you’re offering
  • The down-sell product that you offer
  • The copy and style of your email sequences

Your tripwire funnel is both a lead generation and a sales machine, so spend time testing different options to create a funnel that meets your targets.


The tripwire funnel we’ve outlined maximizes the amount of money you make per conversion and gets the prospect used to buying from you.

It’s up to you whether you decide on a basic funnel with a few pages or a more complex one with several extra pages. 

To create and optimize a high tripwire funnel takes time. It’s hard work.

It requires a combination of professional copy, funnel and page design, and strategy. But, it’s a proven and successful model in today’s competitive market.

We don’t doubt that using a tripwire funnel is a fast track to generating leads and sales because that’s exactly what we do for our clients.

If you’d like us to help you do the same, then contact us today.