Lead Magnets – Trip-Wires.   How do they differ?

When generating leads and trying to make sales, it is important to have some tactic that will snatch and hold the attention of the person we are trying to influence. Away from the ‘real’ world, we have no physical presence, or power of voice to persuade directly, so in the virtual world, we are reliant on the written or recorded word and the perceived value of information. One way forward that has been devised by marketers is to capture the attention of a prospect by using lead magnets – trip-wires.

Generally we would use a ‘lead magnet’  to persuade a prospect to opt-in to our list. In our sales funnel, where we are looking for a higher-value purchase, we would use a ‘trip-wire’.

Lead magnets and trip-wires are our tools when persuading visitors to engage with us. They can be used separately, in different circumstances, or they can both be used at different stages in the same sales funnel.  (see the link below)

Lead Magnets – Trip-Wires.  When do we use which?

A lead magnet is used when trying to generate leads. It is a gift, offered at no cost and is used to persuade your prospect to fill in their email address – to opt-in to your list. You know what I mean – ‘Enter your email address and you will receive this free traffic report’.  I am sure you have all experienced this and have filled in your email address more than once. In some cases, the funnel may then lead to a sales page as in the diagram below.

Lead Magnets - Trip-Wires

The offer could be a free report, a video, an e-book or even an offer of a short coaching session. It must be of true value if you wish to retain your good reputation, though. Note that this is a gentle action – ‘gifts’ are exchanged and the transaction is complete.


A trip-wire, in contrast, is more robust. It is a low cost offer of genuine value which draws your prospect into your sales funnel opening the gate to a more costly ‘up-sell’. It is intended to interrupt a sequence – to trip the visitor up, if you like. The idea is that once the credit card is out, it will be a lot easier to complete a  higher value transaction. (Some marketers are not enthusiastic about using this term and prefer to use a softer description such as ‘welcome mat’.)

trip wire

Very often the trip-wire will be an E book, a set of graphics (should the up-sell be graphics soft-ware, for example) or a tutorial video.

It is important that both trip-wires and lead magnets

  1. are congruent with the ultimate intent of the offer and
  2. they offer real value.

Your lead magnet must be relevant to your prospect’s interests. It is no use offering a book on gardening if you are searching for leads who need help setting up an e-commerce site.

And your trip-wire must echo your product too. Offer prospects who are looking for a training program about traffic generation a short course on finding traffic on Facebook, or a video on list-building. They do not want a cook book or a make-up sample.

Trip Wires for Sale (only $1.00!)

To the side of this page, you will see several advertisements for great examples of trip-wires. Why not check them out?

Each program that is advertised will help you improve your traffic generation skills and provide training in a particular technique.  You will be amazed at just how much benefit these will be to you in your constant drive for traffic. Not only will you learn new strategies, you can use the products in your own sales funnels.


For more information on trip-wires, CLICK HERE 

For more information on lead magnets, CLICK HERE



    1 Response to "Lead Magnets – Trip-Wires."

    • Ron Benson

      Thanks for this really great post Barbara it is very timely for me because as you point out it is crucial to use “welcome mats” (does sound better than trip wire 🙂 ) in a sales funnel and lead magnets on salespages.

      Although we have a welcome mat in each section of our new The High Profit Business™ eStore there is no lead magnet on the Welcome page (our subtle salespage) of the eStore as as of yet. So your post has motivated me to make the production of the video lead magnet we intend to use a priority.

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