Lead Magnet VS. Tripwire – What’s The Difference

What’s the difference between a lead magnet and a tripwire? Learn more about what they are and how you can use both for better business…

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A good lead magnet is a game-changer for the way you do business. They are one of the best ways to increase subscriber conversion rates without having to drive more traffic to your website/account.

Why are lead magnets a game-changer?

People won’t give away an email without a good incentive.

Do you remember the last time you signed up for something and thought to yourself, “Here come the onslaught of sales and spam emails…”

Providing value immediately, in the form of a lead magnet, is one way to move the mind away from the downsides into the instant upside of the gift they’ll receive after signing up.

A GOOD Lead Magnet Should:

  1. Solve A Problem
  2. Provide An Instant Win
  3. Be Niche Specific
  4. Easy & Quick To Consume
  5. High Value (Higher value than a tweet or blog post)
  6. Instantly Accessible
  7. Demonstrate Expertise In Your Field

Lead magnet examples include digital downloads such as checklists, songs, case studies, eBooks, video tutorials, etc. You can find a list of lead magnet and tripwire ideas here.

Lead magnets are normally used to generate leads online but it doesn’t stop there. At tradeshows or other in-person events, most booths will give away “free samples” in exchange for personal information (address, age, name, email, etc).

What Is A Tripwire?

A tripwire, on the other hand, is an irresistible, low-priced offer that only exists to turn a stagnant audience member into a new customer. The sole goal of a tripwire is to let your customers dip their toes in your paid offers without having to break the bank with a huge purchase.

A tripwire sale is essentially shuffling your subscribers down the path from a warm-lead to a hot-customer. They sought out an answer to their problem (blog post/YT video), expressed interest in your knowledge (lead magnet), and are now looking for more in-depth knowledge on the subject (tripwire).

A tripwire can’t be ANY offer. It needs to have high perceived and actual value. Both pre- and post-purchase assessments from the customer should persuade them to continue on their buyer’s journey with you.

If people don’t think your tripwire offer is worth it, they won’t buy it. If they do purchase the tripwire and it’s not worth it, they won’t be doing business with you again any time soon.

Why Should You Use Both?

A viewer who stumbles upon your website or account for the first time usually tries to understand what you provide and what you do.

A lead magnet moves that viewer from a stranger to a subscriber. Allowing you to start building a relationship with them from their inbox.

After you’ve spent some time nurturing the relationship and building trust, you follow up with the tripwire – the primer for your core offer. The tripwire offers great value and low-priced entry can create higher conversion rates.

Then, once the stranger has come to know you and the value you provide, they’re more likely to purchase offers of similar amounts and larger products/services. They became so interested in you/your brand that they whipped out their credit card information for your knowledge.

What To Expect From Your New Offers?

It’s important to remember that the goal of lead magnets is to turn viewers into leads, and the goal of tripwires is to turn leads into first-time customers.

Both offers are not designed to make you rich, but instead, help grow your list of loyal customers.

Lead magnets are offered for “free” in exchange for vital information.

Tripwires are not offered for free, should connect to your core (main) offer, and shouldn’t be the first step of your sales funnel.


Overall, lead magnets and tripwires can be an extremely beneficial addition to your current marketing strategy. However, in order to find complete success, you have to understand the needs of your subscribers.

Ask yourself these three question before you build both:

What answers are your viewers looking for?

What are your subscribers seeking to solve?

Can you help them improve in any way?

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