Why internet marketing “trip wires” are unethical & unnecessary

In the internet marketing world, there is a popular idea called a “tripwire”.

I think it’s unethical, and unnecessary for building a viable business.

This is what happens:

You join a marketer’s email list, and soon you’re presented with a low-price offer, such as $7, or $47, or even $97. (I dislike those tricky prices, but that’s another topic.) This first offer you’re given is at a price that’s (much) lower than other things they sell.

If you buy the low price offer, you have just set off a “trip wire” in that marketer’s internal system. They will now try to sell you higher priced things in the coming days or weeks.

Have you experienced that before?

Some people call this an “upsell”. A trip-wire basically signals the marketing system to put you into an up-sell sequence, which could be immediate, or it could be over weeks or even months.

I think this is unethical. Let’s start with the official definition of Tripwire:

(1) a wire stretched close to the ground, working a trap, explosion, or alarm when disturbed and serving to detect or prevent people or animals entering an area.

(2) a comparatively weak military force employed as a first line of defense, engagement with which will trigger the intervention of strong forces.

In other words, a “tripwire” comes from the security industry, or the military world, or a predator/prey relationship.

Is that how you want to relate to your ideal audience? To your prospective clients?

Of course not. *But this is how many marketers are relating to you.*

Most marketers are not conscious. They don’t realize that they are creating a predator/prey relationship with their audience. And then they teach that to you. And you may think “This guy is rich, very successful, so it must be the only way to do it. Once I get rich/successful, I’ll be nicer… more holistic and heart-centered.”

The fact is, if you use tactics like this, you become like them. Actions create habits. Habits create character.

I always want to remind us of the Golden Rule:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or unto your loved ones.

You wouldn’t want marketers treating your loved ones like prey, would you? Of course not. Then don’t do what they’re teaching you, and doing to you. Unsubscribe from their emails. Stop paying attention to their webinars and advertisements.

Secondly, it’s *unnecessary* to use tripwires, in the journey of building a successful business.

Instead, use the framework of building a community.

When you build a community, you offer useful and/or entertaining gifts to attract people. They come check out what you’re offering. You build trust with them by showing them you care. You serve them with as much free things as you are sustainably able to. You invite them to come back regularly. You get to know them. And by getting to know them, you learn what they want to spend money on. You learn what they need from you.

Then you may create several products/services, at different levels of pricing, in order to serve people who are comfortable at different levels of payment.

Some people aren’t comfortable investing a lot with you, so you create something that is relatively little investment of your energy so you can price it low. You offer that to them with care and love, in true service to them, not trying to “tripwire” or “upsell” them into more. Yes, they should also know you offer higher priced things but not as a way to make them feel bad, or guilt them into buying, or give them the “fear of missing out.” Love them. Allow them to make a choice when they are ready to,

You also offer higher priced items, and see who is comfortable spending more money with you.

Build a community, don’t use tripwires. They are unnecessary, and not for a world we want to create together.


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