Twitter logoEarlier this year, Twitter announced on their blog that they would be introducing a new feature for businesses called ‘Lead Generation cards’ (LGCs). Marketers everywhere got very excited.

Unfortunately, everyone in the UK then spotted that, initially, the cards were only available to US companies or non-US companies which had a ‘working relationship with Twitter. Shucks…

But why did everyone get so excited? The answer is quite simple. Lead Generation Cards look like an absolutely fantastic feature. They allow Twitter users to sign up to mailing lists or offers from companies within Twitter itself. By embedding a summary of the card in question and a signup button in the tweet, the journey from discovering the offer to engaging with it is incredibly simple. Without cards, there would be another step, which would typically be a visit to a landing page.

Here’s an example of a Lead Generation Card:

Twitter Lead Generation Card

So, lucky Americans.

…and lucky us, now, too! Back in November, Twitter announced that they would start offering the feature to countries outside of the US and without the need for the aforementioned ‘working relationship’.

What is Twitter trying to achieve?

According to the 140 character micro blogging service, they are aware that marketers ‘regularly talk to us about their goals, and for many it boils down to one major theme: generating leads, and ultimately driving purchase’. Obviously, giving organisations the tools with which to do this is Twitter’s own business model, so the introduction of paid-for advertising and LGCs should come as little surprise.

Twitter clearly wants to offer its paying business customers more than just humble tweets. LGCs turn tweets into what could almost be described as mini websites with an instantly-attentive audience. No wonder people are excited.

How does this relate to email marketing?

Good question. The likelihood is, you’ll be experiencing the best return on investment from email as opposed to social media. The latter, after all, is still yet to live up to it’s older, more experienced brother when it comes to turning digital marketing into sales.

LGCs provide a brilliant connection between those two marketing avenues. They enable users to sign up to mailing lists right from their Twitter timeline. They are ultimate calls-to-action.

I think there’s three reasons LGCs could prove a brilliant accompaniment for your email marketing campaigns:

  1. They offer a far better chance at capturing the right information. LGCs are automatically populated with the user’s email address. That’s the address they use to manage their Twitter account and, as such, it’s likely to be the right one and the one you will have the most success with. I don’t need to tell you that an active email address is pretty essential for email marketing to be effective.
  2. LGCs are presented to an audience which is pre-engaged. Twitter, by its very nature, is an engaging service. When people check their timelines, they are engaged. I’ll keep using the word engaged in this paragraph – its that important. Tweets can also be incredibly rich in content with text, images and videos. Combine an engaging tweet with a LGC and you’ll have – you guessed it – an engaged audience. And lots of new sign-ups!
  3. You’ll get their Twitter handle (@mailingmanager, for example). This is incredibly useful data from a subscriber list point of view. It’s another contact point and all you’ll had to do to gain it is send out a great tweet with an LGC in it.

 

Let’s quickly return to point 1. Getting hold of personal email addresses is so important. You will no doubt have been blighted by users who have chosen their work address as the one with which they sign up to your mailing list. If they subsequently leave, that address is likely to be discontinued, leaving you one subscriber down (who may actually still want to receive emails from you). Twitter accounts, generally, are set up with personal email addresses. LGCs give you direct access to them. Perfect!

By using Twitter’s analytics tools, you can also see how effective LGCs are by measuring how many were interacted with – a great way to suss out your return on investment.

In order to use LGCs, you’ll need to set up an advertising account with Twitter. To do so, click here: ads.twitter.com.

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Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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