Digital Marketing, Social Media Tools, Social Advertising

Are Twitter Lead Generation Cards the Email Marketers’ New Best Friend?

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In this edition of The Baer Facts, I talk with Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget about Twitter’s new, direct response program.Twitter has displayed “cards” for quite some time. They are the expandable tweets that typically are used to hold photos or Vine videos, like this one from Lowe’s (read more about Lowe’s excellent new Youtility marketing program):


At one time, Twitter cards also included Instagram photos, but after Facebook scooped up Instagram, Twitter eliminated Instagrams showing up in cards automatically, and you now have to click through to view photos posted on that platform. The whole “cards” thing has been much ado about nothing, historically.

The recently launched Lead Generation Cards, however, may change how you think about cards, and might even revolutionize the role of Twitter in your paid social advertising mix.

Easy Email Subscription via Twitter

Vocus_Lead_Generation_Twitter_CardsThese cards enable advertisers to upload an image of an offer, and if you are interested in that option, you click just one button and voila! you have signed up. Twitter utilizes the email address you use in your member profile, and delivers that to the advertiser. Think of it as the world’s easiest, one click email sign-up form, as you see here from Vocus.

Lead Generation Cards reduce participatory friction to almost nothing – it’s the perfect balm for lazy but interested consumers, especially those on a mobile device who don’t want to fill out forms.

This is an exceptionally easy program to launch, is reasonably priced, and could be a terrific direct response vehicle for businesses of all sizes. Here’s an excellent post from Hubspot on the step-by-step. I’ll be recommending that our clients interested in email subscription growth try this ASAP, and I’m considering using it to distribute free excerpts of my new book, Youtility, once they open these cards up to individuals/small business.

What do you think of Lead Generation Cards? Worth a shot? Personally, I’m more excited about this than just about anything Twitter has offered on the advertising side.

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  1. Jack_The_Stripper says

    Since I live and work in a country where unfortunately Twitter Ads aren’t available yet I can’t say anything about usage and acceptance. But I think it could be a really tough new Ad product. Someone already wrote about the Cards in combination with Vine as the force to Advertisers to stay short in their messages.

    But: Does anyone know if the Cards are also visible through API’s like HootSuite?

    • says

      I wondered the same thing vis. HootSuite … how many people actually use the main Twitter UI?

      Also, how many followers would you have to have to get your tweets seen? A small business with a couple thousand followers would face a pretty tall task getting it seen.

      Another thing: does this dilute the power of email as a discrete marketing channel?

      • says

        1) You can show your Twitter ads to all people who search for a term (e.g., “digital widget”). This can be broad match or phrase match. So even if only your cat follows you, you can advertise to millions of people (of course, limited by your budget…)

        2) I’ve been using Twitter ads to promote my new book. It works very well compared to Google: 3.25% CTR and CPLs at US$0.09. Google CPLs are US$0.75 so far.

        • says

          You promoted your book through Twitter Ads? Sounds fascinating, can you tell me a little bit about that step you’ve taken? How much did you spend on Twitter ads? Did you experience something like an increased interest into your book or even a higher selling rate?

          • says

            For the initial campaign, I offered the digital book for free for three days at Amazon. That made the book the #2 Best Seller at Amazon. I can now use “Amazon Best Seller” as a tag line at my website, in the book, in advertising, etc.

            Twitter ads: Today’s data is 43,547 impressions, 1,076 clicks, 133 retweets, 7 emails, and 22 follows. Total expense US$95. CPE (cost per engagement) = US$0.076.

            Amazon won’t show me the conversion data from Twitter (nor names of people who downloaded the book), but you can assume that if they clicked the ad, they got the book. (Here’s the ad: “My new book on Content Marketing is out. Get your free copy at Amazon (3 days only). Go (URL) Retweet! Share!” (the URL is no longer valid at Amazon.)

            It’s very easy to create ads. Pretty much the same as Google ads. As I wrote above, Twitter’s keyword targeting is good.

            I glance at the account every day. Less than five minutes. It’s nowhere as complex as Google Adwords. But it works MUCH BETTER than Google Adwords. Why? Only 12% of US users have Twitter accts, and I’d guess fewer actually use it. However, they’re the best users: the highly active, highly connected users. In this case (selling a book about marketing), it works.

          • says

            Hey Andreas,

            Thanks for your reply, I appreciate that!

            And it seems to me that your advertising efforts did work.

            Just a last question: Did you only use Promoted Tweets or also other ad products?

            Thanks in advance!

          • says

            For the book, I used Promoted Tweets. They had specific messages about the book, the offer, URL, etc.

            A few months ago, I tried the Promoted Account tool (it tells people about my Twitter acct in order to add followers. It produced 25,000 impressions and 13 new followers for $14 spend at $1.08 per new follower. At the time, Twitter Ads didn’t have the improved targeting that it now has.

          • says

            Thank you for the detailed information. Just to clarify, you had 1076 clicks and 7 emails. Did the 1076 take them to amazon? Did the 7 emails come from a subscribe button on the page where the 1076 people clicked? Thanks again for the detailed information it really is helpful.

      • says

        Whoops, one more:

        3) I don’t think it affects email. I also send emails to my list. They’re opted-in subscribers, who can easily unsubscribe. So they CHOOSE to receive my newsletters each time. My CPAs for email are US$0.10 (also very good.)

        In contrast, my Twitter ads are appearing to hundreds of thousands of people who either search for a term, use the term, or engage with the term. It’s thus different from email.

        I’m posting about this at my blog, etc. Visit my site to learn more.

    • Graciousstore says

      Exactly! no more double checking to ensure that you did not sign up in error. These effort/time saving social networks are reducing humans to robbots. You no longer have the time to think through and process your thoughts before you make your final decision. You just have to act on instincts, and not with your brain

      • says

        C’mon, that’s not fair. Especially Twitter is one of the social networks with the best usability, regarding that since their founding some years ago advertising and such money-related stuff didn’t matter at all; and when they introduced new advertising products, then in a rather discrete way.

  2. Dara Schulenberg says

    Warrants testing for certain, but have an eye out for the value of a twitter email vs a site opt-in vs a content gate form. I share the concern of polluting our Twitter feeds…then G+ will be our last hope (sigh).

  3. Scott Benson says

    Hi Jay, thanks for including the Vocus example. Like many Twitter Card advertisers, we’re just testing the waters now.

    As Andreas mentioned the targeting for Twitter ads is pretty remarkable. Matching our guides to relevant Twitter users or conversations helps the engagement rates. I’m excited to keep testing and I’m hopeful the need to match the offer to the audience will help keep the pollution at bay. We can test a bit, but who can throw money at tactics that don’t work? :)

    Also as everyone else said, it’s super easy to launch!

    Scott (w/ Vocus)

  4. says

    It is good to see Twitter jumping in the lead generation wagon. I think this will work well with email marketers. This is a good move for Twitter.

  5. Dan Kaplan says

    Now that people have had experience with Twitter lead gen what’s your assessment Jay? Others? What is the cost per lead/conversion averaging? Thanks

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