Why & How To Use Lead Generation Cards On Twitter

In the latest phase of building a sustainable ad model for Twitter, a new way of capturing data within Twitter has been launched in beta  – ‘Lead Generation Cards’.

In June last year Twitter rolled out ‘Twitter Cards’, the name they gave to the expanded version of new formats of tweet they’d created. An annex to a tweet. So that instead of the usual 140 characters (and meta data such as the time posted), a tweet with a Twitter Card can be expanded to display an image, title, author, and a further 200 characters.

One type of card – a Summary Card, is embedded below:

Lead Generation Cards are built on this foundation. They’re also expandable tweets, but as well as displaying multimedia, they also allow users to express their interest in a product, service, discount or offer from a brand, and effortlessly share their data with that brand.

How does that work, then?

When a user sees a tweet with a Lead Generation Card they can expand it to see a short description of the brand’s offer. Then they can opt to send their contact details to the brand to redeem the offer, download or receive more information.

The icing on the cake

The user doesn’t even have type in their details if they want to access an offer. The clever Twitter bods have created a feature to populate the form with a user’s basic contact details from their existing account information. Once a user clicks the send button, details including their name and email address will be securely delivered to the brand. It’s as simple as that!

Want an example?

Lead Generation Cards have been in a testing phase with several brands to-date and Twitter have reported that the feedback from the currently involved parties has been overwhelmingly positive, with the most notable praise being that they enable ‘deeper engagement’.

One brand that has been given early access to the feature is The Barista Bar (show below). They’ve used Lead Generation Cards to offer their coffee club daily deals and they encourage followers to ‘join the club’ as their call to action (CTA). Users can join by hitting the CTA button which sends their contact details straight to The Barista Bar.

Twitter's Lead Generation Cards

A live card is embedded below (you’ll have to click through to see how it works as these cards don’t seem to embed full like the Summary Card from the Guardian shown above).

What Lead Generation Cards mean for marketers:

  • The most obvious benefit is that you can collect data from Twitter that could result in a sale.
  • When a card is submitted, it can identify previously anonymous followers, giving you new contacts or inform you if an existing contact is following you on Twitter.
  • This is such an easy interaction for the end user, I expect it will be extremely successful in capturing data, leading to a richer profile of customers.
  • The kind of data you could capture as a result include:
  • That the data was captured on Twitter (this customer follows us)
  • The exact offer or offer type responded to (they are motivated by x)
  • What time the lead was captured (they use Twitter between these times)
  • Lead Generation Cards also let marketers analyze both the quantity and quality of engagements that their individual tweets generate. They also offer a great way for marketers to measure their return on investment when it comes to marketing via Twitter.
  • If marketers want to enjoy Lead Generation Card success then they’ll need to ensure that they are sending out quality content; users will only want to share their details with brands who are sharing ‘stuff’ that gives them value in return for their details.
  • Expandable tweets enable marketers to add a visual element to their twitter marketing messages. If harnessed well, images can be far more powerful in driving engagement than text alone could ever be.
  • Lead Generation Cards allow marketers to interact with interested prospects in real time as interested participants details are delivered instantly to a brand’s CRM system.

How can you get cracking?

At present, the Lead Generation Card is only available for Twitter’s managed clients, but it won’t be long before it is available for small and medium-sized businesses too.

If you’re not currently a managed client, you’ll have to wait until this new fandangled feature gets released beyond beta. While there’s no word yet as to when general release will be, Twitter have said that ‘we have plans to launch this Card globally and to small and medium-sized businesses soon.’

Lead Generation Cards & email marketing:

We’re excited about the potential of these Lead Generation Cards because the form requires virtually no effort from the interested party.

When I put this to Skip Fidura, our Client Services Director, he said:

“Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards are essentially the world’s easiest, one click, no hassle email sign-up form”

“Twitter has been an underutilized resource for email marketers and despite being one of the most visited and coveted sites in terms of marketing potential globally, it is only now that Twitter have bought a workable solution for marketers to harness to grow their email marketing lists”

Not yet got access? Fear not!

If you’re within the masses that don’t have access to Lead Generation Cards yet then fear not. Although they offer marketers a potentially unrivaled opportunity to capture signups, there are still ways that marketers can use the social media site to grow their email marketing lists (even without harnessing any of the tools within the Twitter network’s advertising suite).

Front Cover Of Data Driven Email Marketing Practical Guide

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Here are a few ideas:

  • Link to newsletter content that you think your followers might find interesting and don’t forget to include a sign up link so that they can sign up should they enjoy it.
  • Make sure that all contact points on your website and/or blog can be used to promote your newsletter by adding a sign up option within each and every piece of content.
  • Send regular sign-up tweets encouraging followers to sign up for email only deals and exclusive content.
  • Make sure the quality of your content is good enough to coax readers off Twitter and to your site in the first place – then every tweet is a data capture opportunity.

In fact, we’ve got a whole ton of smart data capture ideas in this guide, if that’s your thing. One hot tip from that piece for those with a physical location – provide free Wifi in exchange for an opt-in. Details inside. What are you waiting for!?

The caveat of Lead Generation Cards

As with all your email marketing, any follow-up campaign must include certain information including an unsubscribe link. You may consider your lead generation card to be ‘prior consent’ or ‘opt-in’ to all future marketing emails, but that depends on the content of the card, and the wording of the privacy statement in the link you’ve added to the card. For more information, speak to your dotMailer account manager or legal team.

What’s next for Twitter’s Ad model?

Twitter are currently experimenting with different approaches. Their most recent announcement cites re-targeting as an avenue they’re exploring next – meaning advertisers could share (encrypted) email or cookie information that Twitter could then use to target ads with.

The potential for that feature to improve targeting, is great – relevance is a marketing cliché for a reason. Hopefully in the near future we’ll be able to measure Twitter follower coverage in our email lists. Or better – coverage of a message, so that we could say: X% of all potential customers have engaged with X message via X channel, and we’ve targeted the others with X email. My integrated digital marketing dream come true!

Even though Lead Generation Cards are only available for managed Twitter users with a Twitter Ads account right now, we wanted to show you how easy it is/will be to set one up so that you can hit the ground running once they become available to you. If you’ve got access, you lucky thing – here’s how you start capturing data from Twitter…

Ready? Let’s get started:

Step 1:

From within Twitter, click the cog on the top right corner of your homepage screen and select ‘Twitter Ads’.


Step 2:

Once you’re in the Ads Interface, click “Advertising” and then select “Cards” from the drop down menu.


Next,click the “Create New Card” button in the top right. Should you need to read further tutorials after this post then Twitter will give you the option to ‘learn more’ before proceeding.

Step 3:lg5

Now you’ll need to select the content to be featured within your Lead Generation Card.

Twitter will ask you for a card image that must be less than 1 MB, have a minimum of a 4:1 aspect ratio, and is at least 600px wide.

They’ll also require you to fill in a short (80 characters or less) description; this is your opportunity to say why your offer is so fantastic.

Done that? Now you get to choose the text that will appear on your CTA (call to action) button at the bottom of the card – download now, redeem offer, send me more details etc.

Step 4:

Once you’ve done that you have some technical settings to specify.

lg6You’ll have to fill in the following:

POST/GET Drop-down: Twitter say that ‘a one-time setup of a secure POST/GET endpoint is required in order for leads to be submitted directly to your company’s CRM or marketing automation system’.

Submit URL:  This is where you’ll enter the endpoint address to your CRM system.

Fallback URL: What happens if a user clicks your card on a non supported platform?

Rather than losing them completely, they’ll be taken to the link that you specify in this field. Perhaps take them to a landing page with your own data capture form embedded on it so that you still have the opportunity to convert the prospect into a lead?

Privacy Policy URL:  This is where you must provide a link that takes users to your privacy policy so that if they want to they can see a description of the data you are collecting and how you’re going to use it.

Step 5:

You’ll then be asked to customise the user information fields to match up with your CRM field, much like the ‘match fields’ feature you might lg7have come across when uploading a list in dotMailer.

So for example if you’ve called email addresses ‘emails’ within your CRM and Twitter call the data something different, then this is your chance to match the fields so that leads generated from cards are properly registered within your system.

And you’re done! Click “Create Card” and you are ready to start sharing your new Lead Generation Card!

Have fun testing!

So – will you be using Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this feature. Do get in touch via the comments below or tweet @dotMailer / @1uella – we always read and reply.


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