Using Twitter as an Email Marketing Lead Machine

Twitter say that ‘marketers regularly talk to us about their goals, and for many it boils down to one major theme: generating leads, and ultimately driving purchases’.

I doubt these goals will have come as any great surprise to Twitter. Especially since delivering these opportunities to marketers is Twitter’s own future revenue model.

Back in July Twitter announced the launch of their Lead Generation Cards in response to this need.

We were pretty excited about the announcement in July but our excitement turned out to be premature. Until mid-November 2013, companies based outside of America had to develop a ‘working relationship with Twitter’ to be able to purchase adverts.

But now the game is on. Last month on Twitter’s blog Ravi Narasimhan wrote that now ‘it takes just a few minutes to get started with Twitter Ads’.

What this means for email marketers

Social media advertising is one thing. What does this mean to marketers who see some of their greatest ROI and responses from their email marketing list?

Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards allow Twitter users to subscribe to offers from brands or to sign up to a particular event or mailing list. From within Twitter.

An image on the Twitter blog and is one of the first examples that we saw (back in the summer). ‘Join the Club’ is the call to action and when people join, they are signing up for ‘daily deals’ straight to their inbox from The Barista Bar.

Here are 3 reasons why we think this could prove a useful channel for email marketers:

1. The audience is already engaged

Twitter lead generation cards let marketers to put themselves in front of their followers in a potentially more engaging way using images.

2. Twitter becomes a data capture and list building touch point

When a Twitter user clicks on a lead generation card’s call to action, marketers will be supplied with their email and their Twitter handle.

Worried about users being reluctant to share that data with you? Don’t be.

Research has shown that millennials (those aged 18-34) are getting rather comfortable with the idea of ‘personal data sharing’. Even more so when it comes with real benefits for them. According to recent survey results from the USC Annenberg Centre for the Digital Future.

3. Personal, accurate contact details

Another aspect we like about these new lead generation cards is that the probability of the data being accurate is pretty high. Twitter automatically populates the Lead Generation Card with the email a customer has linked to their Twitter account. This is typically one that is actively used and is usually a personal email address.

Why are personal email addresses useful?

While I have no plans to leave dotdigital right now, the chances are that I won’t be forever. But I’ll probably take my personal Gmail account with me for a good few years.

Sending to personal email addresses means that your chances of sending to dormant inboxes sometime in the future are lower than if you’d been sending to business inboxes that open up and shut down as staff come and go through the organisation.

Integrating Twitter Lead Generation Cards with email marketing automation

Lead generation Cards also enable email marketers to route leads directly into a predefined marketing automation programme. This occurs moments after their initial engagement.

You can manually download the leads generated by your Twitter cards, and then send a follow-up email message to the downloaders, building on their engagement.

Additionally, CRM integration is available so you can potentially send welcome emails to your new leads immediately after they have expressed an interest.

Marketers might perhaps choose to first say hello with a welcome email and then follow it up with a special offer. Then adapt the rest of the sends accordingly depending on their initial behaviour.

Real-world examples


@priceline’s bio says ‘Welcome fellow Priceline Negotiators! Celebrate your love of the deal and gain access to great travel bargains, coupons and special offers’. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that their lead generation card offers users the option to ‘sign up and save’. They ask Twitter users to sign up and in return they will email them a 10% off hotel coupon.

We like the way they they’ve made use of a striking image, there’ll certainly be no confusion about what is being offered with this one.

@dropwines ‘tweet all things #wine’.

They’ve used a Twitter lead generation card to communicate an offer that gives users over a third off Luxury Vintage Joseph Perrier Champagne.

These are just 2 examples of how Twitter’s lead generation cards are already being used.

I’m sure we’ll see some pretty imaginative alternatives coming to the surface over the coming months.

Read more about Twitter on our blog here.

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