Developments for Lead Generation on Twitter


Twitter enjoys great popularity among many users, including celebrities and politicians; and reports it has 316 million active monthly users and 500 million updates sent per day with 80 percent of those users active on mobile platforms. As such, Twitter appears to be a very attractive potential audience for marketers to build brand awareness as well as generate leads.

The company has offered paid advertising through “Promoted Tweets” for a number of years. Some marketers have used the platform to promote brand awareness in a general way but many businesses did not find it to be an effective channel for direct response advertising such as lead generation campaigns. Ads were priced by user engagement such as follows, clicks, re-tweets, favorites or replies. A user might engage with an ad by following or re-tweeting it but have little interest in the advertiser’s product or service.

In Twitter’s November 2013 public offering, its stock price went from the $26 per share set price to almost $45 in the first day of trading, increasing 73% and creating a market valuation of $24 billion. The company had never made a profit. Twitter was touted to become “the water cooler of the Internet” and a major generator of advertising revenue. The stock lost half its value in a little over a year.

Twitter management has been under pressure to increase revenues, which would come primarily through paid advertising. Early last year, the company announced the testing and rollout of 15 types of new advertising products and improved ways to target users.

Some of these products follow a structure similar to advertising tools offered by Facebook, and are designed specifically for direct response advertising – allowing marketers to structure a lead generation campaign to a precisely targeted audience and have a direct measure of the return on investment to determine if a Twitter campaign is successful and cost effective. This article looks at two types of lead generation campaigns possible using the Twitter “card” technology.

downloadTwitter Cards

Twitter’s “card” technology is an expandable tweet with a visual element that stands out in the Twitter feed, which allow advertisers to include a button that lets users perform a desired action. The cards have limitations on the amount of text and the size of the images, so they fall somewhere between a text ad and a banner ad.

Lead Gen Cards

A campaign using Lead Gen Cards is straightforward in its structure to generate leads, designed to make it as easy and simple as possible for a user to provide contact information in response to a marketing offer.

The card consists of (1) a title; (2) a customizable call to action with a button; (3) a short description, which expands if the user clicks the card providing more details of the offer; (4) a link to the advertiser’s privacy policy; and (5) a link to the advertiser’s landing page.

When a user clicks on the call to action, Twitter then asks the user if it is agreeable to provide the user’s handle, name, and email address to the advertiser. If confirmed, Twitter stores the data and the marketer collects the contact information directly from Twitter. The user does not have to leave Twitter, or go to another website and actively enter in contact information. After the user agrees to allow Twitter to provide the contact information, a link to the advertiser’s landing page appears where it can provide more information on the offer.

The advertiser can download the leads during the campaign to send the leads the offer or promotion. The lead generation cards can be connected to marketing automation or CRM platform to automate this process.

Website Cards – Website Clicks or Conversions

Website Cards are similar to Lead Gen Cards with slightly different dimension requirements and a predefined selection of calls to action, which when clicked, immediately takes the user to a landing page. The advertiser does not receive the user contact information from Twitter.

With the new ad products introduced last year, marketers can now choose an objective called “Website Clicks and Conversions” to track actions Twitter users take on their websites in response to the ad campaign. These actions include:

    1. • Site visit – The user visits a landing page on the advertiser’s site.


    1. • Purchase – The user completes a purchase of a product or service on the site.


    1. • Download – The user downloads a file, such as a white paper or case study, from the site.


    1. • Sign up – The user signs up for the marketer’s service, newsletter, or email communication.


    • Custom – The user takes some action that does not fall into the above categories, which the advertiser wants to measure.

The tracking is done by using a conversion tag (code) on the advertiser’s website. If the tag is on the website purchase confirmation page, the conversion tag sends a report back to Twitter when a website visitor confirms a purchase on the website and Twitter matches the purchase transaction to the specific visitors who engaged in advertiser’s Promoted Tweets. This ties visitor actions on the website to the Twitter marketing campaign.

A marketer can create multiple website tags for different steps of the sales process, such as a site visit tag on a product landing page, download tag and a separate purchases tag on the checkout confirmation page to see how well visitors from the Promoted Tweet move through the site and convert once there.

downloadTwitter analytics enables a marketer to measure the various conversions, and provides a wide range of metrics to judge the success of a campaign such as total lead submissions, total revenue, total number of items purchased, An advertiser can then determine the return on investment for a specific Promoted Tweet campaign.

Clearly, Twitter is becoming more aggressive in courting advertising. Lead Gen Card and Website Card campaigns open up possibilities for direct response advertising. With the new advertising products and tools, including conversion tracking and the analytics, marketers should now be better able to measure of the return on investment, determine if a Twitter campaign achieves the desired results, whether Twitter is now a cost effective channel for lead generation.

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