Twitter Cards are useful ways of expanding, previewing or consuming content outside of the classic 140 character limitation. Those who market via Twitter have also apparently been demanding lead generation capabilities to drive sales on the social media platform, and Twitter has both listened and delivered. With the recent announcement about the new Lead Generation Card being launched, they’ve taken a step forward towards conversion too.
The lead generation cards are rolling out globally soon, but we’ve already been shown some examples from the managed clients Twitter works with directly. Expanding to show an offer, call to action and a pre-populated form containing the information Twitter holds (the user’s name, username and email address), these cards essentially move the prospect down the funnel from social media interest to email marketing engagement.
The benefit over Google’s Get Offers ad unit we wrote about last year is that the email addresses are collected automatically and validated implicitly through Twitter’s own registration processes. It is highly unlikely Twitter or its users would have been supportive of other data being requested, but we hope that this will at least be trialled at some point. We know from experience that requesting extra data, especially if it is optional, can at times actually improve response rates rather than reduce them in lead generation activity.
There has been nothing mentioned that we can ascertain about the possible targeting capabilities of this new ad unit but as it’s going to be offered to businesses under the Promoted Tweets umbrella we’ll assume there’s some effective targeting options embedded in the process. The costs are also currently vague. Twitter tells us that early testers report a relatively low cost-per-lead so it’s likely that the pricing will follow the established Promoted Tweet engagement-based bidding structure. As with Google’s Get Offers offer, marketers may not be able to deploy a variable pricing model however, which may feel too simplistic for more sophisticated lead generation marketers.
Whether this will drive quality leads rather than just volume remains to be seen, but it’s certainly an interesting play from Twitter. The network is limited in the lead generation strategies it can deploy, but the minimal data collection opportunity means that it is unlikely to cannibalise lead generation budgets from other activity. It may however become a partial solution to the still unsolved problem of proving social media’s ROI to marketers.
Finding a way to convert the considerable buzz and noise on social media into meaningful interactions that result in a lead or sale is something that the market as a whole is still trying to get their heads around. We at Magnetise are certainly cautious in our approach, but at the same time use the likes of Facebook Twitter and Google Plus very effectively for social sign-in and viral propagation. In a similar way, by taking a step back from the ultimate goal of sales and using social media to slot into and feed the conversion funnel by driving email marketing registrations, we could see Twitter Lead Generation Cards become a useful tactic for many consumer brands. Success will require the Twitter activity is backed up by some strong lead nurturing programmes to evolve initial interest into a long and fruitful relationship, but if marketers – and Twitter - can get it right, this will become another excellent tool in the lead generation marketer’s toolbox.