social media how toAre you struggling to generate leads on Twitter?

Wondering how to display richer data in a tweet?

In this article, I’ll show you four steps to getting more leads with Twitter lead generation cards.

Why Twitter Lead Generation Cards?

There are 500 million tweets sent every day (according to Twitter’s recent IPO documentation).

That’s a lot of noise to compete with.

Enter Twitter’s lead generation cards.

Lead generation cards work directly within your promoted tweet to collect users’ contact information in exchange for your offer.

What Are Twitter Lead Generation Cards?

Is your business using promoted tweets on Twitter? Would you like to get more from them?

Twitter lead generation cards increase conversion rates by capturing in-app form-fills from your followers. Think of them as embedded landing pages within your tweets, except they’re much more concise and require much less work from your followers.

Here’s an example from The Barista Bar.

attractive lead generation card

A short, yet punchy and attractive lead generation card.

#1: Set Up Your Lead Tracking System

Before you get started with lead generation cards, you’ll need to set an endpoint integration, which allows you to track your leads from your cards in whatever CRM (customer relationship management) system you’re using.

This is critical. You don’t want to go through all the work of perfecting a card only to realize you can’t organize and filter the contact information you’ve collected.

Currently, the following CRM providers integrate with Twitter lead generation cards: Eloqua, ExactTarget, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, LoopFuse, MailChimp, Marketo, Optify, Pardot, Sailthru, Salesforce and Silverpop.

Contact the support team of your chosen CRM provider for assistance with configuring the endpoint. When you’re done, Twitter lead generation cards will upload leads directly to your database.

#2: Create Your Lead Generation Card

To create your first Twitter lead generation card, sign up for Twitter Ads and locate the Twitter Ads feature under the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

twitter ads feature

Open the advertising interface to get started.

Click on the Cards option on the navigation bar, and on the right you’ll find the button for creating your lead generation card.

create lead generation card

Click the Create Lead Generation Card button.

This will bring you to the card editor, where you’ll be asked to provide a short description of your offer, attach an image and choose the call-to-action message that’s included on the button.

#3: Design Your Card

Here’s where the real fun begins; it’s time to create the written and visual content that conveys the value of your offer and captures leads.

Because these are also promoted tweets, you’ll want to carefully consider the content featured on your cards to avoid wasted dollars and opportunities for conversions.

Think of Twitter lead generation cards as a much more concise version of the corresponding landing page.

To ensure consistency, establish clear goals at the outset of the campaign. Whether your goal is to generate more blog subscribers or club members, or generate a ton of leads from your new ebook, make sure this is reflected in both the strategy and execution of your campaign.

Below are the three main elements of lead generation cards, as well as some tips to help you convey value and attract attention quickly.

  • Short Description: You’re limited to 50 characters. Convey the value of your offer with brief and compelling copy. Focus on informing users about exactly what they’re getting and why they need it.
  • Card Image: Stay away from stock images if you can. Aim for originality and use a remarkable image that ties in the value of your offer to attract users.
  • Call to Action: This is the copy that will appear on the Submit button. Consider what the user is receiving and craft an actionable message around it. For example, if you’re promoting your blog, you might choose “Click to Subscribe” as your CTA.
    card for promoted tweet

    A Twitter lead generation card awaits customization.

Below are two examples of well-executed Twitter lead generation cards.

consistent message example

Message consistency is key.

The value ExactTarget created here is one of quantity and sensitivity to your time. They offer 140 tips of 140 characters or fewer!

featured image example

A great example of a featured image that conveys value.

Copy isn’t even needed in HP’s card. For its newsletter, HP simply let the product and image speak for themselves.

Notice these companies didn’t clutter the message. They used very few characters in the actual tweet. This lets users quickly recognize the value of the offer.

Because Twitter is primarily a text-heavy platform, images like the ones you see above stand out significantly. Rely on your image to do most of the talking.

#4: Configure Your Advanced Settings

Once you’ve perfected the design of your card, you need to ensure its functionality so that everything communicates and works effectively.

Complete the following steps before you launch your campaign:

  • Submit the URL: This is where your lead information will be directed. It should be the endpoint you set up earlier with your CRM.
  • Designate a Privacy Policy URL: All cards must include a link to your privacy policy so users see what data is being collected and what’s being done with it.
  • Define a Fallback URL: Just in case a user clicks through on a non-supported platform, this is the backup link they’ll be directed to. Ideally you’d want this to be the URL to the corresponding landing page so you still have an opportunity for a conversion.
  • Rename the Form Fields: For contact information to sync correctly with your CRM, rename any form field to reflect its corresponding field name in your database. For example, if the Name field in your database is “Contact_Name”, you’ll want to make these changes under Custom Key Names.
    custom key name

    Edit your Custom Key Names on the right.

It’s critical that these custom fields match, as any inconsistencies will affect whether the leads you generate from your lead generation card sync correctly in your database.


Start integrating Twitter lead generation cards into your social strategy. By shortening your lead conversion path, you’ll not only improve the experience for your followers, but also boost your overall conversion rates.

Also, consider taking advantage of everything promoted tweets have to offer. There’s no extra cost in adding a card to your promoted tweet, only a bit more effort, and you gain a lot more engagement.

What do you think? Have you seen any success with lead generation cards? What other tips can you share? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • James R Desmond

    Great piece, very informative! The importance of utilizing ALL of the features available for Twitter is more prevalent than ever.

  • John Bonini

    Thanks, James! Agreed, the supplemental tools of Twitter are as important as the platform itself.

  • Tanya Boiteau

    Interesting, although Twitter has the exact same step-by-step walkthrough. I would of preferred for this post to add additional useful content rather than repackaging the same.

  • @john_bonini:disqus, thank you for putting together this overview. This is a very handy tool to have in your social media toolbox.

  • Sarah

    How much do these type of ads typically run for on Twitter right now?

  • John Bonini

    Thanks, Christian! I’m glad you found it resourceful.

  • John Bonini

    It’s all dependent on what you’re willing to spend, Sarah. You can spend as little – or as much – as you’d like. However, obviously the more you pay-per-click, the more people will see it.

  • Hi John. I totally agree about the new power of Twitter Lead Generation Cards. Allowing it to occur directly in the feed, as opposed to forcing the user to leave Twitter to signup, is great. According to TweepForce, they increased lead generation and sales conversion by 50% after they tried this tool with their clients like MusicEventOne. One tip that is crucial after the lead has been generated is to use a follow-up email automation campaign. This is the best way to turn leads into actual customers, which is what a lot of people tend to leave out after the initial generation. What do you think is the best way to follow-up with leads?

  • John thank you for walking us through each of the steps for capturing leads using the Lead Generation Cards. It’s pretty technical, but you make it sound easy! A smart and simple way to collect information – thank you!

  • John Bonini

    Lead nurturing is critical, Adella. A Marketing Director myself, I rely on segmenting my leads and contacts in order to deliver more relevant content. Nothing is worse than automated email blasts of little to no relevance. The key is providing content in the follow up.

  • John Bonini

    I’m glad you found it resourceful! It’s a much more effective way of utilizing Twitter Ads, as it drastically shortens the conversion path.

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  • “Twitter lead generation cards increase conversion rates by capturing in-app form-fills from your followers.”

    Is it only from your followers or can these tweets be targeted in other ways?

  • One thing I could not find on the web is the proper dimensions for a Twitter Lead Card picture. No one on the internet seems to know – which is bizarre. I was hoping to find out what the proper dimension is here, but it’s apparently still a mystery…

    One Email Management service you left out is GetResponse. It’s my favorite one to use, and it can be used for a Twitter Lead Card.

  • Will be interesting to see what kind of conversion rates lead generation cards generate and what people will want to convert them? e.g. giveaways & downloads

  • The image size for the Lead Generation Card is 600px x 150 px.

  • Thanks for the article John. I love the fact that Twitter Lead Generation Cards are right in the feed and only require a single click for sign-up with no form filling. It should be noted that the Cards are billed per lead and they don’t have to be promoted so potentially there are 2 separate costs.

  • I’m not sure this is quite right. I’ve been billed separately per Lead – cost for promoting a tweet with the the Lead Generation Card link is separate and optional. Promoted tweets are pay-per-click but Lead Generation Cards appears to be ‘per lead’. In my case a scary $9!

  • Excellent article John. Thanks for sharing such an awesome way to entice the potential customers to business. I found it very helpful method to do twitter marketing about I was not familiar before. Thanks once again 🙂

  • John Bonini

    Thanks, Jonathan. You’re right, shortening the conversion path is really the main function and value of these cards.

  • John Bonini

    Glad you found it helpful!

  • Thank you.

  • great post! thanks for showing the process. Any other examples that are non-newsletter sign-up based?

  • Wow, awesome post, John. I’m certainly give it a go and try them. Twitter is still a very powerful tool and it will be interesting to see the results as you know tweet lasts for only a couple of seconds. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lynn

    Awesome post! I’ve been wanting to utilize Twitter in a better way and BOOM here’s this post. Thanks so much. : )

  • Sofia Zab

    You can combine Lead Cards with Promoted Tweets campaigns and target them like any other Twitter Ad.

  • Very helpful! I can see it and really the power of social media in changing the game of lead generation.

    While that is in generating leads, it would also be great to process those leads with tool like My Voice Manager.

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  • mark welsh

    Why doesn’t twitter tell you before you launch the campaign how much per lead? I am also having trouble finding my lead

  • Twilert

    Great article, thanks for sharing!