Social platforms like Twitter are amazing for engaging users and cultivating new and loyal customers. But they have that one nagging issue: It’s clear that they own their users, not you. Even if you have a dedicated follower base, you still need to use their platform - and spend a bit on their advertising products - to reach them.
So what can you do to own your Followers?
Capture their email address using lead generating tactics.
Studies like the March 2013 Epsilon survey show that emails get read, opened and clicked on. It also shows that triggered messages (emails sent to subscribers based on specific events, such as sales, birthdays and more) have proven success, and are on the rise.
According to emarketer, however, lead generation remains the number one challenge for marketers in 2013. As it happens, used smartly, Twitter can be an incredible tool to get more emails from your prospective consumers.
There are a lot of tips and tools you can use to increase your email lists. These include Tweeting email-gated content, creating specially-designed background images and running Twitter contests. Some work, some do not (believe me, I’ve tried them all). Here are six surefire ways to use Twitter to generate new emails leads:
1. Create a Call To Action (CTA) in your Bio
A simple trick to getting more leads is creating a call to action in your business Twitter bio. Many businesses don’t think to do this.
Your Twitter bio is what your followers see when they visit your account. It doesn’t change (unless you edit it). This gives you 160 characters to tell your followers about your business. It’s also a great opportunity to promote consumer related email-gated content. Don’t squander it!
Make a clickable link, with a simple call to action, in your Twitter bio. Put the link right in your bio (highlighted in red below) not the website link below it. Make it click through to an email-gated landing page on your website.
What does email-gated content mean, you ask? It’s simply content (like an eBook, a newsletter sign up, a webinar, or an infographic) that can only be accessed by giving an email in exchange.
As you can see in this example, Wishpond has a clickable link to our collection of eBooks. The eBooks are free, and email-gated.
The link directs you to our website page with our free eBooks:
Each book is clickable, and leads to an email-gated download page, like this:
It’s best not to use a bitly, or a shortened twitter link in this case. Spell out the landing page you want your followers to click through to. This just makes it a bit more friendly. And it doesn’t hurt your brand recognition either. Be sure the link is to a specific email-gated page or pages on your website.
You’d be surprised at how this easy little tweak to your bio gets you more email leads.
There are added benefits to making these updates to your Twitter bio. If you use Twitter to sign into other social sites, like Mashable, Klout for Business or pretty much any site, your Twitter bio shows up too. Make the most of this, with clear CTA’s to email-gated content on your website.
2. Create a Call to Action (CTA) in your Twitter Background
Like your Twitter bio, your Twitter background provides an excellent opportunity to add CTA’s to email-gated content.
It’s fairly straightforward to change your desktop background. Just follow these steps, as outlined on the Twitter support page, on customizing your profile design:
You will want to customize your background, with your own call to action. Keep these best practices in mind when you’re designing:
1. Make sure your CTA is clearly worded, and appealing to your market. For example, if you are giving away a store discount in exchange for an email, make your CTA reflect this. Use phrases like “25% off this month, click here”, or “Discounts for you”
2. Be clear about what you are giving in exchange for an email - whether that is a webinar, ebook, or discount.
3. Choose an image that gives impact to your product. If you are giving away a free ebook, include the cover of the book on your Twitter background.
4. Choose colours that stand out. If your Twitter background colour is, say, blue, make your CTA image orange, or white.
In this example, Click Mail Marketing includes a CTA in their Twitter background. The action is to download their updated free guide on how to choose an email service provider:
They use a bitly link that takes you to the ebook landing page.
Note: I would suggest spelling out your website url, with the landing page. It makes you look a bit more friendly (using your name), and helps your brand recognition - but bitly links can help you shorten and track.
Below is the landing page for the above link (if you were curious):
Freetwitterdesigner.com/ has a great (and free!) application that makes it easy to create a Twitter Desktop Background, for those without Photoshop skills.
3. Tweet Email-Gated Calls to Action
Take the opportunity to send out periodic tweets about your own email-gated content on your website. You might have a landing page for your e-newsletter subscription page. Tweet this out. Or, you might have other email-gated content like eBooks, webinars or infographics. Tweet this out to your followers.
In this example, Wishpond tweeted about a free eBook on Twitter Content Marketing.
The link directs followers to a distinct landing page on our site, where you can download our eBook in exchange for your email.
You don’t always need to have a fresh piece of content to use this tactic. You can re-use the same gated content page regularly. This can be done by tweeting bite-sized tidbits from different sections of the piece to appeal to different followers.
Not every follower may be interested in an entire ebook about Twitter content marketing, but they may have specific questions they need answers to. Tweet some of the specific questions your content answers with a “Learn more” style call-to-action in the Tweet to draw in interested readers. Or even Tweet a direct quote from the content piece, like Hubspot did recently below:
4. Use Promoted Tweets to market email-gated content
In addition to tweeting email-gated content, use Twitter ads to advertise your content to targeted potential followers. I’d suggest using the Promoted Tweet option, as this advertises your specified tweet. If you haven’t used Twitter Ads, you’ve likely at least seen them.
A Promoted Tweet looks like this:
They stream in targeted Twitter feeds. The example above shows a Promoted Tweet from a business that’s followed by people I follow.
Promoted Tweets are a way for your business to amplify your message to targeted groups, as well as geographic locations. Twitter ads were expanded earlier this year. They now include much more targeted options:
1. Similar to Facebook Ads, you can target followers of specific Twitter handles (ones like yours, for instance). This makes it easy to target users who follow complimentary companies or direct competitors:
2. Narrow your demographic target with 350 interest categories ads that “Target by Interest”:
3. Use their Adwords-style “Target by Keywords” ads product to promote your Tweet to users who search for certain keywords:
These ads aren’t quite as fine-tuned or in-depth as Facebook in reaching your market, but they do get your message out to your niche.
Use a Promoted Tweet with an interesting “ask”, and link it to your email-gated content on your website. You can go to ads.twitter.com to create Promoted Tweets for your Twitter account.
Check out our recent ebook “A Simple Guide to the New Twitter Ads” for an in-depth walkthrough on using Twitter Ads for your business.
5. Enter-to-Win Sweepstakes on Twitter
An enter-to-win sweepstakes is an easy way to engage people and convert them into email signups by enticing them with a prize. The thrill of a win can generate excitement around your brand, particularly if the prize resonates with your consumer.
Diamond Candles, for example, uses Twitter Sweepstakes to generate excitement about their product, and grow their email list. The Diamond Candles Twitter Spring Giveaway was a crazy (kind of mind-boggling) success. In just two days they generated over 8,000 entrants - a huge win for a small business that sells candles.
Check out how they email-gated their sweepstakes:
How else could you get so many email leads?
Using Wishpond they were able to automatically compile these emails into a list that could be downloaded to an excel spreadsheet or directly to Mailchimp (a Wishpond Integration Partner).
How does a Wishpond-powered Twitter Sweepstakes work?
You’ll notice in the example that the Wishpond application creates the look and feel of still being on the Twitter platform, but the page is actually hosted on wishpond.com. Unlike some other platforms, Twitter doesn’t have secondary pages for businesses to host such promotions. So, at Wishpond, we created an innovative solution for our customers:
For each Twitter contest Wishpond creates a unique page with the look and feel of Twitter and the businesses Desktop Background from their Twitter Account. Businesses can even have users enter the contest by connecting with their own Twitter Account. This allows the application to post a Tweet on the users feed about the contest, with a link back that their followers can click to enter the sweepstakes.
6. User-Generated Content Contests on Twitter
Like sweepstakes, contests that require entrants to submit photos, videos or text can generate a lot of excitement for your brand. Because, let’s face it, people like to share their own content. And if you allow people to vote on entries - for example, if the winner is chosen based on number of votes, you can collect the email addresses of every person who vote
3rd party apps like Wishpond’s include built-in voting and entry forms that require users to give you their email address - and even connect with their Twitter account - to enter.
In the example, below, this sunglass retailer is increasing their email list through engagement, and interest in sunglasses. They are running a photo contest. Contestants have a chance to win a store gift certificate by submitting a photo of their favourite pair. As part of the entry process, contestants submit their email:
With a user-generated content contest, your entrants have already taken a psychological step in interacting with you and getting closer to your brand. You have their emails. Use the connection to market your brand.
You could, for example, use this opportunity to send out a thank you email to every entrant - regardless if they win or not - and give them a discount at your store.
Again, notice the look and feel of being on Twitter. This makes your Twitter contests more friendly for your followers. If you’re skimming and you skipped it - check out “5. Enter-to-win Sweepstakes on Twitter” to see how contest apps like these work on Twitter.
** Bonus Analysis: Twitter Lead Generation Cards
As I was writing this article, Twitter announced another great new tool for businesses and marketers: Lead Generation Cards Their new Lead Generation Cards (LGCs) makes it much easier for brands to drive new leads through a tweet, while staying on the Twitter platform. Similar to how Facebook Offers allow users to claim offers directly from a post in the News Feed, LGCs let users sign up directly on the Tweet in their feed. To quote Twitter’s official release:
“When someone expands [a] Tweet [with an LGC], they see a description of the offer and a call to action. Their name, @username, and email address are already pre-filled within the Card. The user simply clicks a button to send this information directly (and securely) to you.”
Check out this example from Priceline (one of the first test big brands). They’re offering a coupon for a hotel stay. When a user signs up a coupon code is emailed to them.
They’ve been rolling it out with a few big brand customers, and it’s now available to managed clients. According to the Twitter advertising blog, it will soon be available to small and mid-size businesses.
It’s not clear if Twitter will allow businesses to keep the email addresses that users submit to sign up for the coupons in LGCs. But I’m thinking they will follow Facebook’s lead with Facebook Offers in that they will not. This will force businesses to continue using Twitter to reach their followers, as opposed to being able to reach them through email. This will leave 3rd party applications like Wishpond’s Twitter Contest and Promotions Apps with a clear advantage in their ability to capture user’s contact information.
As a marketer I’m excited for Twitter to keep expanding their marketer toolset. Right now the platform is at somewhat of a disadvantage to Facebook - especially with the Facebook Page Tabs that make it easy to add lead generating applications, forms and landing pages - so I spend most of my time (and ad spend) on FB. But as Twitter opens up I’ll be ready to see how it can boost the ROI for my clients and me.
So there you have it. By making a few tweaks and additions to your social media strategies, you can harness the power of Twitter to increase the power of your email leads.
What do you think? Do you use Twitter tweaks to enhance your email lead generation? What successes have you had?
The future of social is changing how we interact. Are you engaging digitally with your consumers? Wishpond social promotion apps make it easy. Get interacting with vote contests, photo contests, video contests and more on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, mobile and more.
Written by Krista Bunskoek @ Wishpond