CMP018 How To Use Twitter Cards With Mailchimp For Lead Generation

How To Use Twitter Cards With Mailchimp

Welcome To Episode 18 of The Content Marketing Podcast

Hey it’s Thursday again, and today I’m gonna show you How To Use Twitter Cards With Mailchimp For Lead Generation. You do want leads right? Every business needs to generate leads, to build a list of interested parties who might be ready for a purchase now or in the future.

So, let’s dive in.

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In This Episode you’ll learn

  • What Twitter Cards are
  • The difference between Twitter Cards and regular tweets
  • The different types of Twitter Card you can use
  • How to create Twitter Cards
  • How To use Twitter Cards with your website
  • The easy way to install and activate Twitter Cards on your website
  • The different types of Twitter Card for use with Twitter Advertising
  • How To Use Twitter Cards With Mailchimp

Links From The Show

Notes From The Show

So you want to build your email list, right? Well here’s yet another tactical string that you can add to your email list building bow; Twitter Lead Generation Cards.

I’m gonna show you How To Use Twitter Cards for lead generation, but bear in mind, on it’s own it won’t bring you a flood of new signups, at least that has been my experience, but it will add to your email list building strategy even if it’s only slightly.

The Mailchimp bit will come later, but first I’m gonna fill you in on what exactly Twitter Cards are.

What Are Twitter Cards?

Before we get into the detail of how to create and implement your Twitter cards, let’s take a look at the differences between the various types of Twitter Card and how they work.

Twitter Cards are basically a means of enhancing a tweet to build enhanced audience engagement with your content. They can be built from within your Twitter Ads account (which we’ll get into), and also automatically as people share your content directly from your site, by adding a short piece of code to your website files.

Twitter has 5 “Simple” Steps how to use Twitter Cards but it involves adding this code to your site, so it’s not very helpful to beginners.

Here’s the steps they outline.

  1. Choose a card type you want to implement.
  2. Add the pertinent meta tags to your page.
  3. Run your URL against the validator tool to test. If you are working with a Player Card, request approval for whitelisting. All other Cards do not need whitelisting.
  4. After testing in the validator or approval of your Player Card, Tweet the URL and see the Card appear below your tweet in the details view.
  5. Use Twitter Card analytics to measure your results.

To be honest it’s not that difficult to get a grip with, so if you are adventurous give it a shot. But hey, everything’s easy when you know how.

The good news is there is an easier way to set up your site to work with Twitter Cards, which I’ll get into in a bit, but first I’ll let you in on the different types of Twitter Card.

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Twitter Card Vs Standard Tweets

The standard tweet allows 140 characters total, and when you add an image to a tweet, it chews up some of these characters. It’s not like this when using Twitter Cards.

Twitter Cards gives you an additional area below the standard tweet to display a large image (or a thumbnail), a headline and a description.

Pro Tip; When including multiple urls in a tweet, make sure to have the url returning the Twitter Card content, first in your tweet as this is the one Twitter will use to return the card content.

Here’s an example of a Twitter Card with a large image, title and description

How To Use Twitter Cards

Fundamentally, there are two ways Twitter Cards can be generated;

  1. Automatically create Twitter Cards when people share your stuff from your website.
  2. Manually create Twitter Cards from within Twitter Ads for advertising campaigns.

When I started looking into Twitter Cards, this distinction was not clear to me, and caused me a lot of confusion. So for the benefit of those who are new to Twitter Cards I’m gonna distinguish between the two.

#1 Automatically Create Twitter Cards When People Share Your Stuff

There are a couple of different card types which you can enable on your website for use when someone tweets your content. Be careful of the instructions on some articles that turn up in a Google search though, they are out dated!

Gallery, Product and Photo Cards are no longer supported by Twitter so if you have the code for these card types installed on your site, then your shared content will now display as a Summary Card (either with or without image).

Here’s how Twitter makes it work (in simple terms); The Twitter bots sees your url, crawls your site for the necessary code then displays the tweet accordingly. All very clever indeed.

Here’s a bit of detail about the card types you can set up from within your website…

Summary Card

As shown above, the Summary Card type includes a headline, a description and either a thumbnail or a large image below the 140 character tweet.

Here’s how the Summary Card looks on desktop.

Twitter Summary Card Screenshot

 

When you click on “View Summary” the tweet expands out to this below. On mobile device the Summary Card will display similarly to the below.

For the coders amongst you, see this article which details the code and it’s parameters for adding Summary Cards to your site.

Summary Card with Image

The Summary Card with large image is a lot more dynamic than the standard Summary Card and can be more effective at bringing visitors to your site from Twitter.

How you achieve this type of card results from only a slight variation to the code you implement on your site. See here for more info on the code and it’s parameters.

The large image is shown automatically when viewing on a desktop, and both on iOS and Android.

Images work much better than standard text so I’d advise you set this card type up on your website.

Player Card

A Player Card allows you display your video and audio from various sources in the body of your tweets. The example below show one of my YouTube videos.

The card works well for Soundcloud but only in iOS and Android.

When you click on a tweet with a Soundcloud link it allows you play the track right there in the feed without being redirected away. It works for single tracks only and not playlists.

To implement Player Cards on your site you’ll need to add the code, there’s no easier way just yet that I know of. To find out more about Player Cards get yourself over here.

There’s also an approval process you’ll need to submit your player card to before it goes live which you can find out more about here.

If the information is all Greek to you then hire a dev bloke to sort it for you.

Here’s an example of a Player Card showing a YouTube Video.

App Card

The App Card is used to drive traffic from Twitter to your App on iOS or Android. Like the Player Card, you’ll need to install this manually as, to the best of my knowledge, there’s no plugin or otherwise to make this happen automatically.

Even if there was I wouldn’t be able to recommend it as I don’t build apps and have never implemented this code on my site. Check out the Twitter guidelines and information regarding App Cards right here.

Here’s an example of an App Card from ESPN. The card link brings the user to the App Store or Google Play where they can download the application directly.

Here’s an example of an App Card.

For further information on how to implement the Twitter App Card get yourself over here.

The Easy Way To Activate Twitter Cards

If the manual way to install Twitter Cards, that Twitter outlines is way over your head, then fret not, there is an easier way. At least for website owners who don’t need to employ the App Card or Player Card.

I use WordPress SEO by Yoast to set up my site for Twitter Cards and it’s very simple to use.

Start by installing the Plugin.

  1. Go to the Yoast website and download the plugin.
  2. Install and activate the plugin

Next, configure the social settings for Twitter

Once you have the plugin installed and activated, go to the sidebar and select SEO > Social

Yoast SEO adding Twitter Card Meta

 

Then click on the Accounts tab and enter your Twitter handle without the “@” symbol

 

Yoast SEO Twitter Card Settings

 

Finally go to the Twitter tab and click the checkbox Add Twitter Card meta data

Then select Summary with large image from the options in the dropdown.

Yoast SEO adding Twitter Card Settings

 

Finally, hit Save changes.

And that’s it. You’re site is now set up for Twitter Cards when you or a visitor shares your content.

Simple isn’t it? Told ya.

Validating Your Twitter Cards

The last thing to do is for you to validate your Twitter Cards using the Twitter Validation Tool.

Very simply,

  1. Go to the Twitter Card Validator Tool
  2. Enter the url of the post or page from your site
  3. Hit the Preview Card button

Here’s a screenshot

Twitter Card Validation Tool

If your code has been deployed correctly you’ll get green for go. All is good!

Having trouble? Check out the guide to setting up Twitter Cards with Yoast SEO WordPress plugin right here.

I’ve given you a lot of information above, all of it related to using Twitter Cards when you or your website visitors share your content on Twitter.

That was Part #1. Now we’re going to look at how to create Twitter Cards from within Twitter Adverts so you can build campaigns.

#2 Manually Create Twitter Cards From Within Twitter Adverts

This is the Mailchimp bit.

The technical aspect of setting up Mailchimp with your Twitter Cards is small and a little tricky, but when you do, subscribers will be automatically added to your list in a single step.

This is a single click and you’re in.Someone clicks on your tweet and when they do they are added to your list. You can see the benefit of this single step process right?

Lead Gen Twitter Card

I set up the above Lead Gen card and pinned to the top of my Twitter Profile. I didn’t get a flood of signups but I did get a small number.

Like I said above, use every means at your disposal to build your list, and this is one of them.

I promise, if you create a Lead Gen Twitter Card like I’m about to show you, you will get signups.

Types Of Card Within Twitter Ads

There are a couple of different types of card you can utilise within Twitter Adverts. For most users it will be the Lead Gen Card or the Website Card. Here’s a brief outline of each one;

Lead Generation Card

The Lead Generation Card is one I use to add subscribers to my Mailchimp email list directly from within Twitter. It’s the Twitter Card I’m going to get into detail on below.

There are other email service providers that Twitter syncs with, so if you’re not using Mailchimp check out this guide.

If you don’t have a email service you can still benefit from Lean Gen Cards as follows;

When a Twitter user clicks on your Lead Generation Card tweet, they will see your offer and call to action with all of their contact info already populated.

With one click, they can agree to send their contact information with you which includes their email address. Twitter saves the info in a .csv file within Twitter Ads so you can download later.

Go to Twitter Ads > Creatives > Cards > Lead Generation > download leads button to export the .csv file with all the leads you’ve collected.

Website Card

The Website Card can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website product or service pages.

Website Cards allow you to add an image, an attention grabbing headline and a strong call to action (CTA) button to your Tweet.

By showing a preview of your product or service in your Tweet, the Website Card give you a more dynamic way of bringing traffic from Twitter to your site.

Twitter claims that Website Cards drive 43% more clicks.

Here’s an example of a Website Card I created a little while ago

Twitter Website Card

Long story short, these work. You don’t need to employ Twitter Ads to use them, they are free so you should defo give them a go.

Basic App Card

The Basic App Card is a means to drive installs for your apps on iOS and Android devices. The Basic App Card uses your information on iOS App Store and Google Play to grab all relevant information to show in the card.

Twitter users then get to install the your App directly from the Tweet containing your Basic App Card. Once you set up the Basic App Card you can schedule it right from within Twitter Ads (same as with all Cards).

Though I usually grab the Twitter Card link and head over to Manage Flitter to schedule it.

Twitter Basic App Card

Add the relevant iOS and Android App information to the fields in the Twitter Card setup and save your card.

Image App Card

Nothing much further to say about the Image App Card than what I said above, other than to add that you can add an image to your Card which makes the tweet that bit more dynamic and engaging.

Check out to set up your App Card here.

Twitter Image App Card

Add the relevant iOS and Android App information to the fields in the Twitter Card setup and save your card.

Video App Card

There’s little difference between the Video App Card to the other App Cards above other than…….?

You guessed it. You can add a video to play within your tweet. Arguably more engaging than the other types. If you’re trying to boost downloads of your app then I’d suggest you try all three and measure the results in Twitter Analytics.

Set up your Twitter Cards and schedule to go out throughout the day and night using Buffer or Manage Flitter.

Twitter Video App Card

Add the relevant iOS and Android App information to the fields in the Twitter Card setup and save your card.

Setting Up Your Lead Generation Twitter Card With Mailchimp

The Lead Generation Card is pretty cool. Like I said, it allows you to link your tweets directly to Mailchimp and for those who optin, they are added to your list straight away.

Here’s a few additional reason to use Lead Gen Cards to promote your email list subscriptions above regular tweets;

  1. They are Free to use. You can use them in your Twitter Adverts but it’s not required.
  2. They stand out from other tweets. They are formatted differently from regular tweets so they catch the eye.
  3. Lots of Twitter users are on mobile. When you use a Lead Gen Card the user stays in the Twitter App making it seamless.
  4. They deliver you genuine subscribers because the email address of Twitter users has already been verified by Twitter.

So, now to create a Twitter Lead Gen Card, head over to ads.twitter.com and register. You might already signed into Twitter but you’ll need to sign into Twitter Ads none the less.

Twitter Ads Credit Card

 

Note that you will need to add your credit card details in order to get full access to the functionality within Twitter Ads. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged unless you create a advert campaign.

Once you add your credit card and company details your menu in Twitter Ads will look like this.

Twitter Ads Credit Card Confirmed

Now you can build your first Twitter Lead Gen Card

Go to Ads > Creatives > Cards and you will see the following screen

Create Lead Gen Card

You will notice there are radio buttons that you can click to select the card type you want to work with. Make sure Lead Generation is selected and click Create your first Lead Generation Card

In this next screen is where you will enter the details for your card.

Screenshot Lead Gen Card Setup

Card Content

As it suggests, this is where you will enter the information you want to display in your Lead Generation Card.

Preview

Once entered you will be able to see in real time what your Twitter Lead Generation Card will look like on both mobile and web views.

  1. Enter a short description so your user can see what the offer is about. You get 50 characters top get your message across. This will be shown in bold above the card image.
  2. Add your card image. Your image should be 800 px wide X 200 px high. It’s an obscure size so you should choose carefully so that it communicates the essence of your offer.
  3. You get to add what ever call to action you wish but make sure it’s compelling. Use something like Gimme Access, or Let Me In, or I Want In or something like that rather than a bland signup or subscribe.
  4. You should have a privacy policy on your site, so grab the url and add it here.
  5. The Fallback url is a safety net if your card is shown in a third party app or the user wants to find out more. This should be a page on your site and should reflect the offer exactly.

Destination url Settings

Further down the page there are a couple of optional settings that you don’t have to add, but I recommend that you do.

Twitter Card Destination Settings

 

Add a Destination URL to take your newly subscribed visitor to a Thank You page like this one, where you can advise them of any further steps they need to take, like confirming their subscription or additional content you’d like them to check out.

This is a very good idea and an opportunity to engage with your audience that you should not over look.

Add a Post-submit message to be displayed after someone opts in to your offer. I use this as a safety net in case the the tweet does not redirect to my thank you page.

Data Settings (Finally, over to Mailchimp)

Yes I know you’ve been waiting for this bit, (3,000 words later!) but it was important for me to cover the basics before launching into this element as may now understand.

Mailchimp Data Settings for Twitter

Here are the steps you need to take to link with Mailchimp;

  1. Go to your Mailchimp account lists > Your List > Signup Forms > Form Integrations > Twitter and grab the Submit URL. (leave this window open in another tab, you’re gonna need it later)  For more on this go see the Mailchimp tutorial.
  2. Enter the Mailchimp List URL in the Submit URL field.
  3. Once you add the Mailchimp List URL an additional field called HTTP Method will appear. Set this to “POST”.
  4. Next, you’ll need to add the subscriber details to be sent to your Mailchimp List URL. This information is known as “Merge Tags” in Mailchimp.
    1. In this next section under Custom Key Name you’ll see 3 fields; Name, Email and Screen Name.
    2. In the Name field type; FNAME
    3. In the Email field type; EMAIL
    4. You can leave Screen Name blank.
  5. Next, click Add another hidden field button in the Custom hidden data values section. Then add the following information.
    1. In the Key field, add “id”
    2. In the Value field, add the alpha-numeric list code from the Mailchimp window you opened in item (1.) from the start of these steps. Go here for more info from Mailchimp on this process.

Name Your Twitter Card

Finally (almost…)

  1. Name your card
  2. Agree to the T&Cs
  3. Click Create card

To finish…

Twitter will test your card. When it’s done (which is very quickly btw) you’ll need to check if your email service received the list add. So make sure to check that.

Test Twitter Lead Gen Card

 

If for some reason you don’t get a green check mark and the test user data doesn’t land in your Mailchimp account, go back through the process and retrace your steps. Or, delete the card and start over.

In Conclusion

I know this can be a little draining, and quite technical for some of you, but if you can hold your attention and get these cards created, then it will make a difference in your Twitter marketing.

Note that the Twitter Lead Gen Card is fully viewable on both Web and Mobile Twitter Apps, but may not be in third party applications.

I must acknowledge a guy called Joshua Earl whose article on Sitepoint covering Twitter Lead Gen Cards helped me get off the ground.

You should check that article out because he ran some paid campaigns on Twitter with Lead Gen Cards and he lays out the results for comparison against standard tweets.

So that’s it, I hope this article helps you get started with Twitter Cards and your efforts helps you build your email list.

Are you using Twitter Lead Gen Cards for marketing on Twitter? Drop a comment below, let me know how that’s going. Are you generating leads, are you making sales?

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