Twitter tool lets brands sign up customers inside a tweet

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Even as Twitter has grown into a media and marketing giant, not everyone is persuaded that the social media site is useful for selling things. As one marketer recently lamented to me, the platform’s effectiveness is hard to measure — and justify to clients — because “no one’s going to buy a car off Twitter.” [Update: Twitter says “au contraire” and sent this research]

The perception, then, is that Twitter is useful for what the ad types call “top of the funnel” marketing — building brand awareness and so on — but that it has yet to deliver paying customers in the way that GoogleAdwords can. Today, though, it appears Twitter has responded with a new ad product that will make it easier for brands to assess what they get for their marketing bucks.

The product, called a “Lead Generation Card,” lets marketers post expanded tweets that invite users to sign up for stuff right inside Twitter. The company showed what this might look in a blog post describing the product:

Screenshot of Twitter Lead Gen card

According to a spokesman, the idea reduces friction in the marketing process because Twitter already has users’ email addresses and other contact information — meaning that it takes just one click for a user to connect with the brand.

The move comes as Twitter continues to expand its ad products, including its self-serve platform, ahead of a rumored IPO later this year.

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