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Boost your Mailing List with Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards

Update – December 2016
Twitter Lead Generation Cards Discontinued

Unfortunately, Twitter announced in December 2016 that they were to discontinue their Lead Generation card format.

I’ve left this article here for the time being for posterity…

Do you use Twitter?
Do you want to Increase your Email List?
Why not try Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards?!

Get Sign Ups Directly through Twitter

It’s now possible to get people to sign up to your blog, web site or email newsletter- straight through Twitter. You can even add this person’s details automatically to your CRM (customer relationship management tool).

It’s a technique I’ve been using for a few weeks now after reading this helpful post by Ryan Hoover called “Grow Your Email List with this Simple Twitter Hack“. It’s not really a hack, it’s a service from Twitter called Lead Generation Cards that were introduced back in May 2013. Initially the service was only available to big brands through Twitter Advertising, but Twitter made Lead Generation Cards available to all in August. You’ll have seen Twitter cards before- it’s the way Twitter gives a preview of the article a tweet links to, or an image or video. There are many types of Twitter cards including summary, photo, gallery, app, player, product and lead generation.

It’s best to show you an example of a lead generation card to show you what I mean. Instead of just replying to people who share your content or retweet you, why not give them the option to subscribe to your blog like this:

— Ian Anderson Gray (@iagdotme) November 26, 2013


I’ve really been able to boost the number of people subscribing to my blog and email newsletter since doing this. It’s also a great way of engaging with people and providing more value on Twitter. I included Twitter Lead Generation Cards in my “Thank You Replacement List” in the article Stop Saying Thank You on Social Media & Say Something Meaningful.

It’s a little tricky to set it up, but once you have you’ll be able to share your sign up link again and again.

Step 1: Sign into Twitter Ads

Firstly, you need to sign up for Twitter Ads.

Don’t worry, setting up Lead Generation Cards is completely free. However, unfortunately, to set them up you do need to enter a valid credit card number. If you’re not going to be using Twitter ads, don’t worry- your credit card won’t be charged. If you don’t add a credit card you won’t get the option for the cards, something I was confused about for a while!

Once you’ve added your payment information, you’ll see the creatives item in the top navigation. Click on this and then click on “cards”.

Twitter Ads Nav bar

Once on the creatives page you’ll see the option to create a lead generation card as well as a list of all previous cards.

Lead Generation Cards

To create you first card, click the big blue “Create Lead Generation Card” button!

Step 2: Connect your Email Marketing Software or CRM to your Card

The next stage will depend on what software you use for your email newsletter. I use MailChimp and so I’ll show you the options for that. However, Twitter Lead Generation Cards work with many other mailing list and CRM providers. Twitter has published a well written article on setting up Lead Generation Cards and gives links to the instructions of each provider:

In order to set up the lead generation card for any of the providers, you’ll need to create or get the following:

  1. Short Description 
    This is the headline for your lead generation card. Make it short and snappy, for example “Subscribe to my weekly newsletter!”
  2. Card Image
    This is a wide image (4:1 aspect ratio) for your card. This needs to be visually engaging and in keeping with your brand. The minimum size of the image is 600px (width) by 150px (height)
  3. Call to Action
    This is the text on the blue button under the image. In most cases you’ll want to put something like “Subscribe” or “Join”.
  4. Privacy Policy URL
    This should be the privacy policy on your website that shows how the information collected will be used.
  5. Card Details (Fallback) URL
    A page on your website where the person can find out more about you and your newsletter
  6. Submit URL
    The URL to which the data Twitter collects will be sent so that it your CRM or newsletter provider can add it to their database.
     These are the names of the fields in your CRM or newsletter provider. For example the name of the NAME or EMAIL field.
  8. LIST ID
    Depending on your CRM or newsletter provider you may need to enter more fields such as LIST ID.

Here is a screenshot of my set up. I’ve hidden some of the more sensitive fields, but you should get the idea…

Create Twitter Card

Step 3: And you’re done!

You will then get the web address for the Twitter card. Copy this and keep it somewhere where you can access it easily. My Twitter card, for example, is

Let me know how you get on. Do you think you’ll find this useful? Have you used them yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

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Great article! it helps me a lot! Keep posting Dan!


Thanks for a great article Ian! I’m trying to grab the data retrieved from my LGC via a custom endpoint (PHP script that writes it to a DB). Do you know anything about this? I’m stuck and just can’t figure out why twitter is returning an error. Best regards, Dan

Dmitrii Kustov

Do you know if there is a way to generate a LGC using twitter API?



Awesome post thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. I found something new in your post.


Ryan Wuckert

Could you revisit the set up. I think it has changed and there are no free cards any longer. OR could you clarify the credit card portion you mention in the article?



Hello Ian,

First I have to say: “Great tutorial” I past from zero to be able to work with Twitter API Basics with minimal effort. Thanks for that, you gain a reader and follower.

Now, if you don’t mind I would like to ask for something I need to accomplish and I´m completely lost. I pretend to develop a simple web app with server stats to every Twitter logged user. API has a rate limit and I can´t server to all users using only an account. I think every user can authorise my app in their twitter account and get a API token and their own limits.

I’m right? How can I do that?

Thanks for your kindly help.



Thanks Ian. Sorry for comment here you´re right it´s not the article but I did not notice. I´m sort of newbie with Disqus. Thanks for your help with my issue, really.


Don´t be sorry. You help me more than you think. Now I know it´s a “Sign in with Twitter” I have everything more clear and I manage to get documentation specific to that subject. Have a great day and thanks again.


Hey Ian,

I had to stop by and check out your blog. So hello there my new Twitter friend. Let me say, nice blog and I’m loving this post.

Now let me share my thoughts with you about this. I always have something to say! LOL!!!

This sounds like a good thing to do but I don’t like to ask anyone to sign up for my list. I do the encouraging through the relationships I’ve built and the help I’ve been able to provide them. Sure, if they are a new followers on Twitter and they haven’t visited my blog then they don’t know me from Adam. I do a lot of chatting though so I can remedy that rather quickly. Still, asking for subscriptions just isn’t my style.

I love the idea though and I’m definitely going to check it out. I mean if I happen to attach something like this maybe they’ll be impressed enough to want to come check my blog out right!

Thanks Ian and appreciate this information. Hope you’re enjoying your week.



Hey Ian, Oh, my pleasure and I’m kind of happy to hear that you’re focusing on this direction instead. I remember being taught that it’s all about the numbers but that’s a bunch of bull if you don’t have a connection with any of those people. I would rather my list remain small and active then big and not worth my time or money to have them hanging around. If you hang around me long enough you’ll come to learn that I’m ALL about the relationships. I’ve built a great community on my blog and they have been so darn supportive. It’s true, focus on the relationships and it will definitely pay off. I’m kind of known for my long comments too but that’s only because I usually have a lot to contribute and that gets people interested as well. You are right though, it doesn’t hurt to have a form like that to make it easier for them if they want but if they drop by my blog my form is in my header too so you just can’t miss it! It’s all pretty easy actually. Thank you Ian for your response and great chatting with you about this.… Read more »

Melanie Deardorff

This is great — thanks for the instructions. It took me a couple of tries, but I successfully created a card and set it up to connect to MailChimp. Now I need to figure out the best way to query MailChimp to see how often Twitter is the referrer …


Hi Ian, I had this working a few months ago with Mailchimp but I now keep getting an ERROR:Unknown Test card failure. I have tried to go through the steps and while the URL of the Lead Generation card works where an email address is captured by Mailchimp, I am unable to use my Twitter Ad account to send out a tweet including the cards I created. I would appreciate if you could help me. Thanks in advance, Berny


Thanks Ian for sharing. This is true gem!

Ian Cleary

Very interesting Ian. It doesn’t support office autopilot but can you paste in html code from email providers?

Robert Hunter

Fantastic. Thanks.

Ryan Biddulph

Ian, way cool! Any way to capture subscribes directly through twitter makes sense to me. So much engagement, so many tweets. Thanks!

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