The Anatomy Of An Effective Twitter Ad

Social Media, WORK

Launched in 2007, Twitter came with big promises for the world of social media. It wanted to change the world.

Today, the 140-character platform has changed how people have conversations on social media, how they respond to global events, and how they communicate their brand.

According to social media examiner’s 2017 trend report, 82% of marketers are putting in more than 40+hours weekly on Twitter with 56% of them planning to increase their posting frequency on the platform.

Facebook largely drives paid activities while Twitter remains an essential platform for advertising because of its many benefits.

However, with more than 500 Million daily tweets, it becomes increasingly difficult for brands and businesses to tap into the right conversations at the right time.

So how can you advertise on Twitter more efficiently to reach the right audience? How can you meet your goals with Twitter advertising? What elements make an effective Twitter ad? We’ll tell you how!

The Right Objective

This is the first and often most overlooked step when creating an ad. Knowing your key objective is important to get the most out of your social media spend.

For example, if your goal is to drive traffic then choosing engagements as your goal may not be the right move.

Twitter has the following objectives that allow you to reach the right people to enable the desired action:

Website Clicks & Conversions

When to use it: You want to drive traffic to your site, and you want people to take action (i.e. downloading a whitepaper, registering for your event, subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase).

What you pay for: Number of clicks that lead to website visits.

Key metrics: Cost Per Clicks, Cost Per Conversion, Click Through Rate.

Tweet Engagements

When to use it: You have posted a fantastic tweet you think has the potential to engage a lot of people. You promote it hoping people will engage with your tweet.

What you pay for: Paid engagements on your tweet. Anything that’s organic as a result of your ad is free.

Key metrics: Cost Per Engagement, Engagement Rate.


When to use it: You’ve been tweeting for a long time, and now you’re looking for more followers. The more people you have in your community, the stronger the network for engagement.

What you pay for: Paid followers.

Key metrics: Cost Per Follow, Follow Rate.


When to use it: You have something in your arsenal that’s worthy of everyone’s attention This time awareness is your campaign objective. Perfect for top of the mind recall.

What you pay for: A Thousand Impressions. Note: Reach is the unique number of people your ad has reached, and an impression is the number of times they have seen your ad.

Key Metrics: CPM or Cost Per Thousand Impressions.

Video Views

When to use it: You made a video and you want everyone to see it.

What you pay for: Promoted video views. (Note: Nearly 90% of all Promoted Videos are viewed on mobile so it’s always good to optimize the video for mobile users.)

Key Metrics: Cost Per View, View Rate.

App Installs or Re-engagements

When to use it: You want to drive installs for your mobile-app or you want to re-engage with your existing users.

What you pay for: Installs of your app. (All other engagements are free)

Key Metrics: Cost Per Install

After choosing the right objective and the duration of the campaign, it is important to detail your campaign with effective targeting.

Relevant Targeting

Targeting is the crux of a successful campaign. With millions of conversations going on, it’s important to define the audience that will help you reach your goal.

Just like every other advertising platform, Twitter gives you the ability to target your audience based on demographics and psychographics.

Here are a few great examples of some of Twitter’s targeting features:

Keyword Targeting

One of the most powerful features of Twitter — keyword targeting — helps you target based on intent.

With the right keyword targeting, your ad reaches out to people who have recently used that phrase in their tweets or have searched about it on Twitter. Here’s one of many great examples by Twitter on how to do it right:

“Suppose your company sells baby clothes. Your phrase-matched “boy infant clothes” keyword from your search campaigns is unlikely to reach many users on Twitter, because people don’t Tweet that way. Why not reach an interested audience by trying a keyword like ‘it’s a boy?’ Eight thousand Tweets per week contain ‘it’s a boy’; almost zero contain ‘boy infant clothes.’”

Username & Interest Targeting

Use interest-based targeting when you want to reach a larger audience base. With over 350 categories to choose from, interest-based targeting can be a good way to test your campaign and how a certain group of users respond to it.

Couple this with username targeting that helps you reach out to followers with interests similar to the account you have targeted. For example, if you target @buffer, a social media management tool, your ad will reach people who are likely interested in digital marketing and social media.

Tailored Audience

This is a hidden gem within Twitter. With tailored audiences, you can reach out to people with highly relevant and targeted campaigns.

Here are three ways you can use Tailored Audience to make your ad effective.

Manual Bidding

Bidding is the most important part of any campaign. When you are new to Twitter, it is often unclear what you should be bidding in the first place.

A general rule to follow is to never use automatic bidding unless you want to reach a large pool in a short span of time.

Always make use of manual bidding and set a maximum bid (the most you are willing to pay per engagement) for your campaign. Click here to learn more about Twitter bidding best practices.

Creative and Copy

Your creative and your copy can make or break a campaign. Use clean, mobile-optimized images, and action-oriented copy.

Here are some overall best practices for creative and copy:

  • Align the creative with your brand identity
  • Write a tweet that speaks directly to your audience
  • Always A/B test the creative and copy, measure the results and choose the ones that perform best
  • Remember: Twitter is all about trending topics. Choose creative and copy that reflects trending elements to catch more attention. (Note: If you aren’t running an engagement campaign, don’t use hashtags in your tweet copy. Unnecessary hashtags distract the user from taking the desired action.)

When done right, Twitter advertising can serve to be a huge boost for campaigns. Make use of the right objective, focus your targeting, bid manually, and make stellar copy and creative to stand out and win at the Twitter ads game.

How To Learn Social Media Like A Boss


A list of helpful tips, courses, books, tools, websites, and blogs.

The best way to learn and become an expert about anything related to Social Media involves getting your hands dirty.

The Road to More Intelligent Lead Generation with Email


Source: Mailigen (Where this article first appeared)

Ask a marketer to list their priorities in 2017 and most of them would put driving traffic and lead generation at the top.

Hubspot’s State of Inbound report reveals just that with more than 60% of them listing generating traffic and leads as their top priorities in all regions.

Source: Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report — 2017

Capturing a lead — someone who has a potential of providing revenue to your business — however, isn’t an easy job. In fact, for modern day marketers, lead generation is one of the biggest challenges in 2017.

According to BrightTalk, 80% of them report that their efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective.

While an increase in social media penetration and its familiarity has contributed to quality leads and helped sooth down a marketers’ anxiety, it still isn’t close to the oldest and the most effective medium for lead generation: e-mail marketing.

Email has come a long way. According to the Radicati group, we are nearing a worldwide user base of 3 Billion by 2020.

In 2014, McKinsey released a now widely cited study. It highlights that email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers.

These numbers are huge. However, they don’t just put light onto a bigger market to tap in for lead generation, but also serve to be an alarming call to get intelligent and smarter with email marketing.

In this article, we explore 4 ways you can use email to generate and close leads — the smarter way.


At each instant, every person is in a different buying cycle. Moreover, they don’t necessarily have the same root cause backing their decision to purchase from you.

This is where email Personalization & Segmentation become critical to your lead generating email marketing strategy.

Econsultancy reports that businesses who personalize email report a 14% uplift in sales. However, while the commercial case is strong here, only 5% of companies are personalizing their emails.

In an age where an average user receives an average of 121 emails per day, segmented and personalized emails help companies stand out. So how do you do it right?

At the core, it is all about defining your audience based on certain parameters. An important thing to remember is that personalization goes beyond calling people by their names in the email body and subject.

To make full use of personalization, a good place to start is segmenting your list by using Mailigen’s sign-up forms, online surveys, or email activity.

In the e-mail below, Hubspot has segmented me:

  • As someone who has an interest in the courses offered by the Hubspot Academy;
  • Personalized the e-mail with my name;
  • Personalized the email with the content that I’d like to consume;
  • Provided a human face to their business. Notice, I have received this email from Justin Lee and not HubSpot Asia. An important point to note here is that people do business with people.

Other great personalization tactics include making use of dynamic content, dynamic RSS campaigns, location and time, among many others.

Read: Infographic: The Future of Email Content — Alive and Personal


Email automation is one of the most important (and smartest) aspects of email marketing today.

In fact, in a report by Marketo and Ascend2, 91% of the most successful users agreed that marketing automation is “very important”.

Here’s an example:

A user visits your e-commerce website, checks out your product, adds it to the cart and bounces off.

In traditional marketing, the user will still receive emails but they will not be relevant, targeted and personalized. Moreover, these emails are manually driven.

Where marketing automation excels is by triggering emails based on user activity. These emails are part of marketing automation or drip marketing campaign.

In our example above, the user will receive a triggered email informing them about an item in their cart. Few days later, they will get a 25% discount on the product.

Marketing automation enables trigger-driven, behavior-based emails that you create in advance — saving you time, energy, and heaps of money. This makes an email more personal, relevant, and timely — which is at the core of email marketing.

Read: A Beginner’s Guide: How to Make The Most of Email Marketing Automation


If you plan to run email marketing at scale, data will be the crux of your strategy.

Measurement and analytics of your email marketing strategy leads to smarter decision — which in turn increase the overall ROI based on optimizations and changes. So, what are the metrics you should you measure and analyze for intelligent email marketing?

Click Through Rate: Click through rate is a measure of whether or not your email sparked interest in your target audience. It’s important to factor in the various parameters that affect CTR before making optimization decisions.

Conversion Rate: After someone has clicked on your email, the next goal is for them to perform a desired action. This can be purchasing a product or filling up a lead. Whatever the end goal may be, conversion rate tells the story of how relevant is the overall offer. If you are consistently seeing a poor conversion rate, it is important to optimize the strategy.

Forwarding rate: It is vital to keep an eye on the email sharing rate or forwarding rate metric. Forwarding rate determines the relevancy of your email and also the number of new users you can generate. Hence, it becomes one of the important metrics to track.

ROI: There are many ways to calculate ROI and it depends what you want to achieve from your business. On a simpler level, it is a factor of all your investments and the profit you made from it.

Measurement and analytics is critical for an intelligent email marketing strategy. Data driven decisions hardly go wrong.

Read: How Email Marketing Metrics Can Help You To Make Your Campaigns More Efficient


Smartphones are key to a smarter email marketing.

Source: Radicati Group

“By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion”. — The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2014–2018”

The growth of mobile as a means of email communication has been nothing short of tremendous.

According to Emailmonday, Mobile email opens have grown by 180%. So, if you are a modern day marketer without a clear mobile first strategy for email marketing, then you are missing out on a lot of leads, customers and added ROI.

With a mobile-friendly email, you ensure consistent communication across devices. A mobile friendly email is tailored to mobile and has elements stacked up in a manner that creates better experiences.

Some of the key elements include shorter copy, using a larger font size and having a distinct call to action .

Here’s a great infographic by Salesforce that highlights key mobile-friendly elements that should be part of your next email.

Read: Best Practices For Email Marketing On Mobile Devices

In an age where Social Media dominates the ad spend pie, email marketing has been a clear outlier. Slowly and steadily, it has become a disruptive channel in terms of return on investment.

Clearly, marketers have taken notice. Which is why an average user receives about 121 emails per day.

So the next time you send an email, make sure your business stands out by practicing smarter and intelligent email marketing. Today it isn’t just a best practice, it is necessary for a successful marketing strategy.

This article was originally published on Mailigen — a ridiculously awesome email marketing platform for all your business needs.

The Beginner’s Guide To Drip Marketing


Source: Unsplash

Amidst a giant social media landscape, e-mail marketing still reigns supreme when it comes to closing prospects into paying customers.

But, how has email survived for so long? And why is it effective?

The answer is in the three value driving features of email: it is personal, cost effective, and drives high return on investment when done right.

According to a study by Mailigen, over 89% of marketers say email is their primary channel for lead generation. Surely, businesses have put faith in email. And the effectiveness of it is living up to it.

Image source: WebpageFx

The future of email marketing may get debated from time to time, but the current statistics point to this: email marketing is not dead. Rather, businesses have increased their spend on the channel because of its high return.

So, how do you strategize an e-mail marketing that turns prospects into customers? There are two ways to do it:

  1. The traditional email blast to all your subscribers
  2. Drip marketing

But what’s the difference between these two ways?

Traditional Email Marketing

You have built a large email list through your strong lead generating social media efforts and content strategy. You have put in hello bars, implemented exit-pop up strategies, optimized your landing pages, and explored other marketing avenues for a lead. Overall, your marketing strategies have ensured a steady flow of emails into your database.

As a next step, you initiate an email marketing campaign. It includes product related news, general information, or updates.

Traditional Marketing — Case #1:

  • Day 1: You visit an e-commerce website and check out the latest Nike shoes. However, you are not sure of the price at this moment so you abandon the cart and proceed with your day.
  • Day 4: You receive an email from the e-commerce store about the latest company news and how they plan to expand their product categories.
  • Day 17: You receive a product recommendation newsletter that highlights their latest spring collection.

While sharing product updates and general information to your customers via an email newsletter or one-off promotion can be an effective way to keep your customers engaged on a higher level, it’s important to develop an email strategy that is personalized and relevant to each customer.

Enter drip marketing.

What is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing or automated email marketing is a way to put your email campaigns on autopilot. The team at defines it perfectly:

“A drip campaign is a triggered sequence of emails sent on a pre-defined schedule to targeted recipients or email subscribers to achieve a specific result.”

At its core, drip marketing is time-bound, relevant, and tailored to the buyer stage. It also happens to be one of the top email marketing trends of 2017.

Why is it special?

The answer is in the sophisticated ways it lets you communicate with your leads and customers. You communicate with your leads based on their actions (signing up for a free trial, buying a pair of shoes, subscribing to a weekly newsletter) or in-actions (abandoning the shopping cart, no action on email #1, no click on email #4, product unused two months after trial ended). See the example of a drip marketing workflow from Pardot below.

Source: Pardot

From the first welcome message to the closing sales email — drip marketing covers all facets of email marketing on autopilot mode. It is more effective than bulk emails because drip campaigns are targeted and designed for individuals based on their behaviors and actions.

By tailoring your email marketing based on behaviors and actions, you can nurture leads. With the right nurturing, you can move these leads from prospects to customers — covering one buyer stage after another.

Businesses swear by the effectiveness of lead nurturing. We can understand this from the fact that without proper lead nurturing program, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales (Source: MarketingSherpa).

Why is Drip Marketing important?

According to Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified but aren’t immediately ready to buy something from you. Keep in mind, not all of your leads are at the same buying stage. Each lead has unique motivations and needs.

For example:

  • They might have just subscribed to your blog and are in the awareness stage.
  • They just participated in one of your product webinars and showed interest in your latest case study — so they are currently evaluating your services.
  • Or they have signed up for a free trial to understand more about your product before making a purchase.

Source: Hubspot

No matter what buying stage a lead is in, your email communication should be targeted, personalized and relevant to each stage.

With a defined drip marketing workflow, you can move the leads further down the funnel; capitalizing on their behaviors, actions, and personas.

As an example, consider Case #1 from earlier in this post — but, from a drip marketing workflow:

Day 1: You visit an e-commerce website and check out the latest shoes by Puma. However, just like in the previous case, you abandon the cart and proceed with your day.

With drip marketing, here’s what gets changed:

  • Same day: You receive an email that you left a product in your shopping cart along with a link to proceed with the payment. However, you choose not to open it.
  • Day 7: You receive another email from the e-commerce store but this time, they are offering you a 10% discount on the shoes. You open the email, however, you still don’t proceed with buying the shoes.
  • Day 14: You receive an email that the product is on 20% sale. It is in stock only for 24 hours and this is a limited period offer.

In this scenario, the email is relevant, personalized, and invites you to click. You have spread your buyers’ needs over multiple campaigns and a series of emails targeted to their specific needs.

In a nutshell, you tap into your customer’s confidence with every email (drip) until they become purchase ready.

Why does Drip Marketing work?

  1. They are trigger based: Since drips are triggered based, it makes the entire workflow seamless. You can define set periods, actions, and behaviors as a result of which an email is triggered to a user.
  2. They are relevant: From teaching a prospect about the benefits of your product, to informing them about an abandoned cart — drip campaigns bring in incredible relevancy.
  3. They nurture: According to Drip, brands that nurture leads generate 50% more sales- ready customers. Nurturing helps convert your prospects into paying customers — one drip email at a time. This can be an educational drip, an offer drip, a discount drip, or a free trial drip. Behavior defined actions help nurture leads to become paying customers.

Drip marketing works because it keeps your business top-of-mind with your audience. Through timely, relevant, and context-driven emails, a lead has a much better chance of moving through your marketing funnel.

Here are some great examples of drips by

  1. A prospect opens an email and clicks on a link about SEO. You tag her with “seo” and move her into an email sequence on how your tool can be used for SEO.
  2. A different prospect opens an email and clicks a link about social media marketing. You tag him with “social media marketing” and move him into the relevant email sequence.
  3. A trial user creates a new project in your software and you fire off an email about the best way to work with and organize projects.
  4. A customer views your upgrade page but doesn’t upgrade. You follow up via email four hours later with a special bonus (or slight discount) if they upgrade in the next 24 hours.
  5. A website visitor enters his email to download a sample chapter of your E-book about cats. You tag him with “Prospect” and “Cats” and follow-up with a cat-specific sequence of emails.
  6. You’re gearing up for your annual Black Friday sale, so you run a query to find all prospects tagged with “Cats” and schedule an email with a 50% off deal on your newest cat-related E-book.

6 Types Of Drip Campaigns

Highlighted below are the six most common drip emails. Each one of them either educates, engages, or closes prospects based on triggers and behaviors.

1. Re-engagement drips:

These drips are targeted to inactive prospects in order to build back the relationship and develop consideration for your services. Re-engagement drips can be a helpful guide, a latest (and relevant) blog post or a video tutorial to address certain pain points your buyer is having.

Source: Mailchimp

2. Top-of-mind Drips:

Your goal with top-of-mind drips is to occupy a consistent mindshare of your prospects over a period of time. Using top-of-mind drips, you ensure you are touching base with your prospects on a consistent basis.

Source: Anchor

3. Welcome Drips:

Welcome emails set the tone for future interactions with your customers. They are fairly simple to manage, and because of the intent being a soft welcome as opposed to a sales promotion, they receive high open and click through rates.

Source: Quintly

4. Follow up drips:

Send follow-up drips to touch base with users who haven’t tried your product after signing up, or have not been active on it.


5. Product focused drips:

Remember to keep your customers in the loop about new products and updates to your services. You can significantly improve your churn rate by doing so. Content that is useful to share with these updates include: case studies, industry reports, and white papers.

Source: Hubspot

6. Promotional Drips

Based on customer behavior data, you have segmented your database based on buying stage. Recently, you sent them a list of latest movies to watch and book tickets for. They opened the email, but took no action. What do you do?

You set up a promotional drip. With this campaign, your audience gets a tailored offer to help them make a purchase decision.

Source: BookMyShow


According to Radicati Group, 257.7 billion emails are expected to be sent per day by the end of 2020. Looks like email marketing isn’t going anywhere! So, make sure you tailor your campaigns based on your audience’s needs to increase your overall revenue and retention rate.

Originally published on Hearst Bay Area

People Can Sense Bullshit In Your Marketing


Here’s a fact: People have an inbuilt bullshit detector.

It is special. One of its ability is to sense crappy stuff and drop alerts. If your marketing is based on figures, promises, and expectations that are borderline false, it will get activated and your business is going to suffer.

What can you do? You can delay the death of your product by sugarcoating it with fancy copy, a $200 infographic, or a quick 20 second video.

But will it help? Nope.

Is there a way you can stop it from dying? Yes.

What is it? Authenticity.

In this age of social media and an ever evolving digital playground, it is now more important than ever to practice authenticity. No amount of advertising or content marketing is going to save your business if your marketing isn’t authentic.

You can dumb down your content for likes, comments, and shares. You can buy followers at unbelievably cheap rates. You can create first draft campaigns and rob people of their attention. Eventually, you can go around an shout out that “We have 100,000 fans on Facebook!”

So what?

These are nothing but vanity metrics. What they will give you is a good ego boost and zero business.

Loyal following takes patience, efforts, and skills. It is not an overnight game. Never. It is not about who has more “fans” but about who is more authentic.

“People don’t buy what you do but why you do it” — Simon Sinek

So, stop being gimmicky. Hire people who can genuinely understand your audience and are willing to market with authenticity.

Cheap marketing tactics will take you from point A to point B but they won’t get you business. In fact, they will only hurt you in the long run. Hence, it is also important to not promise what you can’t deliver. What you can and should do is under-promise and over-deliver.

Always remember: people can sense bullshit. And when they do, no “campaign” or marketing “tactic” can help you recover.

Honest marketing is scarce but it is damn beautiful. Here’s to more of it.