Grow Your Email List with this Simple Twitter Hack

by Ryan Hoover on Nov 26, 2013
Originally published on RyanHoover.me


I blog a bit and as a result, people share my writing on Twitter.

I use Tweetdeck to surface these mentions, creating custom columns to search for tweets that contain “ryanhoover.me” or URL’s to guest posts I’ve written on PandoDaily, for example.

In return, I reply to each and every person, occasionally reviewing my feed to reply with gratitude:

A few weeks ago, I started experimenting with something new.

After replying with appreciation, people often respond in kind. At that moment, I send a second reply with an ask:

If this looks foreign to you, you probably aren’t familiar with Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards. By simply including a link within my tweet, the card is embedded, giving users the ability to subscribe to my email list with a single click.

It’s beautifully simple.

As a result, 60-80% of people convert. Why?

  1. They’re primed.
    They have already shown an interest in my writing and the small sign of personal, human interaction — e.g. @grantwebster thanks for sharing, Grant! :) — compels people to reciprocate.
  2. It’s damn easy.
    With a single click, they’re subscribed. They don’t even need to verify their email address. By reducing friction, conversion increase.

I know what you’re thinking. That takes a ton of time, doesn’t it? It can.

Although entirely manual, this small personal touch is part of its charm and why it works; however, there’s certainly an opportunity to automate and perhaps productize this process.

A more automated approach would also reduce chance of a potentially awkward, impersonal interaction – asking already subscribed to subscribe.


I have some other Twitter card experiments up my sleeve that I’ll reveal in the coming days. Subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss out.

Have some Twitter card hacks of your own to share? Let me know on Twitter (@rrhoover).

Post Author

Ryan Hoover is the co-creator of Product Hunt and EIR at Tradecraft. Follow him on Twitter @rrhoover (twitter.com/rrhoover) or visit his blog (ryanhoover.me) to read more....

  • Ryan, 60-80% is crazy man. Thanks so much for sharing, just subscribed and Tweeting this now!

  • Great advice, Ryan! This is such a straightforward way to turn an interested person into a subscriber. Getting similar content directly in their inbox is more than likely a welcome action. Love this new Twitter feature and the ease of use!

  • Ryan, thanks for sharing this great idea. I haven’t used Twitter in a little while, but this little tip just might have me going back. I will look you up when that happens. Thanks!

  • Looking forward to your other experiments, Ryan. Thanks for sharing!

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing! Definitely a great post! Thanks for sharing Ryan!..

  • Great post. Looking to start experimenting with twitter cards.

  • What’s the hack? This uses Twitter functionality and doesn’t require any special trick or coding. Does anyone even know what the word hack means anymore?

  • I thought Twitter Lead Generation Cards are only available to folks with an ad account. Has this changed?

  • Considering you cannot do this with the basic Twitter UI, it takes extra research, and it is not the intended primary use of the Twitter Lead gen product, it sure sounds like a clever hack to me. At a minimum, it personalizes the lead gen effort for those that have the time to test it out.

    If you think that the word hack requires “coding” I would suggest that is a very old way of thinking about the modern use of the word.

    Either way, still a very useful tip.

  • That is correct. But most if not all folks can get an ad account pretty easily.

  • Exactly my point. People are using the word “hack” to include almost anything that involves a computer nowadays. He is suggesting thanking everyone who mentions you, (kind of creepy, IMO) and then spamming them with a link if they take the time to reply to your thank you. No hack of any kind required whether you use the old or modern definition.

  • Ok, makes sense. I disagree. Hack as a word started being used for breaking into computer networks as an evolution of the word. The word evolved to mean many other things, including clever solutions to problems, computer or otherwise 20+ years ago. Language changes. Trying to say people can only use a word the way you think it should be used never really works out. Words evolve. People use them differently. Get over it.

    If you think the tip (hack) is not useful that is a friendly discussion that I can get behind. Clearly Ryan’s results show the tip has usefulness. It is not spammy. There is relevance. There is partial opt-in. And there is not real annoyance, since @ replies on Twitter are easily ignored.

    There is also a big difference between replying with a link and replying with a lead gen card. One click subscription vs click/find form/enter email/click to subscribe makes it much easier for someone to say yes.

  • Then we’ll have to agree to disagree, especially on the idea of a partial opt-in.

  • Fatima Lora

    I love this idea! We’ve been trying to use Twitter Lead Gen cards more and we couldn’t really think of a way we’d be able to integrate it for our publications. This is great! Thanks so much, Ryan.

  • Thanks for introducing to Twitter Cards. I did not know they existed!

  • Denis Duvauchelle

    Thanks for sharing!

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