Case Study: How Twitter Uses Email Campaigns to Sell Ads

Twitter has been a major player in the digital marketing world for quite some time. 

And while some seem to think the platform is on its way out, their marketing team is pretty darn good at keeping a steady stream of revenue pouring in.

How?  

By using email campaigns to sell ads.

The following 8 email series is sent to Twitter’s list of business accounts in an effort to persuade these companies to start purchasing ad space on Twitter.

Each message includes the account’s handle or username (blurred in the screenshots below) in order to make them feel more personal.

They also use consistent design throughout the series. But change it up just enough to be sure each email feels fresh.

Let’s take a look!

Email 1 – watch TV with your followers

email campaigns to sell ads - email 1

What we love about this email

This email starts strong, and is a fantastic way to kick off the series.

Here, the Twitter team is doing more than a few things right.

They’ve successfully:

  1. Included a personalized & intriguing subject line
  2. Created a beautiful email that looks great on desktop AND mobile
  3. Included bold, eye-catching CTA buttons


As we continue, you’ll notice that these elements are included in every part of the series making these emails not only effective, but giving them a sleek, cohesive look.

the takeaway

In your own emails, at the very least, you should be focusing on those 3 things (subject line, design, CTA). 

Here’s why:

  1. Without a solid subject line, your emails won’t be opened
  2. Without great design, your emails won’t be read; and
  3. Without an eye-catching CTA, your readers won’t (or can’t) take action


These 3 elements are essential for any email marketing strategy because they can make or break your email right from the start!

Email 2 – this will make Tweeting easier

email campaigns to sell ads - email 2What we love about this email

In addition to the basics, we love this second email for its use of the curiosity gap

What’s the curiosity gap you ask?

It’s what leverages your reader’s curiosity to get them to click through from your headline (or subject line) to the actual content.

Twitter’s subject line in this email reads, “this will make Tweeting easier.” Immediately, our brains go, “What?? What will make Tweeting easier?”

Then, once we’ve opened the email, we’re hit with an equally enticing headline that states, “We didn’t mean to keep this a secret.” At this point, we want to figure out what their “secret” is.

This is an example of great copy! It’s compelling; it captures readers and keeps them reading the email.

This email also briefly communicates another simple tip for improving the performance of your Tweets, and (hopefully) keeps them reading long enough to click on the, “Try Twitter Ads” CTA button.

Oh, and did you notice how they’ve used a different color scheme (pink instead of orange)? 

the takeaway

Remember, no matter how fancy your email design might look…

If you’re missing that compelling element… chances are that super awesome email you put together will never get read, and more importantly will never convert your subscribers!

Email 3 – expand your audience with Twitter

email campaigns to sell ads - email 3What we love about this email

The third email of the campaign is presented in yet another new color, purple.

Changing up the color scheme in every email is actually a really smart idea. If they had kept the colors consistent throughout the campaign, each email might begin to look too stale.

Instead, Twitter changed up their design just enough to make each email feel new and fresh.

This email presents yet another feature of Twitter’s ad platform giving the reader a sneak peek at how they can build their brand awareness through Twitter ads combined with a simple headline and another consistent CTA, “Try Twitter Ads.”

the takeaway

When it comes to your own emails, don’t be afraid to stray from your perfectly branded email template and change things up!

You might find that even the smallest tweak can give your message that little extra “oomph” it needs while still delivering a well branded and cohesive look.

Email 4 – cut the production company

email campaigns to sell ads - email 4What we love about this email

Next up: a highly-specific email targeted towards a specific audience.

It’s important to point out how each of these emails are positioned within the series.

Tailored to specific audiences, the Twitter team is doing a great job at varying their approach. Instead of repeating the same boring, repetitive sales pitch, each email is unique.

Here, Email #4 targets content creators and media companies.

And, like the last three emails, this one includes a CTA link (“our five Periscope tips”). Clicking this will take the user to a separate blog post full of helpful information about live streaming with Twitter. This makes the email feel even more valuable to its readers.

At the same time, the linked blog post also includes plenty of CTA buttons for Twitter ads (the ultimate goal of the email campaign).

By linking to this article, Twitter is hoping to both provide value to its users and get them to purchase an ad campaign.

the takeaway

As you start to curate new messages for your own email campaign, don’t forget that your focus should ALWAYS be how you can provide value to your reader.

The more your reader begins to view you as their go-to resource, the more likely they are to trust you enough to make a purchase from you.

Email 5 – sometimes you need more than 140 characters

email campaigns to sell ads - email 5What we love about this email

Halfway through the email series, Twitter decides to change things up.

Here, with four emails already in our inbox, Twitter has decided to make a small change. They’ve decided not to include an image in their email body.

The email still shares a helpful tip with their readers but this time, keeps it simple.

the takeaway

As you craft your own emails, try not to focus on cramming every single email full of content, instead try dropping a simple text, unedited email into your email campaigns to break things up.

You may be pleasantly surprised at the results: increased engagement and extra clicks!

Email 6 – get more reach on Twitter

email campaigns to sell ads - email 6

What we love about this email

Email six continues to provide value, ask for a conversion, and address users based on their pain points.

This time they’re circling back to their topic of building awareness (included in Email 2) and presenting it in a new, more simplistic way.

This time it reads more as a little reminder, like “Hey, remember this?”

the takeaway

Not every email you write needs to share entirely new information.

It’s okay to revisit previous topics you’ve touched on (in fact we recommend it!) as a way to give your audience a fresh reminder of your offering.

Email 7 – followers want to hear from you

email campaigns to sell ads - email 7

What we love about this email

“93% of followers plan to buy something from an SMB they followed.”

Doesn’t that statistic just demand your attention as soon as you see it? 

Here, social proof has been strategically added to show how other businesses have used their Twitter presence to increase sales.

After all, when we purchase something we want to know that it’s actually worked for other people, right?

the takeaway

Consider adding a little social proof into your own email messages by:

  • Including testimonials from past customers
  • Using stats and numbers to show how your product/service has been able to help others (ie: serving 45,000 customers since 2015)
  • Linking to your reviews on Yelp, Facebook or your website to encourage your readers to take a deeper look at what other satisfied customers have had to say

Email 8 – partner with power users

email campaigns to sell ads - email 8

What we love about this email

This is the last email in the series and may be Twitter’s last chance to sell us some ads.

Here, check out the small tweak they’ve made to the “We want to help…” line.

Now it says, “We want to help you get more out of Twitter and Twitter Ads.

By adding those last three words, Twitter is hoping to get just a little more awareness around their ads.

Here they’re encouraging their readers to use Twitter to partner with influencers to build their brand.

This email serves as more of a “gentle” reminder that Twitter’s there for them when they’re ready to build their business.

the takeaway

Although your ultimate goal is to sell your product/service to your readers, you don’t want to come off as being too “salesy.”

First, focus on what you can teach or share in your message and then add the sale.

A Solid Email Campaign Keeping Twitter in the Black

You’ve probably noticed at this point that every subject line or headline of this series communicates a benefit of Twitter Ads. (Make Twitter Easier, Expand Your Audience, Broadcast Your Brand etc.)

That’s one of the best elements of this campaign, and one you should be focusing on for your own: communicating the value of your product or service.

Twitter has had its challenges. Until they launched Twitter Ads, the company had virtually no way to generate revenue from its user base.

Now, with the help with of a well thought out email series such as this one, Twitter is able to sell ads and bring in a little income for its investors.

Ready to create your own email campaigns to make sales?

Do it with Sendlane.

Start your trial and get unlimited access to the Sendlane platform for free!

Click here to learn more.

 

Caitlin Haines

Caitlin Haines

Social Media & Content Manager at Sendlane
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative marketing content and is primarily responsible for overseeing development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels. After putting in years of work experience in the marketing world of luxury real estate, Caitlin decided it was time for a change and that’s when she found her “home” at Sendlane! She has enjoyed being a part of a powerhouse team where she has had the opportunity to wear a variety of hats and take her knowledge and creativity to the next level. When not focusing on increasing Sendlane's online presence you'll find Caitlin playing music or spending time with her Fiancé.
Caitlin Haines

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