One of the biggest challenges for marketers using Twitter is that it’s hard to sell products directly from the platform. Twitter has made a lot of progress in this area during the past year by introducing new Amazon checkout integration, adding Amazon Wishlist integration and testing a “Buy” button. Twitter is now testing a feature called Twitter Offers that will let advertisers include special promotions for certain fans.
“Starting today (in the U.S. only), we’re beginning to test a new way for advertisers to connect with consumers on Twitter and convert them to loyal customers in their stores, on their websites and in their apps,” wrote Tarun Jain in a blog post announcing the test feature. “This feature, Twitter Offers, enables advertisers to create card-linked promotions and share them directly with Twitter users.”
Twitter Offers will work like coupons but slightly differently. When a Twitter user sees the offer, they can add it to their credit card by following a few steps on Twitter. Then, when they complete the terms of the special (i.e. buy the item), the customer gets the cash back added to their credit or debit card. It takes a few days for the amount to show up on the statement.
After users add a Twitter Offer to their credit or debit card, that card information will be encrypted and stored so they can easily claim other offers or make purchases on Twitter in the future. Obviously, users will have the ability to remove this information from their account at anytime.
Twitter believes the Twitter Offers feature has several benefits for the business owners who use it. Sales from the offer will be easy to track so marketers can more effectively measure the ROI from their promotions. Additionally, Twitter suggests it will be easy for marketers to start using the system “because they can use their existing payment network, there’s no change to the consumer purchase process, no employee training and no new hardware or software to install”.
Consumers will first encounter Twitter Offers this holiday season. Twitter plans to test the feature with a few select advertisers. Then based on their experience, the feature should become available to for all Twitter ad users by next year.
Combined with Twitter’s advanced targeting capabilities, Twitter Offers could be used to create highly targeted and very effective ad campaigns on Twitter. However, there is some cause for concern. For example, Twitter Offers function more like rebates than traditional coupons. This means that the user has to buy the item at full price and then they will have the extra money returned to their account later. The larger the amount of the offer, the less likely it is that people will want to pay the upfront price.
There is some potential for Twitter Offers to make an impact and make it easier for business owners to sell things on the platform. Though fact that it’s sort of a rebate program may limit how effective it is when compared to traditional coupons.
For more recent news about Twitter, read this article about a study on what Twitter users want to see during the holidays. And check out this article to see why business owners should use coupons for local and mobile marketing.