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Twitter simplifies branding with Lead Generation Card

Twitter has launched its new Lead Generation Card in an effort to make it easier for users to show interest in promoted discounts from their favourite brands.

See an offer you like? Just expand the tweet, click the call-to-action button below the description, and Twitter will instantly and securely send your basic contact information — name, Twitter handle, and email address — to that business.

If The Barista Bar, for instance, is advertising its coffee club's daily deals, interested users can simply click the "Join the club!" button below the offer and their information will instantly be sent to the restaurant.

The new Twitter Card cuts out the middle man by saving signup information and removing the need to fill out another contact form each and every time.

"The Lead Generation Card makes it easy for users to express interest in what your brand offers," Mitali Pattnaik, Twitter's product manager for revenue, wrote in a blog post. "Users can easily and securely share their email address with a business without leaving Twitter or having to fill out a cumbersome form."

Twitter is testing the feature with various brands, including New Relic, Full Sail, and Priceline, and has received positive feedback "about how it helps to drive deeper connections with customers," Pattnaik said.

Beta participants have actually found that the new streamlined system helped drive a low cost-per-lead, compared to other marketing technologies. For now, the Lead Generation Card is available only to Twitter's managed clients but it is excepted to launch globally and to small- and medium-sized businesses soon.

Twitter Cards are meant to help boost content and URLs shared on the micro-blogging site but they sometimes cause friction between Twitter and partnering companies. In December, the site cut its Twitter Cards ties with Instagram, no longer properly displaying images posted from the photo-filtering app.

In its place, though, came Pinterest, which swooped in to support Twitter Cards and allow users to add Pinterest links to their tweets and have the content of that link appear below their message.

Last month, Twitter updated Cards to offer the same rich content from other businesses, including Etsy, Flickr, Foursquare, Jawbone, Path, Rovio's Angry Birds, SoundCloud, and Twitter's own Vine. It also introduced three new types of Cards: App, Product, and Gallery.

The social media site this week also introduced login verification, which it said is "a form" of two-factor authentication intended to help users better secure their accounts.