Instagram direct messages (DMs) have come a long way since the introduction of automated DMs with tools like Customers.ai. Creators, influencers, and marketers have adjusted their approach to driving traffic and selling in DMs — radically boosting the impact of Instagram direct message marketing.
Without a doubt, Instagram DMs are one of the most effective channels to sell more on Instagram. Yet, Instagram direct message marketing has been underutilized due to DM management being almost entirely manual and labor-intensive.
Luckily, Instagram automated messages have flipped the script on this narrative, almost entirely.
However, don’t take it from me alone. Instagram direct message marketing is on the radar of the most prominent digital marketing professionals out there, such as Gary Vaynerchuk:
“Instagram DM (Direct Message) is the single biggest networking or business development opportunity of this decade.”Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia
Even better, Instagram DMs just got a whole lot more useful with the introduction of drip marketing campaigns by Customers.ai.
Drip campaigns have been available to Customers.ai users on Facebook for some time now. Not surprisingly, drip campaigns are one of the most useful features identified by Customers.ai users because they’re extremely effective in both driving engagement and working Facebook leads down your marketing funnels.
So, before we dive into how to build successful Instagram direct message marketing campaigns, I first want to demonstrate how these work in real-time.
Head over to our Founder, Larry Kim’s Instagram page and click on the “Message” button.
Then, send Larry a direct message using the word “DRIP” to trigger an awesome demo drip campaign!
Today we’re going to cover everything you need to know about Instagram direct message marketing with an emphasis on drip campaigns, including:
- Instagram Direct Message Marketing Drip Campaigns.
- 3 Instagram DM examples.
- Direct Message (DM) Auto-Responders.
- DM Marketing Example: Instagram Story Mentions.
- DM Marketing Example: Comment Auto-Responders.
Although drip campaigns aren’t necessary for all of your Instagram automated DMs, in this article you’ll learn how to use each of Customers.ai’s Instagram auto DM tools, accompanied by automated drip campaigns.
So, let’s jump into how to set up Instagram direct message marketing campaigns for your own Instagram page(s)!
Instagram Direct Message Marketing: Drip Campaigns
It’s easy to create an Instagram drip campaign using Customers.ai. In this example, I’ll be showing you how to create an Instagram drip campaign using Customers.ai from scratch.
Direct message drip campaigns for Instagram are completely new to the Instagram platform and are considered a “game-changer” by some of the world’s top digital marketers, such as Neil Patel and John Lee.
Essentially, every person that sends you a direct message on Instagram, based on what they do or say, can receive an automated drip series of follow-up messages over a specific time period of your choosing.
Note: Before getting started, make sure you connect Customers.ai to Instagram.
OR, if you’re not using Customers.ai, you can get access to cross-channel OmniChat® marketing tools right now.
So, are you ready to build your first Instagram DM drip campaign? Let’s go!
Step #1: Campaigns > Drip Campaigns > Create Drip Campaigns
In Customers.ai, navigate to the Campaigns tab at the top of your dashboard.
From there, select Drip Campaigns from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
Then, select the blue + Create Drip Campaigns button in the middle of your screen.
Then, at the top of your newly created drip campaign, give your campaign a name and then specify Instagram as the platform you wish to use by placing a checkmark in the box next to “Instagram”.
As you can see in the screenshot above, I’ve given this drip campaign the name “Instagram Drip Campaign Demo.”
Step #2: Select your Drip Campaign Audience
Next we need to choose an audience to receive your drip campaign.
For this example, I’ve chosen a custom audience, however, to get started we suggest that you use the “All Contacts” option, which means your drip campaign will be sent to everyone who sends you a private Instagram DM for the first time.
However, it’s important to note that you can create custom audiences and Tags to build as many audience segments as you want. This means you can build drip campaigns that will only be sent to people who meet specific conditions.
For example, you could trigger a drip campaign based on how someone has responded to your Instagram bot‘s question, or you could even trigger a drip campaign by a keyword, such as Larry’s drip campaign example, where if you DM Larry with the word “DRIP”, you’ll receive 5 DM’s from Larry with useful information on how to get started with Instagram DM automation and drip campaigns.
Whenever a contact enters your particular audience, they’ll immediately be entered into your campaign and sent the first message of your drip sequence.
Step #3: Choose the Time Between DM Drips and Create your Dialogue
Next, you need to decide how long in between the time someone entered into your drip campaign it will take for them to receive each of your direct messages on Instagram.
In Customers.ai, you can select from Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, or even Months between each message.
In my example below, I’ve chosen just 5 minutes in order to demo this feature.
However, most drip campaigns usually last over the course of a week or so, with a couple days in between each message.
You can add as many drip campaign dialogues as you wish by clicking on the + Add another Drip Campaign Dialogue button.
Step #4: Add Conversational Chat Widgets (Optional)
Let’s add a conversation widget to the campaign. There are over a dozen chat widgets to choose from, and you can tell which chat widgets are Instagram compatible by looking for the Instagram logo.
I’m going to use the Quick Question widget in this example.
The Quick Question widget is extremely useful because you can guide chat conversations by providing buttons with multiple choice answers.
This is called a menu-based chatbot, which is an effective tool to direct Instagram traffic to the best possible landing page on your site.
As you can see, I’ve provided three different answers for the person to choose from. Each answer can then link to its own unique chat dialogue and CTA (call to action).
You can skip this step for now and only use Text widgets if you like, however, it’s important for you to know that these chat widgets are available for you to supercharge your Instagram direct message marketing campaigns.
Step #5: Review and Set your Drip Campaign Live
When your Instagram drip campaign is ready to go, all you have to do is hit the Start button to set it live.
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3 Instagram DM Examples & Templates
Instagram DM drip campaigns are just the latest feature from Customers.ai.
However, Customers.ai includes a full suite of useful Instagram DM automation tools for your direct message marketing campaigns. All of which can be tied to any drip campaign you wish!
Here are just a few of Instagram DM templates and tools for you to choose from:
Instagram Direct Message Marketing #1: DM Auto-Responders
It’s been nearly impossible for Instagram accounts with thousands or even millions of followers to keep up with the volume of incoming messages.
Auto-replies to incoming DMs have now changed that forever.
Take what’s commonly referred to as a welcome message or greeting message, for example. A welcome message is an automated response to someone who sends you a DM for the very first time.
Ever read a “choose your own adventure” book?
If you take a closer look at the bottom of the chat conversation above, you’ll notice multiple options for the user to choose from, which come in the form of buttons.
Customers.ai allows you to use multiple buttons at once, which allows for multiple user journeys one could take. Naturally, depending on which button is selected, a different follow-up message is triggered.
Buttons are quick and easy for the user to navigate their way to the information they’re most interested in.
At the end of each path a prospect or customer chooses, you can add a CTA, such as a link to your most relevant landing page.
With Customers.ai DM Replies, it’s incredibly easy to nurture people down your funnel, capture email addresses, phone numbers, and other important contact information.
Test it out for yourself on the Customers.ai Instagram page by clicking the Message button, then say ”Hello”.
Instagram Direct Message Marketing #2: Story Mentions
The Instagram Story Mentions tool immediately caught the attention of brands with large, engaged audiences on Instagram.
Although Story Mentions are great for companies of all sizes, you’ll soon realize why the big influencers and ecommerce brands are already in love with this new solution.
Here’s how it works: When someone shares your post or tags you in their Instagram story post, this tool will automatically send that person a DM.
What you send is up to you, but a simple ‘Thank You’ note plus an exclusive offer is a great example, for starters.
Now let’s see a real-life example of the Instagram Story Mentions tool in action, by Neil Patel!
The most obvious use case here is to thank people for mentioning you in their Instagram stories.
However, other opportunities quickly come to mind when you start thinking about them. Here are just a few to get you started:
- Get more content shares: Use it as an incentive to share your content and create more UGC (user-generated content). For example, make the CTA on your posts to share it in return for an instant reward, like access to exclusive content.
- Promotional offers: Reward people for sharing by sending a link to your latest promotional offer(s). Whether that’s a discount, coupon, or other marketing campaign, it’s a great idea.
- Promote your most important campaigns: Have a big event or new product launch coming up? Make sure your most valuable followers on Instagram know about it.
Story Mentions can be a powerful tool for admired individuals and companies on Instagram to build closer connections with their fans.
It’s hard for the average business to convince even their most loyal followers to create content for them.
Story Mentions is making that much easier, and they’re effective for a few key reasons:
- Incentivizes word-of-mouth, the most powerful form of brand advocacy.
- Encourages future engagement with your content.
- Gives people a reason to mention your brand and create UGC.
Instagram Direct Message Marketing #3: Comment Auto-Responders
NOTE: Comment Auto-Responders are currently under construction due to a Facebook Policy issue. We will have a new replacement feature in the very near future!
Instagram comment auto-responders allow you to send private automated messages to people who comment on your posts.
The message is sent to the commenter immediately after the comment is published.
To trigger a comment auto-responder, users need to comment on a post using a specific keyword. For example, below you’ll see an Instagram post with a CTA (call-to-action) to comment with the word SATURN to enter into an Instagram giveaway.
Comment auto-responders are extremely powerful and viral in nature because comments equal engagement. More engagement triggers Instagram’s algorithm, which results in more impressions of your post.
Prior to the launch of this tool, we already have an all-star example of virality from Customers.ai Founder, Larry Kim.
Larry has a large social media presence with millions of followers across the major social networks. His most successful Instagram post, by far, uses a comment auto-responder.
Here’s Larry’s post, which received over 600 comments!
If you swipe or click through the carousel, you’ll see that the CTA (call-to-action) in the captions and the last slide of the carousel is to:
“Type “AUTODM” in the comments section below to get instant access to all 15 Instagram auto DM use cases.”
Clearly, one of the best use cases for comment auto-responders is to tease your content and then ask for a comment for access to the full article, infographic, white paper, etc.
There are multiple challenges faced by Instagram marketers addressed with this one solution:
- Lack of locations where you can place clickable links.
- Variety of effective CTAs marketers can place in their content.
- Getting people to comment and engage with your posts.
Think about it, where can you place links on Instagram? Most marketers ‘go-to’ call to action is, “Click my bio link for more information.”
However, you can always include a clickable link in a DM. Therefore, by sending a DM to users when they comment on your post, not only do you have an easy CTA for followers to complete, but you also have an opportunity to share a link and drive traffic to your site.
Additionally, the more comments you get on your post, the more visibility your posts will receive.
Instagram DM Example #4: Affiliate Drip Campaign
Start using Instagram drip campaigns with Customers.ai and to make some extra cash on the side, set a 15-minute auto-responder that says something along the lines of, “The automated conversation that you just experienced was powered by Customers.ai”, and then insert your affiliate link.
It’s a very simple hack that works surprisingly well.
And remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Customers.ai’s Instagram tools!
Customers.ai Direct Message Marketing Campaigns: SMS, Facebook, and Instagram
In addition to Instagram direct message marketing, Customers.ai can also be used for Facebook direct message marketing, as well as SMS direct message marketing.
Want to get started with Customers.ai and new Instagram DM automation tools?
Learn how to:
- Increase the reach of your posts on Instagram using Comment Auto-Responders.
- How to get more Instagram Story Mentions, from Neil Patel on how to use his new favorite tool for Instagram!
- Boost conversions on Instagram with these 15 brilliant Instagram auto DM examples.
Are you an affiliate? Get in on the madness that is Customers.ai while it’s still brand new and become a Customers.ai affiliate partner, today!
Instagram accounts that use MoibileMonkey’s Instagram marketing tools, will generate automated activity and interactions which are perceived as entirely organic. And because you’re able to generate organic engagement at scale, this translates into a huge increase in genuine followers.
Best of all, with Customers.ai, you’ll be working with 100% Instagram-approved engagement tools.
The proof is in the numbers: 75% of consumers also prefer to engage with brands using private messaging channels vs traditional channels.
Join Today’s Webinar with Larry Kim!
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Learn all about NEW 100% Meta-Approved Automation Tools from Customers.ai with a spotlight on features to 10X Instagram & Facebook Engagement and turn social media into a revenue driver for your business.
FAQs about Instagram Direct Message Marketing
Instagram Direct Message marketing refers to the practice of utilizing the direct messaging feature on Instagram to engage with your target audience, build relationships, and promote your products or services.
Instagram DMs can be used for marketing by sending personalized messages, offering exclusive promotions or discounts, conducting customer surveys, providing customer support, and initiating collaborations with influencers or brands.
Yes, Instagram DM marketing can be highly effective when used strategically. It allows you to communicate directly with your audience, fostering a personalized and engaging experience, which can lead to increased brand awareness, conversions, and customer loyalty.
Personalize your messages: Address recipients by their names and tailor your content to their interests.
Provide value: Offer exclusive discounts, promotions, or valuable information that encourages recipients to engage with your brand.
Be concise: Keep your messages short and to the point, respecting the recipient’s time.
Timing is key: Consider the best time to send your messages to maximize visibility and response rates.
Test and optimize: Continuously experiment with different strategies and messages to find what resonates best with your audience.
Yes, there are a few limitations and guidelines to keep in mind:
Avoid spamming: Sending unsolicited or repetitive messages can be seen as spam and may lead to account restrictions or penalties.
Respect privacy: Be mindful of privacy concerns and ensure compliance with Instagram’s terms of service and data protection regulations.
Use automation cautiously: While automation tools can be helpful, excessive use may violate Instagram’s policies, so use them wisely and within the platform’s guidelines.
Instagram provides insights such as message open rates and response rates within the Instagram Insights section for business accounts. Additionally, you can use URL tracking, coupon codes, or unique landing pages to track conversions and assess the success of your campaigns.
To grow your audience for Instagram DM marketing:
Promote your Instagram account on other marketing channels, such as your website, email newsletters, or other social media platforms.
Run Instagram ads targeting your desired audience to increase visibility.
Engage with relevant users by liking, commenting, and following them, which may encourage them to follow you back and engage through DMs.
Yes, there are several tools and resources available to enhance your Instagram DM marketing efforts. Some popular ones include:
Instagram Direct message automation tools like Customers.ai.
Instagram analytics tools like Iconosquare or Hootsuite.
Instagram content scheduling and planning tools like Later or Buffer.