Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a desktop chat with these functions:
- Set up auto-replies when you get messages with trigger words in them – and answer without even opening the app.
- Welcome every new follower to engage and provide value.
- Save Quick replies and shortcuts to answer fast with prefabricated messages.
- Label conversations and leave notes to filter users by groups and for easy search.
- Send messages in bulk for every follower or by customized filters to stimulate engagement and activity.
Influencers, Instagram businesses, and those who manage several IG accounts need a more advanced desktop messenger, like the Inflact Direct module. This essential tool will free up your time and at the same time give you the ability to reach hundreds of clients in just 10 minutes.
In this guide, you will learn how to make the most of the desktop IG messenger whether you are running a business or sharing niche content with different segments in your community.
Chapter 1 - DM for business: an ultimate strategy to grow sales
Did you know that over 50% of sales on Instagram are made thanks to DMs? This means having a consistent communication strategy helps you to convert followers into clients and engage with potential customers.
When running a business across social media, it’s crucial to coordinate your strategy and goals according to the sales funnel framework. The DM process itself is simple, but you should correlate it with your marketing goals to make the most of the Instagram messaging system.
In this chapter, you will learn how to slide into DMs with your audience at various stages of the marketing funnel. The Inflact DM module works as an Instagram DM CRM system, where you can accomplish the following goals without typing every message manually:
- Engage with new followers to build a more intimate relationship.
- Remind followers about new deals to stand out among competitors.
- Stimulate your audience to take action in private messages.
- Organize customer support.
To get a deeper understanding of the DM messaging scheme, look at the classic social media funnel:
Attracting new audiences who know little about your brand or products. Explain what pain points your company solves.
Welcoming messages to every new follower. You can easily set aside automated and unique DM in your Direct module dashboard.
Outreach via DMs to find new influencers, companies willing to cooperate.
Highlight your distinctive benefits in comparison with competitors. Attract and stimulate sales via freebies, giveaways, contests—no aggressive sales techniques.
Bulk messages with explicit information or educational content about your product or brand. Notifications about upcoming discounts. Example:
Spur the warm audience of your followers to take action – buy your products or se rvices.
Use bulk messages by labels to stimulate interested people to take the final action and buy from you. Use a lead magnet, triggers, offer discounts, and free samples in your DMs to stand out.
In the Inflact DM, you can mark the warm clients with colored labels to close the sale via the next DM.
Keep an intimate and warm relationship with your clients and customers. Answer all the requests and comments after the purchase has been made.
When the sale has been made, keep in touch with your clients. Send in bulk ‘thank you messages” to all the clients with exclusive deals. Ask for their feedback.
Set up auto-replies by trigger words in the Inflact DM to answer frequent questions fast and quickly.
Building trust with your audience so that they become advocates and spread the word about your brand.
Hold a contest among your audience to collect UGC and testimonials. Send the contest details to all existing customers in bulk using the Inflact labels in chats.
Notify them privately about new products, sales, exclusive deals, etc.
This sales strategy tied to the classic social media sales funnel can be fully executed automatically with the Inflact Direct Module. You only need to write a version of the messages and follow the instructions.
In the next parts of this guide, I will show you the settings and examples so that you can perform the sales strategy effortlessly.
Even if you are not ready to try the Direct module for Instagram, read these steps to the end to find more lucrative business messaging ideas.
DM techniques to make cold audiences warm
In the awareness stage, the goal of your DMs is to convert followers into potential clients or at least make them more interested in your content, products or services. It would be overwhelming to message every new follower manually, right? Especially when you are successfully growing your audience on IG. That’s why we made it simple in the Inflact DM.
Thanks to automated mass messaging, each user, even those who do not know the ropes, can quickly launch a messaging campaign in a couple of minutes.
What to write in welcome messages:
Greet and thank a person for following your account.
Write about how you can help or solve problems.
CTA. Encourage a new follower to visit your website / ask questions / take other actions.
Close your message with your motto or wish them a beautiful day.
Let’s review how to set up an automated Instagram welcome message with Inflact. Firstly, you need to open the Inflact Direct in a new tab and register – it only takes 2 minutes.
If you are not sure yet, try the Demo chat – you will be amazed by how convenient it is.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #1 – SET UP AN AUTOMATED WELCOME MESSAGE ON INSTAGRAM
- Go to the DashboardDirect Auto-replies.
- On the screen, you will see the section Welcome Message.
- Type the text of an automated message.
- Add variations of your welcome message. By doing this, you preclude the chance of Instagram banning you for spamming.
Don’t push a new follower to buy from you in a welcome message. In this step, your goal is to build brand awareness, provide solutions, and illustrate your brand voice.
DM techniques to build trust with potential clients
Going back to our social media funnel, in this stage, your followers will need more information about your products/services before they make a purchase decision. In the consideration stage, your goal is to provide followers with details highlighting your exclusive benefits.
People will try to find testimonials, webinars, how-to’s related to your products. UGC and collaborations with influencers will help you to build trust with your audience.
How can DM assist your marketing objectives on this stage:
- Reach out to influencers and opinion leaders with DMs. Influencer marketing is a proven way to establish brand credibility. Niche followers of the influencers are your future clients, so you need to be effective in pitching. I’ll show you the easiest way to negotiate by using automated DMs and Quick replies.
- Promote educational content. Direct the attention of your interested followers to your IGTV, Lives and free tutorials where you uncover tips, give product use cases, and answer questions. Mass messaging will help to keep the audience in the loop of your content updates.
- Announce upcoming sales and discounts in advance. Set up mass messaging in DMs before the actual sale takes place. These DMs will tease your followers and they will closely monitor your updates.
Let’s see how to set up automated DMs in the Consideration phase of the funnel.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #2 – INFLUENCER OUTREACH IN DMS
Step #1 – research influencers in your niche via free Instagram search
- Open the Inflact profile search in a new tab. Unlike the influencers’ services, this great search tool is entirely free!
- Adjust the search criteria – enter your niche, the type of account, a specific number of followers. Tap on Search.
- Analyze the influencers. Tap on Analyze and see the engagement rate, activity, top posts.
- Copy the username and other important data into a spreadsheet/document where you track influencer candidates.
Step #2 – pitching in DMs – the most effective way with Quick replies
- Go to the Inflact Direct messenger.
- In your active threads find the influencers you want to cooperate with.
- Label them as “Influencers.”
- Add a Quick reply. Type the message with your offer and save a shortcut for it.
- Start typing the shortcut to send offers to the influencers quickly. The whole message will appear as soon as you enter a shortcut.
Templates for brands to negotiate with influencers in DMs.
Partnering with influencers will help you to accelerate the consideration of your brand among potential clients in their audience.
Now let me show you how to inform your followers about content updates and upcoming sales.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #3 – NOTIFY YOUR FOLLOWERS OF UPDATES AUTOMATICALLY
I sell silk dresses on Instagram. I filmed an IGTV series uncovering styling tips from influencers to showcase the product in use. How do I attract more eyeballs to this clip?
The answer is: with warming and teasing bulk messaging in DM.
- Open the Direct Dashboard Bulk messaging New message.
- Choose All followers as a destination.
- Type your message. Use the Spinatax (randomization) – the instructions are provided in the messenger.
- Set a custom filter if needed and activate the mail out.
Using the same settings you can notify about various events, content updates or offers that will stimulate purchase decisions according to your marketing strategy.
DM techniques to increase sales
In this phase of the Instagram sales funnel, your goals are to continue to nurture your followers until they are ready to order. You should gently guide them to action by providing offers with triggers in your DM strategy.
Over 65% of Instagram users would most likely engage with sales offers they see on the platform.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #4 – CREATE SALES-BOOSTING MESSAGE CAMPAIGNS
What psychological triggers to use in these DMs:
- Lead magnet. Free access to something for those who take a particular action. For example, get a free scrunchy when buying a silk dress.
- Urgency. Set a time limit for your offer. For example, you offer discounts for one week. Use the Timer sticker in Stories to remind you about the time frame of your offer.
- Scarcity. Point out in your message that the deal is limited. For example, the first 10 followers who answer will get an exclusive deal.
- Exclusivity. Use special offers for particular groups of followers – deals for newcomers, for bloggers, or for loyal customers.
- Buy 1 get 2. This trick will accelerate your sales like ABC – the only thing you need to do is notify people in DMs.
- Discounts. For new clients, for a second purchase, etc, depending on your marketing strategy.
- Open the Direct Dashboard Bulk message New message.
- Type your offer using the triggers mentioned above.
- Activate mass messaging.
DM techniques to engage with your audience
Congrats – you got your first sales by reaching out to your clients in DM. But the game is not over. It’s crucial to remember your clients after the purchase takes place. Many brands ignore this part of the funnel and end up beaten by the competition – you need to nurture intimacy using the DM messenger.
5 ideas on how to stay connected after the purchase:
- “Thank you” messages. The simplest way to keep in touch with clients is by sending them mass messages with warm words. You can adjust bulk messaging in your Inflact Direct dashboard or set up Quick replies by shortcuts.
- Exclusive and valuable content. For some types of products, it is vital to explain how to use them. You need to film dedicated content in your Stories and IGTV, and hold Q&A sessions in Lives – read our Content section to find the most up-to-date guides. Use your DMs to notify customers about new uploads on IGTV and tease them before you go Live.
- Asking for feedback. User-generated content (UGC) and testimonials from your existing clients are great ways to engage with them with benefits. You can reuse this content in your feed and give promo codes for those clients who provided feedback so that both sides win. Use the Inflact DM features like labels, Quick replies, and auto-replies to manage these conversations fast.
- Answering incoming requests. It is essential to deal with all the inquiries from the customers you get in the DMs. It often happens that they ask the same questions, right? Using the Inflact messenger you can set up automated answers to the most frequent issues by trigger words. Also, you can save Quick replies with shortcuts.
I’ll explain how to deal with requests on Instagram in the next chapter – you will be able to organize a CRM system for all your business accounts.
- Informing about new deals / sales / related products. With DM you can notify customers about exclusive news they might overlook in the feed. This warm and personalized attitude to customers will result in loyalty to your company. When you launch a new product or sale, inform your dedicated clients using the in-built Inflact labels (mark this group as “Loyal clients,” for example).
All the above-mentioned ideas you can implement using the Inflact DM features – Quick replies, auto-replies, labeled groups, and notes. In the next exercise, I will show you some settings you can try for business.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #5 – ENGAGING WITH INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS VIA AUTOMATED DMS
Your active community is waiting for special offers. People who bought from you or who are active with your content are hot prospects, and DM will make them feel more motivated to take action.
Option #1 – engage with a selected group of followers
- Mark your active followers/clients via labels.
- Filter your dialogues using labels.
- Create a Quick reply containing the text of your deal you want to offer to the Active clients. Add a shortcut.
- Start typing the shortcut and the full message with your deal will appear on the screen. Repeat for each member of the labeled group.
Use this strategy to engage with your followers, customers, and active members of your community. Distribute coupons and promo codes using DM from the comfort of your computer.
Option #2 – set auto-replies for the labeled groups
You can answer automatically on the first messages from the special groups of customers. Thus, their message won’t disappear in your busy DM. What you need to do:
- Go to the Inflact Direct module Auto-replies. Choose Reply to First Message at the upper right corner.
- Choose the label you marked the desired group of users with. In the example above I selected all the Active clients and Customers.
- Type your message. Add images and emojis.
Option #3 – use the Inflact DM to run the contests
If you announce a giveaway, you are likely to want to reach the winners via DMs. The Inflact Direct module lets you search users by typing @username in the search bar.
- Start typing the name of the winner in the search bar of the messenger.
- Add a Quick reply and a shortcut you will send to all the winners.
- DM every winner using the Quick reply shortcut.
Holding hashtag contests is a great way to increase engagement even outside your Instagram tribe. Read our ultimate Hashtag guide and Promotion guide to fine-tune your business strategy on Instagram.
Remember that in this stage of the funnel you need to create personal support for the clients according to the purchase they made. Thus, they will become loyal fans of your community.
Hop into the next section to learn how to organize your customer service in the Instagram DM.
DM strategy to handle customer service issues
No doubt many clients reach out to your company to ask for support or express their gratitude or pain points. Instagram DM can perform as a fully-fledged customer support service.
You need to be extremely responsive to establish more intimate connections with your audience – too late or incomplete answers won’t contribute to customer satisfaction.
Ways to organize customer support for the Instagram community:
- Response to comments. People often reach out to brands on Instagram using comments under the posts. It is crucial to answer every comment in general, but if the answer involves details, contact a person in private messages. Dealing with negative comments in DM will reduce unwanted concerns in your community.
For example: If you get a comment where a user wonders about the delivery conditions, answer them in the DM. Mark this user as a hot client to offer them an exclusive deal later if they are not ready to buy right away.
- Solve incoming problems. When customers write you directly in the Instagram messenger, you need to be fast with your response. Sometimes questions repeat – people often wonder about prices, sizes, delivery, etc.
- Provide educational content for frequent issues. If the questions repeat, provide how-to content and notify clients that you uploaded it. You can film a series of Stories and add them to the Highlights (FAQ). Also, you can organize a Live broadcast with your technical specialist.
Find more insights on how to make your Highlights effective in our Highlights ultimate guide.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #6 – USING THE INFLACT DM AS A CRM SYSTEM
If customer support on your account is operated by several managers, they will find these features time-saving and convenient:
- Fill in users information. Ask the managers of your account to leave information about clients in the Notes section. This way other employees will understand how to deal with this client. Mark such details as a phone number, address, and e-mail to deal with delivery issues more effectively.
Also, the managers will leave the status of the purchase/issue (i.e. unsolved problem) by using the Notes. Thus, numerous account managers have access to customer data from any device.
- Practice search in messages. Community managers can find any conversation based on the keys in Notes and other data input. This feature is crucial if your Direct is overflowing.
- Run labels for various client categories. You can highlight conversations based on the group of the clients (interested, cold, hot, regular buyers), on the events (active Live members, give away members) and any other useful categories.
- Connect your other accounts. Regardless of the fact that you run a business in a separate account, you can still receive some issues and requests in your personal account. Or your business may have separate Instagram pages for various departments. Wouldn’t be perfect to have a single chatting space for all of them?
For example, a beauty hub runs 3 accounts – for a makeup school, for a photo studio, and a hair/makeup portfolio. They can manage all the conversations in a single place – the Inflact Direct messenger.
In this chapter, you learned how to create relationships with your clients in every phase of the social media sales funnel. By using the Inflact Direct messenger, you accelerate the way you interact with the audience. The basic in-app communication grows into advanced customer service and a CRM system.
Try all the Direct functions in practice to make the most of your growth strategy.
Chapter 2 – Instagram DM for influencers: engage and save time
In this chapter you will learn how to strike up a genuine conversation in your community:
- Best strategies for building relationships within your audience through DMs.
- Hacks to reach out to brands in DMs.
- Working techniques to drive eyeballs to your content and increase value with messaging.
DM groups – are they worth it for boosting engagement?
DM groups on Instagram are chat rooms where users with the same interests and within one niche coordinate promotional activities. For example, if you are a photographer and you join such a group, every time you post an image, you share a link with the group members. These people will like, comment, and engage with your content in various ways.
Engagement pods are similar to the DM groups but they may be organized on other platforms – messengers, social platforms. They can hold up to 200K members in comparison with the 15 members of DM groups.
Due to the instant engagement with your post, Instagram algorithms find this content interesting and show it to more people in feed and Explore. One of the pros of participating in these groups: the members are real and they give you real engagement.
Despite the evident benefits to influencers of participating in such groups, dangers still exist. The cons are the following:
- Instagram is cracking down on this behaviour. Several years ago DM groups were a hot topic and helped people to rank higher. But now Instagram knows where your engagement comes from. Instagram tracks the referral link when you share the post link to recognize the source of the traffic. Even if you provide a link on the Telegram channel, Instagram will find out.
- High maintenance. Usually, DM groups state some specific rules you need to follow. You need to comply with the schedule not be kicked out of this pod or group.
- They don’t work for long term strategies. If you aim to build an authentic following and attract people who genuinely like your content, joining DM groups is not effective. These pods can’t be the backbone of your promotion strategy. Would you like to have fake customers if running a business? It doesn’t make any sense.
There are more long-lasting ways to use DMs to interact with your audience and sell your services as an influencer. Explore the next chapters to put into practice effective DM techniques.
DMs to engage with new followers
Regardless of what niche you work with, people who have started following you will be unhappy with too much attention. According to the latest surveys, Millennials and Generation Z unfollow brands and influencers that are spammy.
I advise you to set up a welcome message for every new follower in the Inflact Direct module.
New followers have explored your bio and probably looked through your feed. But they might not be deeply aware of your content value. Here is what you can include in your welcome message to make new followers more interested and engaged:
- Thank a follower for joining your community.
- Mention the posts / Highlights / IGTV where you share the most valuable content in your niche.
- Explain the navigation on your account via branded hashtags, if any.
- Provide information on your ongoing contests or giveaways.
- You can ask what type of content they want from you.
- Add a CTA if you want to redirect new followers on your landing page or a website.
You don’t need to type all this information for every new follower – use automated messaging in Inflact.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #1 – SET UP A WELCOME MESSAGE
- Open your Dashboard. Go to the Auto-replies section.
- Click on the Welcome message at the right side of the screen.
- Add the text of your welcome message. Create several variations so that your bulk messaging is not considered as spam.
Sometimes new followers are willing to engage themselves – they ask questions or offer cooperation and barter. Sorting out and responding to these similar messages could get overwhelming, right? Let’s figure ou, what auto-replies you could set up to deal with this.
- The conditions of cooperation.
- The conditions for reusing your content.
- Niche-related frequent questions (e.g. What brand of lipstick do you use?).
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #2 – SET UP ANSWERS TO POPULAR QUESTIONS
Let’s imagine many brands slide into your DMs with barter offers and content collaborations. Probably, some SMM managers ask about using your images for a repost.
I suggest that you write down the conditions you are willing to collaborate under in an automated message linked to certain trigger words.
- Analyze what trigger words users mention when they reach out to you for partnership.
- Mention these trigger words in the Auto-replies section Reply to Keyword.
- Write down the terms of cooperation in the blank field for the message.
- Add several variations of this message by replacing some words with synonyms.
Add a question to this conversation to make sure the issue is solved. For example, you can ask whether you have answered their question, and all the conditions were clear.
If you want to check out all the incoming messages manually but save time, you can set up Quick replies to the frequent questions.
Alternative solution – set up Quick replies to popular questions
- Go to the Direct messenger.
- Tap on any thread.
- Click on three dots on the field Type a message.
- Click on the “+” icon next to the Quick replies section.
- Describe the conditions, rates, and examples of your work (link to a post). Add a shortcut for this reply.
- Start typing the shortcut and the detailed message will appear in the dialog. Enjoy the convenience.
Use DM to promote your content and boost reach
Your DM inbox is a perfect tool to drive more views to your content or warm up an audience before you release exclusive content. This hack will authentically improve engagement.
I suggest that you use labels to mark those follower groups who will be interested in particular.
Ways to present valuable content using DM:
- Provide exclusive content in DM. Label your loyal fans and distribute one-of-a-kind content via private messages. For example, if you held a master class in your niche and filmed a video for engaged followers, mass-send this clip to loyal fans to please them and encourage them to take more action.
- Teasing DMs before the content upload. If you promised to organize a Live Q&A with a trusted leader in your niche, tease and notify your followers in advance. They may miss your post and forget about your Story, but they will read a personal message.
- Asking for feedback in DMs. To measure the value of the content you produce, ask your engaged followers to provide their insights. For example, you can label those followers who were active with your latest Live or IGTV and ask them what they liked the most. Encourage them to leave comments under posts – this will enhance the chances you get into Explore.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #3 – SET UP LABELS AND FAST REPLIES TO PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Use DMs as a part of your content marketing. When outlining a content plan, think what posts, Lives, and IGTVs are the most valuable and promote them additionally in the DMs. Use the following scheme:
- Choose followers who will be potentially interested in this post. Label them in your Dashboard.
- Set up a Quick reply.
- Filter threads using the desired Label and insert Quick replies to these followers.
You will get 45% more impressions using DMs with a personal invitation to check on your posts.
Strategy to effectively hold contest/giveaways with DM
If you run a giveaway, having a DM strategy in parallel will help you to get more engagement. What you can do to improve the results of the contest:
- When you upload a post with contest terms, additionally notify all followers in DMs. Sometimes Instagram algorithms don’t show your posts in the feed – so remind your followers about tempting deals.
- Reach out to the winners in DM. Label those followers who win the contest and write them further details in private messages. Use filters and quick prefabricated replies to connect with them faster.
- Thank all the participants in the DM. These followers who didn’t win will be touched by a personal message from you – they will be more engaged with your next contests and won’t lose hope to win the next time. Label all those who took part and mass-send encouraging messages using Quick replies.
DMs to negotiate with brands
Brand collaborations start with pitching. I would not recommend that you use DMs on Instagram to discuss all the conditions for one simple reason:
Usually, an IG account of a company is run by a person who is not responsible for influencer marketing. SMM managers deal with requests from clients and curate the content.
For this reason, you can use Instagram DMs just to get the contacts of a responsible person – a PR manager, influencer marketing manager, etc.
Read the guide Influencer 2021: from 0 to monetization to learn how to pitch brands in emails and negotiate your contract.
PRACTICAL EXERCISE #4 – REACH OUT TO BRANDS FOR CONTACT DETAILS
Here is what you need to do to get the desired contacts for collaborations:
- Follow the brands you want to partner with. Also, you can start typing a brand’s nickname in the Direct Module search bar.
- Label them in the Inflact Direct module.
- Filter labeled brands.
- Add a Quick reply message.
- Point out why you are a perfect fit for a brand (demographics of your audience, interest in the product among your target audience, etc). (1-2 sentences)
- Explain how you are willing to help a brand to reach more customers. (1-2 sentences)
- Ask for the email of a person who works with influencers.
- Add emojis and write in casual style – DMs shouldn’t sound formal.
Use your shortcut to send this message to all the labeled brands.
- Set up an automated Reply to First Message by labels. Go to Auto-replies Reply to First Message Turn on the slider “For label.”
Now, when you get a reply to your request from brands this automated reply will be sent. You can thank a person for providing you with a contact / feedback.
- Collect contacts from the replies you get. Reach out to these companies using emails.
Find more templates in the Influencer guide.
Chapter 3 – Must-read before messaging: DM limitations & safety
Many of you may wonder:
Does Instagram have DM limits?
Won’t I be blocked if I mass message on IG?
The fact is, Instagram doesn’t declare the number of DMs that can be sent per account within a certain period of time. If you ask one business account how many messages they safely send, the number will be different from another one.
You should keep in mind that the adjustments are dynamic, and the algorithm can randomly check on you. According to the help center, the limit doesn’t exist at all. Nevertheless, complying with these simple rules will help you to keep safe when spreading many DMs:
- Vary texts. Inflact gives you the option to change words in bulk messages by using Spintax technology. When starting a bulk campaign, add as many synonyms as you can. The messages will be sent randomly.
- Don’t be intrusive. Direct is a private space, which means you shouldn’t bother followers every day. Labels and in-built targeting will help you to deliver messages to the interested audiences.
- Deal with incoming issues first.
- Organize mass promotions in DM only once a month.
- Use DM for informing and giving presents, rather than for direct sales.
- Track the response and reaction of your audience. If people start unfollowing, don’t use this method again.
Nevertheless, experienced IG users claim that sending 100-150 DMs a day does nothing wrong with their account safety. If you aim to amass 150 messages in an hour, Instagram may recognize you as spam.