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Social Media Blogs & Tips for Small Businesses

How to Drive Sales with Automated Instagram DMs

Updated on December 14, 2021
6 minute read

Automated Instagram DMs can help you streamline your conversations – even when you’re off the clock.

Published December 14, 2021

Instagram DMs are a powerful tool for any brand or business looking to generate new leads, build customer relationships, and drive sales. But with 200 million Instagram users messaging businesses each month, keeping up with your inbox in a time-efficient way can feel overwhelming.

Enter automated Instagram DMs. They can help you streamline your conversations and ensure you never miss out on valuable interactions with those interested in your product or service – even when you’re off the clock.

Ready to drive sales through automated Instagram DMs? Here’s everything you need to know:

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What Are Automated Instagram DMs?

Thanks to the recent launch of Facebook’s Messenger API for Instagram, brands can now use automated DMs on Instagram to answer their customers more efficiently.

Automated DMs are programmed responses that can be as simple as answering the most common questions you get about your products and services, to more personalized, interactive conversations where you can guide customers to different answer results depending on how they respond.

Check out how @socialsavvyhq uses automated prompts to answer frequently asked questions in her DMs.

You can build automated conversations by using an Instagram-approved bot-building platform like ManyChat, Inflact, Chatfuel or MobileMonkey, or build your own solution in-house. 

You can also use automated conversation prompts to collect valuable information about your customers – like names, email addresses, and product preferences – to help your overall Instagram marketing strategy. 

Why Use Automated Instagram DMs?

A recent global survey showed that 75% of people want to be able to message a business, while 64% prefer messaging over email or the phone.

And while businesses receive messages 24 hours a day, it’s not always possible – or cost-effective – to have someone answering these all day long. 

With automated Instagram DMs, you can respond to customers and prospective leads immediately, making them less likely to go to a competitor for your products and services. 

Later is an official Instagram partner, meaning using our app has Instagram’s stamp of approval. Plan and schedule your Instagram content today with Later — for free!

6 Ways to Use Automated Instagram DMs to Drive Sales 

From driving traffic to your website to providing customer service that inspires people to purchase your products, here are six ways to use automated Instagram DMs to level up your marketing efforts and drive sales:

#1: Provide 24-7 Customer Service

Automated Instagram DMs can help you answer frequently asked questions from new and existing customers – at any time. Providing timely, helpful 24-7 customer service will help to build brand loyalty and encourage people to buy from you again. 

You can also automate icebreakers – the little message bubbles that show up when you first DM a business – to prompt users with common questions they may have (like @juliaroseboston)

A recent marketing survey showed that 40% of consumers expect brands to respond to their messages within an hour of reaching out. Quick answers to questions and comments make customers feel like their needs are important and like they’re a valued part of your brand or business’ community.

#2: Promote Products

If you’ve got a new product or an exciting announcement to make, automated Instagram DMs make it easy to tell all of your followers about your brand or business’ latest developments. 

Keeping your followers updated on your news, latest products, and upcoming sales is a great way to promote your offering and drive sales.

By messaging your followers with updates on specific products or services you offer, you can target the sales you want to concentrate on in a direct, more personalized way.

#3: Gain Leads

One of the most efficient ways to capture leads is by using Instagram stories as a starting point. Over 500 million people interact with Instagram stories on a daily basis, so there are plenty of opportunities to funnel users into your DMs through creative and engaging stories.

Check out how @blume used an Instagram Stories sticker in their post to engage with their existing and potential customers about their beauty product:

Once you’ve got a user’s engagement in your DMs, you can automate a welcome reply, refer them to your website or suggest products and services for them to try.

Likewise, you can use automated DMs to send instant replies to people who have tagged your brand or business in their own Instagram stories. 

#4: Build Your Email List

You can also direct users to your DMs by requesting they message you with a specific automated trigger word for competitions, promotions and giveaways.

For example, if you’re an eCommerce store offering a discount code for a Black Friday promo, you could say, “If you want to get a 10% discount code, message us FRIDAY10."

When someone sends you that message, you can use automated Instagram DMs to trigger a conversation. This could be a prompt to create an account to receive a unique discount, which is a great way to build your email list. 

#5: Drive Traffic To Your Website 

Automated direct messages are also a great way to steer Instagram users to your website.

By automating messages to include links to your products and services, you can encourage message recipients to visit your website, thereby creating more opportunities for sales. 

Check out how makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury follows up on a product question with a linked offer for a beauty consultation:

As the above message shows, you can use your brand voice to make a big impact in your automated DMs. Fun, engaging messages encourage users to click on the triggered link, boosting website traffic and sales in the process.

#6: Build A Loyal Community 

Building a community of loyal customers requires two-way communication. Regularly communicating with your followers humanizes your brand and builds trust.

The private nature of DMs means users feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with a brand or business. And sending regular automated messages – whether to thank them for a mention, tell them your updates, or brighten their day with a discount code – will make them feel seen and valued.

Not only can automated Instagram DMs help you streamline your inbox and save you valuable time, but they can also be a powerful tool to drive sales – whether that’s through community engagement, customer support, brand awareness, or product promotion.  

Join Later for free today to plan, schedule, and automatically publish your posts from one easy-to-use dashboard, available on desktop and mobile. 

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