Instagram Automated DMs: Put Your Social Selling on AutoPilot

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POSTED January 18, 2023 BY Elise Darma

Want to know a secret?

Learning how to use automated DMs can change the trajectory of your business.


Since switching my focus from “tap the link in my bio” to forging meaningful relationships with my followers, I’ve seen a major spike in my engagement and sales.


DMs are the best place on Instagram to:

  • Create a deeper connection.
  • Guide your followers through your different offers.
  • Collect the cash you’re leaving on the table.

There’s only one small problem…

…While 89% of consumers want to message you, the reality is you’re not always online.

As busy entrepreneurs, there’s so much we have to do. Sometimes, replying to the dozens of direct messages per day gets pushed aside.

The solution?

Automated messages.

It’s perfect for new biz owners who don’t want to invest in a social media manager or even more established entrepreneurs looking to streamline tasks for their team.

Want to see how Automated DMs can work for you?

Keep reading.

I’m breaking down how I used Automated DMs on a holiday Deck The Vaults campaign, which brought in over $31,000 in just one week.

automated DMs

What Are Instagram Automated DMs?

Automated Instagram DMs are your new business BFF.

These chatbots are pre-planned responses and message flows you can use to run your biz communications on Instagram on autopilot.

  • Tired of answering the same question about your opening hours? Let the bot handle it.
  • Getting dozens of DMs about your latest coaching program? Your bot can do the heavy lifting and guide your followers through your funnel.
  • Don’t want to manually send the same message to every person who replies to your Instagram Story? The bot has you covered.

It’s a way for you to go beyond a basic FAQ guide and deliver personalized, interactive conversations with your followers.

The best part?

You don’t even have to be online.

automated DMs

Why Should You Turn On Automated DMs for Your Business?

Let me ask you something.

What’s your preferred way of reaching out to a business when you have questions?

  1. Phone call
  2. Email
  3. Instant messaging

I bet $5 you said instant messaging.

You’re not alone.

Since the rise of social media and smartphone usage, there’s been a noticeable shift in how people want to communicate with brands.

  • 64% of respondents prefer to contact companies via text messaging.
  • 63% of consumers would switch to a company that offered text messaging as a communication channel.
  • More than 50% of customers would rather text than call customer support.

And it keeps getting better.

Texting converts.

Like, ridiculously well.

But wait, there’s more.

Aside from an increase in customer engagement, Automated DMs have many other business benefits.

Increase in Product and Services Sales

No matter what you’re selling, you probably have more than one offering or product available.

However, not every product is perfect for every customer and not every customer is perfect for your business.

To help your audience, you can use Automated DMs to guide users through the decision-making process and make a purchase that aligns with their goals.

How does this work IRL?

  • Create product quizzes.
  • Automatically answer service or product questions.
  • Specific deals for people reaching out via DM.

You can end the instant reply sequence with a direct link to your website to complete the purchase.

How amazing?!

That’s all happening while you’re on the beach in Ibiza, sipping on your 3rd negroni.

Qualify Leads & Grow Your Email List

Automated DMs take the grunt work out of qualifying leads.

Set up a flow of common questions to pre-qualify users and jump in once the person ticks all your boxes and is close to making a purchasing decision.

Another pro?

Automated DMs can grow your email list by removing friction in your sales funnel.

What do I mean?

Well, in the past, your freebie workflow would look like this:

  • Create a static Instagram post with a CTA to click the link in your bio.
  • The user clicks on your link and navigates the menu to find the correct freebie.
  • Lands on your website, fills out their details, and the freebie is sent to their inbox.

Automated DMs make the process easier and effortless for your audience.

A user only needs to DM you a word like “CHEATSHEET” (for example) and BAM! There’s a message with a link to the landing page to grab the freebie.

It reduces fall-off, increases conversions, and gets more people in your DMs.

Offer Instant Support With Automated DMs

Here’s the thing.

Instant gratification is something most of us expect when it comes to customer service.

That’s not all.

40% of leads come in the after-hours specifically at night, on weekends and over holidays.

…But it’s impossible to have your team respond to messages 24 hours a day.

Until now.

With automated Instagram DMs, you can respond to leads and customers immediately. In seconds, you meet their desire to avoid delay and seize an opportunity to make a sale before the person goes to one of your competitors.

I’m not just saying that.

A speedy response is a necessity, with leads 21x more likely to make a purchase if contacted within the first five minutes of filling out an enquiry form.

If you’re slow, you’re literally leaving money on the table.

Use your automated DMs to:

  • Respond to FAQs with pre-built answers.
  • Create a list of prompts to guide first-time users sending you a message.
  • Capture support information and notify yourself or your team if the user needs live chat support.

How’s that for customer satisfaction?

Have More Conversations in the DMs

I’ve been saying it for years.

Instagram direct messages are the most lucrative feature on the platform.


Social selling isn’t about posting pretty pictures or relatable Reels. Sure, it will grow your audience, but the magic lies in connection.

And that’s where selling in the DMs comes in.

Take Becky Keen for example, who has sold over $100,000 over Instagram by focusing on the DMs.

The best part?

She didn’t achieve this by aggressively cold-messaging potential customers with her latest offers. These sales are organic and happen naturally through the relationship Becky builds with her audience.

DMs are the best place on Instagram to build a deeper connection with your ideal customer.

That’s why it’s crucial to move your followers from mindlessly liking your feed posts to watching your Instagram Stories and then connecting on a personal level in the DMs.

Automated DMs give someone a reason to start messaging you. Think of it as your “opener” for more sales, better relationships, and engagement.

Plus, the algorithm values an Instagram Direct Message above likes. It views DMs as a more personal interaction and, as a result, will start to prioritize your content in their feed.

The Best Automated DM Platform

Are you itching to give this latest Instagram hack a whirl?

The first step is choosing an automated conversation platform.

ManyChat, Chatfuel, and Inflact are all Instagram-approved bot-building options meaning your customer data is secure, and Instagram won’t ban your account.

After doing some research, I went with ManyChat and love it.

It’s a powerful tool with dozens of features that’ll streamline managing your Instagram inbox and help you make more $$$ in your sleep. It’s also trusted by over one million businesses and is an official Meta Business Partner, giving you an added level of security.

Some of the ManyChat features include:

  • Flow Builder: Create personalized conversations and customize your text, media, and links.
  • Keyword Triggers: Trigger messages, conversations, and business automations with specific words or phrases.
  • Comments Automation: Tell your audience to comment a specific word on your feed post and automatically send the user a message.
  • Story Mentions: Instantly reply to everyone who mentions you in a Story.
  • Conversation Starters: Create a list of FAQs to guide users who have never messaged your account before.
  • Capture User Information: Store user details like their name and email address in the ManyChat CRM and use it to personalize your communication.
  • Integrations: Sync your data with MailChimp, Shopify, Google Sheets, Zapier, and more.


Now that you know all the incredible things ManyChat can do in theory, let’s break down how I used the application to run my most recent Instagram campaign.

How to Use ManyChat to Automate Your Instagram DMs

With Christmas around the corner, I knew I wanted to create a campaign to gift my fellow entrepreneurs who feel time-poor a game-changing bundle.

If there is one thing the last two years have taught me: biz owners should not be working 24/7. It’s a belief that led me to create my Vault products.

Each one is designed to give busy entrepreneurs (like yourself) time-saving tools to run your business more efficiently.

And thus, my first Automated DMs campaign was born – Deck The Vaults.

The Campaign Strategy

If users commented “DECK” on any of my promotional posts, they could get a secret link to save up to $640 on EIGHT of my Vault products.

How’s that for creating a feeling of exclusivity and scarcity?

For the promotion, we used the Comments Automation feature. When a user comments “DECK,” it will trigger two things to happen:

  1. A response from me on their original comment (we made sure to create a variety of responses to avoid this coming off too “bot-ish.”)
    automated DMs
  2. A DM with a message and a link to the sale.
    automated DMs

The Results

I know what you’re thinking.

“Sure, setting up a trigger like this is great, but does it drive business results? What is the social media ROI? Are people even clicking through to your offer?”

I’m happy to report, and yes, my Deck The Vaults campaign was a success.

automated DMs

  • 281 people commented DECK across multiple Instagram feed posts.
  • I had a 16.3% click-through rate by people who opened my automated DM and visited the sales page (a 16% CTR is *unheard* of in the email marketing space).
  • My campaign made over $31,000 in just a week.

Want to test out the exact DM strategies I just talked about AND start making Instagram work for you?

Message Magic Mockup

As soon as I got back from maternity leave, I hit the ground running and created Message Magic. I wanted busy business owners to have this info in their hands ASAP.


  1. This strategy is still SO new – now is the time to get ahead of your competition.
  2. 2 out of 3 customers say that speed of service is just as important as the price (and this system runs in the background 24/7).
  3. Every week, 1 billion people message businesses over WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.

Once your messaging system is up and running, you’ll:

  1. Be able to step away from the content side of your business for weeks or even months to come
  2. See more sales generated to your offers and products, literally effortlessly
  3. Have more time for life outside of work (including your family, hobbies, and self-care – remember those things!?)

And don’t worry about the tech. We set it up so that you can import 12 done-for-you automations right into your Manychat account with one click!

Ready to connect your content to the very same “set it and forget it” strategy that earned my business 60-80k per month while I was totally offline?



POSTED January 18, 2023 BY Elise Darma
Hi, I’m Elise Darma!

I traded my 9-5 office cardigan for
that 7-figure entrepreneur life. But
I’m no overnight success. I’ve
experienced burnout, overwhelm
and ghosting Instagram for the
entire month of February 2019. I’m
probably the laziest Instagram
marketer you know, but if you want
to know how to sell more by doing
less – you’re in the right place.

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