September 9, 2023

How to Generate More Direct Messages on Instagram

A few months ago, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared that direct messages on Instagram were now a key metric in algorithmic preference. If you haven’t read this article on why DMs are so valuable on IG right now, be sure to read it in addition to this blog post.

Now that you understand WHY direct messages are so important, let’s go through some strategies you can use to encourage more DMs on Instagram.

Use the CTA “Send me a DM for the link”

Instead of sending people to your link in bio, have them send you a DM requesting the link. This is best for short term campaigns, temporary resources, unique links, time sensitive information, etc. For example, I rarely use this method to get people to subscribe to my newsletter. That’s an evergreen action and easy to complete at the link in my bio. But, if I have a link to register for a webinar or conference, that is something that where I’d use the DM me for the link CTA and then give them that unique link to register. Just make sure you’re checking your DMs and your request folder during the days after posting this so you don’t miss any DM requests. And, honestly, this strategy has become one of my favorite CTAs and generates great results.

Use the CTA “Comment LINK below and I’ll send you the link”

This an alternative to the option above where you’re not asking them to DM you, but instead you’ll DM them. When someone leaves a comment on your post, you have the option to “Reply” or “Message” them. When they comment with the word “link” or, more likely, “please send me the link”, you can tap “Message” and send them a DM with a little message like “Hey there, here’s the link to XYZ: link”. Bonus tip, I usually recommend going back to their original comment and also replying “sent you a DM” so that they know you did and they’ll be prompted to check their inbox, including their Request folder for your message. This version does take a couple extra steps on your behalf, but it makes it easier on the audience and the easier we make it for them, the more likely they are to follow through. Also, all the “link please” comments on your post count as engagement and boost your content algorithmically as well.

Put a CTA on your Stories to “Reply to this Story for more details”

Use this direct CTA instead of the link sticker or in addition to the link sticker. Or use this to offer more information about a product of service. The goal is to get viewers to reply to the Story, not merely interact with a sticker or tap through the post. Replying to a Story is a heavy weighted engagement response and it automatically opens a DM where you can now have personalized conversations with your audience.

Use interactive stickers in Stories to garner DM conversations

If you use the Question sticker, you get notifications of all the responses to the question. From there, you can send a DM to people who responded and thank them for participating, comment on their responses, or engage with them in other ways in regards to their response.

Create Stories that are likely to generate responses

When someone is viewing a Story, they can respond with a quick reply (specific emoji or avatar responses) or an actual message. Either way, these responses open up a DM chat with you. Creating funny, entertaining, fascinating, newsworthy, or mind-blowing content is more likely to generate these responses. Now, what is funny or entertaining to your audience may differ from others. For me, sharing Stories of my travels with my daughter tends to boost quick replies but educational content or tips will also achieve this. So test to see what works for your audience and what type of content generates those reactions.


IMPORTANT: I want to stress that none of these tactics should be used to game the system, be overused, be treated as spam, or used in any other way to annoy the hell out of your followers. They are intended to be used strategically, intermittently, and mixed in with other calls-to-action to best serve your audience and drive results for your brand in the long run.

If you begin to implement a few of these tactics right now, you should start seeing an uptick in DMs on your profile, helping you improve your algorithmic placement, but also crafting relationships with your followers.

Want frequent, up-to-date training like this on all things Instagram?

My membership program, Profit Your Profile, gives you that and more!

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