8 Easy Ways to Get More Instagram DMs From Customers

By: Cori Widen, Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks

One of the most powerful features on Instagram might not be what you’d expect…Instagram Direct Messages. Yup, DMs. There are so many reasons for a small business to love Instagram Direct Messages. Utilizing your DMs enables your small business to connect with your customers personally, helps build stronger connections, increases brand loyalty, humanizes your business and improves customer service. 

In fact, according to Forbes, “49% of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation from the brand they were doing business with.”

Small businesses, especially service-based businesses, can utilize Instagram DMs to gain more customers. So what can you do to encourage potential customers to start sending you more DMs? Here are 8 easy tactics for receiving more Instagram DMs from prospective customers.

1. Send DMs

The very first tip to getting more DMs from your customers is to actually start sending more DMs yourself! Get used to how Instagram direct messaging works and try to send out a few brand-building DMs every day to help spark conversations with potential customers.

2. Respond to DMs

If your customers have sent you an Instagram DM in the past and never got a response, why would they send another? Something as simple as a “Hey, thanks for your feedback!” to acknowledge that you saw their message could prompt further dialogue.

3. Say Hi to New Followers

Make new followers feel appreciated right from the start! Send them a new message thanking them for following. Be sure to personalize the message with their first name and be authentic. Nowadays, people can spot automated messages right away.

4. Offer a Deal

There are so many ways your brand can offer great deals exclusively to your Instagram followers. Post to your social media accounts that you are hosting a special sale and that your audience should send you an Instagram DM for the discount code. Alternatively, you can create a group of 15 people to send a private group DM message with a VIP promo code.  

5. Use the DM Sticker for Stories

Instagram recently introduced a new DM Me sticker. When you place a DM Me sticker in a Story, your followers can tap it and type a message that is then sent straight to your DMs. This is an effective and direct way to boost both your Story engagement & volume of DMs.


Posting frequently to your Instagram Stories in general is another great way to increase DMs. Not sure what to share to Stories? You can gain access to great stock photos/videos and easily create high-quality marketing videos with the Boosted app. 

6. Ask a Question / Polls

Ask your customers a question! You can do this either within the description of your feed post or by using the question sticker for Stories. Ask for a recommendation or what their favorite product of yours is. If you don’t receive a lot of engagement right away, try offering a small incentive, such as a discount code for whoever comments on your post or responds to your Story.

7. Check Up On Loyal Followers

Show your fans that you appreciate them. Reach out to some of your most loyal followers thanking them for their support, asking them how they are doing and of course, offering an exclusive deal once in a while never hurts.

8. Host a Contest

Reward your most active and engaged followers on Instagram! Host a contest and offer the first 10 people (or whatever number you’re comfortable with) to send you an Instagram DM for the chance to win a small prize. Check out our guide to running successful Instagram giveaways here.

Pro tip: as of April 2020, Instagram made it possible to manage your direct messages via desktop computers & web browsers! DMs for desktop can be a huge timesaver for your business. If you previously spent a ton of time on your phone typing out DMs, now you can engage with your customers & audience much more efficiently (think: laptop keyboard instead of iPhone keyboard).⁠

Cori Widen is the Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks. She has been leading product marketing campaigns and doing qualitative market research in the tech industry for 10 years.

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