Instagram Direct Messages in 2021

You may know my two success stories from the Oberlo blog.

First, I made $6,667 in under 8 weeks (selling watches).

Then I made $8,873 in 4 weeks (selling sunglasses).

Around 90% of the profits were made by using Instagram direct messages.

I was one of the very first who used this strategy. I made some good six-figures only using DMs and comments.

Then I shared the strategy and the template messages.

All of a sudden it seemed that every single business on Instagram sent direct messages to make sales. And boy – it worked like crazy.

I received hundreds of messages from people all around the world saying I’m the reason why they’re making sales!

But… unfortunately, some marketers overdid it and Instagram became aware of the strategy and blocked, banned, and slapped us all.

If you continue to send direct messages and comments as you did in 2018, you will get blocked on Instagram very fast.

I never wanted to accept that. And so I tested some things over the last 2 years. And I found a way that works!

Why I share this again? Well, I already found “the next” step and don’t need to use the strategy I’m about to share.

Ready to dive into this new method? Let’s go!

Step #1: Giving Instagram (almost) no chance to catch you

  • (If you haven’t) download the Firefox Browser
  • Get a multi-container extension
  • Get a privacy extension that stops third-party trackers
  • Get a user-agent switcher extension
  • Get a fingerprint protection extension

If your browser bar looks like this, you’re doing it right:

All extensions are available for free.

Step #2: Open your Instagram account(s) in several containers

More Instagram accounts = more money. Simple math.

Btw. you should never create new Instagram accounts from your wi-fi. Always mobile data + don’t log in from your wi-fi to your accounts (unless you’re following my steps here).

Usually, one account can bring you around 10 sales per day.

Now, create several containers (each per account) and open new tabs in your browser for every Instagram account.

Even though you’re now undercover, Instagram can still detect you in certain ways. So still be careful.

Step #3: Write down 20 different (initial) messages using the AIDA formula

Open Word, Pages, or a blank Google document and start writing down 20 variants of your first message you want to send your future customers.

IMPORTANT:

  • Do not include any URLs (Instagram hates this)
  • Do not include any “main accounts” (Instagram hates this as well)

Here’s a structure you can follow:

A – Attention (This can be a question or a strong fact)

I – Interest (Something interesting, maybe 2-3 bullet points)

D – Desire (The reason why they want to buy from you)

A – Action (What they should do next if they’re interested)

The vast majority of people sending DMs right now offering a position as a brand ambassador. That worked very well in the past. In 2021, it’s considered spam and a scam.

Be creative with your offer. Here are 3 examples:

  • Sell a shop in your shop (a dedicated site in your store, you can do this with a page-builder app in Shopify) and they get 70% of the profits for $49 one-time.
  • Be brutally honest and say you’re just starting out and can’t afford to give away free products but thought your products will match their style.
  • Ask for feedback on your store/products (and actually implement the suggested points) and offer a discount in return.

Many will give this a try. The more creative you are, the better for your business.

Step #4: Get a list of high-potential prospects

In order to get customers, you need a list of people who are very likely to buy from you.

One way to find these people is by checking out your competitor’s Instagram accounts. Focusing on:

  • The tagged images = their customers
  • The people who left comments = either customers or fans

Start sending the initial messages (from step #3) to these people and watch how they react to them. The number one questions you have to ask yourself is:

Which message gets me the most responses?

^this is your money-message (never stop testing though).

If you’re working with a new Instagram account (< 1 year), start carefully. Don’t send more than 25 messages per day and account.

Step #5: Get the attention of your high-potential prospects

In the old days, you could easily get your prospect’s attention with a simple comment.

It doesn’t work anymore in 2021.

You need a different way.

Let me introduce you to my long-time friend Mr. Email.

Many Instagram users these days have their e-mail addresses in their bio. All you need to do is to copy them and paste them into a prospect-spreadsheet.

Next step: Send emails to everyone you already reached out to on Instagram.

You can either do this manually or use a dynamic cold-outreach tool like Lemlist.

Here’s a template email you can use:

Subject: 👋 [FIRST NAME], did you read our DM?

Hi [FIRST NAME],

this is [YOUR NAME] of [YOUR BRAND]. My colleague already reached out to you on Instagram. I’m pretty sure the direct message didn’t come through.

That’s why I follow-up today.

[YOUR OFFER HERE]

If you’re interested you can reply to this email or on Instagram. Whatever works best for you.

Have a wonderful day,

[YOUR NAME] 

Send up to 3 follow-up emails.

Best practice:

  • Send the email with a 2-3 day delay
  • Do not send on Saturdays or Sundays
  • Send between 9 am and 7 pm
  • Avoid words like “sale, free, money” in your subject line

Always test your email subject lines. The one I use very often (from the template above) has a 99/100 score on Sendcheckit.

To make sure your email won’t end up in your prospects spam-folder, you should also test your email before sending it.

The one from the template above has a 10/10 rating on Mail-Tester.

In the template above you have some empty space (your offer) that has to be filled in by you. Here’s my full email with the 10/10 score:

Feel free to copy. 

Step #6: Build momentum and close the deal(s)

Don’t get frustrated if you’re not making instant sales.

The key to making consistent sales every day is momentum. You need to build a wave of messages and emails.

People don’t reply to messages and emails instantly. They have a real-life and your business is not part of it. So they don’t care as much as you do.

With the follow-up strategy, you increase your chances to catch people during times they actually have time to reply.

The more messages and follow-up emails you send, the bigger your momentum will be. Don’t stop.

Soon you will see the first ones responding…

…and then there will be a few more.

All of a sudden you will have 99+ Instagram direct messages and hundreds of emails! Every single day!

As soon as someone shows interest in your offer, you have to convince them that they’re in for a great deal. But the vast majority of work is done at this point – congratulations!

If someone says no or doesn’t respond after 3 follow-ups, just leave.

Don’t know how to close the deal? Here’s how:

  • Explain your offer in detail and focus on what’s THEIR benefit.
  • Send them to a dedicated landing page with the offer and 1 call-to-action.
  • Always offer a money-back guarantee.
  • Be open to negotiate the price (know your numbers).
  • Avoid obvious fake social proof, spam-alert-words, and fake-scarcity

Play around with messages and test different styles of writing.

Book recommendation to learn good copywriting: “The Boron Letters”. Google it, you can get all chapters legally for free on the internet.

You got this!

A few more tips:

  • Don’t forget to install your Facebook Pixel on your store.
  • Install an upsell app on Shopify to get more out of each customer.
  • Mainly young women have been targeted with DMs in the past. Men have been left out based on vague assumptions. Think about that.
  • Never use a bot to automate the process. These days are over.
  • Invest your profits into retargeting ads on Instagram (custom audience > engaged with you on Instagram).

Instagram Direct Messages in 2021

You may know my two success stories from the Oberlo blog.

First, I made $6,667 in under 8 weeks (selling watches).

Then I made $8,873 in 4 weeks (selling sunglasses).

Around 90% of the profits were made by using Instagram direct messages.

I was one of the very first who used this strategy. I made some good six-figures only using DMs and comments.

Then I shared the strategy and the template messages.

All of a sudden it seemed that every single business on Instagram sent direct messages to make sales. And boy – it worked like crazy.

I received hundreds of messages from people all around the world saying I’m the reason why they’re making sales!

But… unfortunately, some marketers overdid it and Instagram became aware of the strategy and blocked, banned, and slapped us all.

If you continue to send direct messages and comments as you did in 2018, you will get blocked on Instagram very fast.

I never wanted to accept that. And so I tested some things over the last 2 years. And I found a way that works!

Why I share this again? Well, I already found “the next” step and don’t need to use the strategy I’m about to share.

Ready to dive into this new method? Let’s go!

Step #1: Giving Instagram (almost) no chance to catch you

  • (If you haven’t) download the Firefox Browser
  • Get a multi-container extension
  • Get a privacy extension that stops third-party trackers
  • Get a user-agent switcher extension
  • Get a fingerprint protection extension

If your browser bar looks like this, you’re doing it right:

All extensions are available for free.

Step #2: Open your Instagram account(s) in several containers

More Instagram accounts = more money. Simple math.

Btw. you should never create new Instagram accounts from your wi-fi. Always mobile data + don’t log in from your wi-fi to your accounts (unless you’re following my steps here).

Usually, one account can bring you around 10 sales per day.

Now, create several containers (each per account) and open new tabs in your browser for every Instagram account.

Even though you’re now undercover, Instagram can still detect you in certain ways. So still be careful.

Step #3: Write down 20 different (initial) messages using the AIDA formula

Open Word, Pages, or a blank Google document and start writing down 20 variants of your first message you want to send your future customers.

IMPORTANT:

  • Do not include any URLs (Instagram hates this)
  • Do not include any “main accounts” (Instagram hates this as well)

Here’s a structure you can follow:

A – Attention (This can be a question or a strong fact)

I – Interest (Something interesting, maybe 2-3 bullet points)

D – Desire (The reason why they want to buy from you)

A – Action (What they should do next if they’re interested)

The vast majority of people sending DMs right now offering a position as a brand ambassador. That worked very well in the past. In 2021, it’s considered spam and a scam.

Be creative with your offer. Here are 3 examples:

  • Sell a shop in your shop (a dedicated site in your store, you can do this with a page-builder app in Shopify) and they get 70% of the profits for $49 one-time.
  • Be brutally honest and say you’re just starting out and can’t afford to give away free products but thought your products will match their style.
  • Ask for feedback on your store/products (and actually implement the suggested points) and offer a discount in return.

Many will give this a try. The more creative you are, the better for your business.

Step #4: Get a list of high-potential prospects

In order to get customers, you need a list of people who are very likely to buy from you.

One way to find these people is by checking out your competitor’s Instagram accounts. Focusing on:

  • The tagged images = their customers
  • The people who left comments = either customers or fans

Start sending the initial messages (from step #3) to these people and watch how they react to them. The number one questions you have to ask yourself is:

Which message gets me the most responses?

^this is your money-message (never stop testing though).

If you’re working with a new Instagram account (< 1 year), start carefully. Don’t send more than 25 messages per day and account.

Step #5: Get the attention of your high-potential prospects

In the old days, you could easily get your prospect’s attention with a simple comment.

It doesn’t work anymore in 2021.

You need a different way.

Let me introduce you to my long-time friend Mr. Email.

Many Instagram users these days have their e-mail addresses in their bio. All you need to do is to copy them and paste them into a prospect-spreadsheet.

Next step: Send emails to everyone you already reached out to on Instagram.

You can either do this manually or use a dynamic cold-outreach tool like Lemlist.

Here’s a template email you can use:

Subject: 👋 [FIRST NAME], did you read our DM?

Hi [FIRST NAME],

this is [YOUR NAME] of [YOUR BRAND]. My colleague already reached out to you on Instagram. I’m pretty sure the direct message didn’t come through.

That’s why I follow-up today.

[YOUR OFFER HERE]

If you’re interested you can reply to this email or on Instagram. Whatever works best for you.

Have a wonderful day,

[YOUR NAME] 

Send up to 3 follow-up emails.

Best practice:

  • Send the email with a 2-3 day delay
  • Do not send on Saturdays or Sundays
  • Send between 9 am and 7 pm
  • Avoid words like “sale, free, money” in your subject line

Always test your email subject lines. The one I use very often (from the template above) has a 99/100 score on Sendcheckit.

To make sure your email won’t end up in your prospects spam-folder, you should also test your email before sending it.

The one from the template above has a 10/10 rating on Mail-Tester.

In the template above you have some empty space (your offer) that has to be filled in by you. Here’s my full email with the 10/10 score:

Feel free to copy. 

Step #6: Build momentum and close the deal(s)

Don’t get frustrated if you’re not making instant sales.

The key to making consistent sales every day is momentum. You need to build a wave of messages and emails.

People don’t reply to messages and emails instantly. They have a real-life and your business is not part of it. So they don’t care as much as you do.

With the follow-up strategy, you increase your chances to catch people during times they actually have time to reply.

The more messages and follow-up emails you send, the bigger your momentum will be. Don’t stop.

Soon you will see the first ones responding…

…and then there will be a few more.

All of a sudden you will have 99+ Instagram direct messages and hundreds of emails! Every single day!

As soon as someone shows interest in your offer, you have to convince them that they’re in for a great deal. But the vast majority of work is done at this point – congratulations!

If someone says no or doesn’t respond after 3 follow-ups, just leave.

Don’t know how to close the deal? Here’s how:

  • Explain your offer in detail and focus on what’s THEIR benefit.
  • Send them to a dedicated landing page with the offer and 1 call-to-action.
  • Always offer a money-back guarantee.
  • Be open to negotiate the price (know your numbers).
  • Avoid obvious fake social proof, spam-alert-words, and fake-scarcity

Play around with messages and test different styles of writing.

Book recommendation to learn good copywriting: “The Boron Letters”. Google it, you can get all chapters legally for free on the internet.

You got this!

A few more tips:

  • Don’t forget to install your Facebook Pixel on your store.
  • Install an upsell app on Shopify to get more out of each customer.
  • Mainly young women have been targeted with DMs in the past. Men have been left out based on vague assumptions. Think about that.
  • Never use a bot to automate the process. These days are over.
  • Invest your profits into retargeting ads on Instagram (custom audience > engaged with you on Instagram).

Want more?

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