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Turn followers into customers with this automated Instagram workflow.

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Advanced SMS guides 4 min read | Matt Salter wrote in blog on May 29, 2023

Let’s be real, if you’re a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business, you’re on Instagram. (And if you aren’t, get on it asap.)

But getting followers is the first step. Turning them into paying customers is the real challenge. 

Lucky for you, it’s easier than you think. Dive into how to create a keyword automation workflow. One simple, yet brilliant flow that converts followers into customers.

Why is it so good?

1. It’s fast, easy, and repeatable.

Firstly, you set up the flow in minutes. Secondly, you can test it with multiple products, and identify the highest-performing ones. Lastly: rinse, repeat, and refine your strategy.

2. You get instant visibility of who’s interested.

The flow starts by asking followers to send you a direct message (DM) to access an offer. That way – unlike sending followers straight to your website – you immediately see your leads by simply looking at your inbox.

3. It kick-starts a conversation.

Once they’re in your DMs, seize the moment to continue that one-on-one conversation. It’s through genuine communication with your followers via personalised shopping guidance that you increase brand loyalty and revenue.


Here’s how to use the keyword automation flow

Step 1: Connect your Instagram account to MessageMedia.

It only takes a few clicks to connect Instagram to your account. You’ll now be able to manage all your Instagram conversations in the one (and only) central inbox along with SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp, and more.

Step 2: Choose the product you want to promote.

Got some excess stock you need to get rid of? Or want to give your most popular product an extra push? Whatever you decide, tempting your customers is easy. Just choose which product you’ll discount – and promote.

Step 3: Create your keyword automation.

Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty. When your followers DM you a specific keyword, they’ll automatically receive a reply with a discount code and a link to the product.

Here’s how to set up the keyword automation flow:

  1. In the MessageMedia Hub, go to Automations and click on ‘New Account Automation’.
  2. Give the automation a name and description.
  3. Set the automation to run when you meet the following conditions:
    1. Message type is equal to ‘Instagram’
    2. Message content ‘contains any of the following keywords’. Then enter the keyword you want your followers to DM, e.g. INSTAOFFER
  4. Set the automation action to ‘Send Reply Message’, and fill in your message content. Don’t forget to include the discount code and a direct link to the product in your store.
  5. Save and launch.

Step 4: Promote your offer.

Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to go live. On Instagram, publish a post and/or story promoting the offer and invite your followers to DM the keyword to access it. Then, sit back and let the automation do its thing.

Step 5: Follow up with a reminder.

If someone started the conversation but didn’t buy, send them a reminder. Even better, if you’ve got lots of people to follow up (fingers crossed!), you can create and use a message template. That way, you don’t have to rewrite each time. Simple.

BONUS: Automate abandoned cart SMS reminders for more sales.

If you’re on Shopify or BigCommerce, we’ve got even better news. You can use our integration to set up automated abandoned cart SMS reminders – from the get-go. (Grab the instructions for Shopify and for BigCommerce.)

Already harnessing the power of abandoned cart reminders via email? Then wait ‘til you hear this. SMS has 90% open rates, smashing email out of the park, every time. 

In fact, our research shows that by using a 60-minute delay abandoned cart SMS, stores recover an average of 16.4% of orders. And it can be even more, like online music retailer Simply for Strings who used SMS reminders to recover a whopping 41% of abandoned carts. Their ROI? Well over 1000x.

Give it a shot.

So there you have it. Turning Instagram followers into paying customers doesn’t have to be hard. Try out our keyword automation and abandoned cart reminders for yourself, and thrive on Instagram. Connect Instagram to get started.

Ready to roll?

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