Twitter Auto DMs: A Love Hate Relationship

Twitter Auto DMs in Marketing

Marketers and business owners alike love automation; the very thought of consistent leads without consistent outreach is incredibly enticing. The idea of automation can inspire quality gated content with beautiful landing pages, however  it can unfortunately also clutter timelines and inboxes with SPAM. Having heard so many opinions related to Twitter Auto DMs, I wanted to ask the Twitter world their opinions on if they were effective or simply annoying.

Ironically enough, I setup my first ever auto DM asking this very question to any new followers. I probably sent out close to 100 auto DMs and received about 10 responses to my request. So there is a few ways to look at that return on my experiment which are split between the “love” and “hate” I feel (apparently like many others) towards auto DMs. I do feel like I would have received many more responses had I addressed accounts with a more personal message. This approach would also have allowed me to address those key accounts that were really important to me. On the other hand, pulling in a couple responses everyday to include in this article without active outreach was awesome; it even made me feel slightly guilty! Guilt mainly because I’ve been complaining about how “Thank you for following!” auto DMs had been cluttering up my inbox and here I was sending one out and *gasp* enjoying its benefits.

I’m not sure however if I would want to run a continuous auto-DM campaign but this one served its purpose. This entire experiment opened up a great conversation and I wanted to highlight and bring together the responses I received. This post is not intended to say whether auto DMs are good or bad; I didn’t want there to be judgement one way or the other. I really wanted to just learn from my fellow marketers, business owners and the overall Twitterverse on their experience with this critical Twitter feature.


Neal Schaffer


I’ll be honest when I say I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter Direct Messages. I even wrote a blog post many a moon ago called Why I Don’t Read Twitter Direct Messages Anymore. I also, many years ago, blogged about why you shouldn’t send automated Twitter Direct Messages, because they were simply impersonal and in many cases irrelevant.

On the other hand, as a marketer and small business owner myself, I realize that there is huge potential in directly reaching out to the 136,000+ followers on Twitter.

And then I had an epiphany moment: The problem isn’t in the automation, but how DMs are incorrectly automated. Many will use tools that allow you to send one single message to everyone that you’ve added as a new follower. These tools were used originally by Internet marketers to drop you a link in hopes you would click on it, as that was all your follow was worth to them. Unfortunately many people have adopted these tools and continue to use them, regardless of how impersonal they are.

On the other hand, what if I could segment my followers and send them an automated Direct Message that was personalized and relevant to them based on their bio and tweets, so relevant and personal that it didn’t seem like it was automated? While the technology is not 100% there yet, it is good enough that when I experimented – and continue to experiment with it – I have been pleasantly surprised with the results.

Don’t use a Twitter tool if it doesn’t make common sense to do so. But, also, don’t underestimate the power of Twitter Direct Messages if you have the time to segment your following and personalize them or can utilize a tool that helps do that for you.


Matt Heinz


I have a love/hate relationship with auto DMs.  In general, I hate them.  But I do sparingly use them myself and have been generating 15-25 leads per day from them recently.  So there’s that…


Stuff Writers Hate


Definitely pros and cons. We find automated tweets with targeted filters can be effective paired w/ personal DMs for follow up.




I love them – cost me nothing (no time or money) and get’s me instant results (people entering my fully automated marketing funnels). What helps an automated message stands out is the copy – don’t write it like a shortly sales-like Twitter post choc-a-bloc full of, #hashtags and ACRONYMS. Write a real message that sounds like a real person full of ‘I’s’, ‘You’s’ and scenarios they can relate to. Happy for you to include my message above as an example if you would like.



Most people who use DMs want something from you for themselves. Who you are does not matter at all. That is sad. My DM was different. So I guess my results are biased?!

I guess the DM doesn’t have to be selfless, but in the end you really have to care about the other person.



I think that using Auto DM’s can be very powerful if used correctly. They are excellent tools for getting the conversation started with new followers.   I’m not a fan of using them to bombard people with all kinds of messages…but for lead generation and opening up the lines of communication with new followers- they work like a charm.  I think that as long as you continue to engage with your target audience, peers and others …then you’re good to go. That is what is most important 🙂


Katherine Boufford


“Worker Bee for Zoomph”

I honestly hate auto DMs. They feel extremely impersonal. Often times I will respond to the dm to start a real, human conversation, and they don’t respond! Most people I speak with agree with me, so I’m definitely interested in reading your post!


DragonFire Digital


(Marketing VP, Melissa speaking) In my opinion, automatic direct messages are somewhat of an annoyance , especially when your account is receiving a large number a day. I think it may increase response lag time to actual organic messages because one has to sift through the automatic ones. We respond to all DM even if they are automatic, but organic messages are definitely appreciated, prioritized and more likely to actually be clicked on if a link is included.



Auto DMs? I am not in favor of them. Twitter is all about personal engagement. Though there are tools to schedule tweets, I believe responses should be personal even if it is delayed a bit.


How do you feel about auto-DMs? Tweet your thoughts to @ParkerSocial!


Sandra Young


Social Styles Marketing

Leave a Reply

Notify of

About us

We’re Not Your Average Health and Wellness Social Media Marketing Agency.

Social Styles is a health and wellness marketing agency that empowers socially conscious brands like yours to do great things. We get this industry and help wellness brands connect with relevant influencers and create valuable relationships with industry experts through stylized marketing that fits the image your brand has worked so hard to create.