Putting Your Automated DMs On Blast

Let me start with a confession. Bless me Father for I have sinned. I use Social Oomph to automate my welcome message.

In other words, if you follow me on Twitter you will receive this DM (Direct Message in Twitter parlance)  saying the following:

Im looking fwd 2 getting 2 know u. Here is me in 7 words. Blogging biking doggy training & songwriting festival of awesome 🙂 Who r u?

Sending an automated DM is a sin, I’ll grant you.

For me, the alternative would be NOT to send a DM since I’m too lazy to greet everyone with a personalized message at the “door”. So I send an automated DM because it’s better than nothing.

But wait…there’s more!

Many of my new Twitter friends reply with a personalized message telling me little bit about themselves.

I find that restricting someone to 7 words creates psychic tension that demands slack.

And what do I do with that information? I place them in the appropriate Twitter List of course.

So it’s a win-win because I get to find out little bit about my tweeps AND I keep an eye on them since they are now on my list…AND…I know they are real.

Need I point out that you are unlikely to receive a personalized response from a bot or a spammer?

100 vs 1000

Tweeple with thousands of followers MUST create lists to effectively manage and keep an eye on their followers. Those with few hundred followers may not realize this, but unless you are on somebody’s list, chances are you are not being “watched”.

…and when they reply

When they reply, I tweet something like this:

Sumwhat ironically named @hexbomb is a dyscalculic cyber geek, social media nut, metaphysics teacher, bubbly, writer, & social butterfly #FF

I think its a nice way to round off the introduction. I place them on my list, I tweet about them because I know they are real people and its a win-win-win.

Back to DMs

Many tweeps we follow use automated DMs, however, not all DMs are created equal.

My DM is:

  • Sincere (I really AM looking fwd 2 getting 2 know u)
  • It’s useful in case you’d like to classify me as a “blogging biking doggy training & songwriting” tweep. I’m comfortable in all those categories and tweet about most of that shit.
  • My DM is kinda funny (the “festival of awesome” bit). If it made you laugh it has achieved its purpose.
  • And MOST importantly, the DM ends with “Who r u?” It shows interest in the other person. It hopefully prompts a response thereby cycling back to the tweep being placed in the appropriate Twitter list.

Hint: You want to know what people think of you? Check to see what lists you’re on.

What does my DM not do?

  • It’s not self-serving.
  • I’m not asking you to check out my blog, or my website, or my ass.
  • It doesn’t have a link to my Facebook profile or worse yet, my Facebook page or a Landing Page or something else… Bad DMs all seem to have a link taking you someplace else.

I get those types of DMs ALL THE TIME. As I’m sure you do as well.

So I decided to place these terrible DMs on blast right here. Feel free to share yours as well.

What do I hope to accomplish?

I hope that if you are using these DMs that you change it to something that is not so self-serving but rather something that might be somehow useful to someone else. (and no, letting everyone know about your blog is NOT useful to somebody else).

Also, I want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps these DMers dont know how their DMs are being perceived. So I will explain how at least these specific DMs are perceived by me.


As far as I’m concerned, Marketing (especially the Internet kind) is a 4 letter word but worse. I’m more offended by “Internet Marketing” than by hearing someone say fuck, shit, piss, motherfucker.

Also, really? Can I really check out your Internet Marketing blog? Really!? If I do, will you let me buy your useless affiliate products, oh please kind sir?


REALLY?!?! Can I really comment on your blog. My golly you are so sweet to allow me the privilege. C’mon.


Poorly executed indoctrination move. Except in order to make that step you supposed to have rapport with the subject or at the very least demonstrate mastery over a given topic. As it stands, I don’t know you from a whole in a wall nor do I care to.


I don’t know what this is about. I think it may be an attempt to detect a live host (me). Not sure to what end but I don’t trust it. You?

It reminds me of those auto-generated email spinners that sometimes make their way into our inbox, and if you go to unsubscribe you just end up confirming a live inbox. This email marketing strategy is illegal (that’s not to say that its no longer used) but Twitter is not there yet.


I know that Blunderbuss approach to lead generation is considered an acceptable strategy but its so 1980s. They totally missed their target with me…I’m not looking for a job and I don’t have a relationship with this company to recommend them to somebody else.

If they attempted to establish a relationship with me, a very casual one just so I know they are not Darth Vader, I could have recommended their services to someone else.


This could have gone either way but I didn’t like the picture. It wasn’t a real pic of a person, er go I wasn’t really motivated to connect.


This is a very self-serving DM. There are billions of blogs out there, why should I come to yours? I don’t know you; I’d like to get to know you but before I make a commitment to read your blog let me read a funny tweet or two. (It doesn’t have to be funny; it could be interesting or something else entirely.) Too soon son, too soon. Slow your roll.


If your blog is as creative and as original as your DM I think I’ll be better off staying my ass right here.


This is sooo narcissistic. “Thank you for following ME! Learn more about ME and MY books. Follow MY blog. Holy crap man. I’ve heard of self-love but this is taking it to another level.


Not sure what this is about but somehow I’m not inspired to check it out.


For crying out loud people. Please DONT use this type of DMs; it gives DMs a bad name. Is it even effective? I dont know…I dont think it is, but I could be wrong.

Go ahead…I know you’re dying to say your piece when it comes to DMs…so let’er rip.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Google Plus

  • Anonymous

    Interesting stuff. I don’t use automated DM but yours makes sense.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thank you brother 🙂

  • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/traffic-conversion-swipe-file/ Robert Dempsey

    Oh Dino we’ll have to talk about your auto DM issues soon. However yours is much better than most. Though if you had mentioned that I should check out your ass I may have paid attention to it. My policy is to ignore all auto DM messages as they are typically of the crap variety that you pointed out. Someone must have put a swipe file of shitty DMs out there too as I’ve seen the exact same ones use many times. Great minds think alike, as do the less than smart ones, apparently.

    But don’t let my belligerence and beat down stop anyone from using Dino’s technique. It’s a MUCH better approach. Either way no auto-DM for me. I have other ways of keeping my eyes on you Twitter peeps.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Well….I do have pretty sexy ass… :-p

  • Anonymous

    Love this post. I did direct messages a while ago and said “looking forward to your tweets” and I got a lot of “looking forward to yours too.” I felt a little guilty, because I follow so many people that I can’t keep up with everyone’s tweets.

    I used to also pimp my blog and facebook business page. I liked yours because although I knew it was automated it seemed like you typed it up and I was excited to respond, because I’m a talker. 7 words is a challenge for me and I still think I went over 🙂

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I know..that 7 word limit really scratches at your brain 🙂

  • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica U

    Stay tuned for a part of my tomorrow’s post.

    I have always hated auto DMs and I think there is only a small percent of chance of them working. People can smell them. They hate them. They will unfollow if they receive them.

    You have a very personal specific DM and as far as I remember I actually connected with you before I ever got your DM. So I liked it.

    But when I look back at some messages I received from some bloggers and now I know they were automated, I actually lose a bit of “love” for them (not talking about you).

    Anyway, GREAT POST, THANKS FOR SHARING…..ha ha, I bet you loved this

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Its a raging on DMs week? So be it…I like it 🙂

      • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica U

        I am beginning to worry….we keep writing too many similar and related posts without ever discussing it…

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          I think its the time Ive spend on the inside of the http://live-your-love.com blog. Something happened to me…I changed (creepy music playing)


  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Putting Your Automated DMs On Blast -- Topsy.com

  • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leon Widrich

    Nice analysis Dino. I was always on the “Don’t do automated DMs” side, however your example shows me, that if you do it in a certain manner, it really can be a winwin. Thanks for sharing. Let me buffer that 🙂

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      With power comes responsibility.

  • http://thefriendlyblogger.com Lisa


    I think your DM to me asked me to check out your ass…:) I have a bad habit of not even checking my DM’s due to this very fact. However, I also use social oomph and I think it is a necessary evil. i like your idea of reading the DM and promptly placing people in desired list. I likes it!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Glad you found tit useful. I must admit tho, while my original intention was to build lists, I have been mostly slacking in that regard. But for someone who isnt lazy, its a really nice method of organizing tweeps 🙂

  • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

    I heart you and your DM process. It certainly made me smile (when I was on the receiving end of it) and I thought it was quite clever. Thanks also for sharing those DMs that you’ve received and your classic takes on them! Laugh. Out. Loud.

    Apparently, I attract the auto DMs from hell. If at first I don’t respond (I never respond), they take it up a notch by sending me yet another one asking me to not only check out their ass, their Facebook landing page and their blog, I might also like to get Linked In with them. Hey, buddy…do your homework. My info is all right there. Take a moment (like I do) to actually check out the profile, go to my website (it’s there – I don’t ask you to check it out – I figure that sort of investigation will just naturally occur), and then find my LinkedIn account there. Connect that way. On your own. Don’t bug me to the point that I cut you off entirely (have done so lately)…let’s get to know each other over time. This isn’t speed dating. No one likes an aggressive new friend. Chill out and just be genuine!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Erica..any new videos on your end…I think I forgot to bookmark your site…good thing you reminded me with a comment 🙂 Ima go visit you 🙂

      • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

        No, no new videos this week…I tend to put them out there on Fridays (my small biz marketing series) and I’ve been too pooped to write up a smokin’ hot blog post this week…have one I’m chewing on, though. Will get it out in the next day or so. Friday’s video should be fun! I’m “cooking” up something for that one.

  • http://elevationlife.com Bryan Thompson

    Dude! You SPAM DMed me! 🙂 I KNEW it! 🙂 Ha ha. I have used Social oomph too. I actually quit using them because my auto DM (nothing big or selly – “Hi, I’m Bryan! Great to meet you and hope to see you in action! Hit me up on Facebook…”) managed to get me unfollowed and it began happening at a fast rate. Now, granted, this was in 2008, and people were really just starting to get the hang of “This Twitter Thing.” But, I still try to send an @ message if possible. Thanks!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      …ahhh, so you’re like a Twitter Elder :-p tell us, how were things back then? lol

  • http://www.montrealfinancial.ca/blog ronika

    Yours is perhaps the only DM I have ever responded to. In addition to it being truly social (it would have been rude not to respond) it was an interesting exercise in trying to describe myself concisely, within the Twit imposed limits
    Of course, In retrospect, my response should have been ” I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” 🙂 Unfortunately Oscar Wilde beat me to it.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. ~ @ladyjuliafish ….or Oscar Wilde …we cant be sure, so I’ll give it to Ronika 🙂

  • http://www.capitolbizsupport.com Shelley

    Thanks Dino! I really enjoyed this post. I have to admit that I also take advantage of the auto welcome feature from SocialOomph.com but after reading this post, I’m going to make a few changes. I believe the feature can be really beneficial if used properly. Your auto-welcome is sincere and friendly – I honestly thought it was a genuine message!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Sorry, didnt mean to fool you 🙂 ok..maybe a did a lil 🙂

  • http://nittygriddy.com/ Ingrid Abboud

    LOL Dino,

    This post reminds of when I pasted (into a blog post) some of the most creative/scary/funny…Facebook messages I was getting in my inbox (anonymous of course – I blacked out all personal info and images). Bsically – my top 20 hitl list. Granted, it had nothing to do with this or the point you’re trying to make but still. Actually, I’m due for an update soon :).

    I have to say – I still remember your DM – and I don’t remember any automated DM’s because let’s face it – same shit as usual. But yours, I laughed a bit and although it was still a DM I gave you tons of points for sounding genuine and being creative :). I’m not trying to be nice here – I’m saying it as it is!

    I still don’t really see the need to have an automated DM though (except for your idea of placing peeps in list – very smart!). In general, if I follow someone back because I’ve already checked out their entire profile, their stream and their site if they have one and whatever else. I may be dead wrong on this – I don’t know. But much like you – I truly am interested in getting to know the people I interact with often.

    I think your method of placing people into lists when they reply is actually very smart. I still need to start creating lists – I only have two and they’re private – they just have a few of my favs in there so I can keep track but I really need to start using this list system more effectively. So this here may be the extra push I needed.

    I really should have done that before though. With the followers I have now it’s gonna’ take a hell of a lot more time to dissect each person. Any suggestions?

    Thanks Dino
    Another humorous yet helpful post.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Yes…I do have a suggestion. Do nothing. Twitter wont be around for much too long so no sense in doing it now :-p

  • http://www.foursides.ca James M

    I’ve been using SocialOomph for around 9 months now, and have found it pretty useful in other ways besides the automated DMs. I changed my DM to point to one of my most popular posts last month. After reading this, maybe I should adjust it a bit.

    I’m a bit surprised that you’ve been reading your DMs, because I didn’t think anyone did that anymore. Most of it is spam for me.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Sure nuf…I’ve used Social Oomph for other things as well….I even tried the paid version for a while, but at this moment Im only using it for Auto DMs.

      All DMs ger forwarded to my inbox, so I (at the very least) preview them. If I notice that its a standard DM phrasing ending with a url or something, it doesnt even get opened.

      Your intention makes sense (share my best post with new followers) but people dont care about your blog until they care about you. And at that point, they just dont know you to care one iota…

      Are you tracking it? Is it working? I’ve never used it but I imagine that the clickthroughs are really really low (if you’re using bit.ly you can add a + after the shortened URL to see the clicks)


      • http://www.foursides.ca James M

        This is the message I have in my DM: “Thanks for following me! Are you interested in a life changing book? Here is my review of The 4 Hour Body – Tim Ferriss http://bit.ly/eJEotw

        It probably follows the pattern of a DM you avoid. I checked the stats (forgot about that trick with the +) and it’s had around 20 clicks since I changed it. I’m not entirely sure how many new users have followed me since I changed it though, so I’m not sure of the ratio of new adds to clicks.

        Have you tried their other product, FollowerHub? I am sure people who are more focused on Twitter will find that to be a great tool to add to their bag of tricks.

  • http://www.geekface.co.uk John

    “I’m not asking you to check out my blog, or my website, or my ass” – I literally choked on my apple when I read that bit, lol 🙂

    Haven’t used DM’s myself but may try and get creative with it.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Im just glad and impressed that people are not skimming ….well, you didnt …so thank you 🙂

      You know….I was little sick and tired of people shitting on DMs…I think it can be done the right way…and of course, theres like a billion ways in which they can be done the wrong way as well, but lets not throw the baby out with the bath water 🙂

      Thnx for leaving a comment, I’ve looked at your website and its now in my bookmarks 🙂

    • http://thequeenb.net Angel

      See I don’t know– I’m pretty sure if I asked someone to check out my boobs– they would click.  Love the way that works right?  LOL!

  • http://bizhax.com Keith Bloemendaal

    I REALLY hate DM’s after I follow someone, the only reason I think they should be used is to communicate a private message to a friend, that is what they were designed for…..

    My question is, why not send that message as an @reply instead of a DM?

    I will admit, your DM ( I remember getting it when we followed each other) isn’t really that bad, I usually unfollow people that send them, but I know who you are and made an exception….

    The main thing is NOT to self promote if you do send any auto DM’s. I guess it is worth testing, I always say the only right way to use Twitter is the way that works for you, not me. If it works for you, who am I to say you are wrong for doing it….

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I think you hit the nail on the head. The main thing is NOT to self promote if you do send any auto DM’s. Everything else is details 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/YesVictory Edwin

    Thank god! I thought I was the only one who used automated DM’s. It is way more convenient than personally PM’ing every single follower. Great post and thanks for coming out.

    And about your confession: All is forgiven my son 😉

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Im coming out…I want the world to know, Im gonna let it show…na na na however that song goes 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/ElisesReview Elise M

    I HATEHATEHATEHATE auto-DMs… but if you choose to do them, I think you are doing it right. One other thing I might add is to make it less about you, more about the follower (ask a question or something) and no links to click on!

    lol, I remember getting your DM, and couldn’t figure out if its auto or not, but I assumed auto. I pretty much assume all DMs are automated (except for Brankica’s and a few others) and pretty much never reply. Long ago, I used to send auto-DMs but not anymore.

    I hate the generic “THX 4 FOLLOW” and “CHECK US OUT.” Ugh. I started following GoDaddy and their auto-DM was something like “Please take the time to check out our team: http://link.com

    WTF. Lame. Hate auto-DMs. Always have, always will! 🙂 lol

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      …so Im not entirely clear on something. Do you hate DMs? I just wish you’d state your position clearly, as it is, I have to guess at whether or not you like or hate DMs…its just not clear….did I beat that joke to death? yeah, I think so :-p

      • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica U

        I think she just slightly dislikes them…I guess…. Or not….

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I don’t hate auto-DMs, but I hardly ever read them. Well, I saw your DM a while ago, but I didn’t respond though (I didn’t know about the win-win situation) 🙂

    Your auto-DM is one of the best I have seen.

    As you’re saying if I don’t use auto-DMs I would send DMs at all. And I don’t, but I probably should, because I can see that it can be used as a way to connect with people.

    I have been thinking about testing social oomph. Are you using it for all your tweets, or just in order to automate things? And do you use the paid version?

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I only use automation for DM…well, actually, I also have Tweet Old Post installed on this blog, so it tweets old posts (thats automation of sorts, right?)

      I have tested Social Oomph’s paid features but didnt purchase , didnt really see the need for me…

      hope that helps

  • http://twitter.com/WorrellBrothers david worrell

    Thanks Dino… I got your DM and, frankly, did not know what it was. (Thought maybe you were flirting with me…?)

    Besides educating me on DMs, this is a great piece for several reasons. Love the interpretation, the slam on affiliates & marketers, and your explanation of the strategy you use.

    I guess the bottom line is…. does all of this get YOUR tweets read by anyone? (And how would you know?) We need a twitter-linker-tracker to tell me who clicked on a tweet. Does that exist?

    Hoping to learn / share more with you.
    Spreadsheet Geek | Startup Finance Guy | AllBusiness.com blogger
    Find me here –>www.dworrell.com
    Or tweet me: @BizBlogBuzz

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I love your idea for twitter-linker-tracker to tell me who clicked on a tweet. As far as I know it doesnt exist, not for free anyways. But a friend and I are hoping to integrate some useful metrics into our new pet project Triberr. Maybe in a few months, the development has been very rapid so far, and its only the two of us 🙂

  • http://www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/ Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    I get your point, Dino, but the problem still remains – you have to go through hundreds of mindless self-serving DMs to get that one special one.

    I’ve tried to do it in the past; gave up pretty quickly. Decided my time is better spent doing something more productive, like writing great content for my blog. 🙂

  • http://www.unleashingthetiger.com Dean Carlton

    Hey Dino.

    Thought you’d hacked into my messages for a moment! I knew yours was automated, but had already clocked your reputation – so replied anyway.

    I figured your approach was a good balance – automate something non-promoting, invite a little effort on my part to see if I had a pulse, and was after more than just another follower (but a little less than your ass!). So I was more than happy with your approach.

    I’ve reached a point where I am considering the pro’s and con’s of automation for initial contact – but remain on the fence for the moment.

    Interesting to see the variety of opinion in the comments.

    (The other) Dino.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      haha…the other Dino….

      My “system” was contingent on an auto-follow back which Ive disabled since. So if you do implement something like this, you will have to use something like socialoomph.com to automate a follow back as well.

      • http://www.unleashingthetiger.com Dean Carlton

        It’s really becoming apparent – there are no rules (Fight Club!) – different approaches, work for different people, with different agendas and objectives, at different times (things change and evolve, making earlier practices obsolete), with different audiences….

        So JFDI seems to be the way to go – work out your own rules, try different approaches and live or die by the decisions you make.

        Cheers Dino (it’s beer o’clock here!).

  • http://www.justinromack.com/ Justin Romack

    And the conversation continues…

    I don’t like the general idea of auto-DMs, but thanks for not taking followers down some back alley to an opt-in page or something like that. You, at least, made me rethink it.

    By the way, I almost feel hurt for not getting one. 😛 My seven words are: Husband, daddy, digivangelist, listener, silly, musician and friend.

  • http://twitter.com/slantedk David M Karder

    I don’t use them because I haven’t found that touch. Rather not have one, then crap, I guess.