The DM Campaigns tool should be used with caution. It is to help you better target a specific audience with useful content not to encourage spamming. Twitter has said that if a user reports a DM they have received from you as spam your Twitter account can be suspended so you should follow the best practices outlined below to ensure you use the tool effectively with respect to both creating engaging content and helping to avoid spam filters.
- Strictly limit the DMs per day
The absolute limit set by Twitter for DMs per day is 1000 but if you send 1000 DMs a day for several days you will almost certainly be blocked by Twitter’s anti-spam rules. Follow these guidelines to determine a realistic limit for the number of DMs to send per day:
- – Never send the theoretical maximum as you will not be able to send out any other DMs until the campaign is finished.
- – Allow room for a response to all recipients which means the maximum you should ever send should be 500 DMs/day to allow room to answer each individual if need be.
- – The above 500 limit is an absolute best case scenario and you should definitely take into account your number of followers and your follow/following ratio and choose a realistic limit for DMs/day based on the status of your Twitter account.
- – Our recommendation is that you send no more than 100 DMs/day.
Remember that you may be exceeding a limit because of an automated rule you have set in Rule Builder in combination with your DM campaign.
Ensure you have decided on the purpose of the campaign. All the users returned on the community wall will receive your DM so you should have a clear idea of exactly who you want to target. Use the search/filter sidebar and advanced syntax or use any tags you have previously applied to create a custom audience. If you send users messages that they have no interest in, they may unfollow you and/or report you as a spammer so clear targeting is imperative to ensure a successful campaign.
- – Only send DMs to followers as they are less likely to flag you as a spammer.
- – Segment by language to ensure that users receive messages they can understand.
- – Target users who have been using Twitter for less than a year as they tend to be more receptive to DMs.
- Ensure relevance
The DMs you send have to provide users with a benefit, for example an offer or information that is useful to them. Don’t use this tool to welcome all new followers as this is considered annoying by many users. Make sure your message is relevant. For example, your current customers may be interested in a promotion, a new product or in receiving a monthly newsletter and past event attendees may want to attend an upcoming event.
- Customise content
The content of the message should be attractive and be tailored to an individual or a custom audience. If your message appears to be automated it may be ignored and you may be unfollowed, blocked or worse, so:
- – Personalise the message using the merge tags to add a recipient’s name or a location.
- – Short messages usually work better.
- – Ask a question to generate conversation and promote engagement.
- – Include a valid link to a Tweet, especially a Tweet with a photo, or even better a link to a Tweet with a link to a website.
The above generates the following DM.
- Avoid spam filters
Twitter uses spam filters that can cause problems for Audiense users. If you are perceived as a spammer Audiense’s access to your Twitter account will be revoked and you will have to authenticate the account again. See here how to re-establish the connection between Audiense and Twitter.
So, take precautions and design your message around spam filters:
- – Avoid typical spam related words such as, free, buy now, limited time only, click here, percent off, code, discount, coupon, win, urgent, etc.
- – Don’t use exclamation points!
- – Don’t use ALL CAPS.
For more detailed guidelines read another Mailchimp article about avoiding spam filters.
- Shorten links
Characters are at a premium so you should use a link management platform to shorten the link to use in your campaign. You can use the following two tools to create a shortened link and track campaign effectiveness.
- – Bitly – Paste your URL into the box and click shorten to automatically generate a URL.
- – Google Analytics campaign URL builder – Complete the URL builder form to create a unique URL for each individual DM campaign.
- Test your campaign
It is often best to create two campaigns and test both on a small sample of users to measure their performance and see which is most effective. You can then send the most effective DM to the rest of the users.
For example, if you have 1000 current customers who you want to offer a promotion to, you can send each DM to 100 followers, monitor the response rate using Google analytics or Bitly and then send the better DM to the remaining 800 users. Or for example, send the first DM to users with less than 500 followers and the second DM to those with more than 500 then measure the effectiveness of both campaigns to see which group were more responsive and gain insights for future campaigns.
Things to consider include:
- – Click rates – As mentioned before you can use Google Analytics or Bitly to see how many people have clicked on the links you included in your DM. You can see which links were more successful, for example, links to promotions might not have been popular with recipients but links to a webinar sign up you are holding were. You can also compare the performance of different link wordings and judge how regularly you should send out messages by looking at how long after you sent the campaign, the links continue receiving clicks.
- – Number of sales created/signups – You can monitor how many people sign up for your event/webinar, buy a product/service or read an article you have written as a result of receiving your DM. If the number is low you will have to experiment with different DMs to find a more effective campaign.
- – Number of unfollows – You can also monitor your unfollows to see how many users (if any) unfollow you after receiving the DM. Check your unfollow rate after each campaign. If you see it spike after a particular campaign, see if it had anything to do with your content. Maybe you’re sending too frequently. Maybe not frequently enough. You should monitor the performance of each campaign and use the information to improve your strategy in the future.
After following all these best practices, if your messages are recognised as spam by Twitter, we recommend that you:
- Double-check that you really are following all our anti-spam recommendations and also read the MailChimp articles again:
- Remove any links from the message and try to establish a more personal conversation with the recipients.