Twitter

Twitter Direct Messages vs. Thank You For Your Comment Emails

There’s always a huge debate going on about the value vs. authenticity of automation in Internet marketing, but some strategies are considered ok when others are considered an absolute evil. But are they really that different?

A few weeks ago, I asked fans on my fanpage (mostly bloggers) about automated messages, particularly Twitter direct messages and thank you emails for comments, and now I want to see if I can get some more opinions about it from online marketers.

Here are two particular automations that have similar goals but are treated differently.

Automated Twitter Direct Messages

A lot of people are generally up in arms about automated Twitter direct messages. There are many ways people utilize direct messages when people follow them, including (but not limited to):

  • A simple “Thanks for following” to their new followers.
  • A simple “Thanks for following” followed by “please check out my ___.” You can fill in the blank with blog, website, business, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other link.
  • An invitation to get a free eBook, whitepaper, report, or other freebie. When you click on it, it is usually free in exchange for you signing up to a mailing list.

I have used automated direct messages in the past, where I ask a question or just let people know I am open to helping them with blogging and social media. As it was hard to make time for the number of questions I was getting, I ended up turning it off altogether. Probably to the joy of those who adamantly hate auto-DMs.

Automated Thank You for Commenting Emails

Since I have been commenting a lot more lately, I have noticed an influx of emails thanking me for my comment. One or two have been personalized, but the rest have been automated by various WordPress plugins.

These emails generally include:

  • A simple “Thanks for commenting” and I hope you’ll visit again soon.
  • A simple “Thanks for commenting” and an invitation to subscribe to the blog via RSS or email.
  • All of the above plus an offer to download a free eBook, whitepaper, report, or other freebie. These lead to a signup for a mailing list.

What is the Difference?

Now, I want you to keep in mind I have nothing against either Twitter direct messages or thank you for commenting emails that are automated. Everyone has to manage their time as they see fit, and has the right to choose how to communicate with others online.

But I’d just like to know why the double standard. Why is one ok (the emails) and the other so evil (the direct messages)? Is it just because the emails are from bloggers and the DMs are (assumed) from Internet marketers? Also, have you found any success using either of these techniques?

Any thoughts, opinions, or discussions are welcome and encouraged!

 Twitter Direct Messages vs. Thank You For Your Comment Emails
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and blogger who develops high-quality content for busiensses.
 Twitter Direct Messages vs. Thank You For Your Comment Emails

Comments are closed.

21 thoughts on “Twitter Direct Messages vs. Thank You For Your Comment Emails

  1. Kristi…I am one of those folks that finds the auto DM deplorable. Personalized or not, I want my DMs to come from only the people I spend time conversing with and I don’t want someone to DM me just because I’ve just started following them. For me, that’s an automatic unfollow usually. 

    As for why the double standard, I think it’s more or less because when it comes to email, for some of us its our third preferred method of communication in that its easier to just leave an email in your inbox and get back to it (or delete it) later. Given the fact that many of us spend boo-koo time on social networks and less in our email inboxes, it’s not so much a marketing thing as it is a convenience thing….and I’m not sure that’s the right word. I hope I’m making sense though.

    GREAT subject for a blog post!

    1. Ah, good point about how some people look at email.  I prefer my inbox to be as empty as possible, so when I get a new email that is automated, I get a lot more annoyed by it.  Probably has to do with the fact that my phone alerts me to it as well, whereas my DM’s are easier to ignore.  

      Thanks for the insight Lisa!  :)

  2. Interesting Kristi. After commenting, I’ve seen a TY message or even been sent to a “TY 1st time commenter” page.  Not sure I’ve noticed many TY for the comment emails, other than those that require me to authorize my subscription to the comment thread or replies. Hmm.. I don’t think I’d have a double standard if I started getting buried with lots of emails. For me is the auto-DM is almost always instant, self-promotional noise per your 2nd and 3rd bullets; the automated TY email — which like a DM is more intrusive, takes more time out of my day than a message on your blog — I’d probably view it the same way: spam. FWIW. (Now off to make sure my blog isn’t doing this.)

    1. You’d have to have a particular plugin installed to do the emails – I’ve seen some blogs that forget they have one and install another, then send two emails that are somewhat similar.  

      1. Thanks, don’t have the plugins other than ReplyMe. Which brings me to another reason why I don’t like the emails and see them the same as the DM: I’m not sure it’s necessary. If I comment, won’t you thank me already in your reply to my comment? I didn’t opt in for that email the way I did when I checked “yes” to subscribing to comments or replies. Being marketed to under the guise of a ‘thank you’ — yeah, still thinking it spammy.

  3. For me automated messages save a lot of time for the user. But for me, I would still prefer writing the message personally to create that warm feeling. 

    1. They definitely save time on our end, but they’re not being greeted with the same welcome as they were before they were overused and abused.

      1. hi Kristi,

        i agree with this point, this will happen and may lead this into some dangerous position. In my view there is no need like thank you plug in. if you comment and the comment is in worth, it will be published in their site or post. This is enough instead of thank you reply.

  4. Hi Kristi, I’m not sure it’s a double standard. Leaving a comment requires effort on the commenter’s part, so I can see a thank you message as being appreciated. Further, I think people generally expect a blog comment to get a response of some kind. In contrast, following someone on Twitter requires little effort, and a response is not expected. Anyway, I loathe DMs. Most of them are pure spam, and I don’t have time to sift through them to find the few that have value. From my point of view they are annoying and a waste of the sender’s time. That said, I’m always wondering if I’m missing the boat here. If so many people use DMs, doesn’t that mean they’re working? 

    1. I’m not talking about a personalized thank you email or response to your blog comment – there are plugins that will send an automated thank you.  

      As far as whether DMs work, I’m sure they do with people who haven’t been on Twitter that long or don’t know that the messages are being automated.  For those of us who have been around the Twitter block, they’re probably not that effective anymore.

      1. Yes, I know what you’re talking about. What I was trying to say is, I don’t mind an automated response when I’ve put effort in by leaving a comment on somebody’s blog. 

  5. When people feel differently, it is probably psychological. Twitter offers no spam filtering of DMs, while most people have pretty good email spam filtering. So the spam you see (DMs) seems worse than the spam you don’t (emails). So a few “spammish” emails breaking through (blog comment thanks) don’t seem so bad.

  6. When people feel differently, it is probably psychological. Twitter offers no spam filtering of DMs, while most people have pretty good email spam filtering. So the spam you see (DMs) seems worse than the spam you don’t (emails). So a few “spammish” emails breaking through (blog comment thanks) don’t seem so bad.

  7. I agree with most of the comments. Great article, btw!

    When someone receives a DM from Twitter, he or she gets excited. It’s still a relatively new form of communication, and for the most, DM’s are
    largely non-commercial.

    People used to go ballistic about email spam…or even auto generated email. Now, they’re expected and managed to the point where it’s similar to passing a billboard while driving. You may or may not see it. And if you do see it, you’re subconscious can almost filter for you.

  8. I actually think automated welcome DMs are harmless, and do use them from time to time when I have something specific I want to promote. However, I do think they tend to get ignored (Partic. when they’re a variation on ‘Thanks for the follow! Have you seen our…’), I know I ignore them anyway.

    Personally I prefer to thank certain accounts publicly, as in ‘@username @username <— thanks for following' – just a bit more personal.

  9. I actually think automated welcome DMs are harmless, and do use them from time to time when I have something specific I want to promote. However, I do think they tend to get ignored (Partic. when they’re a variation on ‘Thanks for the follow! Have you seen our…’), I know I ignore them anyway.

    Personally I prefer to thank certain accounts publicly, as in ‘@username @username <— thanks for following' – just a bit more personal. 

  10. Your points are very true Kristi. Even many companies sent direct messages to market their products and services. I received DM with sales notes, coupons and many more. I don’t think it solves any marketing purpose. Thanks for share your thought.