Written by Holly Phillips

December 6, 2021

Turn Instagram conversations into conversions!

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Lead qualification is an essential part of sales because it shows you where to allocate your resources. Without lead qualification, you would likely spend time and money on leads that will not convert. 

Instagram is a great “top of the funnel” marketing channel for certain businesses, like consulting or real estate, that want to generate awareness and interest. But relying on Instagram as your top-of-the-funnel tactic can also mean that several unqualified leads could fall into your funnels. 

To mitigate this situation, use Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat to handle your lead qualification process. With ManyChat’s automation, turn Instagram direct messages (DMs) into an automated lead qualification funnel without any manual work. 

This article takes a closer look at lead qualification, how you can use Instagram Automation to qualify your leads, and some specific examples of lead qualification flows in ManyChat. 

What is lead qualification? 

Lead qualification is a process that helps determine how close potential customers are to making a purchase. Although many leads may enter the sales funnel, realistically, only a portion of them will convert.

Generally speaking, lead qualification takes several steps, including:

  1. The marketing team collects contact information from a lead. 
  2. The marketing team assesses the lead to see if it fits into a particular profile from the brand’s target audience. 
  3. If the lead is a fit, it becomes a prospect. 
  4. The prospect may make additional lead qualification actions that would provide more data for the sales team. 

With automation, the process is similar to the steps listed above, except automated conversations — guided by a chatbot — qualify the lead. The chatbot can also collect and store contact information before leading the prospect to a live agent if needed. 

How to create a sales funnel on Instagram

Your lead qualification process is a part of your sales funnel. So, let’s explore ways you can create a solid sales funnel on Instagram. 

Top of the funnel

Marketing efforts at the top of the funnel are for creating brand awareness. This is often when potential customers discover a brand on Instagram and decide whether or not to follow it. 

Tactics for succeeding at the top of the funnel on Instagram include: 

  • Creating Instagram Stories. 
  • Hosting contests and running giveaways. 
  • Investing in ads. 
  • Partnering with an Instagram influencer. 

Instagram automation captures leads and sends them into your qualification process even at the top of the funnel. For example, Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat automatically sends a direct message to anyone that replies to an Instagram Story or mentions a brand in their Story. This puts the user directly into your predetermined flow, even if it’s their first time interacting with your brand. 

Automation can also help with contests and giveaways. Roma By Rochi, a clothing brand with a robust Instagram following, ran a traditional “tag and like” marketing campaign with a twist. To enter the contest, participants had to send an Instagram message to the brand with a keyword. Once in Instagram Messenger, a Roma by Rochi bot chatted with participants, building the relationship. The contest resulted in a 741% increase in engagement on Instagram. 

Middle of the funnel

Once you get followers into your funnel, use the following tactics to qualify leads and draw them closer toward a sale.

Interact with Instagram Story viewers

Our research shows that more than 50% of messaging starts from an Instagram Story. Use ManyChat’s Keyword Automation feature to provide quick responses to messages to complement your top funnel strategy. 

Instagram keyword trigger

Let’s say you’re promoting an eBook lead magnet. With ManyChat, you can set a specific keyword to trigger a conversation from Stories. For example, post a Story that says, “DM us with the keyword ‘ebook’ to get this free download.” When someone messages you the word “ebook,” it initiates a conversation with them via direct message. 

Respond to comments on Instagram posts

Comments Automation triggers a conversation via direct message with anyone who engages with your content. Brands can also use Comments Automation to increase follower interactions for giveaways or signups. 

Comments Automation

Spark conversations with Story mentions

You can also automatically send a direct message when someone mentions your brand in their Instagram Story. This is an excellent tactic for brands who get lots of Story mentions but can’t respond to everyone at once. 

Instagram Story mentions automation

ManyChat’s Story Mentions trigger was the secret behind Roma by Rochi’s lift in engagement on Instagram. The brand used the trigger to follow up and engage with excited fans, as well as identify new brand ambassadors for future digital marketing campaigns.

Get the conversation going 

Followers who have not messaged you before may need a little jumpstart when opening Instagram Messenger. Conversation Starters help make the process a little easier. 

When followers open a Messenger conversation with your brand for the first time, they’ll see pre-filled buttons — aka Conversation Starters. 

Once followers tap a button, it starts a conversation with your business. 

Instagram conversation starters

Conversation Starters are perfect for providing quick answers to common questions. For example, you can pre-fill a “Shipping information” button that, when tapped, provides information that person is looking for without needing to speak to a customer support agent. 

Remember, these buttons only appear to people who have never messaged your Instagram business account. Create buttons based on your most frequently asked questions, so you can provide potential customers the answers they need quickly and easily.  

Bottom of the funnel

In this stage, customers know they want to buy something but may need a little extra push. The goal here is to create a frictionless customer experience to clinch the sale. 

Once a potential customer reaches the bottom of the funnel, you can engage with them in the following ways:

  1. Have a live chat conversation. Sometimes people need a helping hand to complete a purchase. An easy way to provide support is through a ManyChat Live Chat conversation. A support rep can manage the Instagram Messenger conversation from ManyChat and clear up any customer issues, minimizing or eliminating the barriers to purchase. 
  2. Send links to an Instagram Shop, website, or landing page. Whether you qualify a lead via live chat or through an automated conversation, direct that person to a product page where they can make a purchase. Using ManyChat, send an Instagram Shop product or lead people to your eCommerce store to make a purchase. 

Instagram DM Automation lead qualification examples

Now that you know what Instagram Automation can do for your sales funnel, let’s take a closer look at some flows for lead qualification.

Instagram automation lead qualification

In the first half of this flow, you can see how to use automation to collect information for possible leads. This information can be used to create a contact on the backend of the CMS and used anytime you contact them.

Instagram lead qualification example

In this second half of the flow, you can collect contact information from the user. Once this information is collected, you can ask them questions about their interests, which will lend itself to lead scoring and lead qualification.

Of course, you can use this flow example to ask any series of questions that would assist your marketing efforts.

Wrap Up

There’s no doubt that creating an Instagram marketing funnel benefits your business. It’s one of the best ways to find potential customers, engage with them, and build relationships that lead to sales. With Instagram Automation by ManyChat, optimize your sales funnel and customer experience with built-in automation tools. Try it today to save time and generate revenue from Instagram automatically.

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.