What is a Direct Message? - Alibaba Seller

Alibaba.com OCTOBER 27, 20236 MIN READ
What is a Direct Message? - Alibaba Seller

Direct Message, or DM, is a convenient way of sending private messages on social media or other platforms with a direct messaging option. DM is a powerful marketing tool for business owners who thrive on online commerce. This mode of communication helps connect and form relationships with (potential) customers.

In this article, we discuss how Direct Messaging can be helpful for your brand and some tips for better DMs.

What is a Direct Message (DM)?

Direct Message (DM) is a social media feature that allows private communication between social media users. DM is private because messages are only visible to the sender and recipient instead of publicly posted content.

Direct Messages are often used for conversation between friends and family on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Meanwhile, they can also be useful for communication between a brand/business and its customers. Direct Message is also called private message and has become a major means of communication between customers and business owners.

Businesses often use DM to answer inquiries, resolve disputes, address concerns, clarify order details, and have private conversations with customers.

The power of DMs in marketing

Almost all social media platforms have a DM feature that allows people to communicate with each other privately. DM is a great way for business owners to know customers better and offer personalized solutions to their needs. DMs can help brands build customer trust, improve brand image, and increase engagement when used well.

Here are some ways DMs can help business owners:


According to a study, 71% of customers feel frustrated when their shopping experience isn’t personalized.1 If you’ve been wondering how to offer your customers personalized experiences, DM is one of the answers!

Direct Message allows you to give a personal touch when conversing with a customer. You can use personalized tags like the customer’s name to improve your responses. Also, business owners can take a minute to view a customer’s profile or previous conversations to find clues on how to personalize their messages.

Customer engagement

Chatting with customers through the DM can be very powerful for building relationships and increasing customer engagement. Private communication through the DM lets you further engage your customers and guide them through the buying process. By providing feedback, resolving issues, and offering personalized content, brands can foster trust with their audience and improve engagement.

Lead generation

Direct messaging can be a very effective tool to convert a potential customer into a purchasing customer. First, you can stay connected with your customers by responding to their questions, comments, and concerns. Also, you can provide customers with the information and details they need to make informed buying decisions. Savvy marketers use the DM to provide information such as product details, discounts, and promotional offers that will attract users.

Meanwhile, it’s important not to spam your customers with promotional offers. If you overwhelm your customers with offers and messages, they may stop opening your DMs.

Feedback and surveys

One of the underrated tips for brands is looking for new ways to improve their brand. In Bill Gates’s words, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Ask your customers what they want if you are looking for ways to improve your brand. Thankfully, you can ask for feedback, opinions, and suggestions from your customers through the DM. Customers will feel honored and appreciated when you ask for their input before making changes to your brand. It shows that you value your customers' opinions, boosting customer loyalty.

Promotions and offers

You can use the DM to provide promotions and offers to entice your customers and encourage them to buy from you. Customers won’t always come across your public content, but they will be notified when you send a private message. When you send your offers via the DM, you increase the chances of your customers buying from you.

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Best practices for better DMs

Like other marketing tools, some practices can improve direct message marketing. Here are some of them:

Respect privacy

It’s essential to use your DM for marketing purposes only. One of the best things about DM is that it offers a discreet method of communication, so it’s essential to stay true to the basics of a DM: privacy!

Put effort into respecting people’s privacy and confidentiality in the DM. Don’t share personal details that users may not want the public to know without permission. Also, respect the boundaries of your customers and avoid sharing sensitive information with them.

Personalize messages

One of the best ways to use your DMs is by providing meaningful and personalized messages to your customers. You can use your DM to connect and ask for reviews from customers who just purchased, send targeted promotions to users, resolve queries, and explain things related to your product. Take your time to personalize your message, address the person by their identity tags, and reference a relevant experience. This personalized approach will improve customer experience and build faster connections with your audience.

Provide value

An excellent way to make your DM great is by providing customers with something of value. If you are spamming customers or sending them information they don’t need, they will likely ignore your DM. However, when you provide something of value and then personalize it, you can harness the power of DM marketing. Whatever you need to send should be valuable and relevant to the recipient.

Prompt response

Customers always spend more with a business that responds fast to their DMs.2 This means the faster you respond to DMs, the more revenue you generate. Responding quickly tells customers you care about them and are committed to providing the best experience. If customers wait long for a response, they will likely turn to your competitor for assistance. For this reason, you should prioritize quick responses to DMs you receive from customers.

One of the ways to improve your response rate is by investing in chatbots and autoresponders to offer automated customer support when you’re not available to answer frequently asked questions.

Track and analyze

Lastly, an excellent practice for better DMs is to track and analyze your performance over time. DM analytics ensures you're in the right direction and identifies where you can adjust for better results. If you want to track your DM performance, you need to set a goal within a timeframe and identify key metrics to measure the success of your DM campaign. Some key metrics to measure DM marketing campaigns include response time, conversion rate, completed chats, missed chats, wait time, and total volume of DMs.


Social platforms are constantly investing in features that improve customer relationship management. One of those features is Direct Message (DM), which has become the preferred mode of communication between brands and customers.

The effectiveness of Direct Message is linked to how you approach and manage your DMs. So, ensure you pay attention to personalization, response rate, and providing value to grow your business through the DM.

Also, joining an e-commerce platform like Alibaba.com is essential if your business thrives on social commerce. With Alibaba.com, you can create your storefront, post products, and use the DMs to build customer engagement. Do not hesitate to join one of the biggest e-commerce platforms today to increase your audience base and improve your sales. Join Alibaba.com today!

1. http://grow.segment.com/Segment-2017-Personalization-Report.pdf
2. https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/insights/2015/Consumers-spend-after-positive-customer-service-interaction-on-Twitter