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How to auto DM your followers on Twitter (X) to get more newsletter subscribers

The tool I use to grow my newsletter subscriber list


Hey, Jaan here.

Since I’ve shared my X automated DM workflow privately quite a few times now and more people (especially writers on beehiiv❤️) seem to want to know, I decided to turn this into a permanent post.

Since a lot of my core audience, Electric Vehicle fans live on Twitter (X), this approach has brought me thousands of new high-quality subscribers by now, with very little cost. Why not use the audience you’ve already built?!

Here's how it looks like and works live:

1. I set up an automation to DM every one of my followers to ask if they haven't missed what my "main thing" is, which is my newsletter EV Universe.

I added a picture of a sample of my message here. This part is fully automated:

2. I get responses from people wanting to sign up.

The people either a) don't reply at all, b) reply they're already subscribers or they don't want it, c) they drop their email right there or ask how to sign up.

From my 10k followers, I think I've only had a few instances when someone was mad about a DM like this. Most people appreciate it and it has converted surprisingly well, even trickling in months after each send.

I do this automation ~2x a year for everyone new following me (I have 11.5k ppl on X following me now). Note — I' am never DMing anyone twice with this, don’t spam people!

Why it works? People easily miss your CTAs to subscribe even if they love what you tweet and engage constantly! So many people were surprised I run a newsletter, even though it’s all over my profile and follow-up tweets.

The tool to use to automate X messages:

X: I automated this for X with this tool:
Phantombuster for X

This is a referral link that I think might give me something. You might be getting something from signing up through my link too, not sure. There’s a 14-day trial in it too.

Limits: So you wouldn’t trigger X bot algorithms, the tool lets you set your own schedule for messaging (I do 10 messages every 2 hours, 100 per day). Going above 100/day is not recommended, so you can expect to reach about 3,000 of your X followers in one month. The subscribers you convert from that makes the ROI great.

PS! You’ve got audience on other social platforms? I checked and PhantomBuster has a similar capability for LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram too:
Phantombuster for LinkedIn
Phantombuster for Instagram

What does it cost? PhantomBuster is charging $69/month for their tool ($56/month for annual), which, at least in my case, include enough credits to run the automations for the whole month.

Why I use Phantombuster:

I was hoping to find anything cheaper and searched all around for a tool like it but haven't found anything nearly as good.

It allows you to set the DM sending schedules (eg 10x every 2 hours) so you wouldn't trigger Twitter's (X's) rules against it.

That $69 was still well worth it considering how many subscribers I was able to sign up, and since they follow me on X they are already warmer/more quality than average.

If I discount my own time doing this, and the fact that I build the audience on X myself, it'll give me something like a $0.20-$0.30 cost per subscriber.

Note: I usually cancel the plan after I go through every run of my followers (~2x a year) and then restart it again when needed.

Step by step: how to pull your X follower list to a spreadsheet and set up your automation for automatic X DMs

How I set it up (it's pretty easy):

1. Get a spreadsheet of all of your followers on X:

First I used one of "Twitter Follower Collector" phantoms to get a spreadsheet of everyone that follows me. It's also useful for other kind of data analysis about your followers, you’ll find the ones with most followers themselves etc.

Then I added a real first name to every follower (use ChatGPT or similar if you want to automate that too) in the first colunn, so I could personalize the message on the next step.

Tip: if the name isn’t set as their display name, you’ll often find it in the @ handle. Using the first name is rather better than using their handle or smth in the messages which would be a bit lame and would get lesser response.

I upload the spreadsheet to Google Drive for the next step to refer to live.

2. Run the automation, aka Phantom, to send your messages

Then I run the "Twitter Message Sender" phantom that refers to that spreadsheet (instructions are all there in the setup).

I craft a good message using the personalization for the name using the Name column (like “Matthew” the image), and run it at something like 6x10 per day.

You can easily edit the message after running some rounds, to convert better.

I start running the automation. It’s smart to run it with whatever rate (like 80 or 100 messages per day etc) that PhantomBuster recommends, so you wouldn’t trigger the X algo.

Tip: I do not share the link in that initial message! It'll probably trigger anti-bot algo. And whatever you do, be personally approachable and not spammy!

3. You win. The answers roll in, start adding to your list and responding to everyone.

This is a bit manual part, at least for me, as I love the conversations with warm “leads”, turning these into actual relationships.

So now I start answering the DMs and adding people to the subscriber list. This part is more of the "do things that don't scale", but I bet you can automate this too, or have the initial message say something like "sign up through the link in my bio" or something. Although this reduces conversion a bit probably, friction is always bad. See how casual my ending question is from the image.

I also make them all feel good for joining with this very simple Ted Lasso GIF once they’ve been added:

Feel free to steal this.

Congratulations, you’ve now built a workflow that will utilize your existing followers, and turns them into your newsletter subscribers.

You’ve won new subscribers. What else you can do, and what to consider:

It all works well for me, as my followers are already in my niche (EVs). Might be less effective in conversion if you haven't niched down. 🤷 

Reminder: I do not share the link in that initial message! It'll probably trigger anti-bot algo. And whatever you do, be personally approachable and not spammy!

Is it safe? I've done it through several runs now and have not triggered any flags on my X account due to this. I can not, of course, say for sure that you won’t run into trouble.

Prepare: your inbox is going to get messy. Only do this if you're willing to sacrifice your X inbox cleanness though, as you'll have messaged nearly everyone that follows you, which will pop up live in your inbox.

Here’s the link to the tool again so you don’t have to scroll up

Bonus: an extra tool I found to work through all X messages a lot easier

So, I thought this was easier to find, but apparently there are zero other tools out there to manage your X inbox. Which is weird.

The main problem with DM inbox on X is that X doesn’t let you sort messages by unread, and since you’re sending so many messages, the answers to those messages can get lost in the mix.

This tool helps manage X inbox better: Inboxs

 There’s a 7-day free trial if you go through here, and what I liked is that you can also set your own preset messages there. So if someone says to your first automated message

“Haven’t subscribed yet, where can I sign up?”

you’d already be able to click a button there and have the message ready:

“Ah, I knew I missed someone. Let’s get you on board then. You can just drop your email here and I’ll get you on the list, or go to [yournewsletter. com/subscribe] to get in. Great to have you with us!”

Cost of this tool: $35/month, or $29.16/month on annual plan. Sign up to Inboxs here. The tool is created by Yannick, the guy behind the great X audience and content tool that you might also like, Hypefury.

That’s it! Ask me in the comments or find me on X / LinkedIn, if you’re stuck on any of the steps or want more help.

Oh and when it comes to the rest of my “stack”, if you’re looking to start your newsletter, beehiiv is the way to go.

If this helps any of you convert more subs from your X DM's, I'm happy. Report back how it works for you!

Now go tap into that audience you've already built and bring them into the rest of your ecosystem!

— Jaan

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