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AP 0916: How Can I Automate Instagram Following from My Email List?

AP 0916: How Can I Automate Instagram Following from My Email List?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 916 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 916 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We have an awesome question today from Parker who is at You’ll all about that in his question, and here is his question.

Parker: Hi, Pat. My name is Parker and I run the number one sobriety tracking app in the App Store. It’s Nomo Sobriety Clocks. Right now, the current version has over 1,100 5-star reviews, and a lot of that has to do with the customer service stuff that I’ve learned from you and interacting with your customers or your user base. Thank you for that.

My big question for you is, I have an email listof over 350,000 emails from people who have downloaded and used my app, and I wanted to know, is there a way that I can automatically follow these people on social media, for Instagram specifically? What I want to do is have a place where I can upload this email list and just have it automatically send out follow requests to them from my Instagram account, and then hopefully they’ll follow me back. Every time I search on Google, the answer that I get is the other way around—how do you get people to join your email list from Instagram, and I want it to obviously do it this way where I can upload an email list and then automatically shoot all these follow requests, and hopefully get some attraction there. If you have an answer for that, I’d love to hear it. This may have been asked before, but I think, as of recording this—it’s 884 episodes in so it’s a lot to sit through and find that answer. I’d really appreciate any advice you can give me. I’ve been listening to your shows for years, and I absolutely love it. It’s pivotal in my small business creating, and I really appreciate everything you do, man. Thanks so much.

Pat Flynn: Hey, Parker. Thank you so much for the question. First of all, congratulations on the success of your app and for what it does, Super stoked to hear you have all those reviews, and 350,000 emails. Dude, that’s awesome. You want to get people on Instagram, which is great, instead of getting people on Instagram to join your email list. You want people on your email list to join you on Instagram, and your strategy for doing that is to follow them first.

Now that does work. If you have 350,000 people, if you follow them on Instagram, it’s likely that a certain percentage of them will follow you back. But you know what’s going to work better than that, is actually utilizing your email list and saying, “Hey, by the way. Follow me on Instagram.” That way it’s done because they want to and not just simply because of the act of following. You could say, “Hey, follow me on Instagram and I’ll follow you back.” You could do it that way, as well. But utilize that email list. You’ve put in the work already to gather information to see how you might be able to connect directly with people. Now use that. Use it for good, obviously, and Parker, it sounds like you’re doing that. But use it. Use your email list, and just say that: “Hey guys, I’m on Instagram.” Or maybe you can even do some sort of giveaway in a specific Instagram post and you can link to that and say, “Hey, in order to qualify,” and of course, check with an attorney or something to make sure you’re following the rules properly related to contests or giveaways or whatever. You could say, “Hey, follow me on Instagram and check out this post here, and leave a comment, and that’ll enter you into a drawing,” or something like that. You can get creative with it obviously.

That’s one way to go about it. I would hesitate to do the follow me / follow you thing because accounts that have a ton of people you follow, first of all your feed’s going to be ridiculous. But second of all, it adds less credibility when there are the same amount of . . . Once you get to a certain point, like over 1,000, there’s less credibility when people go to your profile and they say, “Oh, well you’re following 1,000 people. Why would I follow you when you’re probably not ever going to see my feed?” Those kinds of things.

Utilize that email list to grow your Instagram, and that’s how I’d go about it. Actually, you could potentially use it to help people not only go to Instagram, but to follow you on YouTube or to go to follow you on Instagram . . . No, I already said that. Twitter or Facebook or what have you. You can have everything cross promote each other, as well.

In terms of doing it automatically, you could simply have an email sent out in an auto responder series or sequence that gets triggered after a certain amount of time, or it could even be the very first email that people get after they subscribe and sign up. Or you could even have it built into the app as well, I’m sure, with the next update or something, or unless you have push notifications of some kind, you can just do it that way and make it an announcement to have people follow you through the app.

Using your email list, you can have maybe the first email or one of the first emails go out to say, “Hey, by the way. Follow us on Instagram. We have some more information there that can help you,” and that’s how you can do it automatically, where you won’t have to continually ask people because your email service provider is doing that for you.

There you go, Parker. Wishing you all the best of luck. Thank you, and I’m going to look forward to seeing you in an AskPat shirt one day, because I’m going to be sending one your way. Look out for an email from my assistant in the next couple weeks. We’re going to collect your information and we’ll send that to you free of charge, because everybody who gets their questions featured here on the show is going to get their shirt—Romancing the Stone—is going to get their shirt sent to them free of charge.

Anyway, thank you so much, Parker, and for anybody else who wants their question potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to, and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much. I appreciate you and here’s a quote to finish off the day by George S. Patton, and that is, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Thanks so much. Did you hear the clue? All right. Take care and I’ll see you on the next episode. Bye.

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