Voicemail Marketing


Sellers are continually frustrated by voicemail.

It’s one of the main reasons why sales people dislike cold calling. Call – voicemail – hang up… Call – voicemail – hang up…

Cold calling is essentially marketing – and sellers should embrace VM as a marketing tool. We readily accept direct mail as a viable marketing strategy and the results of which are very comparable to cold calling – around a 1% or 2% response rate. So why should VM be any different? VM Marketing has many advantages over direct mail:

  • It’s very inexpensive
  • It’s results are easily measurable
  • You can launch a campaign any time, any day
  • The returns immediate/short term

Build a VM Marketing Strategy in 3 Steps

  1. Create Attention – Craft a brief message, 10-15 seconds. Make sure to leave a strong value prop that addresses a specific target market and need (EG: “Small businesses in a recession need…”)
  2. Set Expectations – Plan VM Marketing for a determined amount of time, perhaps 1 hour. Expect to leave a VM on every call, but be ready for a live person to pick up too…
  3. Measure and Adapt – If you do not receive a call back, adjust your message… Reconsider your target market… Try another value prop. Track your call backs.

Today, voicemail is the real gatekeeper. It has to be – especially in the current economy, there often just aren’t resources available for businesses to answer phones and keep sellers away. But with voicemail, sellers need to consider that every voicemail presents an opportunity to deliver a message; it is  a marketing opportunity. A seller can spend hours cold calling with nothing to show for it – but if the seller takes advantage of the opportunity to view VM as a marketing opportunity, there is the possibility for engagement.

So don’t call it cold calling – this is VM Marketing. Launch a campaign, measure it and adjust it. Try it again. Change it again. Stick with what works. VM is not going away anytime soon, so it’s time to stop complaining about it and leveraging it for what it can do for you.


4 thoughts on “Voicemail Marketing

  1. Hi Carson,

    This is a great point you bring up. I believe we spoke about it once, and when a sales rep calls, and the voicemail picks up, ‘not leaving a message, actually leaves a message”. This is due to caller ID, and when the customer sees your number and your company name on the caller ID, and you don’t leave a message, that leaves the message of ‘Just another sales call, on to the next person on the list’.

    Thanks Carson. The thing about this being a campaign is a new insight, and like you said, it can be tracked, and can be measured.


  2. Great feedback Marco, we did previously discuss that not leaving a message still sends a message – you are bang on.

    VM can and should be a campaign for sellers to use – we need to rethink our approach to it.

  3. Andrew Lang

    Like the point you are making. I do think that everytime there is a touchpoint it is a chance to throw out a message. I agree with you – the strength of that message (offer, etc.) is what will pay off.


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