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.


Voicemail and Technology


Last night, I was organizing some old documents I found from one of my first sales jobs. “No more useless voicemails!” was a note I had written with stars around it.

I couldn’t disagree more.

There’s still a current debate (among some at least – but don’t group me in there) about whether to leave voicemail or not. I think it’s a must.

With today’s VoIP technology and unified messaging, a voicemail is as good as an email – assuming that both are done well. Here’s 2 reasons:

  1. Not Leaving a Message Still Sends a Message: With call display, the seller’s phone #/name/company comes up, but when no message has been left, then the real message is, “I’m just another sales person, you were next on my list and I’ve moved on to someone else. Disregard me when I inevitably call back.”
  2. Your Message is Marketing: With unified messaging, your vm can be saved and even shared (via email) with other people. By leaving a brief value prop, and being specific in your info, your message can get legs rather quickly if there is an opportunity present. This is not the voicemail of 10 years ago – unified messaging presents marketing potential.

Aside from those key points – I hate it when I get a “missed call” with no message. It bugs me. And another reason can be found in the fact that you can spend half a day pounding out calls and get absolutely nothing in return. If you leave a vm, there is a chance your call will be returned and a meaningful discussion can take place.

One last point – when you leave your message, keep it short and to the point. Who you are and why you are calling. No pitch, just the facts. And don’t ask for a call back, think of it as a 15 second commercial.