97% of all business calls end up as voicemail messages.
Needless to say, having a voicemail message is critical to your calling campaigns.
A generic voicemail may get you a few responses. However, a well-crafted one can improve your response rates by up to 22%.
Isn’t that something you would want for your campaigns?
In this post, we’ll go over the essential elements of a well-crafted voicemail script and some tips to ensure maximum impact.
We will also take a look at some proven solutions to major challenges that accompany voicemail messages.
What is a voicemail message?
To put it simply, a voicemail message is a pitch you leave in response to the voicemail or answering machine of the prospect you’re calling.
A majority of people may believe that leaving a voicemail message is not as beneficial as a call. But the truth is far from it.
Voicemail scripts entail a lot of benefits that make outbound calling a success. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Increasing your chances of getting a callback
Every voicemail message increases the chances of getting a callback by 11%, as per studies. Ignoring such an opportunity wouldn’t be wise.
2. Serving as an important touchpoint
Converting a prospect (i.e. getting an initial meeting or another conversation) takes 8 touches on average.
However, reaching out multiple times doesn’t work unless you have a healthy divide of your messaging through multiple communication channels. Voicemails are one of those important channels.
3. Making subsequent follow-ups easier
Voicemail pitches give you a chance to introduce yourself and the solution you’re offering. While prospects may not act on it immediately, it warms them up for future conversations.
It’s important to remember that these benefits come only with a “well-crafted” voicemail script, not a generic one.
Let’s take a look at what makes a perfect voicemail script.
Key elements of the perfect voicemail pitch
An effective voicemail script primarily consists of 4 key elements, which include:
- Who you are
- The reason you are calling
- A good reason to call you back (or take any other action)
- Your contact information (or means to get back to you)
Here’s an example of a great voicemail pitch:
Here’s a breakdown of the script into the key elements mentioned above:
1. Who you are
Open your message with an introduction. Your prospect should know who the person at the other end of the line is.
Plus, disclosing your identity and the name of your company is also crucial to stay compliant with calling your outreach.
2. The reason you’re calling
Call prospects with a solution that will pique their interest in the first few seconds to keep them from deleting the voicemail pitch.
To make your reason more enticing, try to include the following:
- A specific result – Tell people exactly how you’ll be making things better for them. The example above highlights how a referral strategy can get 50% more diners rather than saying they can help increase their business.
- Highlight past success – Telling prospects that this is something you have done in the past and succeeded with adds credibility to your claims.
- Include social proof – Adding the name of another related prospect (or competitor) makes prospects feel more confident about your work.
3. A good reason to call you back (or take any other action)
Give prospects a good reason to follow through with the action you want without making it seem like a hard sell.
In the example above, the agent asks the prospect to call back to discuss if the program would be good for them after clearly highlighting its benefits.
It’s important to note that prospects are more likely to act on low-barrier asks (like calling for a brief discussion or replying back to their email) than major asks (like buying a product).
4. Contact information (or means to get back to you)
Leaving your contact information ensures that prospects can get in touch either for the next steps or for any queries.
Bonus: Information about a follow-up
If possible, sending a follow-up is a great way to reinforce your message and provide more details.
However, make sure to provide some context for the follow-up in the voicemail. If not, your voicemail message may be mistaken for a promotional message and be ignored.
The voicemail script above is straightforward and packed with value. However, it’s important to note that delivery is everything.
Let’s go over some tips to deliver your voicemail pitch with maximum impact.
Tips to enhance the impact of your voicemail message
1. Maintain a length of 20-30 seconds
The optimal length of a voicemail script is 20 to 30 seconds. Every additional second after 30 seconds causes a decrease in results by 2%.
It’s best to aim for voicemails between 18-20 seconds since they have a proven success rate.
2. Repeat your contact information (in a louder tone if possible)
Your contact information is typically what the prospect will use to act on your request. Repeating it is a means to ensure they make note of it.
Using a slightly louder tone for it will also make it stand out and ensure delivery. Adding a slight pause before it is also a good practice.
3. Follow-up on other channels
A follow-up reinforces your message and ensures that people don’t forget about the voicemail.
Texts, phone calls (or another voicemail), and emails are some of the best channels for follow-ups.
4. Leave multiple voicemails (not at once)
Each voicemail and follow-up helps build a relationship with prospects and adds to the probability of getting a response.
To give you an idea, here’s how your response rate increases with each voicemail message left:
Aim for at least 8-10 touchpoints for each prospect using a mix of channels (few voicemails with text follow-ups, emails, etc.) before tagging them as cold leads.
Incorporating these tips will ensure your message gets through.
However, there are 3 major challenges that you need to overcome before your campaign can start showing results.
Major challenges of Voicemail messages (and their solutions)
1. Motivating action
Motivating people to take complex actions over a voicemail message is quite difficult.
These actions typically include making a purchase or a donation. For relatively newer prospects, calling back would also be a big ask.
Provide flexibility with additional smaller asks. The fact that it takes 8 touches on an average to convert a prospect can be put to use here.
Give prospects multiple options of actions they could take rather than just one.
For instance, apart from having them call you back, give them the choice to sign up for a newsletter on your website.
This, along with other low-barrier asks will also help you nurture the prospect and build a relationship with them.
A simple way to implement this is:
- Sending a follow-up text
Research suggests that prospects receiving text follow-ups are 40% more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Leveraging a text through call center solution that allows you to send a follow-up text after dropping a voicemail from the same interface would be useful for this. It would save both volunteer time and effort.
Typically, the texts would include more details about the conversation (especially the benefits), a link to your website (or a specific landing page), and the next steps.
Email follow-ups work really well too in case mobile numbers are not available to you.
2. Lack of information conveyed (due to voicemail length limit)
Sometimes, the 30-second voicemail limit may not be enough to convey all the information you want.
While you could extend the length of your voicemail, remember that it would come at the cost of a lower response rate.
A way to overcome this limitation:
- Sending a follow-up text/email
Rather than having all your information in one voicemail pitch, convey only the vital information in the voicemail.
Any extra details can be put into a follow-up text or email and sent to the prospect.
This would even be a preferred method given the fact that follow-ups increase response rates significantly (as pointed out earlier).
- Direct them to your website
Rather than repeating your number in your voicemail, provide prospects with your website address (spell it out if possible) and direct them there for more details.
Your website is the hub of all information a prospect could need and would typically be designed to nurture them.
During their initial contact, political campaigners often direct voters to their website to give them more information on their objectives and gain their support.
3. Loss of volunteer/agent time leaving voicemails
The probability of converting prospects who receive your call is usually higher than with those who don’t.
Given this fact, it’s clear that your agents/volunteers should be focusing more on calls that are received rather than leaving voicemails (which is around 97% of the calls).
Voicemail automation is the best way to make this process more efficient. Typically, there are two types of solutions you can leverage for voicemail automation:
- Answering Machine Detection
This feature works in the backend of a call center solution that puts only live calls through to agents.
It detects answering machines and automatically leaves a pre-recorded voicemail that can be followed up later. Learn how you can optimize your calling campaigns with the answering machine detection feature on CallHub.
- Voicemail drop
The voicemail drop feature works perfectly for calling software that dials one number at a time for an available agent.
Whenever the agent comes across an answering machine, they can drop a pre-recorded voicemail with the click of a button.
In CallHub, you can send a follow-up text through the same dashboard.
Note: Always choose to have a human record your voicemails with the right tones and tempo rather than generating one using a software. The human voice adds to the personalization and ensures a better impact.
Now that you’re well versed with all aspects of voicemail pitches, let’s take a look at a few examples to inspire your next voicemail message.
Example of voicemail scripts
Political campaigns (for GOTV efforts):
Nonprofits (for promoting an event):
Healthcare (promoting safety protocols)
Given its clear benefits, it’s surprising how 80% of callers sent to voicemail still don’t leave a message.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
Even if you don’t get a call immediately, voicemail pitches add value by moving prospects in the right direction of the customer journey.
However, to yield maximum benefits from these pitches, ensure that your script is customer-centric. Before writing your script, ask yourself, what’s in it for them?
Once you have the answer, move on to crafting a script as explained and see your response rates rise.