The REAL Benefit of a Live Message

Talking about some delivery stats with our production manager, I was again reminded that when the objective of a campaign is to deliver a business message, the best way to get a great return for the client’s money is to use every available means to communicate that message.

For Boxpilot, that usually starts with a guided voicemail, delivered during a regular business day. But it never stops there.  Many extra messages are delivered off hours – at both the beginning and end of the day.  Off hours delivery doesn’t’ necessary mean 2:00am – we target the windows of 6-9pm and 7-8:30am local time.

Following up voicemails with an email lets you reinforce the persuasiveness of a spoken message with written details and the “Reply” button on email offers one of the easiest and quickest response options available. But guided voicemail with or without a follow up email, is just one type of delivery – although I grant you, it’s the best known. 

Some companies don’t use voicemail and messages are taken by receptionists and personal assistants during the day.  It’s not at all uncommon for these companies not to have personal voicemail boxes in the evening either, just shared department mail boxes.  I’ve experienced this a lot with professional services like; medical and dental offices, in the construction industry, with retailers and with some accounting and legal offices.

Boxpilot is a company with a responsibility to deliver as many of our clients messages as possible, so it made sense to extend our service to include the delivery of what we call “Live Message” to receptionists and personal assistants.  While a few clients have not elected to try this service, feeling that it reduces their absolute control of the message, I don’t think their resistance is necessarily serving them well.  Since our client’s must sign off on the exact message scripting and since the most effective live messages are just the key information that will be recorded on the message pad, they do have control.

The irony is that the response rate for Live Message delivery is typically about three times higher than standard voicemail response rates.  We don’t know why. But, it makes sense that it’s a reflection of the nature of those particular companies and maybe our clients also benefit from the necessary brevity of messages that need to be hand written.

Another delivery option that some clients have had an excellent response from is called “Live Message to Contact”.  Given an opportunity to speak directly with the person on the list and again using a controlled and single purpose script, we can create a short, controlled and highly desirable dialogue.  For example, on campaigns supporting sales teams making cold calls or reaching out for contract renewals, the call center can offer a live phone follow up call from the sales representative (think of it as opportunistic appointment setting).  Event and other invitations can get either a completed registration or an event RSVP.

In campaigns that include Live Message and Live Message to Contact, outcomes like elevated response rates, booked appointments and event registrations – all of which are incredibly desirable outcomes- are the alternatives to a non-delivery.   With all the takeovers, closures and layoffs happening in business lately, maximizing delivery percentages has a major impact on a program’s ROI.  Even if all deliveries were of the same value (which they are not) the extra ten to fifteen percent of contacts we can communicate with by using different types of delivery, are well worth the investment.  When you also add into the mix that the alternative delivery methods are actually very well received, using them can have a major impact on sales campaigns, event promotions and lead generation programs.

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