Design Your Messages to Work Together

To get the best results from your combined voicemail and email campaign, there are a few simple ideas you might want to consider:

1- Use the same voice in both messages.  If you want to use a series of messages to build a story or create a particular impression with your audience, make it easy by using the same voice- which in this case means the same style, main message and point of view.  For example, one of the most frequent areas we see for improvement in campaigns which combine voicemail and email is a lack of credible connection between the senders.  There is a personal and natural message from an individual, like the local sales rep which is clearly meant to create a one to one connection, and the email – supposedly from that same rep – is obviously a mass market communication that didn’t come from that person at all- or ANY individual for that matter.  While the mass email is usually a pretty slick production, I think that the client gives up that impression of an individual connection with a person within their organization which is part of the high ground of a good voicemail campaign.  Even more frustrating, don’t create a supposedly personal follow up email which doesn’t enable a simple reply to the person who left them the voicemail in the first place.

2- Count on multiple messages for both the voicemail and email.  It’s pretty well established by now that it takes more attempts to make a real live connection with contacts and even if your campaign isn’t designed to lead immediately to a live dialogue, a big part of the problem is message clutter and timing. One voicemail and one email are not going to move your mountain.  Plan on at least two voicemail passes and at least three emails.  If budgets are an issue – and for the vast majority of us they will ALWAYS be an issue, work with your account manager to get the best balance between premium first wave passes and their highly efficient follow up waves. For example on a list of 4,000 contacts you might be better off to trim that list back to 3,000 names and for the same budget you might be able to make two messages passes to the confirmed contacts.  Much depends on your list, of course.

3- Create a good voicemail that takes maximum advantages of the opportunity.  Voicemail is not a radio commercial and while it can deliver “mass announcements” it works best when you use it to create personable, natural messages that  sound like a person really called.  We’ve run thousands of successful programs that still sounded pretty corporate and never tried to capture that personal feel, but I’ve always wondered just how much better they could have been if it had been possible to create that real human touch.

4- Keep the voicemail and the email short.  Plan your voicemail for 30 seconds and if it’s decided that a Senior VP or President is going to voice the message and you’re only going to get one take at getting the recording right because you’ll never get back on their schedule, make every effort you can to communicate that they can’t ramble on for a minute and a half.  Even if the campaign can run with a message that long it will push you over budget.  Worse, it will wear out the patience of your contacts.  The same challenge of brevity  applies to the email.  You left them a voicemail, they opened your email. Now, don’t blow it by making your contacts read the same message you already left them.  Give them something new and use the email to communicate the information that voicemail is not ideally suited for.  Give them details and listed points.  Point them to links for more information and let them REPLY.

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