It is common for 70 - 80% of cold calls to end up in voicemail. And there seems to be a common belief that when you hit a voicemail, it is best to just end the call and dial the next prospect.

However, this results in a huge loss of productivity. If 80% of your time on the phone is essentially wasted, wouldn't it make sense to at least try to leave a great voicemail that gets responses?

We are experimenting with a lot of different voicemail marketing techniques lately, and we have come up with a couple key insights about what makes a voicemail effective (or ineffective, for that matter).

In B2B, voicemail can make a great additional touch point in a blended outreach approach. Knowing that some people simply prefer not to return phone calls, try testing a different call to action. Instead of asking for a call back, ask for a reply via email instead. For example: 

"Hey this is Mick from Outboundify. I sent you an email earlier this week about a new marketing program we are building. Can you send me a quick reply to that email and let me know your thoughts?"

By requesting that the prospect get in touch with you via their preferred method of communication, your chances of getting a response rate become much higher. Use voicemail as a tool to draw attention to an email you sent earlier and see if you can get a response that way.

Another idea we are testing right now is exclusive or "voicemail only" offers. It is relatively affordable to deploy voicemails en masse, and creating a "voicemail only" promotion/discount is a good way to get a high response rate from that reduced spend. (Think of this method as similar to direct mail). For example: 

"Hey this is Mick from Outboundify. We just rolled out a new and very under utilized strategy to help our clients get new customers at a fraction of the cost of pay per click ads. If you mention this voicemail you can receive an entire month of free service to test it out for yourself. The offer is only available if you call back and mention this voicemail.... etc etc"

By changing up the call to action and/or using "voicemail only" discount offers, SDR's can massively increase the response rate from voicemail - instead of allowing it to remain in its current form as our biggest daily time suck. What do you think?