Best Voicemail Strategies to Get More Callbacks

The best voicemail is more playful than formal. Keep it casual and cool to drive up your callback rate.
The best voicemail is more playful than formal. Keep it casual and cool to drive up your callback rate.
For those naysayers out there that are hesitant to even dive into this blog, thinking voicemails are so 1990s … think again.

According to a recent study, a well–thought-out voicemail strategy can drive a fairly significant uplift in conversion rates. I shared the results of the study in a previous blog post. What’s more, 97% of all business calls now go to voicemail, according to a recent Salesforce blog post.

So it almost goes without saying that to succeed in sales, you must have the best voicemail strategy. These five expert-tips are sure to help.

1 – The best voicemail is left on the prospects direct line – In a recent article in SellingPower, Steve Richard, CEO at Vorsight, notes that you can triple the effectiveness of your outbound-calling efforts by doubling the number of direct lines on your list. So how do you get more direct numbers? Here are a few tips from Steve: (1) It may seem simple, but the best way to get it is to ask for direct number in your form. You’d be surprised how many times prospects will give it. (2) Append your data leveraging sales intelligence tools. A few tools to consider are InsideView,, and ZoomInfo. (3) Next time you hear: “Your call is being answered by Audix.” Press **6 and follow the prompts from there.

2 – The best voicemail is casual and cool – When you leave a voicemail for a prospect, it is easy to get in a very formal rhythm. Unfortunately, the prospect on the other end of the voicemail will likely interpret the formal tone as one of 50 voicemails you have left on the day. Try to drop the salesy tone and talk like you’re talking to a trusted business colleague.

3 – The best voicemail is personal – Jill Konrath, Sales Strategist and Best Selling Author, suggested in a recent blog post that dropping the contact’s name in your voicemail sounds simple but is very effective. We are all trained to pay attention when we hear our own name. She suggests getting as specific as possible by stating the contact’s company name and location, but to beware of assumptive phrases, such as, “companies like yours,” which do not feel catered to the prospect.

4 – The best voicemail is short and sweet – the goal is to spark curiosity without demanding too much time. You have a few seconds to grab their attention, so what you say initially is really important. Lori Richardson, CEO of Score More Sales, recommends leading with a credibility builder, mentioning a client, strategic partner, or contact you have in common. The full voicemail shouldn’t be much longer than 30 seconds, she recommends.

5 – The best voicemail creates mystery – Aaron Ross, founder of Predictable Revenue has found this voicemail / email tactic to be effective. His theory is that a voicemail should be used to increase your email responses. His suggestion is to say something like “Hey, this is Aaron Ross from Predictable Revenue. I’m going to send you an email later today and if you could just keep an eye out for it and respond to me there, I would really appreciate it.“ Click. Aaron finds the mystery of this message drives a higher response rate. Also, he says most people don’t listen to a voicemail right away, so don’t send the email for at least two hours.

The best voicemail strategy can go a long way in driving greater outbound sales results, so take the time to craft effective messages, test, and review your results. For more information on the right mix, and timing of voicemail as a part of your overall outreach strategy, download “The Ultimate Guide to Inquiry Response.”

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