Ringless Voicemail 101: What Every Marketer Needs to Know.

James Miller
August 15, 2023

What Is Ringless Voicemail?

Ringless voicemail is a technology that allows a user or business to send a voicemail message directly to a recipient's voicemail box without making an actual phone call or causing the recipient's phone to ring. This service is often used by businesses for marketing or promotional purposes, and the idea is that it's less intrusive than a traditional phone call.

Why Should I Care? 

People don’t rely on salespeople the way they used to. In fact, 57 percent of salespeople agree buyers are less dependent on sales during the decision-making process compared to a few years ago. Still on the fence? Here’s what the experts have to say: 

  • Neil Patel shares how ringless voicemails streamline your sales process, enabling swift outreach scaling, and affording your sales team more quality time to focus on valuable leads. 
  • explains how voicemail drop systems are ingeniously designed to revolutionize time management for reps. A single day can see reps leaving around 150 voicemails. At an average of 30 seconds per voicemail, this adds up to approximately 25 hours a month for an individual rep. For a team of ten reps, that figure jumps to 250 hours. Voicemail drop solutions offer a means to reclaim much of this lost time. 
  • HubSpot emphasizes that time management stands as one of the most daunting challenges for sales professionals. Juggling numerous tasks simultaneously can be overwhelming. The question is, how can they prioritize effectively and maximize their productivity? Topping the list is the eradication of administrative tasks. (Quinn, 2019)

Ringless voicemail can be employed in various ways across different industries. Here are five ways ringless voicemails can be used to boost your business: 

  • Marketing and Promotions: Send targeted promotional messages about new products, special offers, or upcoming sales directly to potential or existing customers' voicemails.
  • Payment Reminders: Financial institutions, utilities, or any entity that handles billing can remind customers of upcoming due dates or missed payments
  • Appointment Confirmations: Medical practices, salons, and other service-oriented businesses can send reminders or confirmations about upcoming appointments.
  • Political Campaigning: Politicians or advocacy groups can spread their message, remind citizens to vote, or provide information on local events or town halls.
  • Operational Communications: Internal communications, such as notifying employees about schedule changes, upcoming training, or important announcements.

Okay, I’m Interested. How Does It Work?

At a high level, the process works as follows: 

1. Connectivity with Voicemail Server: The service provider establishes a connection directly with the voicemail server of the recipient.

2. Message Delivery: Instead of routing a call through to the recipient's phone line, the pre-recorded message is delivered straight to the voicemail server

3. Notification: The recipient's phone will typically show a notification of a missed call or a new voicemail, even though the phone never actually rang.

One way to go about this is to sign up for the services of a ringless voicemail provider (see below).

What are the Pros and Cons?

"Time management is one of the most challenging disciplines for salespeople to master. Reps always have several important tasks competing for their attention at once. How do they prioritize and maximize their time?”

Advantages of ringless voicemail include:

  • Less Intrusive: Since the phone doesn't ring, it can be considered less disruptive.
  •  It’s Effective: Many marketers and salespeople find that recipients are more likely to listen to a voicemail than to answer an unknown call. Ringless voicemails are effective at driving lead awareness, especially in coordination with other outreach steps.
  • Higher Listen Rates: Your leads will listen to your voicemails on their own time, potentially more than once. With Bearworks’ LLM-powered AI-voicemail technology, parallel dialed voicemail drops can still incorporate personalized details, making messages feel more tailored and engaging for recipients.
  • Consistency and Scalability: Voicemail drops ensure that your message is consistently delivered, minimizing the risk of communication errors. They are particularly useful for reaching a large number of contacts in a short time, making them a perfect tool for business development teams.
  • Compliance: When used responsibly and in compliance with regulations, voicemail drops can help maintain legal and ethical communication practices.

Concerns and criticisms of ringless voicemail include:

  • Regulation and Legality: Ringless voicemails can be controversial, due to their legal nuances. If you’re considering ringless voicemail, be sure to follow TCPA guidelines.
  • Limited Interaction: Voicemail drops don't allow for immediate two-way interaction, which can be a drawback for recipients who want to engage in a conversation.
  • Message Relevance: As voicemail drops are pre-recorded, ensuring the message remains relevant to the recipient's current context requires attention to detail.
  • Risk of Overuse: Just like with email spam or telemarketing calls, some find unsolicited voicemails to be annoying or intrusive. Excessive use of voicemail drops might lead to recipients feeling overwhelmed with automated communications, diminishing the novelty and effectiveness of the approach.
  • Initial Learning Curve: As with any new technology or process, introducing voicemail drops might require some adjustment for your sales development team to create effective and engaging pre-recorded messages.

If you are considering using ringless voicemail for business purposes, it's essential to understand the regulations in your area and ensure that you are compliant with any relevant laws or guidelines.

Why should I care about the TCPA?

Image by Doug Belshaw

The TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, is a U.S. law enacted in 1991 to restrict telemarketing activities, including unsolicited faxes, auto-dialing, and pre-recorded messages. It mandates telemarketers to maintain "do-not-call" lists, prohibits robocalls to cell phones without prior consent, requires the transmission of Caller ID information, and bans unsolicited fax advertising. Violations can result in significant fines and legal consequences, including $500 per violation, or enforcement actions from the FCC. One important aspect as it relates to ringless voicemail is whether the person you are calling has expressed prior consent.

Prior Consent

"Prior consent" refers to obtaining explicit permission from an individual before engaging in a specific activity or action. In the context of the TCPA and communications, prior consent often means having an individual's permission before sending marketing messages or making certain types of calls. Here are some examples of how prior consent can be obtained:

1. Signed Agreement: An individual fills out a physical or digital form that clearly states they agree to receive calls, texts, or communications from a company. The form might include a specific section or checkbox that the individual must mark to indicate their consent.

2. Online Opt-In: On a website or app, a user checks a box (which should not be pre-checked) that says they agree to receive promotional messages or calls.

3. Oral Consent: In a recorded phone call, the caller clearly asks the individual if they consent to receive future communications, and the individual verbally agrees.

4. Text-to-Join Campaigns: An individual sends a text message to a specific number, indicating their wish to receive messages from the company. The act of texting can be seen as providing consent.

5. Event or Trade Show Sign-ups: At an event, attendees might be given the option to provide their contact details and indicate their consent to be contacted later, typically by marking a checkbox on a sign-up sheet.

6. Purchase or Transaction: After making a purchase, a customer might be given the option to receive updates, offers, or follow-ups from the company. Their consent should still be explicit, rather than assumed due to the purchase.

Ringless Voicemail Reviews

Below is a comparison of a few Ringless Voicemail providers:

1.      Call Loop - Starts at $25/month

2.     Drop Cowboy - As low as $.017 per message, with no monthly commitments. Has a partner/reseller program

Overview / Summary: Drop Cowboy has positioned itself as a notable player in the communication landscape, offering a versatile ringless voicemail solution that seamlessly integrates with its broader phone dialer product suite. Comparable to established platforms like Aircall, Drop Cowboy stands out with its user-friendly interface and robust feature set, catering to both novice users and businesses with advanced communication needs. While their ringless voicemail offering helps businesses reach audiences without being intrusive, the integration of this feature with their phone dialer suite offers a holistic approach to business communication. Their emphasis on compliance tools also indicates a commitment to ethical and legal communication standards. Though no platform is without its challenges, Drop Cowboy's combination of features, integrative capabilities, and user-centric design makes it a commendable choice in the crowded telecommunication market.

Offers Free Trial:  Yes, but requires a credit card

3.     Slybroadcast

Overview: Slybroadcast emerges as a premium choice in the ringless voicemail sector, exemplifying a blend of sophistication and functionality in its offerings. Their polished platform emphasizes ease-of-use without compromising on advanced features. With a reputation for reliability and a clear focus on high-end service delivery, Slybroadcast positions itself as a top-tier vendor for companies seeking superior ringless voicemail solutions.

Offers Free Trial:  No: requires both a credit card on file and payment to sign up

Functionality: Slybroadcast distinguishes itself with a AI-powered voicemail personalization feature, allowing users to seamlessly integrate the recipient's first name using customized voices.

Customer Support: both phone and email

4. Bearworks

Bearworks provides voicemail drop functionality with a personalized AI-powered voice.

Offers Free Trial:  Yes

Customer Support: both phone and email

Splash image courtesy of Billy Brown

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