Voice Broadcasting Option: Deliver to Live or Voice Mail Answered Phones?

Business people who are thinking about using voice broadcasting as a lead generation technique often fail to carefully consider whether they should broadcast to live answered phones, answer machines, or both. This is probably because they’ve read something describing one technique, or a friend has told them about their experience.

Even experienced voice broadcasters will often have tried only one type of delivery, simply because that is the method they’ve always used, they know it works, so they feel “why bother trying something different?”

The thoughtful broadcaster will be more curious, though, realizing that for a particular market, or a particular message, one delivery method will probably be a less costly lead generation solution than the other.  It is impossible to accurately predict an outcome for every market and message, but this article will describe the fundamental differences that a broadcaster will experience between live and answer machine delivered messages.

The biggest attraction for broadcasters employing “live only” broadcasts is the immediacy of the experience.  They are able to “strike while the iron is hot” by speaking immediately to all the respondents who press “1″ in response to their message.  The “live only” broadcaster enjoys the fact that when they turn their broadcast campaign on, their phones begin ringing.

This attraction is also tied in with the biggest drawback to the “live only” broadcast – the fact that it is so easy for the respondent to reach over to their phone and press “1″. The problem is, it’s also easy for an uninterested party who just wants to complain and ask to not be called again. So along with the immediate gratification of receiving calls, and the knowledge that the broadcaster is “leaving no stone unturned”, comes the unfortunate fact that a good proportion of the live transfers have absolutely no value as leads.

Alternatively, other broadcasters may use the “answer machine only” message delivery technique.  Their message will not have an invitation to press “1″, of course, but will encourage prospects to call a phone number, or perhaps visit a website, or both.  The biggest difference a broadcaster will notice between the two methods is that with the “answer machine only” method, their phones don’t start or stop ringing along with the broadcast running or stopped, and their phones don’t ring nearly as much.

The volume of response to an “answer machine only” campaign will be much lower than for a “live only” broadcast.  This is simply because it takes much more effort on the respondent’s part to hear a message, if interested, record or remember the phone number or website, and then to actually pick up the phone and call.  This is seen as a large drawback by most “live only” broadcasters, who prefer to have lots of activity corresponding to their broadcasting activity.

Despite this, the biggest positive to the “answer machine only” campaign is that the amount of negative calls (the calls asking to be removed from the call list) is greatly reduced, and sometimes eliminated.  Additionally, the quality of the calls that are made back to the broadcaster is usually much higher, that is, the caller is much more likely to be considered a good lead, simply due to the fact that they’ve gone to more trouble to call back, and are usually more aware of the contents of the broadcast message.

The savvy broadcaster should test, and carefully track results, using each method before deciding on one or the other.