Hello everyone, welcome to another Digitize Your Firm webinar where we’ll going to talk about getting your voice out there. For those who don’t know me, my name is Stephen Andrews and I am a junior digital copywriter here at SimplyCast, and I love all things digital.

For anyone joining us who are voice experts or for those who are just starting out, I welcome all comments and questions, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either type out your comment or ask to speak. If you haven’t already, be sure to click the ‘phone’ icon next to it the chat icon to ensure your audio is connected.

As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback in case you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. If you haven’t already, please visit the Weekly Webinar Schedule on our Digitize Your Firm page to check out our past webinars.

Now, let’s go over today’s agenda.

Agenda

We’re going to start off by talking about how you can actually build your call list, then discuss crafting the perfect voice message. After that, we’ll talk measuring your campaign success, review, and tease the topic for next week.

Sound good? Let’s go!

Building Your Call List

Having an engaged list of opt-in subscribers is like having a license to print money.

Just like with email marketing, there are numerous ways to create a list for your voice broadcasting campaigns.

These include creating a signup form for your website, adding contacts one-by-one, mass uploading already gathered lists, and of course the old school offline strategies that many forget about.

What we will focus on here is what the differences are for voice and what you need to focus on when it comes to growing and managing your client lists.

Most voice broadcasting providers should be able to import existing lists no problem. As long as they meet industry regulations.

Creating a list for voice broadcast purposes can be more closely compared to fax marketing or SMS as you are collecting a phone number. At the very least, the fields you should add to your sign up forms are Name, Email, and Phone number. The rest you can ask for later on.

Do Not Call Lists

Reputable voice broadcast providers are not intended to be used for unwanted calls. Therefore, they do not integrate with State and National “Do Not Call” lists. Manage your own Do Not Call list where all recipients can elect to be placed on by visiting a website and clicking Opt Out. Please read any Terms of Use thoroughly before completing the sign up process with a software provider.

Uploading Lists

If you already have an opt-in list that you need to upload, most Voice Service Providers make the task simple. As long as the document is in some form of spreadsheet, the information will be uploaded for use and can be edited at any time.

Common formats for uploading include CSV, EXCEL and plain text. Managing large lists of data can be time-consuming and difficult for online marketers with limited resources, so that is why it is important to find a contact management service that makes everything easy while still providing the features you need.

Signup Forms and Landing Pages

So, where does one get the lists? Well, you need to grow them of course.
By adding a signup form to your website or blog, you can begin the process of gathering opt-in readers who are excited to receive voice message alerts from your company. With just a little copying and pasting, you can add a signup form in minutes. Numerous services will allow you to customize your form and then generate HTML code that you can add to your website or landing page. This allows your visitors to enter their phone numbers and email addresses and instantly add themselves to your mailing list.

Now you know how to get their numbers, but how can you create messages that keep them engaged?

Crafting the Perfect Voice Message

You have a great voice, an important message to share, but thousands of contacts to reach before you head home. What to do? Let voice broadcasting software help you out.

Before we get to the nuts and bolts of what makes a good voice broadcast campaign, here is a list of the types of campaigns you can try with automated voice messaging.

Business to Business (B2B) – Campaigns where one business is focused on calling other businesses. Voice mail campaigns after business hours are often effective for calling businesses.

Business to Consumer (B2C) – Campaigns where one business is focused on calling residences & consumers. Great for thank you or follow up calls.

Surveys – Ask question(s) and allow responses by pressing keypad options. The solution’s system will record responses for reporting purposes.

Live Message Delivery Only Campaigns – Play your message only if the autodialer detects that the phone has been answered by a live human voice. Live messages can offer the option to press a key to be transferred to a live representative or and an option to be taken off the call list.

Live Message & Voice Mail Campaigns – Similar to a Live Message Only Campaign, this option will play two different messages, one for live answers and one for voicemails. Live messages will offer the option to press a key to be transferred to a live representative and an option to be taken off the call list. The voice mail messages simply leave an 800 number to call back.

Voice Mail Only Campaigns – Primarily used for Business to Business calls. This is a good way to generate callbacks. Most of the provider’s software will leave voice mail messages with an 800 number to call back. That callback will be routed to your agents.

Message Campaign – You choose a message or messages to be broadcast to recipients from your phone list. There are two types of messages. One being a message with a transfer/voicemail option and one message with no transfer or voice mail option.

An example of a message with no transfer option is usually an announcement or promotional message and does not generate an immediate response. This type of message should be less than 60 seconds as most people will hang up if it is too long.

A message with a live transfer option will allow you to more easily gauge your results the same day you broadcast.

How to Create the Message

Your goal is to get your point across as quickly as possible but also in a professional manner. As it is an automated message puts you already at a disadvantage when a person hears it, so it has to be engaging from the beginning.

Keep the message as short as possible while maintaining good content value. A shorter message will save you money if you are billed based on time. This means if your message is just 30 seconds long you will only incur 30 seconds worth of billing instead of more. Also please note that most people will only listen for a few seconds so longer messages are likely to be less effective.

This tip goes for all forms of marketing but maybe even more so for the phone. Be clear, be concise, and keep things simple. Remember, the people you are calling are also going through their regular daily routine. If you want them to respond positively, you need to keep it simple. No mumbled messages or talking fast.

Best Format to Use

Format your message in this order – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

For example:

Attention: “Attention valued customer of [COMPANY].”

Interest: “Do you need and extra 1,000 email credits this month?”

Desire: “Engaging with your clients at least once a month will generate more sales.”

Action: “Press one now and we will add 1,000 credits to your account. Press two now to speak to a live agent”

Say “press __ to speak to a live agent” a few times per message. Remember, people are in the middle of their day and might only be listening 50% of the time or stumbling for a pen and paper.

Provide them an Automatic Do Not Call option such as “press nine to be removed from our call list”. This will save you and your customers from having headaches. This is also a very important best practice that should be followed.

Your Voice Type and Style Matters

Pick the voice very carefully. The tone of the person recording the message is also an important factor. You may want to try different variations to see what works best for your market. Make it fit your target audience and the company profile or brand.

Energetic sales pitches might or might not work for you. Sometimes trying a calm voice is the better option for a baseline. Then you can experiment to optimize your campaigns.

You don’t have to be a professional voice-over type either. Those messages can sometimes create a slick message for fairly low cost but the “canned” style can sound too “fake.”

It should not need to be said that when things are starting to decrease in effectiveness, you should change it up. This is also true with voice messages.

Change your message, voice, promotion, or call to action whenever your response dips below average with no real explanation. A message simply gets old and boring to those receiving it. Fresh content never hurts when it comes to online marketing.

Other Tips to Optimize Message

Record in a quiet place.

You don’t want your customers listening to traffic honking or coworkers talking.

Find a space with a comfortable ambiance. Ideally don’t use an empty room or there might be an echo. The room should have some life at least to dull out the lights humming from above.

Talk normally, don’t try to enunciate your words. This can come across as robotic and trying too hard. Instead speak normally like you have actually called someone. Try not to speak as if you addressing a crowd.

Don’t cover too many points in one call, otherwise people will disconnect and forget.

Focus on the first five seconds. You need to get the attention in the first five seconds, otherwise you risk losing interest. If possible, say something about who is calling and what is the purpose. They want to know right away who it is and what is in it for them.

Testing

Testing is always a huge part of your marketing strategy. When it is email, you don’t want spelling mistakes. When it is voice, you don’t want to mispronounce a word. Write your script and read it over and over out loud until it sounds perfect.

Read it to those around you and even go so far as calling yourself and leaving a message. Hear exactly what your clients will hear.

Voice broadcasting providers should provide a test function to send the message to a phone number of your choice, just to make sure nothing gets distorted along the way.

Feeling ready to run a voice campaign? Before you start, tomorrow we’re going to run over what you should know when it comes to tracking your results.

Measuring your success

Tracking and improving on your failures Is the key to success, right?

You have created your voice broadcast message, successfully sent it to thousands, and now you want to know how you did. Knowing what works, and more importantly does not work, is the key to success. A typical attitude among those who are new to voice broadcasting as a marketing option think that a great majority of their responses will turn out to be good leads.

This in most cases is far from true. In fact, only a small amount of responses turn out to be good leads. This does not mean that voice broadcasting can’t be employed profitably however. In many instances, a thoughtful approach and acting on planned business metrics will enable anyone to achieve a good ROI when using voice.

If a company is using voice broadcasting to deliver a message to live-answered phones only, and accepting press one live transfers to sales staff, a successful campaign might obtain anywhere from 10%-25% success rate.

This is why it is so important that a business consider their business metrics carefully as they begin creating and distributing voice broadcast campaigns. You need to have a plan of who you are targeting, so the metrics have value.

If the profit for a single sale is not substantially more than what you can earn from just a small percentage of your calls, the business metrics may make it impossible to employ voice broadcasting profitably.

Results will also vary widely among industries and are influenced by both the message as well as the target audience.

For example, if your company is looking to sell website services to small business, would it be a good idea to send a voice campaign to businesses who don’t need websites, or might be large enough where that part of their business is already taken care of?

This will just increase the cost of the campaign while lowering the chance of gaining new business.

Another thing to consider is the type of voice mode for the broadcast campaign. The example above was about a live delivered message. What about answer machine / voice mail campaigns? For most industries, the response rate for the live delivery is under 1.0%. Meaning that for every 100 calls delivered to a live answered line, there is less than one transfer.

For a campaign that leaves messages on answer machine/voice mail, the numbers will be significantly lower, because the prospect will need to have enough interest to write the callback number down, and then call it back, taking much more effort than simply “pressing 1″ during a live message. These numbers are impossible for us to track, since the calls back to the broadcaster don’t utilize the chosen broadcasting system.

For a business owner considering voice broadcasting as a lead generation system, the message is important, the calling list is important, and the basic business metrics are probably the most important factor to consider when planning a campaign.

Just because you are blasting away with voice messages, does not mean you are exempt from proving results. Sending thousands of recorded messages is costly even at a few pennies each and someone in your company will want answers on how you did. Measuring results of each campaign is vital to the constant improvement and increased effectiveness of your voice broadcasting efforts.

If you are totally new to tracking and analyzing results and want to learn about voice broadcasting metrics, you are in the right place.

Ask yourself this before you start:

What are you hoping to learn?

Do you have preexisting standards to compare to?

How often do you plan on analyzing your data?

How will you break down your data into achievable goals?

Must Have Data

Every company has different marketing goals which can make it hard to determine what are the data priorities are in a general sense. So, instead of ranking in order of what you need to focus on, it makes more sense to generally look at what data is important to every company regardless of size.

Bad Numbers

This is a basic data point that is universally applicable to all of your marketing strategies. From bad email addresses to bad fax numbers, bad phone numbers are detrimental to your marketing campaign. Why in the world would you waste time and resources sending to numbers that don’t exist or are wrong?

Most voice systems can spit out a list of numbers that work and those that don’t. This practice may be tricky if you’re broadcasting your promotion to several hundred numbers. However, tracking and deleting these bad numbers will free up space for numbers that actually work.

Also, if you come across bad phone numbers, it is wise to check with the company to ensure you have the right number. This, of course, doesn’t apply to companies that have opted out of your service.

As with all forms of marketing, bad numbers is another reason to try and avoid buying or rented harvested lists. You never really know what you are getting until you hit send.

Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is the ratio of how much money (budget allotment) you’ve put into your voice broadcasting campaign (including staff time and resources) to the number of sales generated.

To fully ascertain your return on investment (ROI) for your latest campaign, look at the conversion rate to sales.

How many people acted directly on from your message?

What is the ratio of sales to the entire marketing list (or a segmented group)?

Sure, some of your subscribers may check out your website or social media sites, but what happened after that? Clearly, the bottom line about this sort of marketing plan is to turn contact into direct sales.

Conversion Rate

Similarly to other marketing campaigns, determining your conversion rate is critical to the overall effectiveness of your voice broadcasting campaign.

The data to look at to determine your conversion rate includes:

How many sales were generated from your blast?

How many customers asked to be transferred to a customer service representative?

By keeping track of your voice broadcasting reports you can learn valuable information on what is working and what is not working. This is the only way you can optimize and generate the best ROI possible.

Lessons Learned

1. There are several ways to build your call list from sign up forms, landing pages, and importing any existing lists you may have. You can even try SMS shortcodes if you would like to get fancy, or try mixing it up by sending out an email seeing if anyone would like to change their contact preferences. Just remember to keep an updated Do Not Call list with national phone numbers.

2. When it comes to message creating and recording, remember to keep it short, simple, and direct. Not only will save you money, but help your increase your engagement numbers as no one wants to listen to a long phone message. When you right your message, be sure to write your message in the Attention, Interest, Desire, Action format so you can effectively grab their attention.

When you go to record your message, but sure to do so in a quiet place and to ensure you read slowly and enunciate. Try to speak so slow that it is almost painful as they will likely translate to a steady tone as opposed to rushed speech. You can also present the message to over co-workers or people to hear their take on the recording and if there are any sections that should be tweaked.

3. When it comes to measurement, the best way to start is to have a clear idea of what success will look like – is it a call back? Is it more leads? Is it sales? Know what you want beforehand so you can craft your project toward that objective. Remember that just as with email addresses, you will get a few bad number and to keep an eye on how many cannot connect as you should remove them from your existing list. Track the amount of call connected and were picked up versus the sales made, and if the sale came from the voice call to action – whether that be by a call or by pressing a number. Offering a potential discount by mentioning the call is a great way to ensure your sales staff and track any sales made.

Next Week

We’ll be talking landing pages next week and discuss how they are effective, why you should be using them, and how to make them stand out.

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