Ringless voicemail is the delivery of a pre-recorded message to potential customers or prospects without actually using the phone. Instead of going through the traditional call process, the message is simply uploaded directly onto the recipient’s voicemail server. This is typically done through voicemail drop software.
This software is obviously advantageous for companies since they won’t have to spend time and energy having agents perform conventional telemarketing duties, and those receiving ringless voicemail generally consider them far less annoying than other methods. Because the message is placed directly into voicemail, recipients don’t have to worry about missed calls and can check the message at their leisure. Some software packages also come with additional benefits, such as unlimited texting, DNC list scrubs, and automatic feedback surveys.
As far as Federal law is concerned, ringless voicemails are something of a gray matter. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 to restrict telemarketing calls and the use of automatic dialing systems and “robocalls.” It requires companies to follow standard procedures when engaging in these activities and also protects consumers with the national DNC registry. This list applies to all telemarketers with the exception of a few non-profit organizations and is overseen by the Federal Trade Commission. Things get a bit complicated when considering that these rules apply specifically to calls made but say nothing of voicemails that bypass the calling process.
At the state level, there have been multiple court hearings involving ringless voicemails. In 2018, for example, Florida became the first state to ban ringless voicemail on their state’s DNC list and updated their definition of telephone solicitation. Many companies that use ringless voicemail, or who provide the service, argue that a voicemail drop should not constitute as a call, and some have petitioned the FCC to definitively allow ringless voicemail drops. While it remains to be seen what, if anything, will happen with ringless voicemail at the Federal level, there are some best practices companies can follow in the meantime.
Compliance and best practices
First and foremost, when planning a ringless voicemail campaign, you’ll need to be sure it’s compliant with all of your state’s laws. You’ll also need to scrub your call list against both the national DNC registry as well as any potential state DNC list. While ringless voicemails may not absolutely count as “calls,” contacting customers on these lists can still be a bad look for your company.
When it comes to the actual message, it’s always best that you record it yourself to ensure it feels more like a genuine voicemail rather than an automated process. Even if you’re using a script for the call, it’s a good idea to stray from the script every now and then to keep your voice from becoming monotone. You’ll also need to make sure to include a reliable call back number in the message, especially if it needs to be a different number than the one that will show on the recipient’s caller ID. Additionally, if the voicemail is being sent as a follow-up, you may wish to pair it with an email to ensure the recipient sees it in a timely manner.
Voicemail drop doesn’t have to be used solely with ringless voicemail campaigns. In fact, you’ll still need a way to reach prospects you aren’t comfortable using ringless voicemail with. Voicemail drop can still be paired with agents making traditional phone calls, and it can speed up the process. For example, an agent can greatly increase productivity by leaving a voicemail with one simple click, rather than having to read an entire message with each call. They can also record multiple voicemails with different contexts, so you can ensure that your messages are always specific to the recipient and that they sound natural.
Voicemail drops or ringless voicemail is becoming an increasingly popular marketing option for businesses of all sizes. Consider these facts to help you determine whether ringless voicemail is right for you.