Ringless Voicemail – What you need to know

There has been a lot of buzz online lately about Ringless Voicemail.  It has been both hailed and vilified as the “next big thing” in marketing.  Hailed by marketers, and those who see it as a way to get very targeted information to very targeted people.  And vilified by those who see (pretty much all) marketing, as an intrusion.

But let’s take a step back.

What is Ringless Voicemail?

Basically, this is where a voicemail is left on a phone without the phone ringing.  This means it is a lot less intrusive than a “real” call from a marketer, because it doesn’t interrupt your day, and you can listen to the message whenever you like, and choose whether or not to call back.  Or, as often happens, you might call back without listening to the message first, because your phone tells you that you have a missed call.

Here is the technical explanation, courtesy of William I. Rothbard:

Ringless voicemail uses a technology that permits a voice message to go directly to a consumer’s mobile voicemail box via a server -to- server communication, without a call being made to the consumer’s phone and without a charge. A call using the technology bypasses the wireless cellular network and instead is routed over a business landline to a business-class number assigned to the voicemail server of the voicemail service provider. When the call has landed on the voicemail server, the voicemail message is then delivered to the consumer’s spot on the server. The consumer will then receive an alert that he has a voicemail. No call appears on the consumer’s phone bill and no charge is assessed for delivery or retrieval of the voicemail.

Is Ringless Voicemail Legal?

ringless voicemail

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Again, this depends on whom you ask.  It is not illegal.  As the law in the USA stands as of now (June 2017), it is compliant with FCC regulations.  But these regulations are under constant review, so this could change.

There are two ways of looking at this as a business owner.  One is that hey – this thing is great and might not be around for much longer, so let’s jump in while it is still available and take advantage of it.  The other is that well there is a small possibility that some people might get upset with me for using this, so I won’t do it.

But if you go for the second option, what are your alternatives?  You can’t just cold-call everyone, because that IS illegal.  Nor can you spam them with unsolicited emails.

At Gecko Gully, we have worked out a way around this problem.  What we have done, is to make sure that everyone we call with Ringless Voicemail is NOT on the Do Not Call (DNC) register.  We scrub our list (or yours, if you give us the list) against the DNC, so that nobody who gets a Ringless Voicemail through our system has stated via the DNC that they do NOT want to be contacted.

How can Voiceless RingMail be used for marketing?

In so many ways!  Let’s say you have a list of past customers, that includes their phone numbers.  With a Ringless Voicemail, you can unobtrusively let them all know about your latest special offer.

If your list of customers includes their location, you could have a special offer that is only available to residents of a certain area.  Or, if you know their birthday, just contact those who have a birthday this month, with a special offer just for them.

Or, send a Ringless Voicemail to customers a couple of months after they buy from you, to remind them to come back for more (a service, an accessory, whatever).  After all, these are people who already know, like and trust you and your business, so you are doing them a favour by letting them know what else you can do to help them.

What if I don’t have a list?

No problem.  We have access to lots and lots of lists (USA and Canada only) of both consumers and businesses.  All legally obtained, from information that is publicly available online, but can be hard to find.  And, remember, we scrub all lists against the DNC before we do a ringless voicemail drop, so we aren’t going to be annoying anyone on the DNC register.

What’s the bad news?

Sadly, this technology is currently only available in the USA and Canada.  It will hopefully soon be in Australia and the UK, so please let us know if you are there and want to know more.

The other “bad” thing is that often our clients are flooded with call-backs and they can’t handle the volume.  Because the Ringless Voicemail drops are done in bulk, you really need to be ready to accept immediate call-backs, especially if you have a hot offer.  The alternative is to ask people to go to a website, but you will find that you get a lot of people calling you anyway, either because they haven’t actually listened to the message and are calling to see whose call they missed, or because they don’t have internet access right now and would rather talk with you anyway.

But if you can’t handle an increase in sales, you wouldn’t be interested in doing any marketing at all anyway, would you?

Where do I start?

The first thing to do is to get in touch.  We’d love to set up a phone meeting with you, to get to know you better and to work out what is the best possible solution for you and your business.

Pricing can be quite reasonable (from around 23 cents per ringless voicemail drop), and can be spread out over anything from a few days to a few weeks.  So, let’s get people talking!