Voice broadcasting is one of the most powerful communication tools available today. It can deliver customized and targeted messages to thousands of people in minutes at a fraction of the cost of other mediums and methods. In short, voice broadcasting, also known as phone broadcasting or robocalling, is an extremely effective way to disseminate important information quickly.
Because voice broadcasting technology is so powerful, and often abused, it is necessary to understand some basic guidelines to insure your messaging project stays within legal bounds, and at the same time, is able to achieve the results and objectives you are seeking. Here is a quick summary of what you should know before you launch your voice broadcast. Your success depends on understanding these guidelines.
Above all else, remember that you don’t have to be an expert. That’s our job. As one of the nation’s leading service bureaus, our trained staff can provide full service and manage your project from beginning to end. So you don’t have to stress out — we’re here to offer expert advice and to make sure you stay on track to meet your schedule and goals. You are welcomed to go directly to our phone broadcasting service page here.
1) Know the Law: With all the robocalls you receive, you might think that is it perfectly legal to send recorded messages to anyone and everyone. That’s not true. First, it is against the law to send anyone a message on their cell phone if they haven’t given you explicit permission ahead of time. Second, it is against the law to send recorded messages that are selling a product or services unless you have received permission from those you are calling. In other words, about 90% of all the robocalls you receive are illegal! The government is trying to stop these calls from getting through and is levying fines up to $16,000 per phone call! You don’t want to get yourself in that kind of situation. (The biggest fine was an incredible $280 million dollars against the DISH Network that sent telemarketing robocalls, including to those on the national Do Not Call registry.)
Informational calls are OK — calls that alert your members, clients, passengers, patients and students of important information they need to receive your services. Reminders of payment deadlines, schedule changes, and upcoming events, are legal. But again, it’s highly recommended that you get people to sign up to receive your calls ahead of time. For example, when a new client fills out an application form and wants to order something from you for the first time, have a checkbox that explains, “Please inform me of new product offerings and special discounts.” Have the checkbox pre-checked, and if they want to decline, they can always uncheck it. That way, you know you are building a legal list of phone numbers, you can call or text.
2) The Good News: You don’t need any equipment, hardware or software. The system is already in place and ready to go. Outsourcing your voice broadcasting project is very easy. Setting up an account is free and only takes a few minutes. We can email you a one-page order form and you can fill out your contact and billing information and email or fax it back. Then, we’ll work with you on your list and recording. Sure, you can get your own software, but you still need to lease all the phone lines to get your message out — and those costs are substantial! You can research what 10, 100, 1000, of 10,000 phone lines cost each month, and you’ll soon realize that outsourcing can save you thousands of dollars. Fortunately, we have the technical infrastructure in place to handle any capacity you need because we can send thousands of calls per minute. Bottom line: You can save a significant amount of money by sticking to your business while you let us handle your voice broadcasting projects.
3) Phone List Preparation: It should go without saying that you want your calls to go to your target audience, but a surprising number of enterprises do not pay enough attention to this element. The format of your list is important, especially the phone number. The complete phone number (area code plus local number) should be in one column – all 10 digits – in an excel document or other database spreadsheet. They should NOT be in a word processing document or pdf file as those formats are generally not usable when interfacing with voice broadcasting systems.
The phone number is paramount, but other fields can be included as well, such as names, addresses, account numbers and the like. When creating your list, consider what additional information, beyond the phone number, is going to be important for you to see in your reports. Many times we are asked whether parentheses or dashes should be in the phone number. They are not needed and in fact will be stripped out when your list is put into the system, so don’t waste your effort on entering those elements. You also do not need to spend time getting rid of duplicate phone numbers in your list – our system will automatically scrub out duplicate phone numbers that appear in a list.
4) Caller ID: This is the phone number that your recipients will see in their caller ID when receiving your call. This number should be a legitimate working number that your recipients could call back – important in order to stay within regulations for voice broadcasting/robocalls. Further, it allows your recipients to see who is calling them so that they are more likely to answer the phone and/or pay better attention to your message. Frequently local exchange carriers, who actually deliver the message to your recipients in their local area, will also include a name with the caller ID number. This is done automatically by the local exchange carrier, who does an on-the-fly lookup to see who the caller ID number is registered to, and they may choose to pass that information on in addition to your caller ID number.
5) Writing Your Script: When writing your script, you want your message to be as clear, uncomplicated and brief as possible. Remember that your recipients have not had the benefit of reading your script numerous times, like you have – they will answer the phone and only hear it once. Begin your script by introducing yourself first, so that you capture their attention. At the end of the message, depending upon the content and intent of the call, you may want to thank them. Keep the information in your message as simple and direct as possible.
6) Practice, Practice, Practice! You may have a terrific script, but the delivery of it is just as important. You don’t want your recording to sound like you were just reading it off of a piece of paper. Get comfortable with the information you are going to deliver by practicing it several times with a tone of voice and inflection that is complimentary to the message content itself. Practice speaking clearly and slowly.
7) Quality Recordings are Important: In order for your recipients to be able to digest the information in your call, you want the highest quality audio as possible. Background noise, speaking too quickly, and inferior recording equipment will all degrade the quality of your voice broadcast and will be distracting for the recipient. We’ve all received a call at one point or another where the quality of the call is so bad that we don’t really listen to the message because we are so distracted by the poor audio quality. Our dial-in recording line will provide great sound quality, but you should call into the recording line from a landline phone. Mobile phone recordings are always inferior and it will be reflected in the end product. Once you have created the recording, you will be able to listen to it before saving it. If you don’t like it, you can discard it and try again. Should you choose to create a recording on your own, rather than on our automated recording line, be sure that you create the recording in a space where the acoustics are good, without echo or other background noise.
8) Broadcast Options (Customization, Delivery to Voicemail, etc): There are a number of options to consider when delivering your voice broadcast. First, you can deliver to live answers, voicemails, or both. This will somewhat depend upon the content of your message and we are happy to advise you on best practices. Secondly, do you want to deliver your message immediately, or do you want to schedule it for a later time or date? Our system will allow you to do either and it is really your preference. Third, there is the ability to leave different messages to live answers or voicemails if you so choose. Lastly, if your message is action oriented and you want your recipients to be able to press a key to transfer to a live person in your organization, you can do that as well. We are happy to discuss these options with you and advise on how they can be used to your benefit.
9) Best Times to Schedule Your Broadcast: The best time to schedule your broadcast is highly dependent upon your message, the response you may desire, the demographics of your recipients, or if you are trying to reach more live answers. We are happy to consult with you, at no charge, to help you achieve your desired objective. Typically emergency messages are sent out immediately, regardless of the time of day.
10) Pricing — How to Make Sure You are Getting the Best Value: Pricing models for voice broadcasting can be very complicated and it’s done on purpose to confuse you. From your point of view, the best deal and value is to pay for phone calls from “pick up to hang up” so you are only paying for time actually used. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying for no answers, busy signals, disconnected numbers, and for time that is not used. For example, some providers charge for 30 second “credits.” OK — but what happens when someone you call hangs up in the first 10 seconds? Why would you pay for a full 30 second call, when the phone was only connected for 10 seconds.
Many voice broadcasting companies charge for the amount of phone numbers on your list. So, if you have 10,000 numbers on your list, you pay X amount for each number. But not all phone numbers on the list will be successfully called. In fact, you can safely estimate that 15-25% of the numbers on your list will not be reached. Why would you want to pay for undelivered messages? That’s why only paying for calls that get through to live pick-ups or voicemail is, by far, your best bet. And not only are you paying for calls that are delivered, but you are only paying for the time your calls are actually connected.
11) Reporting: You always want the ability to know what exactly has happened to your calls so that you can gauge their effectiveness. Our system will allow you to see what is happening to your call in real time — how many dialed, whether they were live answers or voicemail. In addition, once your calls are complete, you can download your call report in either a csv file or pdf. Information included on that report will show each contact with the disposition (live, voicemail, busy etc) and duration of the call.
Give us a call anytime to speak directly with one of our experts at 888-387-8636. We look forward to assisting you in creating the best and more effective voice broadcasting program possible. It’s what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years and we hope you’ll become part of our growing community of satisfied customers.