News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Sydney startup Straight2Voicemail has created voicemail marketing on a mass scale

There are many innovative and creative ways to market your business. Companies are turning to more personalised ways to target their clients, members or users through emails, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Social media has paved the way for online marketing and adverts, however these points of sale and engagement can be quite expensive or invasive.

Straight2Voicemail is a Sydney startup that has come up with a mass voicemail solution for companies and businesses to connect with their audience that is cheap, effective and non invasive. The product allows an individual to record mass private messages without even ringing a person’s phone.

“It allows someone to get a message across to a large number of people and allows those people to be able to receive a message at a time it’s convenient for them,” said founder of Straight2Voicemail Nick Black.

Black describes the system as a mass communication tool that is less annoying than other types of marketing where companies leave email after email, which eventually end up in a client’s junk mail.

Straight2Voicemail works through a web portal where companies and individuals can log on and record a message to be sent out to thousands of people at the same time. The portal manages phone numbers and send outs and even allows the user to setup an automated email follow up once a voicemail has been sent.

The most similar product on the market is slybroadcast, a telecommunications company based out of the US. They offer more or less the same type of service targeted towards American businesses. However the voicemail concept in Australia is relatively new, with Straight2Voicemail being the first of its kind to disrupt the telecommunication marketing space. Other companies like SMS Broadcast send a message, rather than voicemail to 100,000 people at once. Black believes that engaging users through the niche market of voicemail, with the option of email or text conversion opens up his service up to a wider range of businesses and individuals.

To stay ahead of the game Black is continually updating features and enhancing usability. The service gives users the option to repeat a voicemail send out or schedule a message for future send outs. For ease of use voice messages can be recorded via phone and uploaded to the web portal, which is a function that Black believes is first on the market.

“I always run an improvements register and I’m constantly improving usability and thinking of new features I can add,” said Black.

Black charges 20 cents per message, which is a tiered price that is based upon the amount of send outs. If an individual were to buy 10,000 messages then the price would work out to be around 15 cents per message. Currently Straight2Voicemail has been up and running for six months and has generated over 40,000 voicemails. This number has been reached with minimal marketing and engagement with small businesses around Australia.

The product has been targeted towards the real estate, financial services and personal development companies.

“It was used for real estate a lot before christmas to do christmas wishes send outs and happy new year send outs. Personal trainers use it as well to do weekly motivational voicemails and send it to all of their customers prior to their class,” said Black.

Companies are constantly looking for alternative ways to interact and engage with their clients. Straight2Voicemail is yet another alternative way to personalise communication on a mass scale. The voicemail option of client based interaction has reeled in a 70 percent reuse and has made a 30-40 percent connection to clients through personalised messages, which is a statistic Black hopes to build upon and promote with.

This year Black is looking to focus on other areas of business and branch out to introduce his service to political campaigns and recruitment. It will be interesting to see if whether or not the political sector will utilise this technology, which will change the way high profile politicians interact with the public. Politicians have been using private and personalised emails for quite some time to engage with their electorate, showing that there is a marketplace for this kind of communication.

“People who use it love it but getting people to sign up is a little bit harder. To me my biggest challenge is marketing,” said Black.

So far Black has self marketed his product by sending a voicemail out to various companies and individuals. From self promotion Straight2Voicemail has proved its viability in the space and has signed up real estate agents and personal trainers who have repeatedly used the service and increased their customer base and interaction. The product is also advertised on Google ADWords, however this year Black aims to build up his marketing strategy and set his sights on making his startup a global telecommunications company.

“Currently i’m offering it for use in Canada and New Zealand. It’s the same system and you just click on what country you want to do your send out in,” says Black.

Each voicemail is set at the same price whether it’s sent nationally or internationally to increase use on a global scale and encourage more businesses to use this form of telemarketing as a tool of communication.

“The other next main component will be marketing here and in New Zealand as well,” says Black.

Image: Nick Black. Source: Supplied

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