Ten Tips for Effective Voice-Mail Messages

To leave effective voice-mail messages, follow these tips: 

  • Speak slowly when leaving a message, and leave your phone number twice. The recipient shouldn't have to replay your message.
  • Spell your name so the recipient gets it right the first time.
  • Don't leave just your name and number; leave a message. You're much more likely to get a return call if the recipient knows what's up.
  • Make it short. Take more than 60 seconds, and you risk losing your audience.
  • Give your message a "headline" to help the recipient distinguish that calls are top priority.
  • Enunciate. The audio quality of voice mail varies dramatically. Speak up and state your business clearly.
  • Be specific about what you want. There's a good chance someone can leave the information you need on your voice mail, thus eliminating an unnecessary round of phone tag.
  • Avoid "thank-you" messages. They only add to voice-mail overload.
  • Keep your voice-mail greeting short. If you must have a long greeting, tell the caller how to skip it in the future.
  • Don't leave repeat messages. Your second call is no more likely to be returned than your first. Try sending an e-mail instead. 

TMA Practice E-tips main page  

Last Updated On

September 23, 2021

Originally Published On

March 23, 2010