We live in an age of dueling ‘smart phones’, social media and access to apps that will do almost anything. In this era of Facebook Ads it seems almost comical that something as simple as voicemail might be used to improve a small businesses’ return on marketing. So recently, The Entrepreneur Cafe, LLC set out to implement some simple marketing hacks on a reliable piece of older technology.


Over the years voicemail has become somewhat of an afterthought as more advanced forms of marketing have cropped up. In looking to repurpose this older piece of tech, it’s important to first take into account how its use fits into your company’s overall strategy. To do this identify three to five areas of your business that might be communicated well via voicemail. The following are some examples.

  • Use your main greeting as an opportunity to inform callers about your company.
  • Create extensions that clearly describe your products and services and provide information that will easily direct them there.
  • If you or your organization are involved in any newsworthy projects or causes, be sure to create an extension that informs the caller.



In most cases voicemail systems aren’t particularly complicated. Web-based platforms such as Grasshopper are pretty intuitive and will allow you to focus on some of the overlooked details . . . for example:

  • Set up your phone system so that callers have a way of connecting directly to you.
  • To avoid getting caught off guard, use your voicemail to establish a schedule around your work hours.
  • To avoid missed calls set notifications that will send backup messages to your email.
  • Instead of transfer music develop a short statement that further promotes your brand while you have a captive caller on hold.


Since starting The Entrepreneur Cafe, LLC back in 2005 I have always relied on turn-key technologies such as Grasshopperto help me grow the business. In 2005 they were simply known as GotVMail a maker of telecom systems for businesses. However, in 2009 the company rebranded itself as Grasshopper, ‘The Virtual Phone System for Entrepreneurs’. With more than a decade of experience using their voicemail system our company has benefited from the following:

  • Use of nationwide toll-free number with local numbers for reaching more customers.
  • Easy to change extensions that have been used to market our company’s products and services.
  • Call forwarding puts me directly in touch with potential clients.
  • Transcribed voicemails can be delivered as emails so I that I never miss a call.
  • Easy to use web-based platform that lets me run my business from my smart phone.
  • Pricing plans make using the system affordable (starting at $12 per month).

For more information on how you can use voicemail to improve your company’s return on its marketing be sure to learn more about Grasshopper!

Cavanaugh L. Gray is the Director of Business Development for The Entrepreneur Café, L.L.C and Adjunct Professor of New Media Entrepreneurship at Loyola University in Chicago. His book The Entrepreneurial Spirit Lives: 25 Tales to Help Entrepreneurs Start, Grow, and Succeed in Small Business is available on Amazon. Contact the company at cgray@ecafellc.com or 877-511-4820 for help starting, growing and succeeding in small business. Copyright 2017.


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