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The Art of Voicemail

To all message-leavers: please consider the following points when faced with leaving a message on a person's voicemail.

  1. Please clearly state your full name at the beginning of the message. Unacceptable substitutions include, but are not limited to “Hi, it's me”, variations thereof, or no greeting whatsoever.
  2. Please make a reference to what you are calling about. It is against best practices to leave a message that requests a call back “as soon as I can” without a trace of why I should return this call.
  3. Find a way to make it succint. It is my voice prompting you to leave a message, but that doesn't mean that you're actually talking to me. A brief paraphrasing is appropriate until we can converse about the subject in the near future.
  4. If more than 2 rounds of phone tag have occurred, please suggest an alternative way to relay your message. Perhaps a detailed email or a friendly postcard would suffice.
  5. Finally, please conclude your message with a way that I could reach you. Desired forms include an email address, telephone number, instant messenger screen name, carrier pigeon, etc. Be creative, but be sure not to leave this out.

Following the above tips will create a message that can be easily interpreted and will increase chances of a return call. Thanks for your time.


Jeff Louella said:

This is a fine list. I usually don't call anyone back if they don't follow about 3 out of 5 of your steps, unless it is my wife or immediate family.

Posted on August 26, 2005 08:50 AM

bearskinrug said:

Dan... I already explained this to you...
I can't send you a carrier pigeon until you give me a couple from your aviary. When did you get so thick!?

Posted on August 26, 2005 06:49 PM

Emily said:

This doesn't include girlfriends too does it?!? I'm so confused...

Posted on September 12, 2005 10:31 AM

Emily said:

BTW, I think that you should write a list on creating a voicemail prompt. My brother and brother-in-law both have those prompts that make you think it is really them answering, but it's not. You start your conversation, and sheepishly end it, realizing you're talking to their voicemail. I hate that shit. It gets me every time.

Posted on September 12, 2005 10:36 AM

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