Want to surprise someone? Send them an email – but instead of text on their screen, they will actually hear your voice!
I used this a few times over the past week with some of my friends and clients, and the response has been very positive.
I like this for a couple of reasons:
1. It’s a surprise. When people check their email, they are expecting the old routine – Open – Read – Reply – Delete. Then along comes your email, and it’s you talking! People are pleasantly surprised by that.
2. It’s more personal. Written text can be effective, but it will never match the power of the spoken word. The tone and inflection of your voice can convey so much more than just text on the screen. In fact, it was this principle that made me decide to start doing a podcast in addition to my regular blog posts. When someone hears your voice, your message becomes more personal, and thereby more powerful.
One thing you will need is a microphone. Actually what you would probably want to get is a headset with a microphone built in. This will enable you to use the voice features of Skype and some other programs. And they are cheap – Amazon has them for less than $5. Of course, you can spend more than that if you want a nicer one or more features.
Next, you need to set up a free account at www.SpeakPipe.com. See the bar over on the right edge of my website, where it says “Send me a voicemail”? That’s the same service.
NOTE: When you go there to set up your free account, you will see that it primarily talks about this as being a service that you can use on YOUR website. Don’t worry about that – you don’t need a website in order to send voice mail messages by email.
So you just create your free account by entering your email address and creating a password. You will see that Step 2 is “Install the widget”. Scroll to the bottom of that page and see where it says you can create your own voice mail page. Just give it a name and a display name – those things don’t really matter for our purpose.
Once that voice mail page is created, look at the top of the screen and click on “Inbox”:
You will now see a new screen – this is your inbox. When someone replies to one of your messages with their own voice message, it will show up here so you can play it. But there is also an orange button in the top right corner that says “Send a voice message to email”. When you click that, it will allow you to input someone’s email address and record a message to send to them.
Try it out with a friend, family member, co-worker, anyone you communicate with by email.
Or, try it out with me! Send me a voice message at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will reply with my own voice message back to you. So you can see how easy it is! OR – if you just send me a regular email, I will send you a personal voice message right to your email.
How would YOU use this voice-message-to-email service? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
New to podcasts? Watch this video to see how you can have the latest episodes of your favorite podcasts (such as this one!) automatically downloaded to your iPhone, using a free app. There are also apps like this available for Android.