Podio: Send Out Voicemails using Slybroadcast

Scott Costello Blog, Podio, Tutorial 15 Comments

There are many different ways to reach out and touch a lead.  From sending letters, postcards or even text messages, these all work great depending on the situation.  Another option that I never considered until my friend Percy brought it to my attention are voicemails.

For those that don't know, there is a way to just send a voicemail to a person's voice inbox without even ringing their phone.  That's very cool and sure to be heard.

The idea though is to be able to automate the leaving of this voicemail on your lead's phone.   Enter Slybroadcast.  This is a service that will take a recorded message and blast it out to a phone number or list of numbers and just leave a voicemail message.  Their phone won't ring.

Integration with Podio

In this article I'm going to show you how you can setup a simple integration between Podio and Slybroadcast. When I first started looking into incorporating this feature into my Podio process,  I figured I would have to write a webservice or hack together something in Globiflow to make it work.  However, to my delight, all you need to connect the two services is Zapier!

So this is what I'm going to show you how to do.  Although Zapier has changed quite a bit since I last used it, the setup is fairly straight forward and will only take you 10 minutes.

What We Will End Up With

At the end of this tutorial, we will have a Zapier Zap that sends a voicemail message.  This Zap will be triggered by updating a Podio category field's value to Send a Slybroadcast. 

The tutorial will show you the following things...

  1. Creating a general Slybroadcast App.  This app will contain the needed fields for sending out the voicemail.
  2. Recording a Voicemail that will be sent.  This will be a generic voicemail.
  3. Creating a Slybroadcast account.  The account is free, but you'll have to buy deliveries.  $10 per 100.
  4. Setting up the Zapier Zap.  This zap is what will be triggered by Podio and send information to Slybroadcast.

What are the Costs?

I wish I could say this wouldn't cost you anything, but you'll have to pay up for the Slybroadcast part.  Prices seem very reasonable to me, about 10 cents per voicemail max, but going down to as little as 3.8 cents if you are a mega user.  Here is the complete pricing sheet...

slybroadcast pricing

What You Need Before Starting

Before I get started on any process I like to make sure I have all the accounts setup. So here is a quick run down on what accounts you'll need.

Podio Account

You probably already have one of these accounts if you are on my website, but just in case you can signup for one at the link below.  A free account is all you need. 

Get Podio Account

Slybroadcast Account

This is the service that will actually be sending the voicemails out to your seller leads.  The account setup is free, you'll just have to pay for credits or a monthly plan.   

**Use Referral Code StrugglingInvestor to get 100 free deliveries **

Get Slybroadcast Account

Zapier Account

This is what allows Podio to communicate and pass information onto Slybroadcast. Zapier has different pay tiers for account types, but all you need is a free one.

Get Zapier Account

Podio Setup

I have setup the Slybroadcast Podio App with the minimal amount of fields needed to send out the voicemail.  This assumes that the phone number you are sending from (Caller ID #) and the voicemail message will always be the same.

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To Phone (phone field): The phone number you want to send the voicemail to.  It can be a mobile or landline.  The formatting doesn't matter much as long as it is a valid number.

Sent Time (date field): The Date and Time you wish to send the voicemail.  If the time has happened already, the voicemail will be sent out immediately.

Status (category field): This is the field that will trigger the zapier zap and send out the broadcast.  Pending means I have not yet sent it to slybroadcast.  The Send to SlyBroadcast option, triggers the Zap.

There are definitely more fields that you could include here depending on your Podio Workspace setup.  You could also include the voicemail recording as an item attachment.  I would only do this if I was custom creating voice mails for each user.  More about this later.

SlyBroadcast Setup

The only thing you have to do to setup Slybroadcast is create an account and buy credits (deliveries) or sign up for a monthly plan. You do gain some savings with the Monthly Plans.

Pay As You Go: You are just pre-purchasing deliveries.  Once they are used up you have to purchase more.

Monthly Messaging Plan: Just a reoccurring monthly purchase.  You do save about 30% by going monthly.

Get 100 free Deliveries: If you use my Referral Code, StrugglingInvestor, you get an additional 100 deliveries with your first purchase.

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Zapier Setup

Zapier is the connector.  It is what get's notified of a change in Podio (the webhook), pulls the Podio Item's information and then sends all that to Slybroadcast.  If you understand how globiflow works, it pretty much is the same thing.  You could technically do the same thing with Globiflow, but you would have to write your own Slybroadcast interface in php or other web language.

Step #1: Create a New Zap

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Step #2: Find and Select Podio

Fastest way to find Podio is to type it into the search box. You can also select the Icon if you see it in the grouping.

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Step #3: Select Podio Trigger

Select New Action. This is the option that allows us to trigger the Zap when an action happens inside an app which we choose.  We will select which app later in the process.

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Step #4: Select Podio Account

If this is not your first time using Zapier, then you can simply select the Podio Account you want to use and continue.  

If this is your first time, or the Podio account you want to connect to is not there, then you'll want to click the Connect an Account button. 

This will pull into Zapier the Podio Account that you are currently logged into Podio with.  If you are not logged into Podio, you'll be asked to do so.  You may also be asked by Podio to allow Zapier to access your account.  This is fine.

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After connecting your Podio Account, it will be added to the list.  Select it by clicking on the circle before it.  Then click Save + Continue.

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Step #5: Set up Podio Action

Here is where you setup where the Zap will be triggered and what will trigger it. I'll go through each field and explain what each is.

Organization: This is the top level of your Podio Account.  It is where your workspace resides in.  Pick the Organization that has the workspace you want to use.  In my example this is REIFLOW.  It will most likely be different in your setup.

Workspace: You'll see the list of workspaces within the Organization you selected.  Pick the space that the App you want to trigger the Zap is in. In my example this is REIFLOW - Dev.  It will most likely be different in your setup.

Application: The Podio App that contains the field that will trigger the Zap.  In the case of this example, it's my Slybroadcast App.

Field: The field that will trigger the Zap. Here we are going to use the Status field.  Note that the Value of this field that we will check to run the Zap will be set later.  Zapier has a special spot for this.

Action Type: There are 3 trigger actions in Podio, (1) Create Item, (2) Update Item and (3) Delete Item. We want to select the Item.Update option here.  Meaning that when you update any field value in the selected App's Item this Zap will be triggered.  Creating a New Item or Deleting an Item will not trigger the Zap.  The Filtering process in the next step will determine if the Zap should run based off the value the field was updated to.

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Step #6: Test Trigger

Click through the Connect + Continue button on the first Test Podio form.  This will bring you to the next area where you will perform the test.

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At this stage, Zapier wants you to test out the Trigger to see if it is being fired correctly.  To do this they want you to go into the Podio App that you have selected (the slybroadcast app) and perform an Update to an existing record.

Zapier will wait till it detects the Update Change.

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Since there is probably no items in your Slybroadcast App, you'll need to add a New Item first (marking the Status field as "Pending").  After the item is created, then go back in and update the Status field value to Send to Slybroadcast.  In a few seconds the Zapier Test Podio screen will update and you can continue.

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Step #7: Set up Podio Filter

Before setting up the Slybroadcast App in Zapier, we have to setup the Podio Filter step.  To do this we first click on the little + sign under the podio step.

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Then click the Filter button

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Choose the only option, which is Only continue if...

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Lastly we need to tell the filter to only continue if the Status field value matches Send to Slybroadcast.

1st Field => Fields Status Value Text

2nd Field => (Text) Exactly matches

3rd Field => Send to Slybroadcast

** Please note that the 3rd field must exactly match your Podio Category field's value.  Casing and Spacing DOES MATTER **

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Depending on what the test value was for the Status field, this test may fail and THAT IS OKAY. Just continue on till Zapier is asking you to Choose an Action App.  This will be where we setup Slybroadcast.

Step #8: Set up Slybroadcast Action

Just like when we selected the Podio Action, we need to find and select the Slybroadcast Action now.  

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Step #9: Where is the Voicemail Audio File coming From?

There are 2 places you can pull your audio file from, either from an URL (i.e. http://somewebsite.com/message.mp3) or upload the voicemail message to slybroadcast and select it from there.

I'm still figuring out where I think the best place to store your recordings. My Ideal place is in a Podio App, so I can then link them to my slybroadcast item.  But for simplicity sake, we are going to upload this test message to slybroadcast.

To create/upload a new voicemail recording in slybroadcast, Open a new Tab on your browswer and log into your account. Then either click on the "Upload or Create New Recording" green button or go into your Manage Audio dashboard.

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Once you have an audio recording created or uploaded to your Slybroadcast account, In Zapier you Select Start New Campaign Using an Audio File.

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Step #10: Link Slybroadcast Account

Just like when we linked our Podio account, we need to link our Slybroadcast account.  To do this just press the Connect an Account button.

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And now just select the account that you added and click Save + Continue. 

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Step #11: Set Values to Send to Slybroadcast

Now it is time to set the values we are going to be sending to Slybroadcast.  I'll explain each one of the fields below.

Audio File: Select the voicemail message file from the drop down list.  Remember these audio files are located in your Slybroadcast account.  If you have not uploaded an audio yet, do so now.  After uploading, you can then select it from the dropdown.

Destination Number(s): Here we want to select the Podio field To Phone. The drop down item you are looking for is Field To Phone Value.

Caller Id: This is going to be your business number or whatever phone number you want to send the voicemail from.  I just typed in my business phone (973-910-1001).  However, if you have this number in your slybroadcast Podio App, then select the Podio field from the pick list.

Campaign Start Time: Basically when do you want to send the voicemail.  I put a start time field in my Podio App so I can set when to send a message.  Field token is Field Send Time Value.

Alternatively you can type in the value "Now" and the voicemail will be sent immediately.

Send to Mobile Phones Only: I just set this to NO.  Seems like this setup will work for landlines as well, so why exclude them.  Most people have cell phones anyway.

Webhook URL: Leave this blank.  If you are tech savy and have Globiflow you could probably set something up where you have a GF process that gets kicked off after a Voicemail has been sent.  The data sent is very limited though (slybroadcast id, success, recipient phone number.  time sent, network sent from)

Campaign End Time: Leave this blank as well.  I'm assuming this is used if you are wanting to send out multiple texts over a period of time. But I'm not 100% sure.

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Step #12: Test and Finish

You are pretty much done!  Just do the final test and continue to the last step of giving the zap a name.  I called it Slybroadcast.

By default your Zap will be set to Off, so just toggle the Off/On switch to activate it.  Once you've done that go to Podio and give it a test.  Add a slybroadcast item, then update the Status to Send to Slybroadcast and wait for the voicemail to be sent.  

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Final Thoughts and Things I've Noticed

All in all this is a very simple procedure to setup with Zapier.  The tests I've done so far everything has worked fairly well.  Here are the things I've noticed...

  1. The voicemails take about 5 to 7 minutes to send.  It might have to do with voicemail file size or length.  So your experience might be shorter or even longer.
  2. Voicemail recordings have to be in MP3 or WAV audio format.
  3. The free Zapier account only allows you to have 3 or less steps. I tried adding a 4th step that would update my Podio Item, but got a message I needed to upgrade to a pay plan to have it work.
  4. You can only have 5 active Zapier Zaps on a free plan.

Some improvements that could be made to this process is adding the ability to send out a single voicemail to multiple phone numbers.  That might require adding globiflow to the mix.  I haven't thought it through yet.  If anyone has any ideas comment below.

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Scott Costello

Scott is a part time wholesaler, but full time real estate investing addict! As his family grows and his free time shrinks,He has been slowing building his wholesaling business over the past 7 years in between life events.Drive, dedication and never giving up are his strengths.
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Comments 15

  1. Hi,

    Mind sharing your results on this process. Numbers on how many follow back up on the VM. If you are using a VA to do acquisitions, would it be a good idea for them to do the VM or keep it as your self?

    What generic VM are you leaving?

    Steps all seem pretty straightforward! Thanks

    Jeremy

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jeremy,

      I’d love to, but I only figured this out a couple months ago. I am still working this into my master plan of a completely automated follow up system that sends out Texts, Emails, Letters and Voicemails. My goal is to share what I have figured out in hopes of helping others and that they will share their success, failures, lessons and ideas with me and the rest of the Struggling Investor community.

    1. Post
      Author
  2. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for this article. I’ve been working on automating my voice drops too. The only downside I see with this method is that you end up with one campaign per voice drop, per phone number in slybroadcast. If after that you want to review the status of your VD’s it’s a little cumbersome. Ideas?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Nadia,

      My thinking is more for a follow up procedure, not a blast campaign. Do you know what I mean? A lead contacts you by filling out a form or leaving a voicemail from a mailing campaign. Those get entered into your system as they come in. Once the lead has been entered into your system it gets put on a “follow up process” which includes sending out a Voice Drop at some point. This VD occurrence would be recorded a “Follow Up Log” for a particular lead. You can then have a report (or Podio filter) that shows you that status of where your follow ups are for each lead. Make sense? At least that is my way of thinking for using Slybroadcast.

      -Scott

  3. I just want to say thank you for sharing this information. I used it to send out not only one voice message but also a whole annual campaign.

    1. Post
      Author
    2. Rapheal,
      If you don’t mind me asking, do you mean that you used Slybroadcast for your campaigns or do you mean that you use Scott’s way of sending the voice drops to Slybroadcast?
      I am now using Scott’s method to send my voice drops, but I would be interested in brainstorming how we could create campaigns with many phone numbers to send from Podio to Slybroadcast. I have been (marginally due to lack of time) working on it, but I haven’t come up with a solution yet.

  4. Nadia, I used Scott’s SlyBroadcast app and added category field (Initiate VM Drops) and a date field (Send Time). So with the use of these I am able to send 7 messages that I uploaded into SlyBroadcast to a seller 30,60,90,120,180,240 & 360 days from initiation of campaign.

  5. Hi Scott,
    I’m just the process of setting up my automation and i’m using Slybroadcast. Can you or anyone using slybroadcast give me an example of what to say on my recorded voicemail message. I want it to be brief but effective. I would appreciate any help. thanks.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Vanessa,

      It all really depends on what market you are targeting, what stage of your marketing you are sending out the voice mail and such. I always like to sound as personable and human as possible. Try not to make it sound like an automated message or you’ll turn people off quick (in my opinion). Think about your main goal of the voicemail…it’s to get them to call you back. I agree short is the correct way to go though.

      If I give you something to say it will definitely influence you, as it would me too. Using your own words is powerful and will align with your personal brand and message. Try something out and see if it works. Then try something else and compare. There are always more leads, so don’t worry about missing out on some.

      Not exactly what you are looking for, but hope it helps.

      -Scott

  6. Scott:
    I will start using Slybroadcast and basically it is because of you. THANKS. I found this in their FAQ:
    “That would be great. We find that a lot of people post complimentary recommendations, articles and descriptions of our service online, and we stumble across them often. If you write about us, please let us know so we can share your article as well, send you our thanks, and make sure you get credited in our referral program.”

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