I’m sure you’ve called someone before and gotten a voicemail message that left you wondering if you’d even called the right number. “Hi, you’ve reached [phone number]. Please leave a message,” doesn’t inspire much confidence, nor does it sound very personal. Creating a good voicemail greeting is an art, even for native English speakers.


Voicemail Greetings in English: 5 Messages You Can Steal

Talking on the phone can be a major hurdle for beginner and intermediate language learners. If you’re living in an English-speaking country or have a job where English is necessary, it’s a great idea to record a voicemail message that shows off your English.

That’s why today I’m sharing our best tips for how to create great voicemail greetings that you can use both in your personal and professional life! We’ve even provided some voicemail greeting scripts that you can use for inspiration!

Keep reading to learn more! This article is also available in video format – scroll down to the bottom to watch!

Whether you need inspiration for a work voicemail greeting or even just one on your personal phone, we’ve got you covered.

Anyone can call you at any time, and many people don’t pick up calls from numbers they don’t recognize. So if you don’t pick up, it’s much better to have a voicemail message that identifies you and lets people know that they’ve called the right number.

What should your voicemail greeting say?

A basic voicemail greeting could sound something like:

Hey, it’s Lizzie. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you. Thanks, bye!

This greeting contains the main components that you need:

  • a greeting. In this one, it’s “Hey!”
  • a short sentence stating that you can’t answer the phone call right now.
  • a promise that you will get back to them soon.
  • a short “thank you” and “goodbye.”

You might also want to add a request that callers let you know the reason for their call. This way, you’ll know how urgently you need to get back to them.

Or maybe they need some information that you could quickly send to them in a text. This will save you from needing to call them back.

For instance:

Hello, I’m sorry, but I can’t take your call. Would you please state the reason or concern for your call? I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you and goodbye.

Professional voicemail greetings

If you want to make a professional voicemail greeting for your work or business, it might sound a little bit different. You will want to sound more professional.

It might be the first impression a customer or a colleague gets of you. And if it gives a good impression and sounds professional, it will boost your credibility.

Here are some things you should try to include in a professional voicemail:

  • a greeting
  • your name
  • your company
  • a short explanation for missing the call (e.g. you’re on holiday or you’re away from the phone)
  • a promise that you will get back to them soon
  • an alternative person for them to contact (if you’re on holiday or if you’re out sick)
  • perhaps an alternative way they can reach you (by email or by text)

Here are some examples:

Hi, this is [Lizzie] at [Best Business]. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now. I’m either on another call or away from my desk. Please leave your name, number, and a brief message and I’ll get back to you. Alternatively, you can contact me via email at lizzie@bestbusiness.com. Thank you.

Hello, you’ve reached Best Business. We can’t take your call right now, but please leave your name, contact information, and reason for your call, and one of our team members will be in touch within 24 hours.

Improve your spoken English

record-your-voicemail-greeting-in-english-5-messages-you-can-steal-mosalinguaDo you want to improve your spoken English?
Good news: we have a course for that: the Speak English with Confidence MasterClass.

It’s a comprehensive 10-module course designed to help you improve every aspect of your spoken English – fluency, confidence, pronunciation, and more – step by step, and enjoy doing it.

Learn more or get started today

Funny voicemail greetings

Finally, if you want to have a bit of fun with your voicemail greeting, be my guest! I wouldn’t recommend this for professional voicemails, for obvious reasons. But it’s okay for a personal voicemail and it’s always good to make people laugh!

Here’s an example:

Hey, you’ve reached my voicemail. I’m probably available but I’m just avoiding someone I don’t like. Leave me a message, and if I don’t call back, it’s you…

Can you think of another funny voicemail greeting?


So, now that you have some inspiration, what are you waiting for? Try recording a new voicemail greeting today, remembering the tips and examples from this video.


Bonus Video: Voicemail Greetings in English

You can also watch my video for all my tips on creating a great English voicemail greeting. It’s in English, but there are subtitles available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. You can adjust the playback speed by clicking on the settings gear at the bottom right.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more fun content about languages!

Next Steps

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