Messages On Hold: Which Kind Are Best For You?

Messages on hold can be exactly what you want them to be: entertaining, interesting, educational, marketing, or a combination of all of these elements. The key to your recordings is the strategy and the script that grows out of it.

Types of Hold Messages

Most hold messages fall into one of three categories
1. Generic messages with canned music on hold. The reason that they’re so popular is that they’re usually free. Lots of telephone systems come with a message that your callers can hear on hold. Generic messages are probably better than silence on hold, but since they’re so popular, telephone callers find them boring, and will get frustrated quickly. They’re just worth the price!

2. “Customized” messages. Growing in popularity, customized messages include information about your business, but are quite affordable. After listening to them for a short while you’ll understand why. Most customized messages use a “template” or “standard” sounding script. Your company name, your location, and a list of your products are added to make it sound less “canned.” The final element is a list of cliché phrases that could easily be used by anyone, from a bricklayer to a brain surgeon. Unfortunately they sound so much alike, that you probably sound just like your competition. Do you recognize any of these clichés?
a. Your call is very important to us
b. Your call will be handled by the next available representative
c. We’re “conveniently located” at…
d. We’ll be happy to answer your questions
e. Our professional staff…
f. and many more

3. Custom Written Messages: Just like other custom written marketing materials (brochures, white papers, website pages) a custom written hold message needs plenty of good research, strategy, and time. The result should be a marketing message that sounds unique, talks about what you do, how you do it, and what makes you different from your competition. When your goal for your custom messages is marketing, the best messages start conversations that lead to sales, educate your callers about new and different ways you can help them, and “cross market” to increase your average order size.


Marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson, author of “Guerilla Marketing” says that “Marketing is everything you do to promote your business, from the moment you conceive of it” Messages on hold are one of many marketing tools you can use (such as brochures, print or broadcast advertising, websites, blogs, Social Media, Email, Direct Mail, Personal Letters, Yellow Pages, Directory Marketing, Outdoor, etc.)

Like other marketing tools, the success you achieve depends on starting with a well defined plan: what do you want to accomplish? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Who are your potential customers, and what do they want or need?
To be successful, every marketing tool you use has to work with your marketing plan.

On hold messages are no exception. Once you define your goals you can choose the type of telephone marketing messages you need, and make the right choice about who can help you accomplish your goals.

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