Is Your Brand Doing On hold Message Marketing Right or Wrong?

Is Your Brand Doing On hold Message Marketing Right or Wrong?


In life and in business, there’s two ways to do things. The right way, and the wrong way! At The Original On hold, Inc. we’re one of the pioneers in the custom on hold branding and marketing industry. In our more than 23 year history, we’ve seen (or heard rather) companies who do on hold marketing right, and others…. well, not so much!

Here’s a perfect example of what we’re talking about, here’s a tweet from @gbatuyong…

“It’s painful when I hear on-hold messages that spell out URLs, “http colon slash slash double-u double-u double-u dot…” #doingitwrong”

Well, @gbatuyong – we couldn’t agree more! The caller will be focused on trying to pay attention to the colons and dashes, that they may not be able to retain your website address defeating the purpose of mentioning your website in the first place. Instead, use the short version of your url. For example, “visit us online at” …. This is far easier for the caller than: “visit us at h-t-t-p colon, forward slash, forward slash, w-w-w- dot xyz dot com.

Here’s some scriptwriting no-no’s you should avoid in your copy, and helpful tips on crafting  message on hold marketing programs that will blow callers away. First, thinking about the people who will be listening to your marketing messages – your callers on hold. Hold time varies from business to business, it could be anywhere from 30 seconds, or it could be as long as 5 minutes.

So, when it comes to doing on hold marketing right, rule #1 “Less is More!”  Don’t bombard your callers with a non-stop recitation of all you do. There’s only so much a caller can absorb. Callers will tune out if you give an endless amount of content, and become overwhelmed. Provide smaller, bite-sized nuggets of information

If your target audience is regular, everyday people, then be sure to avoid industry-speak or jargon. Sure, you, your staff, and industry professionals know what this industry terminology means, but do your callers? You may think that your technical or industry jargon sounds impressive, but more often than not, if your prospect can’t understand what you’re saying, he/she’s not likely to buy from you!

Recently, an HVAC client requested we include the following items in their on hold script: “MERV”,  “SEER”, and “AFUE” ….. In wanting to do justice by the client, we told him to ask some callers if they knew what these industry terms meant, and most did not.

For example, if you called this client would you know what these terms stood for, much less even care? Let’s take a look:  

MERV Rating. No, Not the former TV talk show host, but a rating for air filters. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Filters with smaller holes have higher MERV values and better efficiency.

SEER is an efficiency rating, (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), this is a seasonal rating most typifying average residential usage in the US.

AFUE stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency, it is a measure of heating efficiency.

So, skip the industry lingo as may not do as much good as you think and actually go right over your callers head. You want to also be sure to meaningless clichés, avoid corporate talk, syrupy apologies, and cheesy catch-phrases. You want to be clear and concise with your message, and assure that your on hold message script content is topical, and relevant for your callers on hold. When on hold marketing is done correctly, the caller will listen, stay on hold longer, and think more highly of your company.

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