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On Hold Messaging – Service Plan vs Buy-Out Which Is Best?

On Hold Messaging – Service Plan vs Buy-Out Which Is Best?

On Hold Message Service Plan vs Buy-Out Which Is Best


So, you’ve been assigned the task to search for a custom on hold message for your company. You start out with some typical due diligence by first looking at a few websites, listening to some sample on hold messages, and even e-mail a handful-or-so of them for a quote for message on hold pricing. What you soon discover is you’re presented with two pretty standard options:

a) Service plan

b) Buy out option


So the $64,000 question is. Which is option best? Unlike some other providers, we offer clients both options. We are impartial as to which they choose. We do however, consult with them about their overall goals and objectives, other marketing strategies, etc., and will offer recommendations that will not only give them the best value, but the best bang for their marketing buck!

With that said, let’s take a look at both options in order to help you weigh the advantages when making your decision.



Competitors who read this blog are going to cringe when they read the following: Yes, for some “select” businesses, it’s true that they may not have the need to update message content on a routine basis making a buy-out option seem to be a better fit.

You make an outright purchase, and you now own the media equipment and one on-hold recording. On the surface this all is fine and well. However, there’s  a reason we say “select” businesses, because in our nearly 3 decades of existence we have found that funeral homes seem most qualified for a buy-out option.


Well, not to make light of the subject matter, but truth be told, funeral homes don’t offer sales such as 50% off caskets this week, nor are they receiving calls on a regular basis from the same customer. For most businesses, having both these scenarios occurring at the same time is pretty rare.



  • One time payment
  • Own the hardware



  • No message content updates/changes to the recordings
  • If equipment fails after warranty, you have to purchase another
  • Equipment can become obsolete
  • Lump sum upfront payment
  • Depreciation


Service Plan:

As a leader in producing message on hold advertising for businesses for the past 26 years, we’ve written quite a few articles and blog posts over the years including our ebook  “Marketing On Hold Boot Camp: 30 Seconds to More Sales” which reveals how to properly use on-hold messaging to generate real add-on revenues, and aid you in the customer experience battle of which brands today must be able to compete.

While we’d love to tell you it’s some type of secret recipe, it’s not. In fact, it’s rather simple – like any other marketing, on hold messaging must be fresh, relevant and engaging. No one wants to hear the same thing over and over, plus when you don’t change your messaging, even your best customers will notice and it sends the wrong message causing them to begin to wonder “if you don’t care enough about your brand, how can you possibly care for me?”



  • Periodic / routine message content updates
  • Promote timely offers and sales
  • Shows frequent callers you care
  • Increased sales
  • Savings on initial cash outlay
  • No equipment to own, service or that will become obsolete
  • Free equipment upgrades
  • Low fixed price



  • You don’t own the equipment


Yes, as you can see, we only list one potential disadvantage which is not owning the equipment. Look, we’re not talking about the difference between renting vs buying a house. We’re talking about a media device, which most of us have experienced first-hand, can break or become obsolete.

Still using that cassette player from the 80’s? What about that Walkman CD Player from the 90’s? Get the point? With a message on hold service plan, the equipment is included as a part of your service. And should the equipment malfunction at any point during service, we’ll send you a new unit right away at no charge. So, it’s actually better than owning it, because you’ll get the use of the equipment without any depreciation, maintenance, or repair costs…all at way less than the equipment would cost to buy. Plus if there’s an upgrade, a new media unit is provided at no cost. It’s a big win-win for you.

The winner is:  There’ s no loser, only winners when you understand that your business should be implementing a message-on-hold system. In our opinion, most businesses (except a very select few),  choosing an on hold message service plan will offer you the greatest return on investment for a number of reasons, some of which are noted above.  It’s tempting to have the mind set of purchasing something once and having it forever, but we’re talking about your marketing, not a refrigerator.

Are you using an on hold message plan successfully at your business? Drop us a line below, or share it on Facebook. We’d love to hear the story.



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