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The One Thing You Must Know Before Starting With On Hold Messages

The One Thing You Must Know Before Starting With On Hold Messages

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Now if you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’re probably thinking were going to debunk the fact that most on-hold providers pitch the “magical black-box” that holds all the answers to your message on hold needs, or how not all on-hold providers are created equal.


The one thing you must know before getting started is that there’s a serious misconception that you can simply add a message on-hold and play the same recording forever.

On hold marketing is no different than any other forms of marketing, it’s most successful when timely, relevant and engaging, so having the mindset that this type of media is a one shot deal or a set it and forget approach, can be dangerous to your bottom line. No successful business launches a once-for-all-of-time marketing campaign, and understanding how to best target and connect with your audience as well as compel them to action is critical!

Think about this; if you saw the same print ad or tv commercial day-after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year, would it still capture your attention? Would it still motivate you to take action? Probably not! Do you wear the same clothes in January as you do in July? Isn’t the Halloween candy usually a little stale by Thanksgiving?

A pitfall of on hold marketing is that its lack of visibility makes it easy to forget, but neglecting this customer touchpoint is a “HUGE” mistake that can negatively impact your sales, customer satisfaction, and brand value. Even the most clever on hold message has a shelf life, and if you let yours expire, the one thing you can be assured of is that irrelevant messages won’t pull in sales.  To truly be an effective marketing tool, your on hold messages must be flexible, dynamic, and most importantly relevant! As noted in Clark Kokich’s book Do or Die, it’s no longer enough to just turn up the volume—you need to turn up the value.


On-Hold Messaging Is a Marketing Tool – But Only If You Regularly Update Content.


Your on hold message is a direct line to engaged customers and prospects that are on the line trying to connect with you. This is an incredible marketing opportunity. Companies spend almost all of their marketing budgets to induce customers to call their business. Yet, according to customer experience expert Flavio Martins at, they spend almost nothing (only 6% of marketing budgets) on marketing to them when they are right in the palm of their hand. Hold messaging is a prime place for marketing to a highly engaged, targeted customer, but using hold messaging as a marketing tool won’t work if the message is obsolete, outdated and tired.  Callers will begin to ignore the message if they have heard it multiple times.


On-Hold Messaging Is a Sales Tool — But Only If You Regularly Update Content.


Another way to find opportunity in the extremely engaged on-hold audience who is calling your business is to sell to them. Use on-hold message marketing as a way to spread awareness. Use on-hold message selling as a way to increase revenue.

To sell to the customers on hold, you can’t record one sales message and hope it will repeatedly bring in sales. You need to be strategic about your messaging. In other words, the only way to successfully use on hold messages as a sales tool is to regularly update and revise content, so that your audience won’t begin to ignore the messages after they’ve heard them for the fifth or tenth time.


On-Hold Messaging Is a Customer Service Tool – But Only If You Regularly Update Content.


While on hold messaging can certainly serve your business by creating marketing and sales opportunities, don’t forget its other prime purpose, which is to enhance customer service and the customer experience at your brand.

However, you can’t do that if you fail to regularly update your messaging and make the following mistakes.

  • Giving Your Customers and Callers On Hold Fatigue: Customers will begin to ignore and even annoy repeated messaging. Don’t force your audience to listen to the same message for months or worse, years.
  • Not Delivering the Information Your Customers Need: As your business evolves, so will the questions that customers have about your services and products. Regularly update your hold messaging so it includes the most relevant FAQs.
  •  Delivering Information That Is Out-of-Date: Quite possibly the worst mistake you can make with on hold marketing is delivering the wrong information. Imagine your caller hears information about a product or service, and when you return to the line, they begin to tell you they’re ready to make a purchase, and instead of bringing them joy, you bring them frustration by telling them we no longer carry/offer that. The caller will immediately begin to think that if you don’t care enough about your business, then how can you possibly care enough about their needs!


The only way to effectively use on-hold messaging is to start thinking about it as more than a recorded message and give it the attention it needs by regularly updating and revising your on hold content.

Your hold message is a tool to help you serve your customers. Don’t spend time setting up a message then negate the work by failing to update it again. Keep your messaging working for you and your customers by consistently revising and renewing content.

While every businesses needs may vary, when you’ve decided it’s finally time to add on hold messaging to your marketing mix, you need a solid strategy in place for updating and revising content monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

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