Where Is the ROI in On Hold Marketing?

Where Is the ROI in On Hold Marketing?

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It’s hard to have a marketing conversation these days without hearing ROI-this and ROI-that. It is, after all, one of today’s most beloved business buzz terms. And of course top management wants the “bottom line” on marketing’s contribution to business goals, and ROI is a handy yardstick. But is “return on investment” an accurate way to measure marketing effectiveness? Sadly – and perhaps even shockingly to some – the answer is no.

While “Plain” ROI is certainly an important metric, marketers beware, as this might hurt:  Using ROI to gauge impact can severely distort the true value marketing is delivering for your organization. It falls well short of helping us understand marketing’s contribution to business goals, or how those contributions can be improved. ROI is too limited. To gauge and improve marketing effectiveness, for example, we must factor in the strategic intent of all marketing investments a company makes.

When it comes to measuring the ROI of on hold marketing, it’s just not as simple as including promo codes tied to your on hold message and asking callers to mention it. On hold messaging is a mix of disciplines from Branding to PR to Marketing. Branding and PR is about indirect ROI while marketing is about direct ROI, but when all these functions are lumped into a single form like message on hold, companies have to consider the ancillary return on investment, which may not be as simple to measure, but it exists.


Here are some examples:


  • Reduces Caller Hang-ups – AT&T reports that 7 out of every 10 calls are placed on hold. A _ survey shows that 60% of callers hang up in less than a minute. On hold messages are the only proven on-hold solution that mitigates caller frustration, enhances the caller experience, and keeps callers on the line up to 30% longer – giving you a chance to serve them! Lost callers means lost sales, lost revenues and wasted marketing dollars!


  • Cross-sell/Up-sell Products – Your on hold marketing messages can promote add-ons, additional services, and specials while customers wait on-hold, after all, you never know what else your customers and prospects may actually be shopping for? In fact, North American Teleservices Association reports a 25% increase in products mentioned on hold.


  • Creates Professionalism – Your telephone is often the first impression to your callers. It’s your opportunity to make it memorable, build confidence, trust and be viewed as the authority in your industry.


  • Builds Brand Awareness – On-hold messaging is not only a powerful branding tool, but it also reinforces your other marketing initiatives.


  • Motivates Callers – When you entice callers with an irresistible call-to-action it can make all the difference in creating a sale.


  • Improves the Caller Experience and Satisfaction – According to Maxi-Marketing 88% of callers prefer hearing information while on hold. It’s also no surprise that callers don’t want to be put on hold in the first place. One of the top reasons for calling a company is to learn business hours. Eliminate your employee’s time handling FAQ’s and long hold times with on-hold messaging.


If you can’t seem to measure the ROI of your on hold program, don’t fret. Your program is always quietly and certainly paying for itself.  The exceptional targeted opportunities, and its low cost truly makes on hold messaging a unique marketing medium that you should absolutely be taking advantage of.

In addition to giving you another avenue to build your brand, it is also functioning as a tool to keep folks holding.  Other forms of advertising (billboards, direct mail, TV / radio advertising) fill no other function other than to simply advertise.  Your low cost on hold messaging program is fulfilling a crucial additional function.

So does on hold marketing provide an effective ROI, and does it pay for itself?  The answer? A  resounding, Yes!

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