On Hold Marketing Guide

What is On-Hold Marketing?

On Hold Marketing refers to the practice of delivering marketing messages to people via your business phones. When you put somebody on hold or transfer a call, instead of the caller hearing beeps or silence, they are greeted with professional voice and music in line with your company image. Not only is this engaging and professional, but it allows you to automatically and reliably provide information. Lots of companies use this medium to provide details of products, upcoming events or useful information, and even to drive sales. Why miss an opportunity? a call  may not have even been a sales call, but in 30 seconds of a caller waiting to be put through, you could have generated some more business. Almost all phone systems are capable of delivering on hold marketing messages. You may not currently have a phone system capable of delivering on-hold messages, but don’t worry. Modern technology means that you don’t need to spend lots of money on a phone system. If you have an Internet connection then you could probably save money over a normal phone line by having a hosted VoIP extension. This is basically a phone that works via the internet, but with lots of extra features:

  • Voicemail to email
  • Detailed reports
  • Call screening
  • Conferencing
  • Auto Attendant / Interactive Voice Response
  • Call Recording
  • Out of Hours Messages
  • Call Queuing

On top of all that, because the calls use the Internet as opposed to going through telephone exchanges, the call tariffs are generally much cheaper. So if you don’t already use VoIP, you may be in a position to not only cut bills but generate more sales.  If you don’t use on hold messages at the moment, what are you waiting for? You will be glad you did when you start to get positive feedback and extra business.

Writing an On-Hold Marketing Script

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing your script.  If you are using a traditional telephone system, the on hold messages may play from an audio device that plays the messages in a constant loop.  If this is the case, then you can write your script with the messages in any order that suits.  Alternatively, if you  use a modern phone system that plays the messages digitally, then the messages will play from the beginning of the production each time a user gets placed on hold.  Therefore, the speech prompts should appear in the script in order of importance, possibly with a welcome message at the start depending on preference.

If you want a really capture the attention of your listeners, remember that you can add emphasis where required.   For example – if you wanted to section to be read with a certain accent, make this clear in the script by adding a note for the voice artist.  There’s nothing wrong with having the whole script read with the same accent, or even by the same voice artist.  Sometimes productions sound good by alternating a male and female voice throughout.  You may even want to add sound effects – a whooshing sound, or a kerching! anything goes.  Whoever you choose to create your audio production should have the skills necessary to accommodate your request, otherwise they aren’t a good choice.

Royalty Free Music

You will want to choose a suitable music track to accompany your script.  To help you decide, you must consider your audience and product.  If you have a specific clientele, what are they likely to enjoy listening to? For example, a classic car merchants, the choice is easy.  A classical piece of music.  Does your business mainly provide services to younger people? maybe choose something a little more upbeat like a dance or Indie track.  You get the idea.

Consider seasonal music.  If it’s close to Christmas, why not get a Christmas themed on hold message? You can set the theme with a simple music change.

Whatever music you choose – one very important thing to consider is intellectual rights.  Unless the music track you select is royalty free and you are sure it’s free to use, then legally in the UK you are required to have a license from PRS/Performing Rights Society.  Find an audio provider like On Hold Expert, who have a large library of royalty free music that comes at no extra cost.

Auto Attendants

If you want your callers to hear a welcome message before the call is connected, this can be done using an auto attendant.  Typically an auto attendant also contains a menu which directs your callers to the relevant department, and may contain various levels. It’s often used however just to provide a welcome message to the caller before the phone rings.  For example:

AA Script Example

Level 1

Welcome to On Hold Expert, audio branding specialists.

Press 1 for sales

Press 2, for accounts

Press 3 for productions

Or press 4, to speak to an operator.

Level 2 (upon selecting option 3)

Press 1, to speak to a copywriter

Press 2, to speak with our production team

Press 3 to speak with a voice artist