4 Steps to Writing a Winning On Hold Message


How to craft a message your callers will want to hear

Your callers hear your on hold messages, but are they listening?

Writing an effective on hold message can be tricky business, especially since there’s so much bad advice out there about what you should say on hold.

Here’s a hint: saying generic phrases like “Thanks for calling” or “We’ll be with you shortly” aren’t doing you or your callers any favors.  They certainly don’t help you stand out from the crowd.

If you want to add real impact to your hold time, follow these four steps to writing an effective on hold message:

Step 1 - Set a Goal for Every On Hold Message


There’s only one way to tell if your on hold messaging is effective: it’s helping you achieve your goals.

Think about why you invested in on hold messaging in the first place:

Did you want to build your brand image? Sound professional? Increase sales? Prevent hang-ups?

On hold marketing can do all of the above, but you must tailor each message to achieve your goal.

Takeaway:  Focus on ONE goal per message.

Step 2 -  Make Your Message All About the Caller

Your callers are on the line for a reason: to satisfy their own needs. They don’t care about why you invested in on hold marketing.

So why did we just tell you to spend time defining your goals?

Because On-Hold Messaging should be a “win-win” proposition:  An effective on hold message should benefit both the caller AND your company.

Your messages can be self-serving, but they should also add value to the caller. When in doubt, put your message through our REV test:

  • Is it Relevant?

  • Is it Engaging?

  • Does it add Value?

If your message doesn’t pass the REV test, rework your words to ensure you’re catering to your caller’s best interest, not just your own.

Takeaway:  When you focus on the caller, you will both win.

Step 3 - Include a Specific Call to Action (CTA)


What do you want your callers to do after they hear your message?

Every on hold script has a purpose. Ending with a strong CTA gives you a better chance of achieving your goals.

Be specific when delivering the CTA. Don’t assume your callers will ask about whatever they heard on hold. If they need to speak with a specific sales rep, ask for a discount, or RSVP to a special event, make it easy to take advantage of what you’re offering.

Takeaway:  Picture what you want the caller to DO after she hears your message.

Step 4 - Keep It Brief

Regardless of how long your average hold time is, keep your messages short and to the point. Opt for around 45-75 words, or about 15-25 seconds. This helps you avoid packing too much information into a single message. The more detailed and technical a message, the less your caller will remember.

Takeaway:  When it comes to On-Hold Messaging, Less is More!

Add Impact to Every On Hold Message

You don’t have to be an all-star writer to get noticed on hold. But if you need a little boost, our professional script writers can help you create branded messages your callers will actually want to hear.

Request a free demo today and discover how to add impact to every moment on hold.