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Why you should use on hold marketing

Updated: May 31

Those of you who've read my posts before will know what I think about the importance of having professional telephone messages.

Given the pandemic times we've been in (wow this blog is old now!), it's essential that your phone line shows your business in the best possible light. Some people are still reluctant to just wander into a shop or office at the moment (like me - I insist on using McDonalds drive through for all our dinners), so for millions of consumers across the country, their first point of contact with you will be on the phone.

Companies have huge budgets for branding and marketing, spending thousands on things like logos, websites, advertising campaigns, business stationary, stickers for vans, signage on buildings and t-shirts for the staff. But why pay such attention to detail trying to impress your customers, if they call up and their first impression is somewhat lacking?

Ok, moan over.

There's another way of looking at this. With more people calling businesses than in years gone by, we can take advantage...

*Fanfare plays triumphantly*.


A rusty old truck with a sign for a thrift store in the back.

What is that exactly? Well, let's break it down in what will quite possibly be the most pointless break down of all time.

On hold. That's when you phone a business and get told to wait for a bit.

Marketing. That's when a company promotes the buying of a product or service.

Put them together and what do we have?

A company marketing during an on hold call.

But don't think that means smarmy Peter is going to be blabbing at you until who you actually want to talk to is available.

This, of course, is where you have bespoke messages recorded (come on, it's a voiceover artist website). Your products, promotions or offers take centre stage, while your captive audience listens on.

And that's the beauty of it. It's a captive audience.

They're waiting to talk about something perhaps completely unrelated to purchasing. Maybe they need support or need to make a change to a booking or policy. So this is an opportunity to tell them about something they might not have known about - it's the perfect time to be able to cross promote or introduce new products or services using on hold messaging

A 1967 study from Professor Albert Mehrabian highlights an extremely important aspect of communication. It's called the 7-38-55% communication rule.

He found that effective communication is broken down like this: 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% the words we use.

In my opinion, that's why it's crucial to pay attention to phone messages and especially on hold marketing messages. A caller can't see who they're talking to and 55% of the effectiveness is lost. That 38% tone of voice factor becomes even more key.

Will Hilda from research be able to pull off a message that will not only engage the customer, but connect with them enough that they want to look further into what she's saying?

On-Hold Marketing examples
What's your on hold message like?


A voiceover artist knows how to connect with an audience, tailoring their tone of voice and embodying the brand they're representing. They can keep the caller engaged and interested for longer.

Ok, some stats then.

  • 70% of callers are put on hold.

  • 60% hang up if there's no message or music.

  • 34% of those won't call back.

  • 90% of callers hang up after 40 seconds (this shows the importance of engaging messages).

But let's end on a stat that's rather good.

30% of customers who hear an on hold marketing message make a purchase of that product or service.

That's a huge amount of potential sales you're missing. And just because I like to labour the point and repeat myself, I'll summarise it needlessly.

Get the On Hold Messaging right

If you have 100 people put on hold who hear a good marketing message, 30 of them will buy. (That equals 30% you know).


Will buy.

If you'd like to discuss how on hold marketing could benefit your business, then feel free to get in touch. Alternatively, head over to the new on hold marketing packages page for prices!

If you don't want to discuss it, read about it in this case study instead.

Of course there are other ways that you can use a professional voiceover to help your business. Why not use video for marketing?

Run a business?

If you run a business, professional telephone messaging is important. That's why I've decided to give some away for free! You can download a set of free answering machine messages for the 2023 August bank holiday to let people know you won't be working. Keep your customers informed!


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Martin Whiskin voiceover artist talking into a Rode NT1-a microphone
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