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Best Practices for Creating Effective Messages on Hold

2 July 2024


Creating effective messages on hold is both an art and a science. It’s an opportunity to communicate directly with your customers when you have their undivided attention. Done right, these on-hold messages can enhance the customer experience, reinforce your brand, and even drive sales. Here’s a comprehensive guide on best practices to make your on-hold messaging as impactful as possible.

Writing Engaging and Informative Scripts

The foundation of a great marketing on-hold message is the script. It needs to be engaging, concise, and informative. Start by understanding your audience and explore the relevant information that would be most appealing to them. For example, if you run a dental clinic, your customers might appreciate tips on dental hygiene or information about new treatments on offer.

Avoid overly technical language in your script and remember to keep the tone friendly and conversational. We recommend that each message should be no longer than 20-30 seconds, focusing on a single idea to maintain clarity. Remember, the goal is to keep your callers interested without overwhelming them with too much information.

Choosing the Right Voice and Tone

The voice behind your message is critical and should always align with your brand’s identity.  Tone and read style needs to be spot on!  For example, in-queue on a call with a luxury hotel, a smooth, calming voice would be ideal, whereas a tech start-up might opt for a more energetic and enthusiastic tone.

Put your best foot forward!  Companies should seriously think about investing in a professional audio company who uses reputable voiceover artists to deliver your message with the correct intonation, pace of read, as well as emotional resonance. A voice to align with your companies branding will make your message so much more memorable and will enhance the caller’s overall experience.

Incorporating Branding and Marketing Strategies

Your on-hold message is an extension of your brand. Use this time to reinforce your brand identity and marketing messages. Consistency is key – ensure the tone, language, and style of your message align with your other marketing materials.

Include subtle marketing strategies by promoting new products, services, or upcoming events. Balance is also crucial. Overly aggressive marketing can frustrate callers, so intersperse promotional content with helpful information or any industry related useful tips.

Avoiding Common Mistakes in On-Hold Messaging

There are several pitfalls to avoid when creating on-hold messages. Firstly, don’t create repetitive loops of the same message, which can quickly become irritating. Rotate several different messages to keep the experience fresh for repeat callers.

Another common mistake is uploading poor audio quality to the phone system. Background noise, inconsistent volume levels, or a low-quality recording can distract from your message. Always use professional recording equipment and software to ensure your recordings can be clearly heard by your customers.

Lastly, avoid messages that are too long or dense with information. Remember, the primary purpose of on-hold messaging is to keep the caller engaged and informed with concise information

Tips for Captivating and Retaining Caller Attention

To keep your callers captivated, vary the content of your messages. Mix promotional content with interesting facts, useful tips, or light-hearted anecdotes. This variety will help maintain interest and make the hold time feel shorter.

Music can also play a role in retaining attention. Choose background music that complements the tone of your message, and which matches your brand’s personality. Avoid overly complex or distracting tunes – the music should enhance the message, not compete with it.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your On-Hold Messages

It’s essential to evaluate the impact of your on-hold messages regularly. Gather feedback from customers through surveys or directly from customer service representatives who interact with the callers. Monitor call durations and the frequency of dropped calls to see if there are any patterns related to your on-hold messaging.

Additionally, consider A/B testing different scripts or voices to see which ones resonate more with your audience. By continually refining your approach based on real data, you can ensure your on-hold messages remain effective and engaging to callers.


Creating effective messages on hold requires careful consideration of your audience, brand, and the message you want to convey. By writing engaging scripts, choosing the right voice and tone, incorporating your branding, avoiding common pitfalls, and keeping your callers captivated, you can turn hold time into a valuable part of the customer experience. Regularly measure and adjust your strategy to maintain its effectiveness. With these best practices, your on-hold messages will not only keep your customers engaged but also enhance your brand’s image and customer satisfaction.

Our creative team will work closely with you to write engaging and informative content. Let us design a personal audio solution for your next marketing campaign.  Our voice over artists are the best in the business, they’re real voices, real people!   For more info, please email us at enquiries@mcgirvanmedia.com.au or call to speak to one of our friendly team on 1800 777 428.

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