Calls to action in on hold messaging

Remember, friend...Use your calls to action!

Recently, we saw a newspaper ad for a local theatre's upcoming season. The whole point of an ad like this is to sell tickets, right? But the ad copy didn't include a box office telephone number. There was no web address. And the theatre's street address? Nowhere to be found.

If you're following along at home you may be asking yourself the same questions we did: how would anyone who saw that ad know how, when or where to buy tickets?

Here's how this relates to your on hold messaging.

Telling your callers about your products or services is important, but you can't stop with a list of benefits. You also need to tell them - very specifically - what you want them to do with that information. It's known as a "call to action" and if you don't use it, you make it more difficult for interested callers to buy your product.

The theatre's newspaper ad required readers to do too much work to buy tickets or get more details. After seeing the ad, potential customers would still need to look for the telephone number in the phone book, or conduct an online search to find the website. Hardly heavy lifting for anyone, but why put your potential customers through any extra steps when they're ready to buy from you?

Visit THIS page of our website. Ask for THIS person at THIS extension. Test drive THIS vehicle on THIS day and we'll give you THIS free gift. When you provide specific calls to action in your on hold messaging copy, you'll increase your response rate, and provide a direct path your callers can follow to get what they want quickly and easily.


production length & frequency of updates?

Ned the Woolly Mammoth

They are the questions that have plagued humankind since the beginning: "How long should my on hold messaging content be?"..."How do I know how often to update that content?"...and "Does this woolly mammoth pelt make my hips look big?"

We'll focus on the first two questions for now. Here are a few guidelines.

If your customers call frequently (once or more per week) or if you have longer hold times, consider using 8-minute productions and updating them 6 to 12 times per year. If you have fewer callers and/or shorter hold times, your marketing needs may be served with 4-minute productions that are updated 2 to 4 times per year. (Say hello to our friendly Hold Time Calculator here.)

There's no one answer. Each company has different calling patterns, hold times and marketing needs, all of which determine the length of your production and how often you update it. The bottom line: 1) make sure your on hold messaging content is current, and 2) that it's changed often enough so your most important callers don't hear it more than 3 or 4 times.


5 copywriting tips for on hold messaging

George Orwell's typewriter, George, Jr.

The folks at MarketingProfs send out a sweet little newsletter on email marketing called Get to the Point. This issue refers to a blog post by Lauren Vargas. She says 1984 author George Orwell may be able to teach us how to write more effectively...if only he were still alive and prone to offering free advice, that is.

Actually, Lauren says we can apply his examples when writing marketing copy, including
on hold messaging.

In a nutshell, she and George suggest the following: 1) avoid cliches, 2) use shorter words,
3) cut unnecessary words, 4) use the active voice, and 5) don't use foreign phrases or technical jargon when plain, everyday English will do. Check out the details here, but try not to gasp aloud at the picture of the scary man.


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