Writing On Hold Marketing Copy

A few of our clients write their own On Hold Marketing copy. Some need to follow very strict compliance standards, while others have an in-house Creative team that generates all their content.

To be as effective as possible, On Hold Marketing copy must be updated regularly. It usually should be concise. And it needs to focus on moving the audience to the next step in the relationship, whether that means encouraging callers to ask for more information or make a purchase.

For those reasons and others, we don’t recommend that our clients take on the challenge of writing their own OHM copy. But, if you’d still like to, consider these tips.

Who Cares? - Whenever you’re creating content for callers (or any audience), always review it with that question in mind. Ask yourself if the audience will likely care about what you’ve written. Is it information that benefits them? Will it motivate them to action? Will it help them make a buying decision in your favor? This can be tricky because you need to put yourself in the listener's place. And you can’t fall so deeply in love with your own words and ideas that you’re reluctant to cut them when necessary.

Get to the Point - We never know how long callers will be on hold. Yes, your company has an average hold time, but the difference between your shortest and longest hold times may vary greatly. So, we err on the side of caution, keeping each message brief - 45 words max, typically. That allows more callers to hear complete thoughts. And because much of today’s media is delivered in shorter bursts (Tweets, 10-second commercials, 5-second pre-roll videos, etc.), we’re meeting the audience’s expectation of brevity. For each message, focus on just one idea; use strong, impactful words; and take a brutal approach to trimming any fat.

Three Questions - After writing each On Hold Marketing message, ask yourself these three questions: 1) What do I WANT this message to accomplish, 2) What is this message LIKELY to accomplish, and 3) How can I measure the results of this message? If the answer to #2 differs too much from the answer to #1, consider re-writing the content so both answers are more aligned. Then, what specific call-to-action can you include that will let you gauge the effectiveness of your copy?

For more insight into how we approach writing On Hold Marketing copy, read these other BusinessVoice Blog posts: