What Is on Hold Marketing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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On hold marketing is a type of public relations and marketing tool that is used to convert what was once considered unproductive time with a consumer into a tool for promoting products and encouraging new sales. Sometimes referred to as telephone on hold marketing, the idea is that instead of simply providing music for inbound callers who are on hold awaiting assistance, it is possible to introduce short verbal advertising that alerts the callers to special offers on existing products, upcoming releases of new products, or even one-time deals that the caller can claim once he or she is connected to a company representative. Considered an effective means of upselling to existing customers or others who call a company for any reason, the costs associated with on hold marketing are minimal and have the potential to generate a considerable amount of additional sales.


The basic idea behind on hold marketing is to include a series of short verbal ads that are strategically interspersed with the hold music played as callers wait in a call queue. Proponents of on hold marketing note that many consumers become impatient when remaining on hold for more than a few seconds. By making use of these audio commercials to break up the monotony of being on hold, a company accomplished two important tasks. Along with introducing new offers to the callers, the periodic break in the hold music to hear something a little different will often help to prevent the caller from becoming increasingly frustrated with being on hold for more than a short time, which in turn means that once the connection to a representative is made, the caller is likely to be in a better mood and more conducive to placing an order.

Within the scope of different marketing strategies, on hold marketing is a relatively inexpensive approach to acquainting consumers with product lines and encouraging the purchase of those goods and services. In many cases, the short commercials used during the hold times can be sound bites harvested from existing radio and television advertising campaigns, an approach that further helps to reduce the overall cost of the effort. Even small businesses can make use of software to create an on hold soundtrack that provides a short commercial ad every so often, typically with very little money invested in the effort.

As companies continue to seek ways to connect with potential clients or to upsell new products to existing clients, the use of on hold marketing makes sense for many. Even consumers who do little in the way of online shopping are likely to respond to these short ads encountered while on hold, increasing the chances of generating a little more money in terms of sales. As a viable marketing strategy for companies of any size, including this particular approach in the overall marketing strategy could make a significant difference in consumer sales without placing much stress on the marketing budget.



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