How to Monetize Your On-Hold Music

Savvy companies know that hold time can be a goldmine in making connections with customers and prospective customers. If crafted well, an on hold message can help promote your brand, help you up-sell other products and services, and answer frequently asked questions.

The average hold time in America is 43 seconds which is a significant amount of time considering your caller is essentially a captive audience.  Research shows that most callers want to hear something other than silence, a radio station or sleepy music while on hold. This can mean a win-win situation for both you and your caller if you have a well-crafted on-hold message. 

What is an on-hold message?

Also known as music-on-hold, an on-hold message is what callers hear when they are waiting for someone to answer their call or when their call has been answered and the agent puts them on hold. A typical business phone system gives you the option of what you want your callers to hear when they are either put on hold are waiting for an agent to answer.

What the Right On-Hold Message Can Accomplish:


A customer calls your tennis equipment company to purchase a tennis racquet, and is on hold waiting for an agent to take his call. While they are on hold, they hear about a tennis ball special you are running. When an agent answers the line, the caller orders the tennis racquet and a new set of tennis balls. All thanks to a powerful on-hold message.

Lower Your Business Overhead

A caller wants to make an order over the phone. While they are on hold they hear that if they order on your website, that they can save on their shipping by using a specific coupon code. The caller hangs up and orders on your website cutting down on the amount of time you have to pay agents answering the phone and taking orders.


You’re a national company and you’ve just rolled out a new slogan, “We’ll match our competitor’s price – or it’s free.” You’ve spent thousands of dollars on traditional media to enforce the new slogan. But for less than a dollar a day, every caller placed on hold will hear your new slogan. When you consider that the average business receives more than 100 calls a day, the per-impression cost is almost zero.

Use Professional Voice Talent

Do not ask your secretary to record your on-hold music. That can backfire on you quickly. You should always hire a professional on-hold messaging vendor record the message for you. They have the necessary equipment to make it sound professional. Typically you can choose between different voice talents and you can even ask to have background music play during the message which makes the recording sound even more professional.

Where to Add the Message on your Phone System

Once your recording is done, it is going to be in a .mp3 or .wav format and will be emailed to you. Typically you can either contact your hosted pbx provider and they will ask you to email it to them and they will add it to your phone system. Or, if you have access to the control panel you can add it yourself. If your equipment is on-site or managed by your IT team you will give it to them and they should know how to add it.

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