Superior audio services since 1986

Spaced out? Message on hold scripts

At the end of your Message On Hold script, you’ll most likely see our approval form. One of the checklists includes spacing for On Hold Music between the On Hold Messages. For most businesses, 10 seconds is the perfect amount of time. In fact, if left unchecked we almost always mix our On Hold productions with 10 seconds of On Hold Musicbetween the On Hold Messages.

However, there are several factors that should be considered. First factor to evaluate is the average length of time that your callers are placed On Hold. If your average caller sits On Hold for longer than 1 minute, then your callers are placed On Hold for longer than the average business generally places callers On Hold. It would make sense to increase the On Hold Music spacing to greater than 10 seconds between On Hold Messages to keep the hold messages from repeating as frequently in the same call.

Secondly, you need to estimate what is the longest length of time a caller may be parked On Hold in a single call. For instance, your average call to the office might only hold for 30 seconds, however calls to the Customer Service Department are placed On Hold for much longer times—say 5 minutes on average. Assuming all callers to your business hear the same On Hold Message regardless of the department or person they are calling, you need to factor these longer hold times into the spacing equation. I generally recommend 20 second spacing for calls frequently holding 3 to 5 minutes. If over 5 minutes, you may want to increase the music spacing to 1 minute and use multiple music beds.

Finally, ask yourself how often you receive calls from the average customer. If you’re a hair salon the same customers might be calling every month or more frequently. If you’re a dentist, you’re probably only hearing from customers twice a year. The more a customer calls, the quicker the material will become stale and thus needs to be changed more frequently.

Based on IAP’s customers, here are some recommended annual On Hold Message productions broken down per industry:

(make links to category page of “Message On Hold Script samples”)

Accountant On Hold 1-2 per year

Auto Body On Hold 1-2 per year

Auto Parts On Hold 1-2 per year

Automotive Dealer On Hold 4-12 per year

Automotive Service On Hold 2-4 per year

Bank On Hold 4-6 per year

Casino On Hold12 per year

Credit Union On Hold 6-12 per year

Dentist On Hold 2-3 per year

Eye Care On Hold 2-3 per year

Hardware Store On Hold 2-4 per year

HVAC On Hold 2-3 per year

Insurance On Hold 2- 3 per year

Jeweler On Hold 1-2 per year

John Deere On Hold/Implement On Hold 4-6 per year

Mortgage On Hold 1-2 per year

Motorsports On Hold 2-4 per year

Park District On Hold 12 per year

Pharmacy On Hold 2-4 per year

Pizza On Hold 4-6 per year

Plumbing On Hold 1-2 per year

Printing On Hold 1-2 per year

Real Estate On Hold 1-2 per year

Restaurant On Hold 3-12 per year

Salon On Hold 4-12 per year

Travel Agency On Hold 2-6 per year

Veterinary On Hold 3-4 per year

Hopefully, this will help you in determining the appropriate amount of On Hold Music spacing on your next production.


The high cost of saving money on your radio commercials.

In today’s digital world, there are more venues than ever to spend your advertising dollars. For many, radio commercials on AM/FM stations are still a great way to get their message out. Creating a professional, memorable radio commercial can be the difference between money well spent and money wasted.

Think about your favorite broadcast station and try to remember the radio commercials you’ve heard. Chances are the ones that come to mind first will be the more creative, professionally produced radio commercials over the ones that were recorded by the owner or a staff member. When a listener hears your radio commercial for the very first time, it is your opportunity to create a positive, lasting impression. Your best chance for success is by using a professional voice over.

I will not say you can never achieve good results by recording radio commercials yourself. I have heard many well done, heartfelt radio commercials recorded not using a professional voiceover. However, it’s a very slim percentage of these radio commercials that air that actual work to their full potential. The majority, in my opinion, sound as if they are recorded by amateurs. Is this really the impression you want to give?

I recommend using a voice that is not employed by the station, although testimonials by popular DJs can be effective. By using a fresh voice that is not overused on the station, your radio commercial will have a better chance of standing out.

If you’re a banker, then give banking advice. If you architect, then draft to your fullest potential. You have no more business behind a microphone than a professional voice over artist has giving banking advice or trying to create a floor plan for a skyscraper. When it comes to voiceovers, leave it to the professionals. The few hundred dollars you may spend to have a radio commercial created will make your advertising dollars more effective.

Movin’ and groovin’. How to implement and begin using your new Message On Hold MP3.

Every week I receive calls and emails from customers that have received their new custom Message On Hold Production via email, but have no clue how to implement the new recording. My purpose with this article is to step by step explain the simple procedure of implementing your new Message On Hold Production with a MP3 based On Hold Message player.

Once you receive our email with the MP3 of your recording attached. You will want to remove the USB drive from your existing On Hold Message player and insert it into the USB port on your computer. A “Found New Hardware” message should pop up shortly. Your computer in most instances will label this USB drive as a new drive letter for your computer and list it as “Removable Disk (E:)” or whatever drive letter is available based on your computer’s drive layout.

At this point, you will need to decide if you want to keep the existing recording. If you are going to keep it, save the existing recording in a folder in a place you can reference in the future. If you no longer plan on reusing this recording due to outdated material, you will want to delete the old production from the USB drive. If you do not currently have a few of the USB drive and its content, you can easily locate it by going Start—Programs—Accessories—Windows Explorer and click on the Removable Disk drive.

Now that your USB drive is empty, you will want to go to the email we sent containing your new On Hold Production. Save the Mp3 attachment onto your USB drive. If you’re unsure of how to do this, generally in Outlook you go to File, Save Attachments and highlight the Mp3 file and save it to the USB drive. On a email program like AOL, you’ll simply click on the mp3 attachment and select save then direct it to the USB drive.

Now that the new On Hold Mp3 is on the USB drive, remove it from your pc and reinsert it into your player. Depending on the model player you have, the player will either play the file immediately from the USB drive or take a few moments to download the file to internal memory. If your player has a speaker, you can turn it on and confirm the newOn Hold Production is playing.

That’s it. You should be up and running. Enjoy!

If you want to play, you’ll have to pay…that holds true for Music On Hold.

Nowadays, almost every household has an IPod, smart phone, or some other digital media player that plays back music. Generally, the music played on these devices is uploaded from existing CDs or purchased from resellers like ITunes or Amazon. In some cases, these music libraries can be very extensive—consisting of enough of music to be played for days or even weeks before repeating.

Sounds like a windfall for your Music On Hold library—right? Not really. More like a windfall for the royalty collection agencies ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. These three organizations collect fees for the writers’ and publishers’ works they cover. If you’re a composer or publisher who holds copyrights to musical works, you partner with one or more of these organizations to license performances or the work. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC in turn also have the right to prevent others from using these works without permission. Businesses that want to play any of these musical performances on their telephone’s Music On Hold, will have to pay a fee to all of royalty collection agencies that cover the music being played.

The same holds true if you want to plug a radio feed into your Music On Hold. Radio Stations obtain licenses and pay fees to broadcast musical performances over the airwaves, but they do not have the authority to allow businesses to rebroadcast their stations on the phone or in any other capacity other than personal consumption.

Working in the Music On Hold industry for the past 20 years, I know for a fact there are thousands of companies rebroadcasting radio stations, CDs, and ITunes music while their customers are holding. However, it’s just a matter of time before they’re caught. ASCAP, BMI & SESAC’s have employees that make calls to businesses to police the music being broadcast On Hold. In most instances, there are no slap-on-the-hands or verbal warnings. Generally, they take action with invoices, money demands and fines. In fact, for each copyrighted song being performed without license, fees up to $30,000 can be imposed or up to $150,000 if the infringement is willful.

On occasion, clients have asked me to obtain quotes from music clearing houses on the price to play well known songs or artists On Hold. For about $750 per song, you can hire a company like The Music Bridge LLC to get a quote on how much it will be to use that song. Depending on the artist or organizations involved in the licensing, there is no guarantee you will receive permission to use the music. I was given an educated guess of $2,500 to $10,000 per year to play the song New York, New York.

My advice? Skip the mainstream music and its expensive fees. Illinois Audio Productions, Inc. (IAP) offers hundreds of music selections specifically designed for Music On Hold. They’re available for purchase for a fraction of the cost you’d pay to play music from your personal library. When you purchase any track(s) from IAP, you have the permission to use these on your businesses Music On Hold. Generic “Thanks for holding.” type messages, in both male and female voices, can be incorporated at no additional cost at any spacing interval.