Whether you’re building a startup or are running an established company, one of the most challenging parts of your business will always be marketing. Getting the word out about your product or service is both time-consuming and costly. And oftentimes, small businesses and startups don’t have the resources to spend on marketing activities unlike the bigger brands.

The good news is, there are a handful of effective marketing tools that businesses can use to reach and retain customers without breaking the bank. It is one of the most common business tools, and it is likely sitting on your desk, on your table, or perhaps living in your computer. Have you guessed what it might be? Chances are you didn’t think about your business VoIP phone system.

Here are 4 ideas on how you can use your VoIP phone as part of your marketing strategy.

  • Skip the elevator music when putting callers on hold

Don’t let customers suffer on hold by making them listen to annoying elevator music (or worse, dead silence). Instead, use this opportunity to enhance the customer’s experience by playing customized messages or music. You can create on hold messages that inform callers about your products, services, special promos, or events. You can also entertain them by including interesting, funny or surprising facts that are related to your business or industry.

Don’t overwhelm callers with too much information, though. Go for quick, catchy sound bites that will make customers eager to know more about what you offer. VoIP providers such as Vonage, RingCentral and 8×8 include a Music/Messaging On Hold feature in their plans to let businesses offer a better wait experience to callers.

  • Get a toll-free number

In the past, toll-free numbers were generally only used by big businesses. But with the advent of VoIP technology, even startups and small businesses can obtain their own toll-free numbers at an affordable rate, and thus project a big business presence.

Aside from helping position your business as a credible, successful company, toll-free numbers can also expand your market reach and make you more accessible. You can use a toll-free number to let customers outside your local area call you without incurring long distance charges. They can also be used to support your latest marketing or advertising campaigns. You can use a different number (or a customized vanity number) in your promotional offers to attract customers and encourage repeated business.

  • Use click-to-call

Another VoIP feature that will enhance your marketing efforts is click-to-call. Adding a click-to-call button to your website, online advertisements or email signature makes it easy for customers to reach you. They no longer have to search for your number, write it down, and dial the digits to reach you. In just a few clicks, they can get connected to your business (whether to inquire or purchase your product or service). This feature also increases the chances that your website visitors will complete a transaction.

  • Customize your auto-attendant

Auto-attendants (also commonly referenced as virtual receptionists) are designed to manage incoming calls without the intervention of a live operator or receptionist. They’re often the first interaction customers have with your business (which means they can significantly affect how people perceive your business).

When designed properly, auto-attendants will not only help you route calls to the right people or department, they can also help boost your brand. To increase its effectiveness, make sure your auto-attendant incorporates brief, punchy greetings and a short and simple menu design. Inserting slogans and sales information are a good idea as long as they’re short and pique customers’ interest.

Final Thoughts

Promoting your small business doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. Your seemingly humble business phone system can do some of the work to help spread the word about your company. After all, phone systems are not just for making and receiving calls anymore. Try these tips and be on your way to growing your business through your VoIP solution.