IVR Prompts

February 18, 2016 | Angela Dougherty


Prompts are available in your Campaign settings when you edit or create a Campaign. Select your Prompt from the drop-down menu and click the green plus to begin.

Our system allows you to type messages to be read by our automated system, however we highly recommend you upload recordings by clicking the Use Audio button. Callers respond better to a human voice rather than a computer reading to them. We accept MP3, WAV and FLAC audio files to be uploaded. For more info on voice recordings, click the button below.

Creating voices for IVR Prompts.

When configuring the Repeat in your Prompts, know that it plays once and then repeats the set number of times. If you have a Repeat of 2, it will play a total of 3 times.

All Buyers Closed

This message plays when all Buyers are closed and unable to take the call. The hours of operation is set in the Buyer settings for each individual.


Example of a standard All Buyers Closed prompt.

Note that ‘a m’ and ‘p m’ have a space in between. This is so the computer voice reading it is able to pronounce it correctly. Keep this in mind when writing your prompts and always test them out.

Of course, we recommend that you find an overflow buyer so this message never needs to be played for a customer.

Enter Extension

Extensions allow you to create virtual phone numbers that work just like other phone numbers in Retreaver. Extensions are useful because they allow you to track many different visitors without paying the monthly costs associated with having thousands of phone numbers.

Creating and using an Extension Pool

How you word your request for this extension or even how many digits it has is up to you when you configure it.

Example: “Please enter your 4 digit Customer ID so we can route your call.”

Of course, you can call it an Offer ID, Computer ID, Listing ID or just an extension. You may also want to set this to repeat more than once.

Extension Failed

This message plays after the caller enters an incorrect number of digits or a combination that doesn’t exist.

Example: “Invalid entry, please try again to enter your 4 digit Customer Identification Number or if you do not know your Customer Identification Number, please enter 1 1 1 1.”


The ‘1 is pressed’ Routing Setting does not require the caller press 1 if there is no Greeting on the Campaign. If you want calls to go right through to the Buyer, just leave the Routing Settings as ‘1 is pressed’ and do not add a Greeting.

However, if there is a Greeting, you need to have it prompt the caller to press 1 OR change the Routing Settings.

We suggest leaving the Routing Settings as ‘1 is pressed’. When a visitor calls your phone number, it’s generally a bad idea to immediately forward them to a buyer. Sometimes there are issues of people dialing the wrong number as well as spam, bot, or telemarketing calls that you would like to filter out.

Our system helps prevent this by prompting the caller press 1 to speak to an representative. If you want to only set this for one of your buyers, you can edit the number you’ve given them and add a greeting for only that number. After selecting the number to edit, click the padlock Locked to unlock prompts for this number alone. Unlock Prompts This way, the main Campaign doesn’t ask, but it does for him. It’s also useful because at a later date if you want to unlock a Campaign and add a greeting, you can do so without making any other changes.


With this configuration, the caller will be prompted a total of three times to press 1.

The greeting will finish playing the set number times, then we end automatically. You can customize this behavior by adding a “When nothing is pressed” Routing Setting.

Click-to-call Greeting

This greeting is only for callers who arrived in the IVR via Click-to-Call. You would want to use this in combination with ‘1 is pressed’ in your Routing Settings to make sure our system isn’t reaching a voicemail.

With Retreaver, you can initiate calls for your web visitors without any interaction on their part. These calls can be tied to their existing Retreaver session and any numbers that are being displayed on your landing pages, or they can be initiated via a server-to-server request.

Click-to-call can be used instead of choosing to display a trackable phone number to your visitors. Click-to-call works by collecting your visitor’s phone number and initiating a call to them programmatically. This is a great way to increase conversions, as it ensures your visitors get on the phone.

Click-to-call is perfect for users who want to track many different attributes, but don’t want to create large number pools. You can pass in unlimited tag values to associate with the call in your click-to-call initiation request. Note that Click-to-call is different from tap-to-call, which is just using tel links to link a caller to a phone number.

Learn more about using Click-To-Call.

Zip Code Entry

If you’re gathering ZIP codes from callers, legal lead gen for example, you may want to prompt for the ZIP. This will prevent callers who have moved and ported their numbers from a different state being connected to an incorrect buyer.This prompt will play immediately when the call connects.

Most configurations will just have the Zip Code Prompt be the greeting. Alternatively they would have the greeting be a no keypress and then simply ask for the Zip.

Example: “Please enter your five digit ZIP code now.”

Zip Entry Failed

This plays when the caller does not enter a valid ZIP code.

Example: “You have entered an invalid ZIP code, please try again to enter your five digit ZIP code.”

You will want this message to repeat a couple times.

No Buyers Match

You can use Retreaver’s Tags to filter what calls a Buyer will receive. You may for example, have Buyers that take calls in certain geo locations. Or you want callers to have a specific type of debt. These skills that the Buyers are given via Tags dictate that it will not receive the calls that do not qualify. Leaving some callers to not meet criteria and need to be hung up on. With this configured, the caller will know why they are being disconnected and not keep calling.

Example: “Sorry, your geo location or selection criteria does not match any of our agents. Thank you for calling, goodbye.”

Learn to filter calls to Buyers based on Tags.

Please Hold

The Please Hold message plays after any other prompts and greetings, then the call is automatically forwarded to your Buyer.

Example: “Please hold while we connect you with the next available agent. This call may be recorded.”

If you are only wanting to do this for the one promo number and not for every number on the campaign, you may also edit the number you referred to and unlock the prompts from the campaign, and put the Please Hold message on that number only. See Greetings above for more info on unlocking numbers.

By using the Please Hold message instead of a Greeting, you are still able to route straight to the Buyer using the ‘1 is Pressed’ Routing Settings without prompting a caller to press 1.

Music on Hold

Music-on-Hold is ideal for Campaigns where you would simuldial a group of Buyers.


Rock music will play for callers waiting to speak to a Buyer.

You can configure hold music by choosing a preset genre from the drop down list. However, you may also use the Text-To-Speech option to repeat a message over and over while they are connected. You could even take advantage of our tokens to say something like “Hang in there, John. Someone will be with you shortly.”


When routing a call to a buyer, it is often necessary to inform the target agent or their systems that a call is coming in and what the caller is calling about.

One of the easiest ways to pass information to your buyer is to add a whisper prompt, which will be played only to the answering agent when they receive the call. Note that if the target uses their own internal IVR, and does not have a human answering their calls, this will not work.

Add a whisper prompt to your campaign, and configure the prompt so that it includes the information the buyer needs to know. You can use replacement tokens to dynamically insert the values of any tags on the call in a text-to-speech prompt, which is passed in through the Retreaver.js API when the caller fills out the web form. Your needs may be more basic, like simply informing the buyer that the call is being recorded and that they need to alert the caller.

Example: “Incoming call from the Tax Debt Settlement Hotline”

Greeting callers by name or whispering callers name to agents.

No Buyer Answered

We tried ringing an available Buyer but they chose not to answer the call. This message plays to the caller before the call disconnects. This is often paired with the conversion type of Attempt in the Campaign settings..

Example: “All our agents are unavailable, please try again soon.”

Press 1 To Accept

You can put many Buyers into a group, from there you can choose to dial them separately, or simuldial the group all at once.


By enabling simuldial, your Buyers race to press 1 and receive the call. This prompt plays to all the agents when they pick up the phone, you may want it to look something like: “Press 1 to accept this call”

Press 1 Too Slow

In this race, there is only one winner. All the remaining agents who did not receive the call will have this message played to them.

Example: “Sorry, this call has been taken by a faster agent, better luck next time.”

Key Press 0-9, # and *

Example #1: In a Tax Debt Settlement Campaign, you may want a Greeting that would say:

“The Tax Debt Hotline is not associated with the I R S. We work with the I R S to reduce your tax debt and tax payment. Press 1 for a tax debt agent or press 9 if you are trying to contact the I R S.”

In this case you would want to add a Key Press 9 Prompt that says something along the lines of:

“Sorry, we only handle tax settlement work with the I R S. To contact the I R S, please hang up and dial 1 8 0 0 8 2 9 1 0 4 0. Again, that number for the I R S is eight hundred, 8 2 9, ten forty. Thank you for calling, goodbye.”

Then you would add a Routing Setting for When 9 is Pressed end the call.

9 is Pressed

Example #1 configuration in the Routing Settings and Prompts.

No Key Press and Any Other Key Press

You may want to have the system do something else in the condition that anything else is pressed.

Callers Blocked, Caller Resubscribed, Subscribe Failed

This prompt will be played if the caller has previously requested to be unsubscribed from your campaign. Without this prompt, the call will not go through. You can allow the caller to resubscribe by informing them that they can push 7, they will then be redirected to the main menu after playing the “Caller Resubscribed” prompt if there is one. If they push a button other than 7, the “Resubscribe Failed” prompt will be played, and the call will end.

Creating Voices for IVR Prompts

February 12, 2016 | Angela Dougherty

One of the first tasks that needs to be undertaken when setting up a pay-per-call campaign in Retreaver is setting up the IVR prompts. Of course, you can use Retreaver without having any IVR prompts, but they are a great way to filter out unqualified callers and ensure your call center only gets high quality calls. Retreaver also supports text-to-speech prompts, but they don’t create the sense of professionalism and warmth the voice of a real human can.

Finding the right voice

Finding the right sound for your brand is difficult. You need to consider your target audience. What type of voice will they be expecting to hear when they call in? Is it an authoritative, business-like, professional voice? Or are you trying to confer a feeling of warmth and trust? You want to set the tone for the call, putting the caller in the correct state of mind, whether that is at ease, or hurried, or eager to purchase.

If you are in the US, perhaps an American sounding voice will be best, but overseas a UK English accent will probably work better. We highly recommend using Voices.com or VoiceBunny to find a voice actor. After posting a job you will get many custom auditions covering a range of vocal styles and prices to allow you to choose which actor you want to work with.

We recently posted a job on Voices.com and had over 30 customized auditions to listen to within 24 hours. After selecting the voice actor we thought suited our brand the best, we received multiple versions of the prompt in high-quality WAV format.

As auditions start coming in, make notes about each actor and revise your job posting if needed to hone in on the right sound. The voice actors are notified whenever you click the “Like” button next to their audition, so make generous use of it. Because you are going to be editing the audio file to remove noise and optimize it for phone play, it isn’t as important to find an actor with a perfect quality microphone as it is to find someone who you think sounds best for your brand.

Coaching your new voice actor for the right sound

After selecting the voice actor you want to work with, we suggest listening to their audition recording many, many times. Think about how words sound, the inflection of the voice, and determine how you want the prompt to be paced. By providing specific instructions, you will ensure you get exactly the recording your brand needs.

After providing feedback, await the submission from the voice actor. Be sure to review the actor and release payment promptly. If everything has worked out well, you will be able to post private jobs for this actor again in the future.

Editing the audio for optimal phone transmission


Audacity ScreenshotAfter finalizing the deal and accepting the files, open up the audio files in an audio editor. We recommend using the free and open source Audacity. It is available for Mac and PC. You should have received files in a raw, uncompressed WAV format. This lossless format is important because editing a lossy file like an MP3 will only cause further degradation of audio quality.

You probably received a file with many versions of the prompt. You’ll have to isolate the version of the recording you want to use by selecting it with the selection tool, and copying and pasting that audio into a new file.

Then, remove any background noise. Highlight a silent section of the clip with the selection tool, and select Noise Removal from the Effect menu. Click the “Get Noise Profile” button, and then remove the noise by clicking OK at the bottom of the dialog.

Now that the audio has been cleaned up and you’re happy with it, you’ll need to downsample the audio to 8kHz for play over telephone lines. The maximum frequency of the audio that goes out over phone lines is ultimately limited by the old analog phone technology and limitations of bandwidth. 8kHz is the standard sampling rate used in phones, for comparison, FM radio uses 22050Hz. This 8kHz signal is carried over the internet in a digital form represented in 64kbps. Select “Resample…” from the Tracks menu, and enter 8000 and push OK.

Listen to your downsampled recording. You will notice that there has been a loss of range, the recording may now sound somewhat muffled.

In many cases, removing audio in the lower ranges will make for a crisper, sharper recording that is easier to understand. If you feel this is necessary, experiment with the High Pass filter in the Filter menu. Enter a lower end cutoff frequency of about 400Hz, and see how that affects the audio. Human speech ranges from a low of 60Hz for men, 160Hz for women, to a maximum of about 7000Hz.

For the purposes of telephony, the transmitted range is approximately between 300Hz and 3400Hz. It is a good idea to clean up your audio so it falls between these ranges so that nothing unexpected happens down the pipeline. Audio that falls outside this range may show up later as audible glitches or clicks.

Finally, you may want to add some dead space at the end of the recording so that it doesn’t repeat too quickly, to give the caller some time to press a button. Click near the end of the file with the selection tool, and under the Generate menu, choose “Silence…”. Add 5 to 10 seconds of silence and see how that sounds.

Once your recording sounds perfect, export it to a WAV file so it’s ready to upload to Retreaver, and save your Audacity project.

Greeting Callers by Name

| Angela Dougherty

If you know your visitor’s name, you can easily use that information in a prompt by passing it in via our Retreaver.js API.

Once you’ve retrieved the number display script from your campaign’s overview page, make a modification to the query string of the source URL, adding a caller_name parameter.

In order for this to work, you’ll need to have a number pool configured for your campaign so that numbers can be assigned names as required.

Configuring Your Prompt


Using the [caller_name] token to insert the callers name into the Please Hold.

For a less creepy variation, you can use the caller’s name in a Whisper Prompt to inform the agent that answers who is calling. Then your agent can greet the caller by name in a warm, human voice.


Whispering the caller name to the Buyer.