How to Set Up a Hotline / Warm Line in 3 Steps

Hotlines provide a direct phone number for callers to get information or assistance. Oftentimes, hotlines provide emergency support, and as such need to be reliable. Other times, warm lines are used in advertisements and can provide creative ways to reach customers.

Telzio is often used to set up hotlines in critical situations, in addition to the typical business phone system needs. Large-scale non-profits and for-profits rely on Telzio’s exceptional uptime and audio quality for permanent and promotional hotlines.

In this post, I’ll outline how to set up a hotline that’s ready to go in a few simple steps, without any hardware or technical stuff. Everything with Telzio is managed on the website, so assuming you’ve created an account and are logged into the dashboard, here is one way to set up a hotline/warm line.

1. Choose a Phone Number

The whole point is to attract more callers to raise awareness for the brand or cause. To do that, choose a toll free number that’s easy to remember. Toll free numbers eliminate long distance charges for callers in the US and Canada, making it easier for people out of the area to call in and increasing your reach exponentially.

There’s also a perception with toll free numbers. They’re just easier to remember. Vanity numbers work well but the good ones are usually taken or have a high premium. I opt for repetitive digits. In my opinion repeating numbers are the best phone numbers because they’re easy to remember and easy to dial quickly without having to keep your eyes on the keypad.

Browse for a number and when you find the right one, register it and you’ll find it instantly in your numbers list. Now we have to make that number go somewhere when people call it. There are several different ways you can set up a hotline, but let’s say you want to start with a greeting.

2. Record a Message

Here’s the important part. What message do you want to convey? Get your script written out. Read it out loud. Read it out loud to your team. Then submit it for a professional recording or do it in-house if you have a professional microphone. Your computer microphone will not provide the best sound quality.

Once you have the audio file, you can upload it directly on the website and set it as the first thing callers hear when they connect to your hotline number. From there, you can do different things. You can simply deliver the message to your callers and that’s the end of it. You could give the caller options. Do they want to speak to a live person? Do they want other information?

Here’s the fun part. You can add as many layers as you want. Of course the fewer the better (because people get bored of going through menus), but you could customize what we call the “call flow” to your specific needs. For example –

 For more information about what we do, press 1. To speak to a live agent, press 2. To leave a message, press 3.

If the caller presses 1 in this example, they’d be directed to another greeting where you could do the same thing over again. Deliver a message and maybe some options. If the caller presses 2, the call gets directed to a live person, and if they press 3, they end up in voicemail.

3. Direct Calls

Let’s say you want to connect callers to someone live. You could have callers connect directly to a live person instantly when they call in, and skip the whole greeting part. As mentioned, this is just one way to set up a hotline. All the features can be re-arranged and configured in a way that fits your purpose.

With Telzio you can direct calls to groups of as many people as needed, ringing them all at the same time or even in a specific order if the previous person doesn’t pick up. Telzio can send calls to IP phones, softphones, smartphones, and any other phone number in the world. Contrary to traditional phone service, a single phone number with Telzio can support an infinite number of simultaneous calls, so callers will never get a busy signal.


Telzio believes strongly in supporting organizations with nonprofit causes. Reach out to to see how we can help.

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Diana is the Chief Customer Officer at Telzio and enjoys helping customers get the most out of their Telzio services.