Fax marketing is a low-cost method of reaching out to customers that, when done correctly, can be more effective than targeted internet ads or other forms of direct marketing. However, fax broadcasting, like any marketing campaign, should be done with caution or you may end up with a negative reputation as a fax spammer. But it is something that can stigmatize a business and drive it to the ground as a result of various penalties and the negative effects of a company’s poor image.
What is fax marketing?
Fax marketing is the practice of sending a large number of promotional messages using a fax machine to a specific target market in order to promote specific products, solutions, or services.
The fax marketing strategy is typically used to maintain and strengthen existing relationships between marketers and their customers. Although it is an old strategy, it is still effective when properly implemented.
Despite technological advancements, many business people prefer a hard copy and tactile approach. Furthermore, fax marketing has a number of advantages, including being less expensive, more versatile, and more personalized.
How fax marketing works
Fax marketing, like telemarketing, can involve sending out a large number of advertisements to fax machines in a given market in the hopes of finding clients. In other cases, businesses use fax marketing to maintain and strengthen existing client relationships.
While fax marketing services were once a cutting-edge advertising strategy, they are quickly becoming obsolete as fax technology gives way to newer forms of digital communication.
E-mail marketing, for example, is picking up where fax marketing left off. E-mail marketing provides additional avenues for getting a business pitch in front of potential customers in better, faster, and less expensive ways.
Many recipients of fax marketing pitches regard such advertisements as an inconvenience, tossing them into the trash without a second thought or even a glance.
Users of fax marketing services must also be careful not to violate fax marketing laws, which are similar to anti-telemarketing “no-call” legislation in that they prohibit sending unsolicited fax advertisements to numbers registered with the Fax Preference Service.
Fax marketing, while an older strategy, is still in use and offers opportunities that other methods do not. It is still a viable method of advertising in some limited circumstances, both on a mass and targeted basis.
Benefits of fax marketing
- It is one of the most cost-effective methods.
- Fax marketing can also cover a broader range of topics.
- With direct and personalized contact, you can both maintain and establish a relationship with your clients.
- Because fax machines are simple to use and do not require any additional training, this strategy is more user-friendly.
- It is the most efficient method of marketing.
- Fax marketing campaigns have a higher chance of being seen. When compared to others, like inbound email marketing.
- Bulk broadcasting allows you to reach a large number of local, national, or international clients.
Fax marketing laws
It is critical to become acquainted with fax marketing laws, which strictly govern the world of fax broadcasting. Despite their strictness, these laws benefit both parties of the transmission because customers will not feel spammed and you will be able to continue promoting your business via fax.
The field of fax broadcasting is governed by two laws namely: The telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 (JFPA).
If you want to use fax marketing for your business, you must first learn about the laws that govern this practice. These laws have grown in recent years in response to public outrage over telemarketing in general, as well as the expansion of privacy and solicitation laws and advertising regulations. Noncompliance with these laws may result in penalties from law enforcement, as well as offending potential customers.
Onslaughts of fax marketing campaigns have been compared to e-mail SPAM barrages. They clog communication systems, making it difficult for their owners to use the system as intended. It’s easy to see how this could incite public resentment.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act contains numerous restrictions at the federal level. In general, businesses are not permitted to use fax machines to advertise their products or services under the law. However, there is an exception to this prohibition in cases where there is a prior or existing relationship. Such a relationship, also known as an “existing business relationship” or “EBR,” isn’t limited to money-changing hands. It could be an inquiry, an application, a purchase, or any other transaction or contact.
The Junk Fax Protection Act establishes guidelines for how businesses send even routine faxes to customers. Any message containing advertisements for goods or services is considered “junk” faxes. In addition to requiring an EBR, the law requires fax cover sheets to include an “opt-out” box where customers can terminate the EBR and thus be removed from the fax list.
These federal laws apply to both domestic and international faxes but are subject to state laws. Many states have laws that govern telemarketing and fax marketing. Many are based on federal law, but not all make the same allowance for existing relationships. Check your state laws before starting a fax marketing campaign to make sure you know where you stand.
Faxing the lawful way
Except for debt collection, business transactions, and certain requests for donations, all faxes are considered unsolicited unless they comply with regulations. Learning these rules requires extra effort from a company, but once they are understood, it is simple to carry out legal fax campaigns. There are two steps that are involved in launching a legal fax marketing campaign namely: obtaining fax numbers and the inclusion of an opt-out notice.
Obtaining fax numbers
Excluding those who became customers prior to July 9, 2005, when the JFPA went into effect, addressees should only receive fax ads if their fax numbers are obtained in one of the following ways:
- During the establishment of a business relationship, directly from them.
- Third-party recipients who have verifiably given their consent to handle their data publicity
- From the clients’ own publicly available directory, advertisement, or website, unless there is a clear notice prohibiting the sending of unsolicited faxes.
Aside from legally collecting fax numbers, businesses must also include an opt-out notice on any fax advertisements. This disclaimer must also adhere to the following rules in both the United States and Canada:
- It should be separated from the ad and appear at the top or bottom of the first page of the fax, alongside the date of sending the business’s name, and contact information.
- It should clearly inform the recipient of their right to unsubscribe and how to do so.
- It should include a local phone number, a separate fax number, and at least one free option, such as a toll-free number or an email address, among other things. Whatever method you use, all communication channels should be available to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It is important to note that businesses have a maximum of 30 days from the time a receiver unsubscribes to process the opt-out request and remove the fax number in question.
Penalties for breaking a fax marketing law
Granted, it takes time and effort to ensure that a fax campaign is carried out in accordance with the law, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when sending unsolicited faxes – even by accident – can have serious consequences.
Customers who continue to receive unwanted fax advertisements – whether they have already unsubscribed from a fax mailing list or were never on that list in the first place – have two options against a violating company. The first option is to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, which will then issue a cease and desist order to the business. The other option is to take the case to court, where if the company is found guilty, a fine of $500 per fax is imposed, an amount that is automatically tripled if the business violated the law on purpose.
Why fax marketing services?
Fax marketing may be old, but it is still effective when used correctly. Despite the fact that the Internet and e-mail have surpassed fax machines as the primary means of instant business communication, fax machines and fax marketing services remain popular due to their low-tech, “old school” ease of use.
There are several advantages to fax marketing, including cost, versatility, and personalization. Sending a single fax, for example, may be free or cost pennies (if it’s a local phone call), as opposed to 42 cents for a first-class stamp. Many long-distance fax calls can be completed for less than the cost of traditional direct mail.
Fax machines are also versatile, allowing you to send hard copies of existing materials such as brochures, advertisements, pamphlets, and other printed materials. Despite technological advances, many business people prefer this hard copy, tactile approach. Fax machines have been a common part of business for decades, and some people prefer to rely on an old friend over new technology. Fax machines have also evolved over time, with some now offering 200 dpi (dots per inch) resolution or higher.
With fax marketing, you can also convey a more personalized touch. Rather than receiving an e-mail with typed messages, fax can easily send a hand-written note to a client or potential customer, adding a personal touch to the message.
Besides these highly personalized approaches, fax marketing can cover a wide range of areas, as well. Fax marketing services can be useful if you don’t have time to send a large number of faxes. These companies have the machine and data-handling capabilities to handle large jobs, and hiring one can free you up to focus on other aspects of your business. Some companies will send faxes for as little as 20 cents each.
Fax marketing tips
- Create your fax message in such a way that it attracts customers and reinforces your company’s mission.
- To reaffirm your relationship with clients, use personalization and handwritten notes.
- In your fax message, always include a postscript (P.S.).
- A testimonial about your product or service is required for each fax promotion.
- Never send a fax that contains multiple pages.
- When designing the fax message, use the full page size.
- Send yourself a sample of the drafted fax before sending it to your customers.
- To keep your fax data accurate, perform Fax Appending and cleansing services on a regular basis.
- Allow your customers to choose the frequency of your faxes.
Does fax marketing work?
Yes, fax marketing is an efficient way to reach out to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people at once.
The attraction of fax marketing is that it lands directly in the lap of the intended target, removing the need for marketers to pay for ad placement in other media.
Fax marketing success rate
On a smaller scale, fax may be the most cost-effective direct marketing method. Direct fax advertising combines telemarketing and direct mail elements in “blasts” that deliver flyers directly to recipients’ fax machines. In terms of cost and effectiveness, direct fax is frequently compared to direct mail.
In order to determine the success rate of fax marketing, four factors need to be considered and they are mentioned below.
- Response rate
- Comparison to direct mail
- Return on investment
- Increasing effectiveness
The response rate of recipients to direct fax advertising is highly variable. The response is influenced by recipient targeting, the quality of the marketing piece, and the frequency with which ads are sent. Estimates from fax marketing companies range from 0.5 percent to more than 8% response.
Comparison to direct mail
Fax marketing is more effective than direct mail, according to a study published in “Quirk’s Research” Despite the fact that researchers sent surveys to libraries rather than advertisements to potential customers, they concluded that their findings are applicable to the majority of practical situations. Faxed surveys were returned more frequently than mailed surveys, and faxed surveys were returned more frequently than mailed surveys. In fact, even if they received their surveys by mail, respondents preferred to return them by fax.
Return on investment
The response rate provides only a partial picture of the effectiveness of direct fax advertisements. Truer metrics include conversion rate (the number of faxes that result in a sale), cost per customer acquired, and cost per unit sold. As a result, it’s critical to use a low-cost method of broadcasting your faxes. Due to the high failure rate of fax calls, a good fax list is essential. According to “Entrepreneur” and Capstone Communications Group, 20 to 30 percent of faxes do not go through.
The cost of broadcasting the faxes is also significant. Although faxing one flyer at a time is simple and inexpensive, if you’re broadcasting ads, high volume, and other special circumstances may necessitate an equipment upgrade or require you to outsource the work to a company that can broadcast thousands of faxes at once at a specific time you specify – for a fee. It is beneficial to shop around.
According to anecdotal evidence, customized faxing is more effective, whether the ads themselves are customized or they are broadcast with cover sheets addressed to specific customers. However, weigh the benefits against the fact that cover sheets raise your costs and double the cost to the recipients. Send faxes when someone will be close to the machine to receive them. Send faxes to consumers’ homes during normal business hours and to businesses during normal business hours. The design of the flyer, as well as the message it conveys, should adhere to standard advertising principles. Your flyers should make an irresistible offer and include a call to action that emphasizes urgency.
Broadcast faxing marketing
Broadcast faxing marketing refers to the ability to send a single fax to multiple recipients at the same time. Some fax machines allow you to scan a document once and send it to multiple recipients. Most people, however, refer to broadcast fax as third-party services that use fax server technology to send a single fax to hundreds or thousands of recipients at once.
Public relations professionals use broadcast fax to send time-sensitive story ideas to hundreds of targeted journalists and publications at the same time. Unfortunately, fax spammers use broadcast fax to flood thousands of fax machines with unsolicited “junk fax” advertisements, despite strict federal anti-spam laws.
The economics behind broadcast faxing marketing
This, like most business decisions, boils down to economics. The costs of purchasing and administering fax-server hardware and software must be weighed against the cost of a third-party fax broadcasting service.
High-end enterprise fax servers can cost up to $25,000 each. In-house fax servers may also necessitate the hiring of additional IT personnel or, at the very least, additional training for existing IT personnel.
Fax broadcasting services typically charge by the page, with discounts available for high-volume fax campaigns. A fax broadcast to a hundred recipients may cost $.09 per page, whereas a fax broadcast to thousands of recipients may cost as little as $.02 per page. Most services only charge clients for successful faxes, excluding any incorrect numbers, busy signals, or other broadcast errors.
The client manages fax campaigns via a Web interface when using fax broadcasting services. To create mailing lists for various fax campaigns, the client can upload Excel spreadsheets or.csv (comma-separated value) files here. All of these lists are saved by the broadcast fax service for future reference.
Clients then use the Web interface to upload the document(s) they want to fax, whether in Microsoft Word or Excel, as an image file, or as a PDF. Some broadcast fax services assist clients in designing a cover sheet that includes the company’s logo, letterhead, and personalized recipient information.
Broadcast fax services, like in-house fax servers, allow clients to schedule fax deliveries for a specific day and time, or for off-peak hours overnight. Broadcast fax services can also assign billing codes to fax jobs, track fax campaigns, and generate reports on how many faxes were delivered, which should be resent, and which should be removed from the list.
Some fax broadcast services also assist clients in complying with Federal and State anti-spam regulations by automatically removing recipients who have opted out of receiving additional faxes or are listed on “Do Not Send” databases.
Fax broadcasting software applications
One of the most frequent users of broadcast fax is the public relations industry. As previously stated, public relations professionals frequently send story ideas and press releases to dozens or hundreds of journalists and publications at the same time.
Popular broadcast fax services, such as PR Newswire, assist PR professionals in targeting their PR campaigns by allowing them to choose from hundreds of thousands of stored journalist contacts.
Another area of public relations that makes use of broadcast fax is crisis communications. In the event of an emergency or disaster, a company’s public relations department can use broadcast fax as one of several methods to reach employees and constituents.
There are dozens of companies that provide mass notification or emergency notification services, and they can instantly send thousands of messages across all available platforms, including e-mail, phone, SMS, and fax.
Broadcast fax is especially beneficial for any industry that heavily relies on fax technology for internal and external communications. For example, real estate is still a fax-heavy industry. Agents can fax listings to multiple clients at the same time. Large real-estate firms’ regional managers can fax reports to multiple property managers.Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Nansel Nanzip Bongdap
Nansel is a serial entrepreneur and financial expert with 7+ years as a business analyst. He has a liking for marketing which he regards as an important part of business success.
He lives in Plateau State, Nigeria with his wife, Joyce, and daughter, Anael.