Look around your office for a moment. Somewhere in there, you are going to find a clever little device that beeps and pings and creates paper output out of electrons. Yes, that’s the device, your Fax machine.
It’s perhaps the most under-used piece of office equipment, and it’s been in our offices for over 10 years!! What’s the problem? Well, as is the case with most of today’s technology, our imaginations have yet to catch up with the technology. While the Internet may have us dumbfounded, the fact is that lowly little fax machine sitting over in the corner of your office can be a gold mine, if you know how to really harness its awesome marketing power.
While many states now have specific laws against unsolicited faxing, and many more states seem ready to follow suit, the fax machine is still a very powerful marketing tool for most businesses. Let’s look at some of the ways in which you can take advantage of faxing to help grow your business, without violating any state or federal laws!
The first rule, play smart. Even though you may already feel certain that a particular client does not mind an occasional fax from you, always have a way for them to request that their name be removed from your list. I like to place a line or two of text at the bottom of every fax page I send to let the recipient know just what to do to get themselves off my list if they so choose. It’s best if you use a toll-free number or at least provide number where they can send a quick fax to request to be removed from your list.
The next thing to think about is who you are going to send your faxes to and why. You may decide to send a weekly or monthly fax to all your past customers to keep them up to date on the latest specials you are offering. Or maybe you would like to fax a single page newsletter to your customer list. By using your fax to keep in touch with your past clients, you keep your relationships alive and you have the rare opportunity to promote other products or services to your established customer base.
You might also use your fax to send a quick fax to a list of qualified prospects (people who have requested more information from your company in the past) to inform them of upcoming events such as sales, seminars, contests, giveaways, etc.
Your fax is the most cost-effective, and quickest way to communicate with your customers and prospects. When you compare the cost of the average fax to the price of postage, envelopes, paper, printing, and labor, there really is no comparison. In fact, faxing is so cost-effective that many companies today are renting fax lists of thousands of names and turning to faxing companies to send out their message to thousands of prospects.
The real power is that you know exactly when your message will be delivered and you know whether or not it was in fact delivered! With the mail, you have a window of between 5 to 7 days for first class mail, and up to 21 days for standard mail delivery. But one of the things I really like most about faxing is that more people read faxes than will ever read regular mail!
So let’s compare faxing to mailing a little closer. First, let’s say that we have a newsletter that we want to send to 1,000 of your customers. If we were to mail the newsletter, we’d have to pay for 1,000 printed copies of it. Then, we’d need to pay for 1,000 envelopes. Then we’d need somebody to fold the newsletter and insert it into the envelopes. Then we’d have to pay for postage. When it’s all done, it may be fair to say that the total cost may easily approach $1 per newsletter!! That’s about $1,000.00 of your money!
Let’s say that instead of mailing those 1,000 newsletters, we decided to hire a faxing company to fax the newsletter to our 1,000 customers instead. We’d still have to write it and make it look nice, so there’s no real savings at this point. But that’s where the similarities end. Once you deliver 1 copy of your newsletter to the faxing company, they will simply scan it into their system, merge it with your database of fax numbers and out it goes. You decide when you want it delivered and it will be delivered at precisely that time. If you wanted it delivered on a Tuesday morning, your fax company would send it through the night so that when your customers arrived at work Tuesday morning, your newsletter would be sitting on their desk ready to be read.
How much would each newsletter now cost you? Hold your hat!! How does about 20 cents sound to you? That’s about 80% LESS than it would cost you to mail that same newsletter and you get the added bonus of knowing exactly when it will arrive! Response is always higher with a fax than it ever is with direct mail because nobody is using faxing in this way!!
So what are you waiting for? Here is an excellent opportunity to dust off your fax machine, build a database of fax numbers, or rent a list of fax numbers from your list broker, and begin reaping the benefits of the massive marketing power of the fax machine today!
Here’s some information to help get you started. It’s easy to collect fax numbers from your existing clients. Simply contact them and tell them that you are updating your records. Verify their mailing address, telephone number and ask them for their fax number, if you don’t already have it. You may also want to ask them if they would mind receiving an occasional fax from you to inform them of special pricing. Very few will ever refuse an offer like that! Another idea is to run a contest and collect the names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of the people who stop into your business.
You may just raffle off a product or a dinner for two at a local restaurant, but the goal is to capture as many names and fax numbers as possible. If you can’t build a database yourself, you can always call your list broker and rent one. Prices vary, so I’d suggest shopping around before you make a decision to rent any list. After you have built your database or rented one, you are ready to create your fax and decide when it will be sent.
This is a great time to call your fax company and set things up with them so that they know to expect your job. Why use a fax company to handle this instead of doing it yourself? It’s simply more efficient and it makes no sense for you to tie up your fax and phone lines for this sort of thing. Fax companies are set up to handle thousands of faxes per day and can get all your faxes sent in hours when it might take you days if you tried to do it yourself. I like to use a company called Factxback. They are based on Long Island and can be reached at 516-427-3292 or on the Internet at www.factxback.com.
Last, but not least, make sure you get a full report from your fax company. You want to be sure your faxes were sent and your report will also tell you which faxes could not be sent because of wrong numbers, changed numbers, or because the receiving fax machine was simply out of paper! You will not only save money on your promotions using faxes, but you will increase response and ultimately grow your business! There is no better way to get your message out to your customers and prospects than faxing!
Mr. Imbriale is a nationally recognized Business Coach, Speaker, and Copywriter. Many companies have used his marketing techniques to dramatically expand their businesses without spending a fortune. If you would like a Free Business Check-Up for your business, a seminar schedule, or further information, contact Mr. Imbriale’s office toll-free at 1-888-226-8109 or via e-mail at probizcoachjuno.com