In the avalanche of emails, texts, videoconferences, phone calls and physical meetings that characterize modern marketing, it’s hard to see a place for fax marketing. Yet, fax marketing may be the most suitable marketing channel in certain contexts. The nature of a fax message means your offer can be placed directly in the hands of a prospect.
That being said, it’s the technique you deploy in your fax marketing that improves the chances of your success. Here are some valuable best practices that should inform your fax marketing campaign.
In many jurisdictions, it’s illegal for one to send an unsolicited fax to an organization or individual. To circumvent this, find ways of getting customers and prospects to opt in to fax promotions and updates. Opting in could be via your website, blog, email campaign or live chat.
The key here is that there should be a straightforward way for the organization or individual to opt out. That could also be through email, website form, traditional fax, Internet fax technology like eFax, or any other method of business communication available to them.
When you are planning your fax marketing campaign, think about how much time the recipient has to read the document. If you are sending it to an organization, chances are that there will be faxes received just before or after yours.
For this reason, cut to the chase and get your message out in the shortest time. This means dropping the cover sheet. The more pages your fax has, the lower the chances the customer or prospect will read it in its entirety. And if they are using a traditional fax machine, each print out means more paper and ink used by your reader. Make it concise.
One of the advantages fax has over email is that you can send your entire message in the form of a poster ad. Of course, you can send a poster as an email attachment, but the process of opening it makes it a little less immediate in its impact and less likely to be read. Make the most of the entire document page and design it in the way that grabs reader interest.
The content and structure of a newspaper’s front page is deliberate. In particular, stories that appear “above the fold” are the ones the newspaper wants to receive the greatest attention. They are meant to be viewable without the reader opening the paper. This tactic is useful for fax marketing as well.
The upper third of the fax is where the reader’s eye is naturally drawn to. The core of your marketing message should be captured in this section of the document. What you write here may be the only thing the customer reads. Make it count.
Images that appear rich, sharp and clean on your computer screen may not necessarily turn out that way when they arrive at the recipient’s fax machine. When you factor in the diversity of fax machines, you may have little control over how the fax will look on the other side.
What you can do to work around this is to keep the design simple. Any images you use should easily translate into black and white format without diluting the core message. Avoid complex graphics or images.
Before you send the message to your customers, test it first. Sending the document to a standard printer will not suffice. Printer quality is often better than that of a fax machine, so send it to an actual fax machine to get an idea of what it will look like when the customer receives it. That way, you can correct any mistakes before your customers see them.
Do It Right. Time It Right
These six best practices are crucial to fax marketing success. However, they won’t matter much if you don’t time your fax right. A fax received at midnight is less likely to be read than one transmitted during business hours.
Overall, fax marketing works but only if you do it right.