It’s tax time again, 2014 edition. Need to fax your tax paperwork to your accountant but want a scanned record of your documents? A good option is to fax your documents using your scanner or multi function printer and send them via internet fax. If you sign up for a 30 day trial you can fax them today for free. In fact you can fax for the next 30 days for free.
You can cancel after that but I think once you try this you’ll never use a fax machine of the fax function on your multi-function again. Check out any of the offers on this site for a free trial and good luck with those taxes.
If you have an Internet fax provider, then you likely send or receive a lot of faxes. Given that most fax services offer an unlimited storage of faxes for an unlimited time, you will end up collecting a lot of faxes over time.
How do I find the Fax I Want?
There are two ways to store your faxes. You can store them online as mentioned above, or you can store them in your email. Since your faxes are coming in to your email you can tag them or put them in specific folders in your email. Easy enough.
Storing and Sorting Faxes Online
If you store all your faxes online for free with your service, you can also search for them there. The only thing you need to do is TAG your faxes so you can find them later. Without tagging you’ll be limited to searching for faxes by date or phone number.
What Types of Tags Should I Use?
Tagging simply means assigning a label to a fax so you can identify it later in a way that makes sense to you. Some examples of tags for received faxes are as follows:
Category like Invoice, price sheet, PO, shipping report or other
This is only limited by what solves your need. Think through your tagging scheme up front and you’ll have an easier time finding your faxes later.
Your vendors and customers could be receiving hundreds of faxes a day. With personalized cover sheets you can be sure that your fax messages stand out. Getting attention on the receiving end could mean more sales, mind share or even getting paid faster.
By adding your logo, company moto and other timely information to your cover sheets, you can maximize the exposure of your brand and your current marketing message. Make sure your logo is of appropriate size and is preferably a black and white version.
Increase Sales with Customized Offers
Increase sales by using your cover sheet to draw attention to special offers by adding a promotional section about a new or existing producst. We recommend you keep this to a quarter of the page or less so it is not viewed as the main focus of the fax.
If you’re sending Invoices
Squeaky wheels get the oil. Use your custom cover sheet to grab the attention of your customers. With a distinctive look and message, your faxed invoices will be quickly noticed and quickly paid.
Most Internet Fax companies provide the ability to have multiple cover pages, allowing you to customize your cover page to meet the needs of the message. Spending a few minutes learning how to customize and save a custom cover page can be worth your while in increased exposure and even increased income.
Quick Response (QR) codes were invented in Japan in 1994. According to Wikipedia, a QR code is “a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or event text.” Other types of codes have subsequently come out that use color or slightly different methods, but QR codes are the most common and are widely used.
What do I need to read QR Codes?
Anyone with a smart phone can use a QR code. Because of the growing popularity of smart phones, with 27%+ market penetration, the number of individuals who have mobile access to information behind a QR code is expanding quickly. If you consider business users with Blackberry’s, iPhones and Droids, the percentage with smartphones skyrockets.
How are QR Codes Used?
QR codes are placed on products, displays, documents & almost anywhere you can print them
Anyone with a smartphone can download a free app that reads the QR Code
The app takes a picture of the code and translates it, usually into a URL, to which the user is then redirected.
What Can I Do With QR Codes
Most commonly QR codes are used to send people to a web site address. But you can also send text, Following the capacity limits shown below.
Note: Although you can send a large amount of text, the resulting QR code will be rather large.
Uses of QR Codes on a Fax
Using QR codes on your faxes can help boost your business. As business people and consumers use their smartphones more and more, this can help you connect with additional information without them having to type in a URL. Google even includes QR code image searches in its mobile app on android and iPhone mobile phones
Here are some other benefits:
Directing fax recipients to new product pages on your web site.
Notifying customers of new blog posts.
Explanations of charges, offers, terms or technologies.
In a recent post I talked about the Junk Fax law of 2005 and how it affects your faxing strategy. Today I’d like to take a look at strategies you can implement to increase business through your current customer base, using fax.
Using Fax to Market Your Products & Services
Regardless what type of message you’re faxing, you should use every touch point you can to develop and grow your relationship with your customer base. In today’s oversaturated communications environment folks are getting hit from every angle, this includes your fax, email, and SMS messages. Faxes are unique in that most recipients personally handle them. Don’t miss the opportunity to also communicate your latest offers, new products and services. Here are some tips and creative ways of messaging your customers on your faxes:
Include brief messages with special URL’s to a landing page, dedicated to your goal.
Use QR Codes, which are free to create, and let your customers use their mobile phones to visit information on your site.
Make the offer section stand out by putting it in a border or in bold lettering. Consider putting a small graphic next to the text.
Include your Facebook, Twitter, Blog or other business links.
It’s a hyper-competitive world and every time you reach out to your customers you need to be educating, informing and selling. Faxes are no exception.
No business wants to be considered Fax SPAMer, especially since it has been illegal since 2005. The Junk Fax Prevention Act passed by Congress in 2005, and signed by President Bush in July, 2005, is relatively easy to follow if you understand the rules. The main rule is that you must have an ongoing relationship with the person or business you are faxing too.
Know Who You Are Faxing To – You must have an ERB (Established Business Relationship) with companies you fax to. This means that you:
Obtained the number directly from the recipient, not through a third party.
If you got the number before 2005 you do not need to prove how you acquired the number. But it is still a good idea to confirm their willingness to receive messages from you.
Inform the recipient that you will be sending them offers or advertisements.
Easy Way to Opt Out is Required – On the first page of your fax you must give a clear, conspicuous way to opt-out. On the first page you must:
Let the recipient know that they may request you no longer send them this type of fax message in the future.
Include a phone number, email, web site address, fax number or other no-cost method o f communicating their desire to no longer receive messages. There must be multiple ways to communicate their desire to be left off your list
The opt-out method must be available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
You must honor an opt-out request within 30 days or face a possible penalty
How to file a Complaint
Companies and consumers can register complaints with the FCC by filling out an online form. When a company violates the rules then the FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines.
MetroFax, one of our favorite Internet Fax services just announced its new service packages.
MetroFax now offers a Free 30 day trial! Finally in line with their competitors.
They added an introductory plan and a professional plan. The profession plan at $35.95 a month includes 2,500 pages in or out which is an exceptional value. In addition to the pro plan they now have a new entry level package that offers 500 fax pages a month for a really low $79.50 when purchased annually. Ten dollars more if you add a toll Free number.
The 2014 tax season is in a full court press and you’re likely scrambling to get and receive last minute faxes from your accountants. There is no easier way to fax your scanned documents to your accountant then to use an email fax service. It is as simpe as 1 2 3:
Scan the document using Microsoft’s Fax and Scan app (pass the ball down the side)
Save it as a TIFF or JPG file (dribble to the 3 point line)
Attach it to an email you then send to your Internet fax service and your done. (pass it under the boards to the big guy! SCORE)
A few minutes later you’ll receive an email confirming your fax delivery. You’ll even have a record of it in the back end fax management system. Which fax service is right for you? Check out our reviews on the right hand column.