When my daughter recently complained about the insurmountable cost of news media advertising, we had a discussion about how she could sell her range of body products hand cream, lip balm, etc.. I explained to her that large companies like K Mart would not spend millions of dollars annually for advertising unless it was necessary. But every week comes a K Mart catalog in our mailbox. Every week, like watches, ads appear on TV for K Marts special offers ... there are always special offers.
We all on business, regardless of size, must have an effective and efficient advertising strategy. If you can afford all the bells and whistle tv commercials and run it in prime time like K Mart, then its fine. However, most of us can not afford that kind of advertising and have to find options that are cheap, yet bring home bacon.
A few years ago, e mail looked like a cure all for us without huge budgets. Unfortunately, spammers killed the golden goose It is now only effective to sell to those who have agreed to receive our messages. And even then there is no guarantee that the messages we send will not be deleted by overactive spam filters long before they reach their intended destination. Adding our misery is anti spam laws in the US, AUS and various other countries that make the task of legitimate marketers unnecessarily difficult in e mail marketing.
Fortunately, Spam Act 2003, at least in Australia, prohibits sending commercial faxes *. So suddenly, the fax has fallen back to advantage as it has several additional benefits
It is cheap. Not as cheap as e mail and a little advertising for advertising, but much cheaper than advertising in news media.
You can target specific markets
You can send as many pages as you like but do not annoy recipients
Its quick and easy
You do not need a fax machine
While it is true recipients can discard faxes, most arrive and at least have the chance to read
You do not have brochures left when a product or price changes
There are many service providers out there in cyberspace that provide a comprehensive fax service. I pay my supplier on the front page and can send a message to as many fax numbers as I want by clicking on a button ... Send When the shipment is complete, I get an email message telling me how many people succeeded and failed and the cost of the shipment. It hurts hell out of doing it manually. The last
The transfer that I submitted included 58 destinations that cost me 10.44 AU or 0.18 per A4 page. Of the 58 sent, all arrived.
Heres how to run my campaigns.
First, I decide for a strategy, for example, the first part of my current strategy is aimed at real estate agents across the Australian continent to which I sell a marketing package. Im looking for real estate companies using Googles search engine and almost every agency lists telephone and fax numbers. Im using a good little program called Web Data Extractor to extract the fax numbers from each of the addresses. It takes a few minutes to collect them and save them in a data file. When I import the data file into the list management part of my fax service provider, I am ready to send.
Automatically extracts fax numbers in Australia, as opposed to extracting URLs is not illegal.
After shipment, sales and queries will last for up to a week or so later. So far, sales have far exceeded the cost of faxing and I have just finished faxing to real estate agencies in an Australian state. There are still thousands more to go in the remaining five states and two territories.
My sales announcement consists of a regular A4 page that I created and saved as an Adobe PDF file.
It is worth noting that many target markets do not have their fax numbers displayed on the Internet. This is the case, do some research when designing your strategy to determine whether getting fax numbers will be problematic. If so, find another target market. Once you have found one by fax number, the rest is quite easy, provided that your products or services fit their needs.
Another benefit I receive from the fax provider I use is a free fax number where people can fax me and the fax comes as an email. This suits me perfectly because I only print the faxes that I need a hard copy. The rest I file in a relevant folder on my hard drive.
You should now consider some options for using fax fax in your company. If in doubt, spend some money to give faxing a test run. If it works as well for you as I do, youre sure to take it as a duck