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FaxFacts fax software

Fax Broadcast Guide

by Steve Hersee
Copia International, Ltd

Introduction

Copia is currently the largest provider of private and Commercial Broadcast Fax software. There are large service Bureau's that are larger, but they have internally-developed Software. Copia provides fax software solutions for customers needing 2 to 99999 phone lines.

This chapter will cover all of the design issues for selecting and running a fax broadcast system. After reading this chapter you will better understand the problems and how Copia has chosen to solve those challenges.

Why Fax Broadcasting?

When the Internet became the big new in 1995-96, people were saying that "fax is dead". The people that saw the power of the Internet were sure that the Internet would kill off all fax use. Well because of the success of "SPAM"(sending email to people you don't know and trying to sell them your stuff), fax is coming back with a 20% growth per year. Let me say why I think that the Internet has not been able to kill off faxing.

First, to paraphrase a line from SaraLee, "Nobody doesn't like fax". The people that use fax every day, like it. It is easy, quick and most people have a good experience with their first use of the fax machine. This is NOT the case with computers.

The second reason that the Internet has not "Killed" fax, is that email is too familiar and personal. When you receive email, you do not get a logo, or any graphical information. You do not mind getting email from your friends and co-workers, but most people are put off by email from strangers. When you get an email from a "stranger" and they are trying to sell you something, it is called SPAM. Even though you have not wasted paper to print the email, you may have to wait for the email to be downloaded and the you spend the time to read and then delete it. When you get a fax the amount of time that you use to decide that it is a "junk" fax is less than spent in trashing an unwanted email.

When you talk to sales and marketing people about using the Internet instead of fax, they are not happy with the email decision. With email you do not get any graphics. With fax you get a full 8 1/2 by 11 inch page of information. This is much like a full page ad in a magazine. Sales and marketing like the full page better than a screen's worth of plan text as delivered by email.

The best and final argument for fax vs. email is that it gets results. Copia once send a short, single email to a list that we got from a show. This single email broadcast brought us no leads, and a number of what I would call fragile people that were ready to go up to the top of a building with a rifle and start shooting people, because they got a single "unwanted" email. They also made statements that they would rather buy an inferior product than to do business with a company that uses SPAM.

Well as a person that wants to sell a product and have happy customers this kind of reaction to a marketing plan is not welcome. On the other hand we have people who have tried a fax broadcast tell us that the results were amazing. The responses were much better than they had expected. The number of "Sales", not just leads were well beyond their expectations.

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