Internet Fax: How to Use It and Get the Most From It
Several decades after the Internet's creation, the world is as digitized as ever. From education to office work, everything is at least partially done online.
Considering all of this, it may come as a surprise that fax has maintained an important status in the corporate world as a communication method. This has happened for many reasons, starting from reliability and security. However, fax hasn't stayed entirely the same too. During the past years, many new solutions have been developed to make sending and receiving faxes more accessible, the most widely-used of which is the Internet fax.
To help you understand what Internet fax is, in this article, we are taking a deep look into what it is and how your company can take full advantage of its benefits.
What is Internet Fax?
Before taking a look at what Internet Fax is, let's do a small recap of traditional fax.
In the olden days, where the world wasn't so digital, fax machines were used to scan, transfer, and reproduce documents. Each fax machine had a telephone line, and by entering the number of the receiving fax machine, you could send letters, paper notes, or even signed documents. Because telephone lines were harder to hack than email, the fax was a preferred method, and the signed documents sent by fax were legally binding.
The key aim of the Internet fax is the same: send around important documentation safely and securely. However, it is done without the fax machine and using Internet protocols instead of standard telephone lines. It replaces one or both ends of the faxing process, allowing to send or receive documents both in digital and paper form.
Internet Fax: Key Benefits
Now, as you already know what Internet fax is, let’s take a look at how it can become an indispensable tool for your business, allowing it to become flexible and affordable.
Security - One of the key reasons many individuals and companies still keep fax as a communication method is safety. Internet fax has further improved fax security as a communications method, as faxes are now sent and received through individual accounts, not shared ones. Internet fax also offers greater security compared to email with additional layers of protection.
Flexibility - A very significant downside of traditional fax was that it constrained people: you had to be at the specific place and time to receive fax sent for you. Otherwise, anyone in the office could have seen and read it. The Internet fax allows the senders to reach out to the receiver straight at their inbox, without binding them to a fax machine.
Reduced costs - Purchasing and maintaining fax machines required considerable financial investments from the company, as well as it significantly increased telephone bills. The digital version of fax allows you to only pay for the subscription without having to invest in ink and paper. The receipt of payments can also be sent digitally for the purposes of saving paper and time as well, which will be beneficial both for the company and partners.
Increased productivity - Operating fax machines was a tedious task, requiring the physical presence and repeated action that could take noticeable amounts of time depending on how many people you had to send the message to. With these physical tasks out of the way, as well as an option of multiple emails under one subscription many providers offer, your company will start saving considerable amounts of time.
This is not the exhaustive list of benefits online faxing can have for your brand, but these are the most important ones you need to consider when thinking about incorporating Internet fax.
Different Ways to Use Internet Fax
To be able to use Internet fax as part of your business, you'll need to find a service provider and subscribe to their services. After that, you use several methods to send and receive faxes. Here are some of them:
Online Fax - For this, you only need a computer with an Internet connection, and your documents are scanned and ready to send the fax. There are also several websites that have the feature to send faxes to the numbers that you enter. If you have technical issues, some sites have website chatbots which support the primary questions and give a simple guide on how to send faxes.
Fax By Mobile Devices - Any mobile device can serve as a fax machine as long as it is connected to the Internet. Fax availability on mobile devices solves one of the key problems traditional fax machines pose: they bound you to one place. You can further simplify the faxing process by using the built-in camera to scan the physical documents.
Fax by Email - Additionally, depending on your fax service provider, you can use mailing servers to easily send out a fax to another inbox or to a fax machine, as well as receive your faxes to your email inbox. Sending fax via email comes in handy when, for example, you want to automate B2B lead generation by scraping Google then use that data to reach out to possible prospects.
How to Use Internet Fax?
Ready to start sending and receiving faxes online? To get access to a platform that you can use for your faxing purposes, here are the steps that you need to take.
Choose A Service Provider
The starting step of online faxing is getting access to platforms that enable you to send and receive faxes. As we’ve mentioned earlier in the article, for this, you should subscribe to a faxing service provider. The solutions different providers offer may vary, so take your time to find the one that matches your needs best. Fax can be a great addition to your sales enablement tools as part of business communications and professional partnerships.
After you’ve chosen the provider, opening your account and entering essential info (your name, contacts, and the company name) shouldn’t take longer than several minutes. Then, choose a subscription plan to move forward.
Activate Your Fax Number
Then, you’ll need to choose your fax number. If your company already has a fax number, you can go ahead and use it. If not, most online fax services can provide you with a toll-free fax number that you can use. This is the number others will use to send you faxes.
Start Sending And Receiving Fax
Once your account is set up, you can start sending and receiving faxes. This can be done in two ways:
1. From Dashboard
From the dashboard of your account, you can simply load the documents that you want to send, and add the fax number of the recipient. The service will then scan the attachment and transfer it. This will help greatly with your marketing, accounting, sales management strategies, and other daily business operations.
With the email-to-fax method, you fax how you'd send a regular email. However, instead of the email address of the recipient, you enter the fax phone number followed by @ and the name of the service provider. For CocoFax, for example, it's [email protected].
Sending faxes online is not nearly as hard as it may sound in the beginning, and you'll get a hold of it quickly.
Combining the main benefits of traditional fax and the digital world allowed Internet fax to see rapid growth in usage recently. The points discussed above should give you a good idea of what online fax is and its main benefits. Take your time to consider all the pros and cons of Internet faxing and what your company can gain from it.