The Changing Face Of Fax Broadcasting
Fax broadcasting has been a valuable marketing tool for businesses for a number of years.
Broad distribution of faxes for promotional purposes, has been on occasion more effective than e-mail marketing because as it comes through the fax machine, the recipient has to look at it and it does not get routed to a junk folder.
In recent years, new Australian legislation came into effect which requires that the fax numbers used need to be washed against the Do Not Call Register. This has actually had a positive effect because faxes are less often being sent to recipients who object to receiving faxes.
In addition to this, more and more companies are using a “fax-to-email” service where faxes sent to them are forwarded to them by e-mail. This has been enabling us to contact more people who would not ordinarily have set up a fax machine in their offices. This fax to email is more likely to be opened up because until the fax is viewed one cannot see who it is from or what it is about.
Keep in mind that the most effective faxes have a very strong “call to action” – a reason for the person to contact right away. Also one has to work on getting the fax copy right. It may take a few versions to get it working well.
Client List Building
A lot of businesses do not appreciate the value of their client lists. Building and maintaining a list of contacts is very important for any business which can be used in a numbers of ways.
It is a list of people who have already bought from you or have expressed an interest in your product or service. These could be called “hot prospects” and a lot of these contacts will purchase from you in the future but you have to let them know that you are at least still there.
In general advertising, a company is contacting new people that may or may not have an interest in your companies products or services. When using general advertising it is always a good idea to work out how much it costs you to generate a lead or hot prospect. If you do not do this already, you may be very surprised when you do.
It is important to keep a list of people who have contacted you in the past and it is generally a lot less expensive trying to attract the attention of new customers.
When you have a list, make sure you use it. It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day activities of your job and forget about this. Keep in mind that it often takes a number of e-mails or letters sent before you get a response from some people
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Make your advertsing count
It is important to make sure that any investment in advertising is worthwhile.
You need to have a “plan of attack” starting with what has worked in the past and then expanding your actions from there.
While managing your marketing and advertising, it is always important to keep an eye on the return on what you are spending – how much are you spending to get a new client or sale and keeping this at a viable level.
It often occurs that a business uses a form of advertising which generates a high level of return but because the result was not being monitored, the action is stopped.
Things that affect the result are varied but include:
- Is your target market too broad or too narrow?
You could be missing out on potential customers or putting too much emphasis into a single area.
- Is your message too weak to make an impact?
Your message may need to be improved.
- Volume of advertising – larger volume advertising can be less expensive per recipient improving you ROI.
- Frequency – you could contact your potential clients too little. It is a known fact that you often have to give the same message to your prospective customer a number of times before you get a good response to your advertising. You will have to work out what is the optimum number of repeat “touches” for your target market? Too much or too little can make the effort futile.
Concentrating on the ROI of every form of advertising can be overdone as well. I have often encountered businesses using a particular advertising medium and getting nothing, but having increased business from another sector entirely days or weeks later. It is sad that they did not realize that the advertising did work, just indirectly.
Number of Touches!
Even for those who spend a lot of time or effort in marketing either they forget this very important rule regarding marketing or are unaware of this point.
It often takes a number of times to get through to your prospects. You may need to contact your market repeatedly to get them thinking that they should contact you with an enquiry.
An example of this, is when I was still at school my father had a business providing educational services. To get more students he would advertise in his local paper. What he found was that he only got inquiries after the third consecutive day of advertising and none of the people, when asked, had noticed the earlier two advertisements.
Obviously the content of the promotion plays a role, but it’s the number of times a person sees the same promotion which has a very definite affect. This affect will vary depending on the medium used, your product or service and of course how it is communicated in your promotion (the copy).
Fax Broadcast Copy – One Glance Is All You have!
I have often heard that web marketers say that you only have four to seven seconds to get a visitor to stay on a web page. They don’t know how lucky they are. In fax broadcasting, you have less than a second.
You receive an ad via fax broadcast – how long does it take to decide whether you are going to read it or throw it away? I bet all it takes is a glance. This glance on average only takes about .25 of a second. If you have not attracted the recipient into reading the ad within this time, you have lost him and the work you put into the ad is lost.
Write your fax broadcast copy with the intention of grabbing attention within the first glance. There are other things that should be included but this is the first step.
Target the same area a number of times – it may take a number of times before the person actually reads the ad.
Once you have your foot in the door, you have to tell them what to do. There is no point in generating interest without giving the next step. This may be calling or going to a web page to order.
I have come across a business who had a phone number on the fax image while fax broadcasting but when the recipient called the number, it just rang out. What a waste!
Always keep in mind what you are trying to do with any copy you write. After all you want a return for your valuable time spent on the whole campaign. Why include anything in an ad that is not going to help that cause. Being too detailed will work against you. Why would anyone want to read a text book before buying something?
Keep the information on your copy Simple Stupid Smart! This works!!
The Key to Survival - Promotion
For Any Business to Survive, it has to be seen. Some businesses are in a ucky position to be seen by enough of its ideal potential customers just by being there to keep themselves busy but this is not very common. Even a shop along a busy walkway has to find some way to get people to come in.
Once you know what people are looking for in reference to what you offer, you have to know how to communicate this to them.
Promotion is communication and it has to get a response which makes it worth communicating in the first place.
First of all you have to keep in mind what you are promoting or selling. Make sure that you can supply what you are selling. Promising the world when you can’t come up with it once you have sold it will not only make you broke in the long term, it is also criminal.
If you are not the person in charge of coming up with the product or service you are marketing, you still have to be sure the product or service can be delivered once sold. This may seem common sense but you have to keep this in mind. Make sure that all promotion is truthful. There is nothing to be gained from giving false promises.
Any promotion (communication) has to have three components. You have to get the persons attention, once this has been done, you have to give him something that will appeal to or interest him, you then have to get your communication across to him. This sequence is important.
While you must be truthful, be careful not to undersell yourself. After all, you are trying to get the person getting your promotion to take some action. You still have to get them to do it.
Sales which are too forceful have given sales people around the world a bad name. This force only comes into play when the person using this force does not know how to sell. The fact remains however that you still have to compel the person. Being apologetic or indirect to avoid too much force will work against you.
To survive, you have to promote – you might as well optimise your return for time spent on it.
Do Not Call Register Being Expanded To Fax Broadcasting
Australia’s Do Not call Register is going to be expanded to include fax numbers. Currently the Do Not Call Register does not apply to businesses or Fax numbers.
The Australian Government is providing $4.7 AUD over the next four years to get this operational. Of this $3.5 will be contributed by telemarketing and fax marketing companies in the form of fees paid to the register.
The negative effect of this is that it is the small business that will be affected. The small cleaning company that relies on this type of advertising to bring in new business will have to pay more for the same service. The small businesses seldom have large cash flow or profits that they can dip into if needed.
Currently fax broadcasting is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other forms of direct response marketing while getting simillar, if not better results. It is ideal for businesses which do not have large marketing budgets like small business.
There are those who receive advertising faxes who are offended. The vast majority of fax broadcasting companies go to great efforts to remove these fax numbers from their lists. After all there is no point in advertising to those who will not respond anyway.
For more information, have a look at what the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy says.
Know Before You Go In Marketing & Advertising
What is the best way to know how an ad will be received? In fax broadcasting, like any advertising, it is possible to miss and get no response. You need to survey.
Would it not be better to know what people are looking for or to what they are likely to react to before you spend time on a marketing campaign? Knowing this is Possible.
There are companies which charge a lot of money for all kinds of information about potential or past companies. This information is quite easy to get if you know what you are doing.
There are two major areas that you look at to find this information. They are your existing clients or potential clients.
This is done by survey. You have to ask to find out.
If you have a number of services or products you sell, you can look at what has been popular in the past and push that. You can also ask clients what prompted them to contact you in the first place.
In contacting those who are not already clients you find out what they need or want. Not just the product or service they are after but what feature or characteristic do they want.
Once this information has been found, use it in your marketing.
Remember that you may have a number of markets that you have to cater for. If you were selling cars, a mother would have a completely different idea to a businessman as to what a good car is.
Bulk Fax – An Example To Promote a Website
Below is an extract from an e-mail regarding the sale of a web product – thought it may be of use.
I was asked to put down some ideas regarding the use of bulk faxing to promote your website. From what I understand, the product is a mini website that is somehow connected to your website with a content manager so a layman can put up and manage their site.
I have seen a very similar type of product where someone was selling domains with hosting that came with a content manager. This guy would send out about 100,000 faxes a day and have a call centre take the calls and do the closing. You may not want to do it on this scale to start off with but you may want to build up to it once success has been proven.
Things to remember about bulk fax marketing:
- The fax does not sell the product or service – It just generates leads. The sale is generated either by a person or a web page etc.
- Getting a Bulk fax to work efficiently takes testing. What image creates the best response? It would be a waste of time to send out a few faxes to see if it works and then give up if the first run did not get much of a result.
I suggest that you use bulk faxing to compliment your sales efforts by driving the leads onto those who are already selling your service. This way you can minimize the expense by not getting new people which have to be trained to handle the calls.
An idea would be to send out faxes daily for a week using one image and then evaluating the result at the end of that week to see what is needed for the following week. Faxing works best on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can make your message time sensitive ie: This month only, Call today, First 50 callers.