Is It Time To Put Fax Marketing Out To Pasture?

The term “home invasion” may have taken on an entirely new meaning.

As a small business owner, how do you feel when you receive a solicitation fax at home at 3:00 a.m.?

“It’s okay, guys. It’s just the fax machine. There’s no need for alarm. Just go back to bed. No, honestly, no one died.”

If you work in a remote location, you may arrive at the office the next morning only to find that your fax machine has been busier than you’ve been all evening.

How fair is that?

I have a friend who has a well-paying job at a medium-sized company. He manages and supervises a sizeable staff. He also has the misfortune to be seated closest to the fax machine. His unofficial role is to “sort the wheat from the chaff” in terms of faxes. For every 50 pages he throws into the garbage, perhaps one or two pages are of real value to his company.

I’ve never told him this, but I suspect the latter is the real reason his company pays him such big bucks.

As a small business owner, my resources for office items like paper and ink are closely budgeted. Imagine my glee when I receive numerous faxes from companies advertising their discounts on paper and ink. Could they be creating their own demand so they can provide the supply?

I recently performed an informal survey amongst my fellow small business owners as to how they felt about fax marketing. A common response was that fax marketing was so ’90s. I have to agree. It’s a “home invasion” that we can’t control.

Unlike emails and flyers that can be deleted or thrown in the garbage, marketing faxes use up the recipient’s material resources. It’s a form of marketing that takes a chunk out of one’s prospects right up front, before they’ve even decided whether or not they want to become a customer.

From what I’ve seen, most fax target marketing campaigns aren’t quite that on target. My office is in a building I don’t own. Why do I continually receive faxes offering me paving services?

I have to admit, the latest fax I received did tempt me to contact the sender. It was from a lawyer asking if I wanted to sue someone. I wonder how he’d feel if he knew that “someone” was him?

I do have one positive thing to say about marketing faxes.

They make great paper airplanes.