Approximately a decade after email lifted the burden of written communication from our everyday correspondence, email to fax service providers have lifted the burden of slow, incomplete and corrupted fax transmissions from our work and personal lives.
But internet faxing isn’t just about making faxing more reliable. It’s also about letting you take greater control over your faxing capability. When once faxing was limited to copy rooms and home fax machines, today it’s available to anyone with a cell phone, tablet or computer. Not only can you send and read faxes from wherever you access the internet, but you can store your faxes digitally online.
Internet faxing gives you the power to change the way you communicate. But there’s no expensive hardware to buy, and you don’t have to restrict your communication to a single device or method of delivery anymore. Your faxing capability is totally in your hands – figuratively and literally. And that’s exactly why internet faxing is so groundbreaking.
Here are four things to consider when choosing an online fax service for your home or business.
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The key to getting the most out of an online faxing service is knowing how many incoming and outgoing fax pages you typically send and receive per month. Rather than guessing, however, it’s highly recommended that you consult your fax log report for a historical breakdown of your fax usage.
It’s also recommended that you collect six months’ worth of data to get your monthly average. Be sure to calculate monthly averages for both your outgoing and incoming faxes, so that you have a true sense of your fax usage. Having a complete and accurate assessment of your monthly fax usage will let you set fax limits that are right for you. Fax limits can determine whether or not you’re hit with overage fees at the end of the month, so you want to be very clear about how many fax pages you intend to send and receive each month.
According to Business News Daily, base fees for online fax services typically range between $5 and $50 per month. Premium features, such as an international fax number or mobile alerts, may be an additional cost. Just make sure you’re aware of your fee schedule and monitor it for updates – this will help you avoid hidden fees or overage penalties at the end of your billing period. Bottom line? Choosing the right online fax service could reduce your fax bill by hundreds of dollars per year.
In order to make the most of your online fax account, you’ll want to maximize the extra features that are often included with many premium plans. Here are six popular features that prove online faxing is more than just sending documents online. Remember, not all internet fax services are created equal, so be sure to check whether these key options are available.
Online fax service providers that allow you to add an electronic signature to your documents from your cell phone or computer make editing and sharing information easier. Being able to quickly and efficiently add your signature to a document cuts out unnecessary steps, letting you improve your response time, close deals faster and submit applications without printing anything first.
Unlimited Online Fax Storage
In the past, if you got a fax, you printed it out and filed it away. This caused obvious problems, like having to rescan and resend faxed documents that needed to go out to other parties or back to the same party for correction. But online faxing changed all that.
Online faxing lets you store your faxes digitally, so they’re easier for you and your team to access in the future – without having to do any printing or scanning. Signing up for a plan that offers unlimited online fax storage will eliminate the time spent requesting or looking for needed faxes. Finally, convenience and organization have come together to let you take greater control over your faxes.
While not all internet fax service providers offer fax apps, you’d be wise to choose one that does. Here’s why: Fax apps let you attach and send faxes right from your phone, ensuring you’re able to send and read faxes faster and more efficiently. You can even do this on the go, rather than having to wait until you’re near an available computer or fax machine. Fax apps let you fax from anywhere, anytime.
International Fax Numbers
As businesses scale to a global level and our personal networks expand beyond the cities and states in which we live and work, online fax service providers have made it easy and more cost-effective to send and receive faxes from international numbers. If you will be sending and receiving faxes from foreign contacts, be sure to look for a plan that includes international fax numbers. Having an international fax number will allow you to establish a presence in the country where you’re doing business, and let you send faxes to any city, in any country around the world.
Large File Sharing
Large file sharing lets you send documents too big for email, including high-resolution images, spreadsheets and multimedia projects. Not having to modify your files from their original size or format makes connecting with your team simpler. Thus, you can spend more time finalizing deliverables and less time figuring out how to send them. An online fax service like eFax takes large file sharing even further, letting you send large files to multiple recipients at once.
Don’t forget to check how easily an online fax service will integrate with your existing communications infrastructure. For instance, are you able to get up and running quickly? Is the service intuitive, or is there a learning curve? Being able to send and receive faxes by email or online quickly and easily can save you a lot of time and allow you to be more productive.
4. Customer Support
When choosing an online fax service, you don’t want to overlook the importance of good customer service. Take a moment to find out whether the fax service provider offers 24/7 customer support. Is live chat support available, or just phone support? Are tech experts always on hand to resolve emergency technical issues? These are all questions you may want to ask before signing up.
As you make your final decision, take a moment to consider if there are any special needs or preferences that might negatively impact your satisfaction with your new online fax service. If, for example, you often need to sign things while on the go, and the online fax provider you’re looking at doesn’t have a fax app, then you may want to consider whether this will present a problem for you in the future.
In the end, an online fax service should meet all your needs. So, challenge yourself to look beyond cost to also consider the overarching benefits, and find the best internet fax plan for your workflow.