Fax Marketing

One of the other threads mentioned faxing businesses. How many of you are doing this, and how?? I know some people get touchy about receiving unsolicited faxes and I don’t want to alienate any potential customers. Thanks!


I’m going to share an idea with you (and whoever else is reading) that will make you a little money. First, let me tell you a little story:

I was actually looking in this website under “Best Pizza Ideas” for, of course, some new inventive ideas of raising my dayshift sales. Actually, that was the reason I actually became a member of this forum: My dayshift sales were lacking and I thought I could find some miracle cure. One thing I ran across was a company based on the east coast that did faxing. I actually called them to hire their services. The guy was really cool and was a fast talker, like me (I really dig that, LOL). However, he told me that his company was probably not right for me because when he faxed, he did it on a daily basis and since all I have is pizza to offer (I don’t do subs), potential customers would probably get tired of what I was faxing and thought it would do more harm than good. I didn’t have a problem with it and was actually happy he was upfront and honest with me. However, I still thought it was a great idea, and still wanted to find a way to used this medium.

Now, for the “make you a little money” part:

I decided to do it myself. I figured, “Hell, I use my computer all the time. Why not put it to work for me”, so I designed my own flyer on microsoft word. On my flyer, I’ve got some pretty cool stuff on there like “top videos of the week, weekly weather, famous birthdays”, etc. Also on my flyer I have an advertisement for my pizza store at the bottom with a weekly special. Then I thought to myself, “J_r0kk, you know you’ve got a little extra room. Why don’t you get other people to advertise on here as well?” So that’s what I did.

Now, I’ve got a flyer with my ad, a video store ad, a travel agent, McDonalds, and an insurance agency. I sell small advertising spots for $25/week, medium for $50/week, and the bottom is mine, but would probably be worth $100/week. This little venture generates $125/week in pure profit and my computer does all the work for me.

How do you get the fax list? Chamber of Commerce. They usually have a phone directory of all the businesses that are members. In this directory, the also have fax numbers. Another good way to get fax numbers is to do some sort of pizza giveaway where customers drop their business cards into a fishbowl. I haven’t been doing it long (only 3 weeks now), but I’ve already got a list stored on my computer of over 230 businesses. I use my computers fax capability and set it to fax once per week at a certain designated time.

This thing is actually starting to go so well, I’m thinking about offering the same services to other businesses in neighboring towns. The hardest part is actually getting the numbers entered into the computer. Once that’s done, it’s gravy.

So there ya go bud. One of my little secrets. The cool part about this whole thing is I won’t even charge you for the idea. It’s free. Just don’t try to get in on my turf and we’re cool. LOL. -J_r0kk

P.S. You put a disclaimer at the bottom of the page: “To be removed from our fax list simply send an e-mail to blahblahblah@yahoo.com with fax number to be removed”. That way you won’t alienate potential customers AND you make it look like this is a totally separate company than the one making pizzas. Make it look like your pizza place is just a client.

We fax our own menus. Right now we have about 350 numbers we try to get out at least once a month. We’ve had some success, but not as much as I had hoped.

We’ve been faxing for almost 4 months now and have only had one business ask us to stop. It’s like doorhanging, for every 500 you get out you’ll have 1 or 2 get upset about finding it on their door.

Is this going to be another fax thread where everyone ignores the legalities of this?

It is illegal to spam via fax without the express written permission of the person you are faxing to. Including a “disclaimer” doesn’t change this.

There are many cases where people have been fined up to $500 per page of spam. Just do a google search and you will see.

Besides that - why do you think that someone should foot the bill for you advertising? You want to make me pay for the ink and paper to print your ad that I never asked you to send me in the first place? This is not the same as door hanging.

I hate fax spam. I hate getting it at my pizza shop. I sure wouldn’t want to send it to anyone else.

Anyway, if everyone likes it so much it won’t take long for you to contact each potential reciepient and get their written permission to fax them, would it? Surely everyone can’t wait to give you permission to spam them on their fax machine.

If you are going to do it, do it right.

This is my favorite part. Shall I translate?

"This will piss people off. So, pretend it is really not you sending the fax, pretend you are another company and that you are just a client of the company sending the spam. "

Great. If this is such a great technique, why hide?

I don’t like getting fax spams and I don’t like finding anything hanging on my door when I get home. But this isn’t about what I like or dislike personally. It’s all about driving sales. If it helps, I’m willing to do it. We have people call us and ask to be taken off the fax list. We have people that call to have us stop doorhanging their door. Once they ask we stop.

But until then it’s bombs away with everything we have.

Thanks for the idea j_r0kk. I hereby agree to the terms of non-invadel of said territory. Unless we decide to expand our area by 1000 miles.

Sorry, that last one was me. ^^

Is this going to be another fax thread where everyone ignores the legalities of this?


Our favorite guest has nothing good to say at all. I thank you for your advice. I’ll go over it carefully and make a decision on whether I should take this advice into consideration or just write you off as a know-it-all who never really has anything constructive to say, and has a bad case of “corncobupthebutt syndrome”, which can be very damaging to your mental health.

While it is true that you seem very knowledgeable about the business, it is also true that you seem very bitter about the posts in here and try to demean their efforts because you have some kind of superiority complex.

I am sorry you are so bitter. Maybe, if you would actually try to say something positive and constructive to help others, instead of honoring us with your unmeasurable intellect and experience, we would not be so bitter towards you.

Also, since you obviously enjoy spreading your vast knowledge with us “pee-ons” in this wonderful forum, it would probably be beneficial for all of us to put a name with these wonderful posts from you, so please register.

Thank you for responding to my post. -J_r0kk


What is your problem? Why respond to a post if you if you dislike a marketing idea so much?
As far as getting a spam fax, OF course everyone hates those. However, I doubt that any business owner will WASTE his/her time (ie money) to file a complaint that will result in a fine to the faxer. With the disclaimer, it is a way to say “hey I’d like to offer you this flyer, but if for any reason your not interested please let us know, we will then promptly remove your fax number.” I see no problem in this marketing idea.
Furthermore, I too use this fax marketing. My response has been good! In the past 3 months, I’ve landed 4 offices that now order on regular basis each time the order exceeds $150, not to mention those offices employ about 350 people who ALL now know where we are and what we are all about!

Happy hunting!


Remember, behind anger is hurt…

We are all here for you. Just start a thread called ‘Why I hate my life’ and we’ll listen and then give you a big group hug.

Life’s too short bro, lighten up and be positive. You’ll enjoy the trip alot more.

Well, I didn’t intend for my comments to come off as a personal attack. I apologize if they did.

My comments were intended to be an attack on the idea of fax spam. There really isn’t anything more I can say. I rank it right up there with email spam. For those of you who think that someone won’t take the time to file a case against you, I wouldn’t be so sure. It’s easy to do in small claims, and at $500+ per page it adds up quickly. There are a number of fast-food type places that have been sued over this.

But seriously - let me ask those of you that do fax this question - why won’t you be proactive (and legal) and ask for written permission BEFORE you start to fax your potential customers? This way you can be sure you wont make anyone mad - because you will only be faxing people who said yes.

I’m sorry but I fail to comprehend the seriousness of sending illegal faxes.
To me, it ranks up there with “needing expressed written consent from the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers” before I record and rebroadcast a game.

I’ve been faxing businesses for almost 10 years now and have had about 10 people/businesses in that time ask to stop receiving them. In each instance we took their number off our list and nobody got sued or suffered any injury.

This isn’t about seriousness, etc. It’s about diong the right thing.

Funny, you won’t answer my question about why you won’t go ahead and get permission from all these people before sending them.

Just because people don’t call and request to be removed doesn’t mean they like getting them.

In a previous post, you said “But this isn’t about what I like or dislike personally. It’s all about driving sales. If it helps, I’m willing to do it.”

I guess that ends this debate here for me, because you’ve made it clear that you’ll do anything to make a sale.

I’m with “guest” on this one. It IS illegal. From what I’ve read, it’s a slam dunk in court. I’ve threatened a few businesses with this myself, but fortunately, I don’t have that kind of spare time.

There’s a guy in California that has racked up several hundred lawsuits against small businesses for not being properly handicapped-accessible, just to make money.

Just as the world has no shortage of Monday morning quarterbacks, there is no shortage of “armchair lawyers”. There are actually companies out there that will buy your junk faxes to persue the $500 (up to $1500) fine.

I can’t see a small business owner wanting to take on this possible nightmare. Sure, it SEEMS like “easy money”, but there’s a big downside to this.

Imagine that you have a competitor that has it in for you. Part of their “ad” that they deliver legally is “free pizza for every unsolicited fax from Mike’s Pizza”. He gets a stack of these things and goes to court. Again, it’s not $500 per “instance” of sending 500, but $500 EACH fax (perhaps EACH PAGE). Is it worth a couple thousand bucks for a good lawyer (to make sure you get documentation on each fax being unsolicited) to hit your competitor with $20k in fines (or more)? Congratulations on the closing of your new business.

As the guy that started this thread, let me personally apologize to all of you and say…

“I’m sorry I asked!”

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Dude, it sure beats discussing liking music by Paris Hilton and Justin Timberlake :). That’s what this is all about… business and the pitfalls. There are two very different camps on this. It’s like speeding, everyone admits its illegal and as long as we know the potential consequences if caught, it’s our perogative to take the risk if we so choose. This is absolutely the same. Us naysayers just want to make sure you know what the risks are. Ever since Al Gore invented the internet, them Congressfolk have been learning all about these new-fangled electronics and making up all sorts of neat laws for us.

Just be glad you don’t have to deal with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance :).

RE: unsolicited faxes

Don’t do it. If you fax companies, make sure you maintain a file that has expressed, signed content to fax to them.

This Hooter’s franchise owner lost his business… bankrupt, gone, finished, over… because he participated in a fax campaign. It’s ridiculous, but it’s nothing to mess around with.


After 5-year battle, Hooters hit with a minimum $3.9 Million verdict for junk fax campaign to 1,321 Georgia businesses - now faces hearing for triple damages.
March 21, 2001 - In a potentially precedent-setting case, a jury determined that Hooters of Augusta Inc. willfully violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unsolicited advertising faxes.
Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc., the local restaurant’s parent company, might have to pay anywhere from an estimated $4 million to $12 million, depending on how Richmond County Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. assesses punitive damages.

The class-action lawsuit was brought in June 1995 by Sam Nicholson, and included 1,320 others who were also the target of the junk fax campaign by Bambi Clark d/b/a Value Fax. Value Fax was a faxed advertising flyer that Hooters advertised in along with other businesses.

if everyone is done arguing about faxing, may i suggest renting space to other businesses on your box toppers and mailers. if nothing else it can pay for itself. another thing i’ve seen done is placemats that you can rent space to other businesses. it doesn’t need to be more than a piece of paper. of course it won’t boost your sales any extra but it makes you look like a part of the community.