December 8, 2022

eFax vs. Email - How does Efax Differ from a Regular Email?

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Why do companies still use Fax?

Traditional faxing has limitations, but online apps have made it easier and faster to send documents than ever before. Still, is there even a need for faxing today?

Yes! The truth is that 80% of small and medium businesses and 75% of the medical industry still use faxes.  [1]

  • Medical records are sensitive documents that must not be seen by anyone other than the intended recipient, and fax is a secure method of sending such sensitive data. Medical data software is often built in-house and cannot be shared unless a technology like fax is used [2]. 
  • A document with digital signatures is considered legally binding.  Security breaches are less common with a fax than other business communication, making it a reliable system for small and large companies. 
  • Finance companies use fax to send financial reports using digital signatures to finalise reports with their clients. 
  • Military organisations also still use the fax machine to transmit highly classified documents.

In addition, fax can provide a faster method of processing and delivering large volumes of documents. Certain fax machines have built-in features that allow large volume faxes to be sent to several people, making it easier to do business. 

The cost of having a physical fax machine has been the main reason for converting to digital fax messages. 

How does email fax work?

  1. A sender attaches a file such as MS Word or PDF to an e-mail message using an e-mail program or fax software.
  2. The recipient’s fax number is entered into the message field of the email. 
  3. The fax service will then translate the data sent to the recipient’s fax machine. Here it will be decoded and printed out as a fax.

The benefit of this is that businesses can send large files, text, graphics and signatures via email fax.

Secure business communication is key

Electronic faxing is a communication method that allows you to send and receive faxes through a software program and have the fax appear on your mobile device or computer. 

Many businesses have adapted to the digital era by updating from traditional fax machines to electronic faxes.  

Unsecured phone lines cause security issues, and when you use electronic fax you can avoid this problem. Security issues are resolved with end-to-end encryption capabilities.  

An online fax service works through an internet connection and often comes with an unlimited cloud storage option. It makes it easy to store documents and has high data security.

It is true that an email account offers similar features by providing a way to send email attachments and legally binding documents with a digital signature. But an eFax is the best option for sending sensitive documents.  

Source: Pexels

The biggest concern with email is that it can be easily hacked and malicious software used to disrupt sending documents. The ability to send documents through a secure and reliable system is critical in the business world.  

A physical or digital signature is binding in business, so the last thing you need is someone who has used malware to intervene and change your business documents.

Fax machines have won the battle where this is concerned in previous times, but electronic faxes are taking on the challenge of securing confidential attachments.

One huge benefit of email is sending documents to multiple recipients and some service providers offer unlimited storage options with their email plans. 

The big fax vs. email debate

Email is still hugely popular, but there may be better options for your business. Carefully considering these points will help you decide what’s best for you.

#1 Multiple subscription options 

With an electronic fax service, you sign up to use the service provider's platform.  The service provider will have multiple options that can suit even the most basic and small businesses.   This allows the company to manage the costs of the service. 

Subscriptions range from basic (based on the number of electronic faxes sent) to more advanced, with the option of unlimited cloud storage and document management.

Thatch provides a way for you to manage all your customer interactions in one place and they have pricing options that can be tailored to your needs.  

#2 Delivery reports

In terms of efficiency, the clear winner in the fax vs. email debate is faxing. Regular email services need more reliable reports to confirm if a message has been received. It's only apparent when a message bounces back, or delivery failure notices are received.

On the other hand, you can track online faxes via the delivery report. Aside from this, online fax services offer download transmission receipts.

#3 Quick process for hard copies

Electronic faxing software has built-in document signature options that qualify important documents as original hard copies.  This is a cost-effective way to send documents because it cuts the cost of physical delivery options.

#4 Less chance of messages being blocked (or rejected)

One fax feature is that it has fewer message blockers than email accounts. The fax machine has been a helpful device for many decades where this is concerned.  Online faxing offers the same benefits.

#5 Remote work is made easy

Online fax services are internet-based, and you can download software apps onto multiple devices, such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones.  The scanning function in these apps allows the user to scan documents using their camera.  This means that there are no geographical limitations to using this service which is a huge benefit for remote working. 

Is your internet connection only sometimes available as a remote worker?  Make life easier with Thatch’s offline digital mailbox for all your communications.

Source: Pexels

Last thoughts

Your business deserves to run efficiently and compete in a digitally advanced market. While the contrast between sending documents via email or efax may not be vast, they are important enough to take some time to consider.

The industry you are competing in will dictate whether you use electronic faxing or email as your primary communication method.  As mentioned, some industries can only function with some form of fax service.

Change is only as difficult as we make it and finding a service provider who can direct you through this process is key.

Be bold!  Make that change.


[1] https://www.goto.com/

[2] https://telnyx.com/

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