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Korrespondenz auf Englisch - Das moderne Fax

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Fax auf Englisch, Faxe auf Englisch, Fax schreiben Englisch, Faxe schreiben Englisch, Bürokommunikation Englisch

Often thought of as a technology of the past, the fax remains vitally important to almost every type of business around the world. Although e-mail has started replacing the fax for business correspondence, a fax is still able to meet special requirements that e-mail is not yet capable of mastering.

For example, a fax is useful when someone has found an interesting article he'd like to send a customer right away with minimum effort. A brief note to the customer written on a copy of the page and a quick walk to the fax machine and mission accomplished. With e-mail, the sender would have to spend time cutting and pasting material or scanning a document.

Faxes are also helpful when a business would like to send quick messages to remote offices in parts of the world where an IT infrastructure is unusual. This could include offices in small villages in third world countries or the command centre of a large tanker crossing the ocean, for example.

And when customers and businesses need to quickly exchange copies of signed contracts, a fax is indispensable. Although the technology for doing this in e-mail is now there, it may require the use of an electronic signature that is not available. In addition, most companies aren't set up for it. Even more difficult, some countries don't recognise the validity of e-mail for signed business correspondence yet.

Because companies continue to rely on the fax for many activities, it's important that the faxes you send make a professional impression.

The cover sheet
The fax cover sheet identifies the sender and recipient, and serves as a way of separating multiple faxes that arrive on the same fax machine. If you need to send a fax to a business, hotel or other destination where you believe multiple faxes will arrive on the same machine, always use a cover sheet.

Cover sheet tips
Fax cover sheets must be easy to read so they can be quickly handled by the fax receiver. To ensure legibility and quick readability, avoid using font sizes smaller than 10. Image is also important. Most people expect a fax cover sheet to have a specific appearance (review a few you have received from other companies). Avoid making your fax cover sheet look like a business letter - the receiver may mistake it as part of the previously received fax.

Tips and tricks

Sending broadcast faxes

Broadcast faxes are used to inform large numbers of people about your offerings by fax. They are most often used to send quick updates to customers who may enjoy having something on paper to read. Many executives prefer to receive a daily stock advisor via fax, for example. This can be read on the train or in the cafeteria without requiring e-mail access.


Essential elements of fax cover sheet

At a minimum, a fax cover sheet should contain the following information:

  • Date


  • Sender's name


  • Sender's company


  • Sender's telephone number


  • Sender's fax number


  • Recipient's name


  • Recipient's company


  • Recipient's telephone number


  • Recipient's fax number


  • The words "Fax Cover Sheet" at the top of the page left, right or centre, highlighted to stand out and make it quickly clear that the page is serving as an "envelope" for the information pages that follow


  • Number of pages (including cover)


  • Message (used to provide a quick overview of the content, the purpose of the content, special handling instructions or a friendly comment). The message is usually found below all of the above information, near the centre of the page.
The following elements are generally part of the cover sheet layout:
  • Company logo


  • Company address


  • A short message stating This fax is proprietary information intended for the identified recipient only. Please forward it immediately. Should you have received this fax in error, please contact the sender. This statement is usually placed at the bottom of the sheet.
Broadcast faxes can also be used to cross-sell additional products and services to your existing customer base. Care must be used when broadcasting sales-oriented faxes, however. In some countries, like Germany, it is illegal to send someone a sales-oriented fax without first obtaining their permission.

Because of the number of faxes involved, broadcast faxes are generally best set up using software such as Microsoft Word (to design a cover sheet) and an address management application that provides mail-merge functions.

Reducing transmission time and cost
If you need to send out large numbers of faxes, it's important to optimise numerous other aspects of your materials to minimise fax (and thus telephone) costs and total fax time (if you want to fax 1000 pieces within a specific timeframe to save money, for example) or to minimise inconvenience on the recipient's end. Consider the following when designing faxes:
  • Keep the numbers of colours minimal if you're faxing colour pages, and only use colour if you know your recipients use it. If colour is unimportant, black and white faxes are faster and less expensive.


  • Reduce the size of or eliminate large areas that are coloured or shaded. These not only take more time to process on your end; they take more time to process on the recipient's end, use significantly more ink and make the received fax less legible.


  • Remove shaded or coloured backgrounds behind text, which, in most cases, will render the text unreadable on the recipient's side.
Maximising quality
Numerous issues can affect the quality of the fax that is actually received by the recipient. Insufficient attention to these issues can result in a fax that is impossible to read in part or in its entirety. For example:
  • Avoid using font sizes less than 10. If some of the material you are faxing is smaller, test it first by faxing it to your own fax machine. You can never be sure about how good or how bad the recipient's fax machine is. Some very large companies, for example, have very old fax machines that deliver poor results.


  • Be aware that many fax machines are not able to receive faxes longer than 10 pages and sometimes even become jammed when receiving long faxes.


  • Avoid material containing large amounts of single-spaced text, which can be especially hard to read if the recipient's fax machine adds a distorted stripe to each page as a side-effect of the process.


  • Be sure margins around the page are large enough so that content is not cut off. This is especially important when faxing A4-sized paper to a machine running with US Letter-sized paper and vice versa.


  • Be sure diagrams and images are dark and have high contrast

Being alert to security
One aspect of faxing that's essential to remember is that most corporate fax machines are located either in public areas or in an administrative area such as Reception. Once you've sent your fax, you have no control over who reads it. For this reason, personal, confidential or sensitive information should never be faxed.

Urgent faxes
Your recipient may be expecting your fax, but unless it's extremely urgent, he or she will not normally sit in a chair next to the fax machine waiting for it to arrive. After the fax is received on the destination machine, it may lay there for awhile, be placed on an assistant's desk for delivery or be placed unexpectedly in the recipient's internal mail slot. In some companies, your fax may even get routed through the company's internal mail process and take a long ride on a delivery cart before it reaches your recipient. For this reason, it's important to contact your recipient via phone or e-mail to confirm that the fax was sent and to determine if the fax has been received and that it is completely legible.


Useful phrases

I just sent an urgent fax for Mr Brown and I'd like to confirm that you have received it.

Can you confirm that it is legible and that all pages have been received?

Would you be able to deliver it to Mr Brown right away/ASAP/immediately?

I'm trying to send you a fax for Mr Brown, but

    ... our fax machines don't seem to connect properly.

    ... someone keeps answering the phone.

    ... the transmission consistently fails after N pages.

Could you confirm your fax number for me, please?

Maybe there's too much noise on the line.

Is there an alternate fax number I could use?


Using online fax services
The growth of online fax services has been strong in the last five years. For the cost of what a company might pay to replace the toner cartridges in one fax machine every month, online fax services enable entire groups of people to integrate incoming and outgoing fax functionality with their e-mail systems.

How it works
Sending a fax becomes easy. There's no longer a need to even get out of your chair. Simply collect the documents you want to fax, attach them to an email, put your fax cover sheet form or fax cover sheet information in the body of the e-mail, type in the recipient's fax number followed by the fax service's e-mail address and press send. Your materials are automatically transferred to the fax service, formatted into a standard fax message and sent to the fax at the destination number.

Receiving faxes is easy as well. If you've signed up to receive faxes, the fax service will provide you with a dedicated incoming fax number for you or your company. Any fax sent to that number will be converted into a PDF file, attached to an e-mail and sent to your e-mail box. Each person in your organisation can have a personalised fax number that links to his e-mail, or a common number can be used that sends all faxes to a central e-mail box. The "fax" e-mails can then be further distributed from there.

Many large companies who have fax-intensive processes have installed online fax services in their own computer centres. This provides the same functionality but avoids the need to contract with an external provider.

Benefits
Traditional fax technology is paper-based. This means that fax processes have the benefits of a paper process, but also the drawbacks. Online fax technology offers the benefits without the drawbacks:
  • The fax itself is stored in a TIF or PDF file having the quality of the original page scan; quality is not compromised by varying capabilities of fax machines and interference encountered on the telephone lines during transmission.


  • Faxes are represented as files that can be sent and received in e-mail and saved on local hard drives or network storage. The resulting freedom from paper allows users to send and receive faxes wherever they may be on any mobile device or computer.


  • Complying with regulations that require the archiving of all corporate correspondence becomes easy: faxes are simply archived with the email or with other saved files.


  • Signatures are legally valid because the entire process is still paper-based. Well, electronic-paper-based!

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Fax auf Englisch, Faxe auf Englisch, Fax schreiben Englisch, Faxe schreiben Englisch, Bürokommunikation Englisch

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