While it is relatively easy to send a text or an email, there are times when you have to send a fax document. Locating the right fax service for your needs can often be a stressful time of searching. Trying to find the best possible options online to create and send a legible high-quality fax document can be exhausting. Some services charge a fee right upfront while other services offer valuable free trials where you can start sending faxes right away.
Thankfully, there are ways around all of the confusion. You can combine Gmail with a third party fax provider to send a fax right from your email account. And the best part is that you won't have to print out the fax document and dispatch it from an actual fax machine.
Google is a leader in search, free content management tools, and with the video platform YouTube. The giant also has millions of users who enjoy their popular free email service Gmail. Most everyone has a Gmail account, and many businesses rely on GSuite, which allows them to host their email addresses using their company domains.
Google also has other convenient business services from a free VoIP telephone number, Google Docs, and Google Drive. Google has you covered for many different tools from spreadsheets, calendars, file hosting, and cloud-based word processors.
Gmail is very popular, and it is easy to use, even for faxing documents. While Google does not talk about a specific online fax feature that integrates with Gmail, you can use it for online faxing.
To send a fax, you would merely use another online faxing tool and send the file as a fax document through your Gmail account. You can also send a fax with your phone the same way as sending an email. Gmail makes faxing easy to use, and it's often free.
First, there are some preliminary steps before you can start sending faxes with Gmail.
Choosing an Online Fax Service
While Gmail does not include an online fax feature, you can select another fax provider. Many services require a subscription, and there are services like Nextiva Fax, RingCentral, or a business VoIP service. You may even have access to a virtual fax service. Check out our guide for the best online fax services.
Many fax services also offer a free trial where you can send unlimited faxes. The free trials generally range from 15 to 30 days and may require that you sign up with a major credit card. Another option is to take advantage of a free online faxing service that can provide you with a certain number of free faxes every month.
One fax provider, HelloFax, allows you to use a Google Docs add-on with the Chrome web browser to send documents uploaded to Google Drive as a fax document.
Using Gmail to Send Faxes
Now to integrate Gmail with your preferred free faxing service. Start by composing an email as you usually would, and instead of entering an email address for the recipient, enter the fax number you are sending the fax to with the following extension "@your-fax-provider.com."
From here, attach your fax as a document to the email.
Here's how to send an online fax using Gmail:
If you don't have a Gmail account, you will want to sign up for email. Google may require a phone number to verify your account, but it is relatively simple to sign up and create an account. Then, to send an online fax using Gmail:
1. Draft the Email
The first step is to create a new email by logging into your Gmail account, compose a new email by clicking on Compose. A new message popup will appear.
When sending your fax, make sure that your content is in one of the following document formats: .doc, .jpg, .pdf, .txt, or any other format you can use to send your fax.
Click on the paperclip at the top of the email to add an attachment. You can also click the Google Drive icon to attach a document from your drive files.
2. Enter the Recipient's Contact Information
Enter the information for the recipient. In the "To" field, enter the actual fax number for the recipient. While Gmail will not recognize just a fax number in this field, you will want to add in the online faxing service you selected as well. The information in the recipient field should look similar to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depending on the fax service you choose, the domain after the @ will be different. You will want to pay close attention to any welcome emails to find out how to compose a fax with your email provider.
3. Create a Cover Letter
If you would like to add a cover letter to your fax, you can enter the text in the body of the email. The message will be sent along as a cover letter with your faxed document.
4. Make Sure Your Fax and Cover Letter Are Accurate and Send
Before you send your fax, you will want to proofread your document along with your cover letter and make sure that you have added the recipient information correctly to send the fax.
There are no direct faxing services that work automatically with Gmail; you can certainly use an online fax service with Gmail. The faxing process, as listed above, is generally straightforward to use.
The whole faxing process is just about as easy as sending an email. It's easy to understand the basic concepts, and the toughest part is deciding on a fax provider.
If you are looking for a relatively free faxing solution, try using fax services with free trials or free services with a limited number of faxes each month. If you have an existing business VoIP service that offers faxing, that is also an excellent way to get the job done.
It's simple to start integrating a fax service with Gmail, and it's faster than waiting in line to use an actual fax machine.
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