How to Send Email to Fax
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Your phone doesn't come with a fax app. To fax from a computer, you'll often need a modem adaptor—and a landline phone, something increasingly rare in today's homes and offices. Yet fax isn't dead. When you need to get tax documents to an accountant, send signed closing documents for a mortgage, or submit a purchase order to a factory, there's a high chance you'll still need to send a fax.
You need a simpler way to send a fax, with one of the apps you use most: Email. Here's how to fax anything you need, via email.
What You Need:
- A Zapier Account
- An Email App
- A document or plain text to fax
- A number to send the fax
- A Phaxio Account
What we'll do is use app automation platform Zapier to make a custom email address to send your draft fax, and fax sending app Phaxio to send the fax to your recipient's fax number. You can start with a free Zapier account—and Phaxio costs 7¢ per page to US fax numbers and 10¢ per page to fax numbers anywhere else.
Here's a pre-made Zap to help you set this up in a few clicks:
Send a fax via email with Phaxio
1. Make a New Fax Email Address
You'll start by using the Email by Zapier app to make a new email address. Click the Use this Zap button to get started with this pre-made Zap—or if you already have a Zapier account, click the Make a Zap button in the top of Zapier's site, then select the Email by Zapier app.
When prompted, enter the first part of the email address you'd like—Zapier will then add random characters and the domain to your address, for something like firstname.lastname@example.org. Copy that email address, add it to your address book, and in the future whenever you need to send a fax, you'll send a message to this address.
You need to test the address first, so open your email app and send a new message to this email address. Put your new email address in the To field, a fax number in the Subject field, the text you want to fax in the email body, and the file you wish to fax as the attachment. You can use a fake phone number—or your mobile number—in this testing email to test the workflow and not actually fax the document to anyone.
2. Add Your Phaxio Account to Zapier
Now it's time to set up your fax app. Open Phaxio and create an account if you don't have one already. Then go back to your Zap, continue to the Phaxio step, and connect your account. To do that, copy your API key and secret from Phaxio's API page, then paste it into Zapier's account dialog.
→ Have a RingCentral phone number? You could instead email to fax with RingCentral to send faxes from your existing number and account.
3. Set up your Email to Fax
The last step's the easiest. If you use the Zap template on this page, Zapier will automatically fill in the fax number, file to fax, and the text for your cover letter. You can customize things if you want—type text manually in the String Data field to customize every fax cover letter you send, or click the + icon if you want to change the Zapier fields used.
Otherwise, test the Zap and it should work. Then turn it on, and you're ready to send fax via email whenever you need.
4. Send an Email to Fax Your Document
The next time you need to fax something, start with the document you need to fax. Perhaps its a form you need to fill out, a document you need to sign, or a paper document you want to send. Fill out the form, sign the document, and use a scanner app to save a digital copy of the paper document.
You also might need to write a cover letter to explain the document; type that up as well.
Now open your Email app, and start a new email addressed to your @zapiermail.com email address. Put your fax recipient's fax number in the Subject field. Paste your cover letter text in the email body, if you need one. Most importantly, add your file to fax as an attachment in your email. In iOS' Mail app, tap and hold anywhere in the email body to open the menu where you can add a photo or attachment to the email. Android's email app and the Gmail app both include a paperclip icon to add attachments—and many other mobile and desktop email apps include a similar button.
Send your email, and moments later your fax will be delivered, just as if you had a used a fax machine.
Do More With Email by Zapier
Want to do more from your email app? Learn more in our Email by Zapier guide.
Have another question about how to use apps? Ask the Zapier team!
Published September 21, 2018
Written by Zapier writer Matthew Guay