What Needs to Go in a Fax Header?

If I’m sending a fax without a cover letter, what has to be in the fax header?

First of all, I strongly advise you to always include a cover letter! Read on to find out why.

A fax header appears automatically at the top of every fax page that you send, and it typically includes the sender name, the sender number, the date and the time. This can differ quite a bit from the information included in the cover letter, because fax header information is programmed into the fax machine when the owner sets it up. So if you send a fax through a machine that belongs to someone else, the fax will probably have their name and number in the header instead of yours, which can be confusing to a recipient.

People use fax headers to maintain a paper trail and ensure accurate timing. When you set up your fax machine, make sure that the header says the name of the person or business that you prefer, the correct sender number and the proper date and time.

As I mentioned, though, a fax header does not replace a cover letter. A cover letter can warn the recipient that confidential material is about to be faxed. It can also provide multiple contacts and phone numbers, and the number of pages that will be faxed. If you have additional instructions or a message for the recipient, the cover letter is the place to put it. I have a number of light-hearted and professional cover letters at FreeFaxCoverSheets.net, if you need some ideas.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.