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Adding Attachments To Your Marketing Emails Is A Bad Idea... Your email could be mistaken for a virus.

Thinking of Adding an Email Attachment to Your Marketing Campaigns? Think Again.

If you’ve reading this article, you’re presumably looking for best practices for including attachments in your marketing emails. We get questions often enough from our clients about this. Businesses who send email as part of their marketing strategy often wonder, should I attach a file to my emails?

Common questions marketers ask about email attachments:

  • What should the attachment’s size be?
  • When is it OK to include an attachment?
  • What should your text say before you attach the file?

When it comes to attaching files to marketing emails, we recommend the following: Don’t Do It!

It’s common sense that a PDF attachment would on the surface appear to be the simplest way to send out additional information in your marketing emails to your target group. They’re simple to make, easy to attach, and easy to fill with additional content you feel can’t be squeezed into an email. However, did you realize that email attachments are the most common way for malware to spread? Attaching a file to your email marketing campaigns can often make your audience suspicious about opening your emails. Sure, your email attachments are harmless, but how do people know that?

5 Reasons Why Attaching a File to Your Marketing Email Should Be Avoided At All Costs

  1. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may flag your email marketing message as spam before your subscriber ever has a chance to even read it. Spammers are usually the ones who send out mass emails with attachments. Your message could easily get flagged as a security risk for attachment-based email filtering. Even if you get past their email server, spam filters in Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, and Yahoo! frown upon promotions with attachments and may entirely block your email altogether. This severely limits the effectiveness of your email campaign.
  2. Even if you get past an ISP, your subscriber would most likely consider it spam. Every time you send out a new email campaign, ask yourself one basic question: “Would I open this?” Asking that one common sense question will assist you in determining how your message will be received by your target audience. Consider how an attachment would appear to a new subscriber who is unfamiliar with your marketing emails. A subscriber might easily misinterpret your attachment as a virus from an unknown sender. Any hesitancy will almost undoubtedly cause a new subscriber to select the “spam” button and unsubscribe, never to get another email from you.
  3. Avoid sending emails that are too big. Attachments increase the file size of your message, which in turn increases the time it takes to send your emails, resulting in more resources required from the sending server. If using a cloud server, marketers will undoubtedly pay more to send emails with attachments. When an attachment makes your email too large, it might affect the performance of your campaigns and cause substantial delays in the delivery of your messages to recipients.
  4. Your subscribers’ email usability suffers as a result of this. Email attachments are not only risky for your campaign’s deliverability, but they’re also inconvenient for readers to download. Firewalls, attachment sizes, and mobile device download capability can all cause problems when downloading attachments. Even if you make it past the spam folder, readers may become frustrated with the download procedure, delete it, and move on.
  5. In the forwards, attachments get truncated, meaning a forward will strip out the attachment altogether. It’s common these days for people to wish for their campaign to go viral. Isn’t there always a chance? Wrong. While forwarding your emails to others may give your message the boost it needs to go viral, attachments are frequently left out of such forwards.

What alternatives are there to email attachments?

Now that we’ve convinced you NOT to send email attachments and the notion has been removed from your marketing plan, you’re undoubtedly wondering, “Should I be writing all of that extra content that I would have added as an attachment to the body of the email?” The answer is NO. Sending a novel instead of an email is also a bad call. While HTML emails are useful for things like newsletters and event invitations, you may still get your message across by sending a brief text email without the attachment. Rather than sending the file as an attachment, host it online on your website server and include a URL in your emails. When you link directly to a piece of material, you can accomplish a few things:

  • Improve the user experience;
  • Increase your email tracking ability
  • Raise the likelihood that people will actually open – and read – your marketing messages.

Hosting a PDF file online is easy on services like Issuu and immediately gives you rebrandable assets that you can embed in your website as a flip book, or send to a prospect as a stand alone link.

Our client uses a PDF hosting service called Issuu instead of including email attachments they send a link.

So, the next time you add an attachment, think carefully… or just leave it off! You can easily host the PDF on your own website or through a PDF hosting service. It’s a smarter solution rather than having to jump over hurdles to get your emails into inboxes with an attachment.

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Author: Pool Marketing
Pool Marketing Expert - Joe Trusty provides expert marketing advice to Pool Builders and Pool Service companies. Joe Trusty is a veteran marketing expert with over 20 years experience in Website Design & Development and SEO. He successfully managed Marketing & IT for one of the world's largest Pool Builders and increased their revenue annually by hundreds of millions of dollars. Joe Trusty is the foremost marketing expert in the Swimming Pool Industry and CEO of PoolMarketing.com

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