What's the best practice when sharing files by email? Should you attach your files or send a link to the file instead? Our answer is always the same and it goes something like this:

The problems with attachments

Attachments can raise flags

By both spam filters and recipients, attachments may be viewed suspiciously.

Attachments have file size limits

While we would still encourage keeping file sizes small, if you do need to send a larger file, attachments have file size limits. For files larger than 10MB  using a link should be a rule.

Attachments can use up a lot of storage

Sending out hundreds of emails with a large attachment can chew up a lot of space. For some email accounts, sent emails will bounce  if the storage is full preventing your message from getting through. Also, the storage used can be multiplied as it takes up space both on your mail server as well as your CRM.

You can't track who opens attachments

This is the deal breaker for us. By sending attachments you're unable to know whether your file was viewed. If you're using Bananatag to track whether you're emails have been opened, why not take it one step further down the engagement funnel and know whether the files you've shared were viewed as well? So how do you do that?

Link to files instead of attaching them

No spam filter, no file size limits, no storage issues and you can even know whether your file was viewed. Next time you're about to send out an attachment, don't. Send them a link to the file instead and even better track that link with Bananatag.

Knowing how engaged your contacts are with your content is incredibly useful so make sure you don't stop tracking after the open. This can be the most valuable and actionable information.

But what if your files aren't hosted online? How do you link to them?

Upload files to a cloud storage service

Don't have cloud storage? Check out services like drobpox.com, box.com and hightail.com.

In the past, the process of getting a link to a file online was much more difficult. Link enthusiasts would need to wait for their website administrator to post the file online before they could insert the link into their email and send.

Now it's much more simple:

  1. Save file  to your cloud storage.
  2. Then copy the share link to your email.
  3. Track the email with Bananatag.
  4. Get notified when you file was viewed.
  5. Celebrate!

One caveat: while we would argue that it is better to have all your files link to external sources, it's not always practical. Use attachments when necessary or convenient but remember if you want to know if the file has been viewed use a link.

That’s it! Hopefully this will help you next time you need to send an important file and make sure it was viewed.

Happy tag'ing!