Monday December 21, 2015
AllProWebTools Email Marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for small business owners. It can do just about everything you’d expect from an email marketing platform (manage automated campaigns, schedule emails, segment your contacts, track engagement, etc) as well as some things you might not expect (tracking dollars earned in sales from each email).
But there’s one common email feature you won’t find in AllProWebTools Email Marketing: attachments.
If you’re wondering why you can’t attach PDFs or other documents to emails sent through AllProWebTools Email Marketing. The short answer is: Including attachments in marketing emails is not considered a best practice, and we’re devoted to helping entrepreneurs find best practices to grow their businesses.
There are a number of good reasons to ditch the attachments in your marketing emails. We’ll share them with you, and show you what to do instead!
Reasons to Ditch the Attachments
Spam Filters Know Spammers Use Attachments
If you send frequent emails with attachments to a large list of recipients, you might be a spammer. Or at least, that’s how spam filters are likely to view it.
Sending frequent attachments in your marketing emails can negatively impact your spam score. That means your emails are more likely to get sent straight to the spam can. You might even get blacklisted by a major provider, like Gmail. It’s not worth the risk, especially because there are other options available that are much more secure, but just as easy.
Your Recipients Know Attachments are Dangerous
You don’t have to be very tech savvy to know that opening attachments sent from sources you don’t trust is extremely risky. Most email inboxes actually warn you of this every single time you open an attachment.
For that reason, many people don’t open attachments at all, except from people they personally know! When you email out attachments, you likely lose a lot of people before they even get the chance to hear your message.
Attachments Aren’t User-Friendly
Even if your recipients trust you enough to open your attachments, it’s far from an ideal user experience for them. There are a lot of ways things could go wrong.
The download could be too slow, causing them to give up on your content. They might have a firewall that blocks attachments. If the attachment is large, forcing them to store it on their device is pretty inconsiderate. They might not even be able to open the attachment on their device.
Attachments Aren’t Editable
Suppose you’re using email marketing to promote an upcoming event. You send out an email with the details, but a few days later, the venue, and time of the event change!
If you sent out an attachment, you’ll have to send out another email (probably with another attachment) and hope that your recipients see the more recent one and download the new attachment.
But if your email instead linked to a piece of content that you host, you can just update it and let everyone know. No one will have access to the incorrect information anymore.
Attachments Are Unprofessional
Ultimately, sending attachments in marketing emails can damage your brand image. Most recipients know that attachments are unsafe, they could be irritated by the inconvenience, and you’re likely to be marked as a spammer.
"Ultimately, sending attachments in marketing emails can damage your brand image." [Tweet this]
Switching to a new way of doing emails will improve your professionalism by making your emails more user-friendly, more secure, and less spammy.
You Can’t Track ROI From Attachments
If you send an email with an attachment, and the attachment contains the information you really want your recipients to walk away with, how will you know whether they actually read them? How will you know if they then went on to make a purchase, or spent time browsing your site?
If you link to hosted content on your website instead of using an attachment, you can track how many people clicked through to your website. In AllProWebTools, you can even track how that recipient then went on to interact with your website. Did they make a purchase? How much did they buy?
Using attachments leaves you blind if you’re trying to make your emails better by learning what works and what doesn’t. Follow the advice below to create emails that teach you how to improve in the future.
What To Do Instead
You have a few options for creating professional, secure emails that will get you better results!
Make an HTML Email
HTML emails are just emails that are formatted the same way as a web page. That means it includes colors, graphics, table columns, and links. Basically, every time you’ve opened an email (particularly a newsletter) that “looked pretty,” that was an HTML email.
HTML emails aren’t all that difficult to create, if you have a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) email creation service, like the one provided from AllProWebTools. If you can use Word, you can create a basic HTML email in AllProWebTools.
Add Trackable Links
The great thing about HTML emails is, you can keep the email itself pretty minimal, with just enough teaser information and pictures to inspire your recipients to click through to the rest of your content.
Instead of having your recipients open an attachment, you can send them to a securely hosted web page, such as a blog post, RSVP page, or straight to your product page. For example, the AllProWebTools newsletter usually has teasers and images from our recent blog posts, with links to click to read the rest.
This is an awesome opportunity for three reasons:
- SEO Best Practice: When people consistently click through to your site, Google sees this and is likely to give you a ranking boost.
- Conversion Opportunity: If you get email recipients to click through to your site to read content, they’re likely to get interested in something else on your site, and eventually get drawn into into your product pages.
- Improved Analytics: Your email marketing provider can’t tell you whether or not a recipient opened an attachment, but AllProWebTools can tell you whether or not someone clicked a link, how they interacted with your site, and how much they purchased from you in dollars.
Host Files in AllProWebTools, Then Share
If you really need to “attach” a file to your email, it’s much more secure to host the file through your Content Management System (CMS) and link to it in your email. The good news is, if you have AllProWebTools Email Marketing, you also have our CMS.
Here’s how to “attach” a file by hosting it through AllProWebTools
- Hover over “Email” on the left menu bar, select “View Emails,” and then “Create New Email,” where you will name your email and choose a template if you like.
- Click the “Edit” button at the top right of the email, and you’ll be taken to the WYSIWYG editing screen.
- Click on the body of the email, then select “Insert” and then “Insert File.”
- This is where you can manage images and files, which you can then insert into emails, web pages, tasks, and more — they’re available throughout your AllProWebTools console.
- Click the “Upload” button (looks like an up arrow with a bar underneath), then drag & drop files or click to browse and select a file, and finally click “Return to files list.”
- Then just select the file you’d like to insert.
Include a Plain Text Version
Not everyone can view images from their email, so it’s always a good idea to ensure the basic information will be communicated even if none of your HTML content appears. That means, include the plain text of what’s going on at the bottom of your email.
What do you do to make sure your emails stand out from the crowd?