Many onliners do not realize the very important issues they need to consider before sending attachments via e-mail. All too often folks just attach way without understanding how their actions may affect those on the other side.
More times than not we get so wrapped up in what we do at that moment in time that we do not stop and think about if those we are sending to have an interest in what we are attaching. Do they have the software to open the file in the format we are sending?
E-mail etiquette is all about knowledge (knowing technology well enough to use it properly, understanding (having an understanding about what we are doing and how it can affect others) and courtesy (thinking of others above and beyond what we want to do). This applies to attachments too!
Here are the Top 3 issues to think about when sending e-mail attachments:
- File Size: Before sending any files, take the time to find their size. Compress or “zip” up multiple sends over 500K (500,000 bytes). Multiple attachments add up very quickly and could shut down the other side’s server or fill their inbox causing subsequent e-mail to bounce! Reduce the size of all photos down to 800-1,000 pixels in width before sending by e-mail. Learning how to resize photos is time well spent!
- Attachment Format: You’ll never go wrong if your send your documents in PDF format. PDFs are not operating system or software specific and the reader software is now installed on most computers and is a free download. Those who do not have Word or Excel software, just as an example, would not be able to open files in those formats. So your files have the best chance of being viewed, asking in advance what format is preferred is a good idea!
- Ask First: Before sending any attachments, always ask the other side first when would be the best time to do so. Then be sure to send at that prearranged time. For business attachments, never send unannounced attachments after business hours when the other side will not be there to keep their inbox clear.
Just like anything online, thinking about how your actions can affect those you communicate with will go along way towards being perceived as tech savvy and a pleasure to communicate with!