Never Say "Open the Attachment" (Updated)

The next time you send an email with a file attached, avoid instructing your recipient to "open the attached file." Such instructions are now a red flag to do the exact opposite. Viruses cloaked as harmless email attachments have ruined countless computers and devices in a single click. To many, clicking any email attachment is no longer worth the risk.

So, how do you get your recipients to open your attachments so your sales and projects can move forward?

You stop using attachments. You start providing download links.

Upload your files to a well-known, free file-hosting service like, Dropbox or Box. Then, paste the public download link to your file into your email.

Advantages: 

  • Recipients feel more safer clicking to receive your file
  • You're not filling up their inboxes storage with attachments
  • Download clicks are trackable so you know when to follow up!

Here's an example how to handle it:

"Tom, please download the Word file from Dropbox to review the outlines of our milestones for the month."

or...

"Nancy, here's the Excel spreadsheet (Dropbox download) with our detailed proposal."

When you follow this tip, your files will be opened more frequently, you'll have a new window into recipient engagement (via click tracking), you'll naturally get more responses, and fewer recipients will wonder if opening your attachment will require a trip to their dreaded IT department.