You make a new contact and start sending arbitrary email attachments. You mean well. You want them to have all your information.
With everyone getting more electronic communications than ever, this approach can be viewed as inconsiderate (maybe even spammy). Why you ask?
The fact is attaching a file or collection of files to an email and clicking send is not difficult. Yes, you can physically attach pretty much any file or files that you want. But that doesn’t mean you should.
You could reformat your hard drive and erase all your files too. But you don’t do that do you? Enter knowledge, understanding and professional courtesy.
For example, what if your contact has their email sent to their cellphone? Would those files eat up their data or storage allowances? What if their inbox has limitations (file or quota) causing subsequent emails to bounce?
Not a way to make a good impression.
Budding New Partnerships
When nurturing new business partnerships we want to show the epitome of business courtesy. In the beginning, each side is feeling out the other to determine if this is the person/company they want to do business with.
To begin flooding new contacts with multi-format or multiple large file size attachments, without a specific request — is spamming. It can also be a negative signal that you may not be all that tech savvy.
Fact is, not all files are meant to go through the email pipeline. High resolution photos, PowerPoint and Excel files come to mind. PDFs can be extremely large files too.
Attaching a multitude of files in one email can add up fast. Here again, what if the other side doesn’t have PowerPoint or is on a Mac and you are on a PC?
That’s why you ask first.
It is not uncommon for me to receive highly formatted files, Power Point presentations, Excel spreadsheets and RFQs that I didn’t ask for. And not personally addressed to me — a mass mailing. As a consultant am I to spend my time reviewing and “consulting” just because unasked files land in my inbox?
Think Before Attaching
Most well structured websites are clear about processes and contact channels. Not seeking those out then blindly sending attachments without any personal comments will not encourage a response.
Especially in an unsolicited first contact. Doing so implies you expect them to spend valuable time to reply.
The thing is, there really is no true cold-calling online. Contacting folks “cold” online is delicate process that few know how to do successfully.
This is different than new contacts who are enthusiastic about getting their information to me. That’s different in that we’ve already had first contact.
“Cold” calling online many times results in the collateral being sent not applicable to me, my services or what I need or do. Time just wasted.
This is where you really want to be judicious about what attachments you send, when you send them and to who. Do your homework.
Sending After Hours
Another bad habit of those working evenings or on weekends, is that they they send unasked for attachments outside of business hours. Not everyone may be available or monitoring their accounts off-hours.
Refrain from sending files of any kind, especially the ones megs in size, outside of business hours. The exception would be if you had a previous discussion with the recipient and let them know you would be sending the attachments and you have their acknowledgment.
Just Ask First
Before you send any large or software specific attachments, always ask who your contact what format works for them. Also inquire when would be the best time to do so to ensure they are there to download at their convenience.
While some may think they can send attachments when it is convenient for them, that really isn’t the best professional approach. Inquiring first reflects proper technology use with a dash of courtesy. That’s how you build a business.