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4 Shortcomings of Email when Sending Files to Clients

11th April 2017

It’s easily the most common and accessible way to send files online, yet there are so many reasons why using emails to send files, particularly to clients, just doesn’t cut it anymore. Whether it’s sending proposals when trying to win a new deal or project, working together on the launch of something new, or sending ongoing reports or accounts for valued clients – sending files to one another online is a huge part of day to day work in the age we live in. Surely there’s a better way than a technology invented back in the seventies?

1. Lack of organisation

Let’s imagine you’re sending a spreadsheet with information on a deal to 5 different interested parties. You don’t want each of them to know about the other, so you need to send five individual emails. You compose the emails, attach the spreadsheet to each one, and send them. Sorted! Now, what happens a few days later when there’s a new version of that file. You need to dig out each of those emails and respond to them with the new file. You don’t have time right now so you make a note to do it later. When you come round to do it, you remember that one of your colleagues actually already sent the file to one of the people – but which one? Now, imagine instead of 5 interested parties, it’s 50, and instead of 1 spreadsheet, it’s 100 different files. You can see how email really doesn’t care about whether or not you want to stay on top of who has which files.

2. Poor client experience

An important aspect of sending files to clients to consider is the user experience they have on the other end. With email, it’s impossible to predict what this will be. Are they using Outlook? Gmail? Outlook on the web? (Does anyone actually use that?) The native email app on their smartphone? Sending files over email means you give up some control over what kind of experience the client is having interacting with your brand. If the client can’t download or view files properly, even if their email client is to blame, the negative feelings may be attributed to you.

3. Security concerns

One of the most noticeable shortcoming of email is security. Don’t get me wrong, files sent over email are totally secure. It’s more the room for error when sending files over email that is troublesome. Once you send that file over, how do you know what the recipient is going to do with it? Do they leave their laptop/smartphone/tablet unattended with others having access? Are they inclined to forward the email on blindly, without considering whether or not it’s confidential information? Once you relinquish ownership of the file by sending it to someone else, you also relinquish some level of security.

4. No insights or tracking

Tracking is another area where email isn’t really prepared. There are a few plugins available these days that allow you to be notified when someone opens your email, but what about more than that? How do you know if someone has actually opened the files that you’ve attached? Which files exactly did they look at? Of all the people you sent the files to, which ones looked at them quickest? It’s these kinds of insights that are impossible over email, but invaluable when sending files to a large number of recipients. A tool with file analytics and tracking is a major advantage and time saver in establishing actual interest and engagement with your client communications. If you’d like to hear more about business file-sharing solutions and our core features, be sure to visit our dataroom page.

April 11, 2017
By Tom Parson