10 reasons why file sharing is better than email attachments

September 5, 2022

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If you spend a significant amount of your working time sharing sensitive and/or important documents, you probably have encountered the perils of sending email attachments.

Hopefully those of you that identify with this trauma have already discovered there is better way, but if, however, you are still toiling with these pitfalls, you need to read on. Here are 10 reasons why file sharing is the way forward.

1. Your document won’t end up in the wrong hands

As diligent as you may be, we are only human, and therefore suggestable to errs from time to time.When you hit “send” on an email there’s no going back, so if you’ve accidentally entered “Ken” your uncle’s email address instead of “Ken” the new sales prospect, it’s a mistake you’ll have to live with. One of the many benefits of file sharing is that in this instance you have a lifeline. You can disable the link or revoke access and avoid that confidential document being seen by the wrong person in a matter of clicks.

2. Keep it confidential

No matter how explicit you are with your recipients that the attachment you’ve sent is of the highest confidentiality, there’s no guarantee with an email that it will remain so. Once they have the email in their inbox they can pretty much do what they like with it. With a link-based solution you control who sees the documents due to technology that enables you to view interactions with the file in real time.

3. For the love of large files

I think most people would agree, there is something particularly archaic about emailing super large files. In a world of fast paced technological advances, waiting for a huge attachment to open is incredibly frustrating! Especially if you are trying to view the file on a mobile device. If you don’t have the right app or simply not enough space to download, you’d wish you’d never opened the damn email in the first place!

When you can access the document via a link however, all those annoyances dissipate. There is no size limit, no slow load times and the file will open in your mobile browser so no issues there either! It really is a no-brainer.

4. Security risks minimised

When you send an email attachment the file is stored in multiple places: on your device, in your outbox, the recipients’ inboxes and, more than likely, all their devices as well.The file may be stored responsibly, but as there are several copies saved the probability of a cyber-attack increases. Whereas a link-based file is safely stowed in one location where only those privy to the information within it are granted access.

5. Avoid the drag of downloading

Having to download anything creates an obstacle in getting where you need to go, and nobody wants that! It’s not just the download waiting time that is the issue either, some of these file types can trigger a spam blocker, which can further increase the time the recipient needs to stare at their screen… rage levels rising…

With file sharing via a link you save time, the download dilemma disappears, meaning the document can be viewed swiftly, allowing the receiver to action what needs to be done or move on to other tasks without feeling “that’s 7 minutes of my life I’ll never get back!”.

6. Stay on brand

If there are several of your team members expected to create documents for file sharing, it can be tricky to maintain brand consistency. With a library of logo sizes, fonts, colours and design variations to hand, what one person distributes may look very different to another’s. This is not good practice. It does not scream professionalism and could potentially leave your customers feeling confused.

Using a link-based solution can help with this. Many of them offer a central content library, often with access control, meaning the right person creates the appropriate document in the style consistent with your brand.

7. Track and monitor

There is such a thing as email tracking, but the information you collect from it pales in comparison to the data you can pull with a file sharing solution that features document tracking.

With a good file share tracking solution, you will be alerted each and every time someone interacts with your document, it will tell you where they spent the most time and how much time was spent, and whether they forwarded it on to anybody else (who of course, you will be able to track and monitor too). The insights you can gather from this level of data can be extremely valuable, you really would be daft not to utilise its power.

8. Do away with duplicates

There’s no such thing as a perfect first draft. No matter how much time you spend proofreading and tweaking a document, there is a strong possibility that it may requiring editing or amending at some point in the future. The annoying thing with email attachments is that, once it’s sent it’s sent and will last forever in that state, in however many inboxes received said document.

However, when you share a link there is no danger of duplicates or versions 2,3,4 and beyond needing to be distributed. When you make changes to a document shared in this way, you simply modify the source file and that’s it! What was is no more, and what’s needed is inexactly the right place it needs to be.

9. Detach from the attach button

You’ve written the best email introduction ever, putting your heart and soul into the build up that’ll lead your recipient to clicking on the mother of all attachments. Alas, you were so absorbed in writing that intro that when you hit the “send” button you neglected to actually attach the file – nooooooo! The shame. This is just one example of a plethora of reasons we may forget to click on the paperclip icon before sending an email, but the outcome remains the same: a sense of awkward embarrassment that potentially harms the positive, initial impact you’d hoped to have achieved. A feeling of foolishness.

When you send a document link the attachment is within the message, it’s impossible to forget attaching a file as there’s nothing to attach. So the hard work you put in won’t be tainted by a silly, but common, mistake made by even the most astute of people.

10. Engage and enthuse

The final point is - emails are boring. That might a be a dogmatic statement to make, and of course emails have their place in business (and life) and undoubtedly will continue to for a long while to come. But with technology as it is right now, where people are being visually and digitally stimulated on a constant loop, why wouldn’t you want to tap into more engaging ways to connect with your recipients?

Wow them with slideshows, videos, GIFs, animations, infographics, calls-to-action and other interactive visual elements to draw in the eye, impress them and maintain their interest. Whatever the theme of your file, there will be a suitable tool or visual aid out there to boost its effectiveness. Don’t be lazy. Be bold.

To conclude

Nearly a quarter of the way through the 21st century, and over 50 years since the first email was sent, surely we can agree there has to be a better way to send documents. The advantages of file sharing massively outweigh any reason you may have to justify attaching a document to an email, that is simply undeniable. So if you decide to change one thing about the way you work, make it this; research and invest in a file-sharing solution and take time to learn how to use it to its full potential. You won’t regret it. It’s time to move forward and not look back.

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