Why Sales Pros Should Stop Sending Email Attachments

March 29, 2018

Email Attachment

Savvy sales pros are increasingly abandoning cold calls in favor of warm outreach via different channels, including email. While this is good to see, many reps still cling to the practice of sending content and collateral as email attachments.

Here are four reasons why that’s a bad idea – and one better way to share materials electronically.

1. Email is Losing Ground

If your email never gets opened or read, your attachments will never get seen. Increasingly, sales reps are experiencing this reality. A growing number of professionals simply ignore or delete email messages, making your delivery vehicle less effective as an engagement tool.

They can hardly be blamed. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes – how often do you open the attachment in an email from someone you don’t know?

The average businessperson receives 95 emails per day. With so many messages competing for their scarce attention, prospects are rightfully choosy about which emails to open. It’s no wonder the average open rate for email marketing campaigns in 2016 was 24 percent. In other words, 76 percent of emails went unread! Another study found that only 22 percent of business emails were opened in 2016, while the remainder were deleted, ignored, or simply never reached the intended recipients.

If enough of your emails are deleted without being opened, you could be flagged by email service providers as a suspect sender. Once that happens, your emails will automatically be routed to the spam folder.

2. No Insight into Engagement

When you send attachments via email, you can’t track or monitor how people are engaging with those content assets. How can you optimize your approach unless you know which content pieces are resonating?

Think of it this way: When you reach out to prospective buyers, one of your top goals is to earn their trust. Only with trust do you receive permission to further engage. Knowing whether or not a prospect found value in your email and the content you shared is essential to understanding how you can establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Simply sending a follow-up email to get that feedback is not a reliable option.

3. Attachments Can Be Heavy

Email attachments – including videos, presentations, and even PDFs – can be huge. If your email size exceeds the threshold set by the recipient’s email server, your message will never get through. Plus, you increase the likelihood of getting sent to the spam folder. Because email attachments are an effective way to hide viruses and malware, some email service providers may automatically treat messages with attachments as spam. Even if your email does reach the intended recipient, you risk annoying that person with the need to download a massive file.

4. Lack of an Orchestrated Approach

You’re likely not the only one in your organization reaching out to your prospects. While you are sending emails with attachments, others in marketing, sales development, product marketing, and customer success might be doing the same. Unless you and your colleagues have a view into all the emails being sent, it’s quite possible that prospects are receiving more than one copy of those attachments. This lack of coordination reflects poorly on you and your organization. If you can’t even get it together to handle the most basic of activities, why should any prospect feel comfortable entrusting your company with any part of their business?

How About Avoiding Attachments Altogether?

Rather than sending a busy, complex email full of attachments that might never get seen, use PointDrive, a relatively new tool within LinkedIn Sales Navigator that enables you to easily deliver personalized content to sales prospects. It’s simple to bundle up materials in PointDrive and share links to that bundle through any electronic communication channel: real-time chat, InMail, and more.

You and others on your team can view PointDrive to see what you’re sharing, and you can even track how the content is consumed and by whom. Plus, since recipients log in via LinkedIn or provide their name and email, you’ll see when someone has shared your content with others on the buying committee. Once you identify which content is gaining traction, you can share successful PointDrives with others in your organization so everyone is using the most effective packages.

To learn more about this tool and how it works, check out this PointDrive customer case study.

For more steps you can take each day to optimize your sales approach, check out our LinkedIn Selling Tactical Plan.