Email Best Practice: Instead of attaching a file, use a Box shared link!


For years you’ve sent emails with one or more file attachments. Now that you have Box, you can “share” files via a Box link instead of attaching physical files. Here are some reasons why it is time to stop sending attachments and start sending links instead.

Attachments can cause problems with spam filters

Attachments may be viewed suspiciously by recipients and their organization’s spam filters.

Attachments use up a lot of storage

Large mail folders take extra time to load, extra time to search, and use lots of extra space.

Links support keeping the information you share up to date

When you send an attachment and later update the file, you must send another email and attach the updated file. This puts the burden on you and your recipients to assure everyone is aware of latest version. With a link, a single email is all that is necessary. As you update the file in Box, the link leads recipients to the current file version.

You cannot control who can view or edit your attachment

When you send an attachment, the recipient can forward your email to others. A shared link can be configured to limit access to your WFAA colleagues, invited collaborators, or those who also can supply a predefined password.

Attachments are forever

Unlike an attachment, a shared link can be removed, or “decommissioned.” When a link is removed, the file is no longer available.

You can avoid the anxiety and embarrassment of sharing something you did not want to share

You know the feeling. You send an email with an attachment and then realize that you’ve made a mistake. Perhaps you’ve included the wrong file, or the wrong version of a file, or you’ve sent it to someone who should not see the information. Because of the nature of email attachments, there is no way to correct this error.

To avoid this potential problem, use a shared link. In the worst of cases, you can remove the link. (The recipient will still have the email, but the link will not function.) Or you can modify the file the link points to, updating it to include the correct content.

You cannot track who opens attachments

If you send an attachment, you have no way to know if it the attachment has been viewed. With a Box shared link, you can know which WFAA colleagues have viewed your file. (If your link has been followed by someone outside the WFAA, you’ll be able to see their IP address, but not their name.)

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