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Partner canvassing and attachments

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday June 17, 2009 )

I’ve often said that friends don’t send friends large attachments (without warning); but that extends to business owners seeking partners or publicity too.

This morning when I checked my email over what was a pretty slow connection, something was gumming up the works. I was in a hurry to get on with my day.

The culprit turned out to be a company wanting me to hawk one of their new products. The email was a whopping 10 megabytes. I didn’t investigate further and just deleted it. A p###ed off prospect is usually not a good basis for establishing a business relationship.

The POP3/SMTP email protocols were never designed for attachments this large. The authors of these protocols, which were developed in the late 80’s, are reportedly quite shocked they’ve held up so well given the abuse. Back in those days, a big attachment would have been just a few kilobytes.

I’m really surprised that so many ISPs and web hosts don’t set a limit on attachment size. It would save so much bandwidth globally; but I guess it’s a competitive thing – either they all do it or nobody does.

If you need to send chunky attachments, either upload them to your site and provide a link to the file in an email, or use a file sending service which is effectively the same.

Considerate attachment practices are just a part of email etiquette that won’t cost you a cent but could see your online business reaping rewards.


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