[thelist] Email Best Practices and Standards - B2B

Ken Schaefer ken.schaefer at gmail.com
Wed Jul 21 19:00:01 CDT 2004

On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 13:36:05 -0700 (PDT), Christopher Mahan
<chris_mahan at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Janet Nabring-Stager <jnabring at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > <de-lurking>
> >
> > Trying to find out if anyone has resources/anecdotes/information on
> > best practices forer sending emails to B2B customs.
> The best is plain text, with link to the web site for the pretty html
> version.

"Best" based on what criteria? We are not talking about emailing a
vast number of unknown customers here.

Large business seem to run just fine on HTML mail. And since the PDFs
are being generated or held in some kind of documen generation system,
they probably don't exist, yet, on any site. Having your partners
click through to a website where these things are means:
a) inconvenience for the end user of the system
b) setting up a secured webserver to handle this
c) configuring the doc system to generate all the PDFs so that they
are ready for people when they click the links in the emails.

Those sound like negatives that weigh against plain text email being
"best" in the situation.

> > We are under the impression that making a user click through to a
> > location on our server or to open an attacment to view a PDF is a
> > bad idea, as it decreased usability for the customer.
> Very bad idea. Anti-virus will eat it alive. Again, if you must use
> pdf, then link to your website from a plain-text email.

I don't know a single large enterprise AV system that will "eat" PDFs.
There may be some overly zealous admins in small companies that think
they're somehow aiding their business by refusing to accept
attachments, but it doesn't happen in Fortune 1000 companies as far as
I'm aware.

My advice?

- Talk to the customers and ask what they want. 
- Evaluate how big the PDFs are. If they are fairly small, and you'll
keep the IT department happy, then send what you're sending at the
moment and attach the PDFs


More information about the thelist mailing list