What we write and how we go about communicating it is determined by who we are relating with. This is why when an email is sent and a file is attached to the message, the manner we communicate this differs and is determined by our relationship with the person at the other end or the purpose we seek to achieve. In a formal setting, when an email is attached, it could be unclear how to express this to the recipient of the mail, especially in cases whereby the only important thing is the attached file and there seems to be no reason or purpose to have a body of message.
There are people who will not open an email attachment unless they have an idea what is inside. This is why the subject of your mail should clearly state the purpose. The title you have chosen to give your email may sometimes reflect that it has an attachment and shows that the body of your message will be short. For example;
Title: Report, 2016 Carnival
Title: List of names of short listed candidates
The titles above do not only give a clue that your email may have attached files but they also give an idea of what to expect in the attachments.
There are ways to let the recipient of your mail be aware of the files you have attached. This you may have to do directly, stating it clearly. It is important to you that the recipient of your mail sees what you have sent; you may go about it by simply letting them know in the most formal way. For example;
“Please find attached to this email a copy of my Curriculum Vitae” or “Find attached to this mail a copy of the Sales Report for the year 2016.
In cases whereby the only important matter is the attached file, and the body of the message is not quite important, you should make the recipient aware of the files and write briefly what each file is about in the body of the message. It is vital you do not leave the part where the body of the message should be written blank even if the attachment is the only reason you are sending the mail. The body of the message can be built to center round the file(s) you have sent. Your email should also have a subject matter. It could be considered rude to leave those crucial spaces empty.
There are certain things to note when sending an attachment with your email.
- Do not let the body of your message be too lengthy when sending an attachment in a formal email.
- The use of the word “Enclosed” is inappropriate in electronic media. It is more ideal when using paper mail
- Avoid unrelated matters. You may send a separate mail for this. Inclusion of unrelated topics though significant, may shift the focus off the importance of the attachment.
- Avoid attaching very heavy files to email. It could be frustrating to download in cases whereby your recipient is even willing to give it a try.
- As much as you can it is important to avoid sending too many files. Files can be lost or missed by your recipient while downloading. In cases whereby this is unavoidable, it is crucial to mention in the body of your massage the number of files you have attached.
Good morning madam,
In response to the enquiry you made about the list of machines and equipment available for inspection in December 2016, please find attached the list that gives the information you need.
Please, let us know if you have any question regarding the information provided in the attachment.
Please find attached to this email pictures of the products that are available in the supermarket and the discount prices. There are five (5) attached JPEG files.
Kindly let us know if there are details that require clarification. We will be glad to help.
Written by Teju Duru; a communication expert and freelance writer based in Ibadan.
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