Communications Cloud offers two types of file attachment methods:
- Attached files: The attachment is delivered along with the bulletin as a traditional attachment.
- Linked files: The attachment is uploaded to a Granicus server and a link is placed in the bulletin to download the file. Linking files is always the preferred method of attachment to improve the deliverability of the message.
Note: Attachments can only be used with Standard Bulletins and are incompatible with bulletins created and sent from the Advanced Bulletin Editor.
Attaching Files to Bulletins
To attach a file to a bulletin:
- On the Create Bulletin page, scroll to the Files section beneath the Body section.
- Click Add File.
- Click Choose File/Browse and select the file that you want to attach. Click Open.
- If you have both attached files and linked files enabled, choose if you want to Link or Attach the File. We recommend linking them (see best practices below).
If you don't see this drop-down, either linking files or attaching files might not be enabled for your account
- Click Save as Draft. This step is required before you can successfully send your bulletin with the attachment.
- To attach additional files, repeat steps 2 through 5 for each file.
- Attached files - attachments of this kind are limited to 1 MB total per bulletin. You can attach as many files as you would like to the bulletin as long as they do not cumulatively exceed the 1 MB total.
- Linked files - attachments of this kind are limited to 10 MB total per bulletin. You can attach as many files as you would like to the bulletin as long as they do not cumulatively exceed the 10 MB total.
All Attachments Macro
If you choose to link attachments, Communications Cloud will automatically include the All Attachments macro at the bottom of the bulletin body, which looks like this:
Typically, all attachments for the bulletin (both linked and attached files) are listed in this macro. This macro can be moved anywhere in the bulletin you wish to place it.
On sending, this macro resolves to a list of links to every attachment added for the bulletin. Each bullet point includes the name of a single file that links to the file.
- If all attachments are removed from the bulletin, the macro is not automatically deleted from the bulletin body. However, if the bulletin has no attachments as of sending, the macro resolves to nothing.
- If you add linked attachments to your bulletin and then delete the macro, you will receive an error message when you try to send or schedule the bulletin.
Best Practice: Avoiding Attachments
In the digital communications industry, using traditional attachments in email bulletins is never recommended. In general, email providers prefer links to attachments. Realistically, attachments don’t provide the best user experience for your subscribers. Here are a few reasons why:
Virus Fear – Over time, attachments have unfortunately become synonymous with viruses, for both Internet Service Providers and email recipients alike. Because of this, recipients are often less likely to open emails with attachments out of fear of a virus, and ISPs are more likely to treat emails with attachments as potentially malicious or junk.
Storage Space – Attachments are usually large files, and this can again cause problems for your subscribers. When recipients try to download an attachment from a mobile phone, they’re forced to use a lot of data to do so, which might discourage them from opening it in the first place. And if the attachment sits in their inbox taking up space, they might be more likely to delete the email altogether.
File Context – If your organization must include an attachment in your email, it is recommended to host your document in Communications Cloud and provide a link to that document. Including a link to your documents, instead of attaching the document itself to your email allows you to place links throughout your email bulletin, which can give the attachment context depending on where you put it. Without context, your attachment is always included at the end of an email, which can be confusing or hard to find for recipients.
In conclusion, attachments aren't the preferred way for subscribers to receive information. Using links to important files or documents is cleaner, more contextual, and requires no storage or bandwidth to access them. For this reason, Granicus recommends against the use of traditional attachments in email bulletins and offers macros to include linked documents instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I add attachments to Advanced Bulletin Editor emails?
A: No. Attachments are not a supported feature with the Advanced Bulletin Editor.
Q: Are there any restrictions on the size of attachments?
A: Yes. When using Attached Files, attachments are limited to 1 MB total per bulletin. You can add as many attachments as you would like to the bulletin as long as they do not cumulatively exceed the 1 MB total.
When using Linked Files, attachments are limited to 10 MB total per bulletin. You can add as many attachments as you would like to the bulletin as long as they do not cumulatively exceed the 10 MB total.
Q: Are attachments sent to wireless or digest subscribers?
A: No, attached files are not available to wireless recipients, digest recipients, or RSS feeds. However, digest recipients and RSS feeds will include the list of linked files, regardless if they were originally linked or attached to the bulletin. For example, if a bulletin includes one attached file and one linked file, both will display as linked files in digested emails. Additionally, if the subscribers were sent a link to a bulletin landing page, that landing page will also include all file attachments for the sent bulletin.
Q: Are attachments checked for viruses?
A: Yes, attachments are checked for viruses before they are saved to Communications Cloud. Attachments with a virus are not saved to Communications Cloud, and you will receive an error message.
Q: Do both Courtesy Copies and Test Messages include attachments?
A: Yes. However, note that you must save a bulletin draft with an attachment prior to sending a test message in order for the attachment to be included.
Q: Do linked attachments expire?
A: No. We do not actively expire links to download files included with sent bulletins.
Q: How do I know what file types can be attached to bulletins?
A: If an administrator attempts to attach an invalid file type, Communications Cloud displays an error message and the file is not saved. Communications Cloud supports most common file types you will encounter.
Any file ending in the following extension that is less that the maximum file size for the bulletin can be attached to a general bulletin: bmp, css, csv, doc, docm, docx, dot, emz, eps, gif, ico, ics, jpeg, jpg, log, mdi, mht, mp3, msg, mso, odf, odp, ods, pages, pdf, png, pps, ppt, pptx, psd, pub, rpt, rss, rtf, tif, txt, vcf, vcs, wav, wmz, wpd, wps, xls, xlsx, xml.