Email is an efficient and faster method of sending business communication when compared to the postal service. It is also an easier way of exchanging documents. Some things to consider when sending a business email with an attachment are its size, the program used to create the attachment and the possibility of viruses. It is also important to remember the recipient may not be the only one who sees your message. Use a professional tone that will leave a favorable impression.

Step 1.

Write a subject line that adequately reflects the message. Specific subject lines will help employees organize email according to company projects. Vague titles such as “Important” or “Please read” make it difficult to locate messages in the future.

Step 2.

Compose a message that is concise and easy to read. Employees must sift through large volumes of email messages daily and have little time to read long messages. Use a legible font, include a lot of white space and employ upper and lower case letters appropriately. Write your message in a tone that is courteous yet professional, and begin and end with professional salutations.

Step 3.

Refer to the attachment. Busy employees are often rushed for time and may overlook the attachment if there is no reference to it. Let the recipient know what the attachment contains and what to do with it.

Step 4.

Ensure that you have attached the document before sending. Janis Fisher Chan, author of “E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide--How to Write and Manage E-Mail in the Workplace," advises attaching the document before you start to write your message.

Step 5.

Let your reader know what program is needed to open the file. The Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Acrobat Reader are common applications used in the workplace.

Step 6.

Consider the amount of time it will take the recipient to download the attachment. Use a file compression program for large files, such as WinZip, or break the file into smaller sections that you can send separately. In consideration for the busy employee, you may also paste the document in the body of the message.

Step 7.

Proofread your message. Spelling and grammatical errors appear unprofessional. Also avoid using slang, abbreviations and emoticons in your message. These may be well-known terms but they are inappropriate in business messages.

Step 8.

Scan your message and attached document for viruses before you send.

Step 9.

Include a disclaimer encouraging the reader to scan the attachment for viruses before downloading. This may protect your company from the possibility of legal action if the recipient receives a virus through your attachment.


Do not send chain mails, spam or jokes as attachments. They are unprofessional and inappropriate.