How to Use PDFs in Dubsado: DON’T Use PDFs in your client experience!

There are lots of reasons that you may want to send a PDF as part of your client experience. Whether it’s a Pricing Guide, Investment Guide, Welcome Guide, Bridal Guide, Style Guide, or any other kind of guide or deliverable, they can be a beautiful way to share information with your client. Dubsado offers you the convenient feature of being able to upload a PDF you want to share with clients to your form templates area so that you can send that PDF through a workflow automatically (or manually through a project). I’m here to tell you why you should SKIP using PDFs in your client experience and/or Dubsado (and, of course, to tell you what you should do instead!).


There are a few reasons why I recommend NOT using PDFs in your client experience (or in your Dubsado workflows):

  1. In general, I don’t think that PDFs are the best way to present information to your clients.
  2. You CAN’T attach a PDF directly to a template or workflow email. Instead, you have to upload it to Dubsado under the “Questionnaire” column in your form templates area.
  3. Inevitably, as your business changes and you improve your processes, you’re going to want to update your PDF. When you want to update your PDF, you not only have to remember to actually MAKE the updates, but you also have to re-upload the PDF to your Dubsado, AND you have to go manually update the PDF in all of your workflows.
  4. Any clients who had already received the old version of your PDF do NOT get the updates and improvements that you just spent all this time making!
  5. You can only send one Dubsado asset at a time, which means if you’re sending a PDF, you CAN’T send a scheduler or questionnaire along with it. This bogs down your process and makes it more difficult to work with you. If you skip using the PDF feature, then you can send TWO assets in Dubsado at once, whether it’s your guide and a questionnaire, your guide and a proposal, your guide and a scheduler, the sky is the limit!

Here is what you should do instead.

Step 1: Recreate your PDF

The goal is to take the content from your PDF and put it in a location that can be constantly updated but maintains the same evergreen link! There are a few different options for how you can do that:

  1. My favorite option: Design the information in your PDF into a hidden page on your website instead. This increases traffic to your website which helps your SEO and overall visibility, plus this is the BEST way to make sure that your clients are strongly associating their experience with your brand.
  2. The probably-slightly-faster option: If you designed your PDF in InDesign or another app-based program, redesign it in Canva. Whether you have to redesign it in Canva or whether you created it in Canva from the start, you can then use the Canva View Link feature instead.

Step 2: Insert the evergreen link into your workflow and email communication

  1. Get your URL.
    1. If you chose to create a page on your website, you get to control the URL! Make sure that you have the page up so you can copy and paste it as needed.
    2. If you chose to create your design in Canva, you’ll need to grab their provided “View Link”. To do this:
      • Open the design you want to share.
      • Above the editor, click Share.
      • At the bottom part of the menu, click the ᐯ icon, and select how you want to share the design: to editviewuse as template, or to watch for designs with videos (doesn’t include presentations).
      • Click Copy link.
  2. Once you have your link, you should go to the canned email where you want to send your information.
  3. If you had already created this email to send your PDF, you’ll want to remove the Form Link smart field (unless you’re now going to send this information ALONGSIDE a form or scheduler).
  4. Insert your link! I recommend inserting it as a BUTTON so it maintains that wow factor in your email. To insert a link as a beautiful button, Dubsado provides the following directions.:
    • Create a new line in your email where you’d like to insert your button.
    • Click the “A” icon in the toolbar to open the formatting options.
    • Click the link icon.
    • Choose Button.
    • Paste in the URL to the web page you’d like to link to.
    • Enter the text you’d like to appear on the button.
    • Click Insert.
    • The button will always be in your brand color, which is determined by your brand settings, and will always be centered.


Don’t just upload your PDF to something like a Google Drive or Dropbox folder even though that provides you with a share link. Here’s why:

  1. If you grab only the share link to the PDF in the google drive folder, then you have the same issues that I outlined above in #2 and #3 of the “Why You shouldn’t use PDFs” section. When you upload a new PDF, the link will change and you will have to go update it in your workflows.
  2. If you grab the share link to the entire folder, you won’t have to change the link in your workflows, which makes it a better option than the one I listed above, however, you lose so much business credibility when sending your clients to something like GOOGLE which in no way carries your brand, vs. just sending them to a live link where they only see YOUR name.

The Result

The result is a gorgeous, EFFICIENT email from Dubsado. You can make ALL the improvements you want in your Guides without EVER needing to remember to update your canned email templates and/or workflows (which, trust me, it’s easy to forget). AND if you make a change AFTER you’ve already sent your guide to a client, they’ll still see the most up-to-date information when they click on it, so you never have to worry about them going off of old, outdated, inaccurate information. And all of this by making the simple decision and change to NOT use PDFs in your client experience!

But don’t take my word for it, check it out!

Was this helpful? Are you going to continue using PDFs in your client experience? How will you use this workaround?

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