The following best practices are recommended for messages distributed to any of the Michigan Engineering email lists. Failure to follow these best practices does not mean your messages will be rejected. However, faculty and staff should consult with their departmental communications staff to ensure their messages meet these recommendations.
Add a one-word tag at the beginning of the subject line.
Tags give recipients an easy indication of the email content, so they can quickly make a more informed decision about whether to read or delete. This gives recipients more time to read your messages when they really are relevant to them.
- PROF DEV
Example: “EVENT: Collegiate Professorship Recognition for XX, 9/15, 3:30 pm”
Keep your subject line short and relevant.
- Give the recipient an indication of what they can expect to find in the email.
- Keep the subject line at around 40-60 characters or 5-9 words to ensure it doesn’t get cut off.
- For events, it can be helpful to include the abbreviated date of the event or the RSVP deadline if applicable.
- Example: “EVENT: RSVP – Faculty Lecture Sept. 15th”
- Example: “EVENT: Join us 9/15 at the XX Symposium”
- Avoid using special characters/emojis or others that may show up as errors.
Use specific dates and times in your message.
Since your message may not be read immediately upon delivery, please be sure to use specific dates and times. Referring to an event as taking place “tomorrow” may cause confusion among recipients that do not read your message until the next day.
If you do use “today” or “tomorrow” be sure to still include the date.
Example: “happening today (9/15) at 2pm, be sure to join us!”
Refrain from using pictures, colors, unusual fonts, or other special formatting in your message.
Some email recipients use email programs that do not display messages as you see them. Pictures may be displayed as attachments and not shown in the message body, colors may all be displayed as black, alternate fonts may be changed, centered text may be displayed on the left margin, and table columns may not line up. Avoiding these practices will ensure your message appears in a way that makes sense to your recipients.
Use Google Drive links instead of attachments.
Attachments can cause problems for some recipients. They can be hard to read on a mobile device and depending on internet speed, some may not be able to download the attachment.
Provide a link to your event listing on Happening @ Michigan.
You can put more detail in the event listing, which keeps your email short and readable. Learn how to add an event to Happening @ Michigan.
Verify all of the information in your message before sending it.
- Double-check for errors to prevent confusion and save you the trouble of sending a correction.
- Use concise language, bullet points, and only the most important information to keep the email brief and easy to digest.
- Keep dates, times, locations, and special instructions together in the message body to make that information easy to find.
- Make sure any URLs you link to in your messages are valid.
- If you must send a correction, we recommend that you highlight the corrected information in some way, and include all necessary information for the event in the correction.
Be aware of CAN-SPAM requirements
Be aware of CAN-SPAM laws and how the email content that you are sending is impacted by these regulations.
Be aware of Michigan Law
Under Michigan law, faculty, staff, and students cannot use public resources to engage in political activities for or against a candidate or ballot initiative. Here are some examples of political activities that use public resources in a manner that would generally not be permitted under Michigan law:
- Using an official University e-mail list or listserv to campaign for or against a ballot initiative or candidate running for office.
- Using University equipment to copy material supporting or opposing a ballot initiative or candidate, subject to existing departmental policies regarding personal use.
- Using a University office or other University facility, or using other University resources, such as a University-provided telephone, computer, e-mail address, social media account, Zoom or other web conferencing service account, etc., to support or oppose ballot initiatives or candidates running for office, even if – per the Michigan Secretary of State – you do not state or imply that you are speaking on behalf of the University in doing so.
- Purporting to carry on a political campaign in the name of the University or purporting to speak on behalf of the University when supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot initiative, whether in speech, writings, or social media postings.
Further general information, including frequently asked questions and answers, has been posted to the University’s website. Please direct additional questions to Maya R. Kobersy in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel at [email protected].
Refer to these frequently asked questions for guidance related to raffles, gaming, lotteries and poker.
Messages related to philanthropy (donations, solicitations, etc.) must be sent to the College of Engineering Advancement Office for approvalMessages concerning philanthropic activities/requests (giving) may not be sent unless approval is given by the Advancement office. Before sending an email related to giving, send a draft copy of the planned email to Advancement at least one full business day prior to your planned send date to [email protected].