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.