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Tips/Guidelines for Sending Campus-Wide Email

This document describes guidelines for the use of College wide email lists such as the Faculty-Staff Digest, Student Digest, and ALL_EMPLOYEES (all_employees@list.Bowdoin.EDU).

Acceptable formatting for Campus lists (not including digests)

  • Italic and Bold Font
  • Attachments
  • Hyperlinks (Make sure you do not have a period at the end of your web address or it will not open for people)

If you are sending a campus-wide email here are 3 things you can do to make sure your emails go out looking as you intend them to look. 

1.       Type the emails directly into your email client (Outlook, Webmail etc.) Copying and pasting from Word can carry over some funny formatting.

2.       Type your email in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).  Notepad and TextEdit strip out any funny formatting. Then copy it into an email.

3.       Send a test message to yourself to make sure it looks correct. (but don't copy and paste from your test message after you receive it - always use your origial text. )

Plan Ahead. Because if the list is a digest, it will only be mailed once per day. If the list is moderated, the moderator must approve all messages before they are sent out to recipients. Please contact the moderator of any list you want to use to find out the specific times the last messages will be approved. Furthermore, not everyone reads e-mail hourly or even daily and so last minute messages may not have the desired effect.

Include Time, Date and Location. For announcements of meetings or events, be sure that you include time, date, and locations. Double check them.

Use the "Subject:" Line Thoughtfully. A good subject line will attract reader's by providing a concise summary of the message's theme or topic. Bad subjects like "hey!" or "read this" will probably be skipped by users pressed for time. A good subject line might will probably attract readers to your message.

Send Only Appropriate Messages. Messages should convey information about important and time sensitive events and news of interest to the lists range of readers.

Adding Emphasis. Upper case words indicate higher volume (screaming) and can indicate anger or bold type depending on the context. Anger: "I CANNOT DO THAT TODAY." Emphasis: "I cannot do THAT today." Use care. Some people use the underscore or the asterisk to add emphasis, replace quotes (e.g., do *not* delete) or to indicate italics (e.g., my _new_ car).


Document author:
Juli Haugen
Last modified:
Sep 30, 2009