Email

Email is one of the main lines of communication we have with both internal and external audiences. There are many best practices and etiquette tips to help ensure your message is clear and can be read and received by any email provider.

Email Signatures

Template:

First Last
Title
Department
Campus Location
Castleton University

P: (802) 468-####
M: (802) 468-#### (if applicable)
F: (802) 468-#### (if applicable)

castleton.edu/department
facebook.com/department
twitter.com/department
linkedin.com/castletonedu 

Example:

Katye Munger
Director of Digital Media
Marketing & Communications
Woodruff Hall – 111
Castleton University

P: (802) 468-1047
F: (802) 468-1476

castleton.edu/marcom
facebook.com/castletonedu
twitter.com/castletonedu
instagram.com/castletonedu
linkedin.com/castletonedu

Images & Logos

Do not use images or logos in your email signature, including background images. Many email clients block the appearance of images and may come across as an attachment. This can be confusing to the recipient, especially if you are also including an attachment for their reference.

Mailing Addresses

Mailing addresses are rarely needed, so including it in your signature is typically unnecessary. It also can create confusion when trying to locate your office on campus, as often your mailing address is different than your physical campus location. If you need to share your mailing address, do so in the body of your email.

*Admissions is the exception to this rule. 

Quotes

Refraining from the use of quotes or epigraphs is best practice for professional communications. It is important to avoid the potential confusion of external audiences assuming a particular statement represents the University's official slogan, brand, or priorities.

Email Address 

Including your email address is redundant, as your email address is included in the message.

Social Media 

If relevant for your office or position, including social media can help continue to engage your audience online.

Short URLs

Please only use a short URL in your email signature. A short URL is a web address that has been condensed to be more clear to where you are sending someone. In the example above, the department Katye Munger works in is Marketing & Communications and the short URL is "marcom," telling the user they will be going to the Marketing & Communications web page.

If you are unsure of the short URL for your department, a list is available. If you do not see your department on this list and you have an active web page, please contact Katye Munger. If your department does not have a webpage, please use castleton.edu as the web address in your signature.

Text

Use plain text so that your email is compatible with all email clients and devices. Avoid bold, italics, html, colors, and special fonts.

Arial

Using a common font, like Arial, is the best way to ensure that your message will be read as you intend. Sans serif fonts are easier to read on screens.

Messages

Forwarding Messages

When needing to forward a message to someone, it is best to forward only the relevant information, as opposed to the entire text. This will help the receiver understand what you are referring to. To do this, highlight the relevant text in the email, then select forward. The highlighted text will appear at the bottom of your email.

Replying to Messages

When replying to a message, please make sure you understand the difference between “Reply” and “Reply All”, and choose appropriately. Make absolutely sure you are responding only to your intended recipients. 

Please don’t use a “Reply All” to respond to something sent to the distribution lists campus distribution lists.

Blind Copy

The blind copy field (BCC) should be used when needing an individual reply from multiple recipients, when you have several recipients, or especially when using distribution lists. This helps with the amount of unnecessary emails you will receive in your inbox if someone accidentally uses “Reply All” instead of “Reply.”

SPAM Messages

Please don't forward "SPAM" (chain letters, virus warnings, "tell everyone you know" emails, etc.). 99.9% of these messages are hoaxes. If you receive something that you’re unsure of, contact IT Services and we can verify it for you. Any legitimate virus warnings distributed through Castleton’s distribution lists should only come from IT Services.

Distribution Lists

Castleton’s email distribution lists - staff@castleton.edu, faculty@castleton.edu, and students@castleton.edu, are to be used for university - and campus-related communications ONLY. Any messages sent to these lists go to approximately 2,000 mailboxes, so be sure to have ALL necessary information included when sending to it. Follow up “oops” messages are not only bothersome to the recipient, but waste valuable system resources. If you want to send a message to the distribution lists and are unsure if it is appropriate, contact the Marketing & Communications office and we can help determine that.

Sending Documents

When working with files, you should assume that the document might need to be shared with other people. To that end, some simple naming conventions should be followed that will allow other people to better receive your documents:

  • Limit your filenames to 31 characters.
  • Don't use the following characters in filenames: " * / \ <? | . :
  • SPAM filters often block attached files with the extensions .EXE, .ZIP, .COM as viruses are often sent as these file types. It may be necessary change the extensions on these file types to something else to send it, and instruct the recipient to change it back in order to open the file.

Sending Attachments

When sending attachments, particularly within the VSC, please use Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat PDF files. The VSC has agreed to standardize on Microsoft Office as our supported office platform, and documents in other formats may not be readable by the intended recipients.

Opening Attachments

Before opening attachments, look at the sender's name and address and make sure it's someone you know. If you don't know them, DON'T OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. Even if it IS someone you know, use common sense and caution. It's never a good idea to just blindly open the attachment. If in doubt, call or email the person who sent the attachment asking for more information, or contact IT Services staff to see if a new virus is making the rounds.

Along the same lines, be wary of blindly clicking links in emails, and never give out your account credentials or other private data (username, password, SSN, etc) to anyone in an email – no one at Castleton or the VSC will ever ask you this information via email.