Considered and well-written emails are key components of a good communications plan. Following these guidelines will ensure that your messages are professional and on-brand.
App State uses Gmail (also called MountaineerMail) as our electronic webmail service. Review Information Technology Services’ (ITS) Gmail (MountaineerMail) knowledge base articles for details.
Writing professional emailsProfessional emails should include:
- A clear, concise subject line
- A scannable, easy-to-read message body
- An Appalachian branded email signature
The subject line is what the recipient sees in their inbox and determines whether or not they open your email. It is arguably the most important component of your email.
- Be concise and clear — short subject lines have the most impact. The subject line limit for Gmail and other email marketing providers is about 70 characters.
- Avoid spam trigger words. Certain words or phrases might cause your email to be automatically banned or forwarded directly to your recipients' spam boxes. Hubspot.com's Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words by Karen Rubin
- Avoid emojis or use them carefully.
The body of your email is key for conveying your message clearly.
- Use minimal text— include the most critical content and drive readers to your website for more information.
- Section headers.
- Short paragraphs.
- Use AP style for text formatting.
- Avoid emojis and images unless critical to the message.
- If you include graphics or other media, make your message accessible.
Generic email accounts and Google Groups
Generic email accounts and Google Groups are two ways to streamline your departmental/area internal communications.
Generic email accounts
Generic email accounts may be recommended for ongoing departmental/area business-related emails — generic emails are not recommended for time-limited communications.
When using a generic email, you should follow the above guidelines for writing professional emails. Generic emails can be used as the contact email on your website and can be used to send:
- Emails to individuals.
- Group/mass emails to a mailing list or Google Group.
- Email newsletters.
Generic emails are "owned" by a full-time App State employee and should be transferred to a new owner if the current owner leaves the university and/or is no longer working in a relevant position.
Requests for new generic accounts, changes to an account and/or ownership transfers are managed via the Appalachian Technology Service Desk — select Google Account Request and the appropriate option.
Google Groups can be used to communicate with members of your department/area and/or other internal populations — these are typically used to distribute messages to a population or as a community message board. Benefits include:
- Google Groups can be managed by more than one individual.
- Any member can send messages to the group.
- Messages can be moderated before posting.
- All messages are viewable on an archive page.
- Gmail sending limits are not applicable. You are able to email everyone in a group via a single email address.
It is important to remember that group members must be manually updated in most cases, and analytics, such as email open rates, are not available.
Google Groups are managed by one or more full-time App State employees and should be transferred to a new manager if the current owner leaves the university and/or is no longer working in a relevant position.
Requests for new Google Groups and/or changes to current groups are managed via the Appalachian Technology Service Desk — select Google Account Request and the appropriate option.
Types of emails University Communications approves and broadcasts
Emails that need to be delivered to broad campus audiences — students, faculty, staff — via restricted communications channels. "Need" is subject to review but can include legal requirements and/or strategic messaging.
- Notifications that are required by law.
- Special event notices and/or parking information.
- Operations-related messages.
- Invitations from the Office of Special Events.
If you feel your message meets this criteria, please contact Heather Brandon, Digital Communications Specialist.
If your message does not meet this criteria, there are a number of channels that are used to communicate with campus populations. Learn more about posting campus announcements.