Information Technology Services (ITS)

Effective email guidelines

These tips and best practices are guidelines for Information Technology Services (ITS) staff who need to send emails (including listserv messages) to large groups across the IT@UofT community.

Follow email etiquette best practices

  • Use a clear subject line that captures the content of your email
  • Include a greeting/salutation that is as specific as possible (e.g., “Good morning ITS colleagues” or “Hello IT administrators”)
  • If your recipients don’t typically receive communications from you, briefly introduce yourself
    • Include your name, title and unit
  • When referring to colleagues in an email, include their full name and title
  • Close the email with an email signature that includes your information again
  • Avoid blind copying recipients whenever possible
    • If you choose to blind copy people, indicate who it is blind copied in the body of the email (e.g., “The following groups/people have been blind copied: deans, communications, finance etc.”)
  • Proofread your email before sending
    • Check that you have the correct spelling for colleagues’ names

Use clear and concise language

Avoid lengthy emails

  • Edit your content for wordiness and redundancies
  • Remove unnecessary details
  • Break up large paragraphs into bullet points

Frontload the most important information at the beginning of the email

Avoid jargon that your audience may not understand

  • If you intend on using acronyms, make sure to spell it out upon first use (i.e., “University of Toronto (U of T)”)

Include a call to action

  • Tell the readers what you need from them and make it stand out
  • Include contact information for recipients who have questions or need more information