Information Technology Services

Email Stationery Etiquette

Email Stationery Etiquette

Emails can be richly formatted these days. Outlook and other email editors offer many options for automatically formatting your messages, for including signatures, and for utilizing electronic stationery. If you choose to avail yourself of any option, keep in mind that it may not be received by recipients in the way you intend as there are differences in the way email programs handle the inclusions.

When evaluating the options available, you should:

  • Avoid stationery that contains a background image, pictures or other graphic objects—
    These dramatically increase the size of every email you send and count against your quota and your recipients’ quotas;
  • Use a stationery with a standard font and color to send an email so that it is easily read by any recipient—
    The default colors and fonts like Arial, Courier, Tahoma, Times New Roman and Veranda will look on most email readers. When you deviate from the default, know that it is likely your email will not be displayed in the way you intend.
  • Avoid HTML links embedded in the body of a message; include the entire URL—
    Not all email programs can translate the links properly. If they have it, recipients can always copy and paste the complete URL into a web browser.
  • If you use Outlook, ITS recommends using Rich Text as your default message format—
    This helps reduce the size of your email messages and while retaining text formatting.
  • Make your signatures as short as possible—
    Usually three lines is enough and should contain:
    • Your name
    • Your company and position
    • Your contact information

The links below provide more information on email and stationery etiquette as well as our government’s campaign to provide clear and concise information via electronic communication.

Did you know? The UK has laws regarding signatures?
Read more at:

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