Email Guidelines

Good email etiquette ensures that your message will be understood as intended but also improves the look of your message. Netiquette includes the general principles of basic courtesy, respect and ethics.

Why do you need email etiquette?

At UNE we need to ensure students and staff implement etiquette rules.  These rules are required for three reasons:

  • Professionalism: By using proper email language your company will convey a professional image
  • Efficiency: Emails that get to the point are much more effective than poorly worded emails
  • Protection from liability: Employee awareness of email risks will protect your company from costly law suits

Effective Use of Emails

Communicating with colleagues, friends and family is made easy through emails. Over time we accumulate a large number of email files in our mailboxes, which has a impact on UNE server resources, as all emails sent and received is stored on the email server.

There are some simple guidelines that will help maintain your mailboxes and the server resources.

  • Go through your mailbox once a month and delete any non-essential emails. If you haven't referred to an email for two months, delete or archive it.
  • Archive emails to a local personal folders area, or to USB. Be aware that your personal folders area has a size limit and once reached, you will be asked to clean it out.
  • Set-up auto archiving on your Calendar, Tasks and Sent Items folders so they are deleted or archived if older than two months.
  • Set-up Outlook to "Empty Deleted Items" folder when exiting the program.
  • Check the size of your mailbox and folders. This will indicate where the most messages are located to help you tidy up these areas.
  • Save attachments to Network drives or USB and then remove them from the email messages.
  • Use email Rules to automatically sort email for you.
Message Content

When drafting email messages please follow these principles:

  • Always include a short, concise subject line.
  • Keep to one subject per email.
  • State any personal opinion clearly. If the email gets into unintended hands, it may be reported as coming from UNE (as policy or fact) rather than a personal opinion or viewpoint.
  • Re-Read messages before sending to ensure it will be understood by the recipient. A good practice is to have your supervisor or a colleague read the email to ensure the message is clear. This is essential for messages sent to a large number of recipients.
Message Formats

When composing an email you should consider the type of the email format. The three main email types are:

Email format typeBest used for

Plain Text

  • Font fixed: Courier
  • No formatting options
  • General Emails
  • People who do not use Outlook or Windows Messaging
  • Internal Mail – results in smaller files

Rich Text

  • Choice of Fonts
  • Large range of formatting options
  • Best choice for internal use
  • Should not be used to send messages with attachments to people who do not use Outlook or Windows messaging


DO NOT Over Use


  • Possibility of web bugs used by spammers
  • Web Bugs is a graphic on a web page designed to monitor who is reading the web page or email
  • These are often invisible as they are typically only 1 by 1 pixel in size
Message Formatting

When formatting email messages please follow these principles:

  • Do not include any fancy backgrounds or large pictures. Not all recipients will want to or be able to view them. They increase the size of the email file. Signatures should not include large images - supply a URL to image instead.
  • Avoid using fancy fonts, and coloured text. These makes messages difficult to read.
  • Do not type messages in ALL CAPITALS this indicates you are shouting at the recipient.
  • Begin every message with an appropriate greeting.
  • Finish every message with an appropriate salutation and then your signature details.
  • Keep signature details short and use minimum formatting. Consider setting up two signatures one for messages sent to staff and another for messages sent outside UNE.
  • Check messages before sending. Ensure the spelling and grammar is correct, this improves the professionalism of your message
Message Forwarding

Be aware that forwarding other people's emails can be a major source of conflict.  If you have any doubts whether to forward or not, ask permission first.

When drafting email messages please follow these principles:

  • If acknowledging other people's words in your email, keep the words and meaning exactly as the author intended.
  • Don't forward anything without editing out all the forwarding marks >>>>, headers and commentary from all the other forwarders.
  • Remove any blocks of email addresses as this will stop email addresses being sent unsolicited emails.
  • Use the BCC: field to protect other peoples email address from being displayed to others. This is a serious privacy issue!

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