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Email List Tip of the Month: "All" and Subject Lines

Think twice before you send a message to any email list that includes “all.” The three units of Agricultural Affairs each have an email list, and each has many people on the list:

  • NDSU-all-coa@ -- 242 College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources faculty and staff
  • NDSU-all-exp@ -- 436 N.D. Agricultural Experiment Station faculty and staff
  • NDSU-allext@ -- 325 faculty and staff with NDSU Extension appointments

Together, these three make up NDSU-all-ag@ --more than 1,000 email addresses, though duplicates are cut so you only receive the message once if you have a joint appointment.

Practice email etiquette when you send to any listserv or to individuals, especially in the subject line. These are the few words that help receivers decide whether or not to even open your message.

  • Use a meaningful, clear, direct subject line, not something vague such as “Question” or “Save the date.”
  • Use action-oriented verbs rather than words like “update” or “newsletter.” Maybe focus on the lead story information of the update or newsletter. (OK, Let’s Communicate breaks that rule.)
  • Don’t reply on a totally different topic and leave the subject line. Rewrite the subject line to focus on the current topic.
  • Keep the subject line short enough so the receiver sees all the words – 50 characters max.

Becky Koch, Agriculture Communication Director, 701-231-7875

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