Email is a campus resource that provides a quick and cost-effective means to communicate and to promote the university's overall mission. Email messages should be used for internal and external communications that serve legitimate university business and must meet professional standards of conduct.
View the SUNY Cortland email policy (PDF).
Email is an important form of communication that enables us to convey SUNY Cortland’s message in a consistent fashion. Common formats have been developed for all individual email addresses and signatures so that we can represent SUNY Cortland in a unified manner and make it easier for people to contact us. When announcing events, please refer to the event announcement template.
When representing yourself as part of the university, the minimal or extended external email signature should be used on every email you send. Day-to-day emails between coworkers can be abbreviated.
Visit SUNY Cortland's email signature creator to make a pre-formatted email signature that can be copied to your email application.
Email signatures should present a unified, professional appearance on official university communications.
When representing yourself as part of the university, one of the external email signatures should be used on every email you send. Day-to-day emails between coworkers can be abbreviated. Keep it simple and include only essential information.
- Colors: Use black letters on a white background; SUNY Cortland may be in red.
- Confidentiality: The confidentiality note can be included as needed.
- Fonts: Agenda-Regular, Cortland's primary font, is preferred. It may be downloaded from the Tech Help tab in myRedDragon. Helvetica and Arial are acceptable if Agenda-Regular is unavailable. Decorative or script fonts as well as italic or bold styling should not be used.
- Gender pronouns: The following gender pronoun preferences may be indicated after your name: she, her, hers; he, him, his; they, them, theirs.
- Graphics/logos/photos: Avoid logos, photos or graphics; they increase file size and appear as attachments.
- Quotes: No quote(s), apart from in the body of a message, should be used in SUNY Cortland email correspondence.
- Social media: Include social media links in plain text without icons. When including social media links, choose the university's or that of your department, office or center.
- Taglines and promotional messages: Avoid taglines, promotional messages or quotes; they may be perceived as institution-wide statements. Exceptions may be made in the case of short-term campus-wide initiatives. These messages must be submitted to the Marketing Committee for approval and must include proposed text and/or graphic elements and a plan for distribution and expiration of the promotion. Each initiative must meet brand and editorial style guidelines and have a hard expiration date before being considered.
- URLs: Only URLs related to your work at SUNY Cortland are permitted; http:// or www. are no longer required.
Minimal signatureRobert Smith
Assistant Men's Lacrosse Coach
Park Center, Room 1212
Any of the following options may be added to the minimal signature.
- SUNY Cortland in red
- Campus mailing address
- Fax and cellphone numbers
- Email address
- Social media links
- Confidentiality Note
Extended signature with all options
Tajik L. Arun M ’10, Ed.D. (he, him, his - optional)
Vice President, Student Affairs
Division of Student Affairs
Corey Union, Room 407-A
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900
O: 607-753-2011 | F: 607-753-9898 | C: 607-753-1234
For a step-by-step guide on building your signature, visit the email signature creator.
If you'd like assistance saving the signature in your email client, please email The Help Center or call 607-753-2500.
General questions about email signatures can be addressed by the Marketing Office, 607-753-2519.
Email address format
SUNY Cortland's email address format is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Addresses should be all lowercase. This format should be used for email addresses that are listed in electronic or printed communications, such as your email signature, syllabus, business card, etc.
- Send messages to the most relevant and narrowest audience feasible.
- Refrain from using CC for large groups unless necessary.
- Double-check the recipient list before sending.
- The majority of mass emails should come from a department or office rather than an individual.
Frequency and timing
- Minimize the number of emails sent.
- If possible, group communications from your area or align with other departments/offices to avoid duplication.
- Alternatives to email include the campus visual messaging boards, social media, the homepage calendar, The Bulletin and Campus Connect.
- Avoid Monday mornings and Friday afternoons. Expect lower open rates during the weekends, vacations and public holidays.
- Shorter emails are easier to read, especially on mobile devices. Readers are lost with each scroll.
- Link to extra information.
- This often determines if a message will be opened, so catch the reader's attention with a short, engaging and direct subject line.
- The ideal length is 25-50 characters.
- Make sure the goal of your message is clearly stated at the beginning.
- Include a short, clear call to action (e.g. "register now," "apply today," "read our newsletter," etc.).
- Keep messages to the point; avoid inspirational quotes and flowery language.
- Include contact information.
- Use plain language and avoid jargon.
- Avoid all caps for accessibility purposes and to not produce an angry tone.
- Exclamation points can create a friendly or excited tone, but too many may reduce professionalism.
- Expressing gratitude is a great way to make a message feel friendly and professional.
- Limit the number of hyperlinks.
- Use text that describes the link's destination rather than language like "click here."
- If a message is sent by a department or office, include general contact information.
- When sent from an individual, use an email signature.
Style and formatting
- Break up long blocks of text with shorter paragraphs or numbered/bulleted lists.
- Use SUNY Cortland's official fonts when possible. Avoid fonts that are hard to read.
- Black text on a white background is easiest to read.
- Refrain from over-formatting (e.g. centering, bold, italics, various colors and sizes, etc.).
- Remember many messages will be read on mobile devices. Ensure content will be easy to read on any screen size.
- Images can help grab attention but shouldn't distract from the message.
- Images may cause the email to load slowly, causing the recipient to abandon the message.
- The recommended maximum image size is 800px wide.
- Review the Writing Style Guide for the correct way to list dates, times, on-campus locations, office/department names and other topics specific to SUNY Cortland.
- Carefully proofread before sending.
- While flyers and other graphics may be included, make sure text is also typed into the body of the message for those who use assistive technology, have a slow internet connection or whose email client blocks images.
- Non-decorate images require alt text. If an image fails to load or cannot be viewed, the alt text describes the image to the reader.
- Avoid overusing emojis and do not use emoticons.
- Maintain a high degree of color contrast (i.e. dark text on a light background).
- Replace the word "click" with other terms such as "select" or "choose."
- When possible, place information directly in the email body or link to a webpage. Many PDFs have accessibility errors, and mobile devices may not have the necessary application to view certain attachments.