Email is an invaluable tool at WPI and throughout the world. Email provides a quick, easy to use, and effective means of communicating with the entire WPI Community. With this in mind, it is important to consider email etiquette and best practices

Email Responsibilities

Courtesy & Civility

Your messages should show respect to and for the recipients.


Be mindful of the impact that mass emails can have on individuals and on the University.



Before sending a message to an entire list, be sure that you are providing information that everyone on that list will need or find valuable.

For example: If you are looking for a campus Notary, it may be tempting to use Potpourri to find one, however, an email to the distribution list will directly contact all registered notaries on campus.


Many lists are governed by AUP which help to direct their content. It is important that the content of your email matches the content specified by the AUP.

For Example: An email about an annual cookie sale that your child is having would be better directed to potpourri than to the employees list.


Email may not be the best medium to convey your message. WPI provides a host of communication methods such as the CMS, Events Calendar, and live displays around campus.

For Example: If your department is holding an event, or sponsoring a speaker, the WPI Campus Calendar on Drupal may be a better place to market the event. The campus calendar allows for people to see event info in one place without needing to filter through their email.

Tips and Tricks


If you are sending to a large group of recipients, and do not want to disclose the other recipients' addresses, placing the addresses in the BCC field will hide them. This will look neater, and prevent reply all issues.

Keep it simple

While the addition of graphics, fonts, colors, or stationary to e-mail messages may seem to add interest, all of these can have varied results on different email clients, or sometimes they might not work at all. They can also greatly increase the size of the message. It is best to send a simpler email, especially to large groups.

WPI Groups and Distribution Lists

Please consider email etiquette when using WPI group email and distribution lists. Misuse of WPI mailinglists violates the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), and can result in penalties. Further tips are in Actions.

Send BCC

When sending to a group email or distribution list, add the list using BCC. This protects the identity of the list and protects the recipients from email flaming events. To help recipients understand why they are receiving the message, include a To: field in the body of the email, e.g, To: Mechanical Engineering Faculty or To: Class of 2024.

Do Not Reply All

Recipients should refrain from using “reply all” to a group email or distribution list. In addition to potentially causing issue with WPI’s email system, it is a nuisance for recipients to receive numerous notifications on their smartphones or distracting pop-up messages on their computer screens.