Bulk Email Best Practices

SUU E-Mail Policy

Bulk or mass email sending is covered by SUU policy 5.58 University E-Mail Policy. Section D) Mass E-Mail and E) Abuse of E-Mail are particularly important to abide by when sending bulk email. Please familiarize yourself with policy 5.58 and sections D and E in particular. For instance, section E 5 prohibits sending emails to more than 10 people except for situations covered in section D, Mass E-Mail.

Best Practices

Use Email Marketing Software

When feasible, sending approved bulk email should be done using an email marketing software service such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. These types of email marketing services follow best practices and help you comply with laws and regulations regarding sending bulk email such as the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. They allow you to maintain an email distribution list and they allow people on your email distribution list to opt-out at any time.

Use the blind carbon copy (Bcc) feature

If you do not use email marketing software, when sending bulk email, always put recipient email addresses in the blind carbon copy (Bcc:) field. Using the Bcc field allows the email to be sent to your recipients without disclosing everyone that was included as a recipient. It protects the privacy of the recipients and prevents people from accidentally hitting "reply all." Not only is using Bcc proper email etiquette, it is also a best security practice.

If your email is for marketing or advertising and you are not using email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you will still need to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act rules. You will need to tell people how they can opt out, clearly identify the message as an ad, tell recipients where you are located, etc.

Send from a verifiable SUU email address

When sending bulk email in compliance with SUU's E-Mail Policy, the from address must be an suu.edu email address. You should never send bulk email from a Hotmail Gmail (gmail.com), or any other non-SUU email account.

Email Lists

All email lists used for sending bulk email need to be obtained from a trusted source. A trusted source would be an SUU department charged with the care and stewardship of the population in the email list. The Reporting Responsibilities at Southern Utah University (SUU) document http://suu.edu/general/ir/datacouncil/pdfs/reporting-responsibilities-at-suu.pdf provides directions on which SUU office to contact for obtaining email lists for a given purpose and a given population of students/employees. Email lists need to honor SUU's directory hold, confidentiality, inactive, and deceased indicators in Banner. Banner should be considered the master source of email data. Email lists should be verified against Banner data periodically.

Avoid excessive formatting

When sending bulk email, avoid excessive formatting like non-standard fonts, multiple text colors, etc. The content of the email should be easy to read. It is usually best to use the default font that your email client provides. Simple paragraphs with minimal styling such as bolds, underlines, and simple headings is best. Keep in mind that people will be reading your email on many different types of devices, phones, tablets, desktops, and watches. When you use excessive formatting, you will never know what your email will look like. It is best to keep it simple.

Helpful?

Related Articles: