Internal Mass Email
For the purposes of these guidelines and requirements, internal mass email—regardless of the tool or system used to send the message—is any single or group of identical unsolicited mailings sent to a list of individuals within the University of Minnesota system.
These guidelines and requirements do not apply to messages that are sent to a group of email addresses:
- created for a class;
- made up of members of a student organization or residents of a residence hall;
- made up of all or any combination of students, faculty, or staff members within their own college, department, or unit;
- that a unit has a relationship with (i.e., a college's student body or students in a specific major, people who have purchased a ticket for a performance); or
- where all subscribers signed up voluntarily to receive information.
Requirements and Restrictions
Internal mass email is appropriate for:
- Messages that are time sensitive.
- Messages that serve as a short digest or newsletter that directs people to other locations for more information.
- Administrative system- or campus-wide messages that apply to all or a majority of the recipients.
Unacceptable use of internal mass email includes:
- Messages that are not in line with the mission of the University.
- Messages that are personal in nature.
- Messages sent to any ALL list audience (see ALL lists in the Lists section) for the purpose of marketing or advertising of programs, majors, classes, products, or events offered or sponsored by the University. Units should use other methods of communication for these purposes, such as Brief, MyU, the Events Calendar, email newsletters, or established email lists. See “Building an Internal Mass Email List” below.
- Solicitations for contributions, charities, or participation in personal activities not related to University purposes or not sponsored by the University.
- Solicitations for non-University businesses operated by University faculty or staff.
- Messages that target audiences that might appear discriminatory or may appear to be infringement on privacy.
- Offensive material.
To promote operational efficiency and network security, the following must be observed with sending internal mass email:
- Attachments are not allowed in mass email. Use a link to a website or a Google doc instead.
- Messages sent to University email addresses must be consistent with existing University policies (see Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources).
To keep the amount of mass email at a minimum and to promote readability, units should consider these best practices:
- A mass email message should be brief, self-explanatory, clear, and concise.
- Avoid sending frequent or repeated messages. Use other communication methods noted in “Alternative communication choices” below.
- Send collaborative messages with others at the University to avoid redundancy and reduce the number of messages sent.
Alternative Communication Choices
Before deciding on mass email as the choice for any communication, units are strongly encouraged to use alternative communications. Contact your parent unit's communications professional for additional options.
Campus E-Update (administrative news digest)
UMC Today (online news)
Contact Andrew Svec, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-281-8438
Eagle's Eye (weekly student newsletter)
Contact Meloni Rasmussen, email@example.com
Currents (newsletter for faculty and staff)
Send all requests for news articles, news releases, Currents social media, and to be included in the UMD section of Brief to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Cheryl Reitan, External Affairs, email@example.com, 218-726-8996
Bulldog Update (weekly digest of campus activities for students)
Weekly Bulletin (newsletter for students, staff, faculty)
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (must be received by Tuesday at 4 p.m. for Wednesday publication).
Undergraduate Update (monthly newsletter)
Graduate and Professional Student Update (bi-weekly newsletter)
Events Calendar (submissions open to all faculty and staff)
Google Groups (opt-in based on interest or affiliation)
- About Mass Email
- Administrative Email List (AEL) Job Codes
- Branding in Mass Email
- External Mass Email
- Mass Email Lists: External, AEL, and ALL
- Mass Email Requirements