Mass Email Best Practices and Accessibility
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, email@example.com, 218-281-8438
Eagle's Eye (weekly student newsletter)
Contact Meloni Rasmussen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Currents (newsletter for faculty and staff)
Send all requests for news articles, news releases, Currents social media, and inclusion in the UMD section of Brief to email@example.com
Contact Cheryl Reitan, External Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-726-8996
Bulldog Update (weekly digest of campus activities for students)
Weekly Bulletin (newsletter for students, staff, faculty)
Submissions can be sent to email@example.com (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)
Mass email sent by University units must be accessible to all message recipients. When creating an HTML mass email message, follow University guidelines, refer to the Accessibility of Information Technology policy, and contact the Computer Accommodations Program in the Disability Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Use these guidelines to ensure your messages meet accessibility requirements:
- Use heading tags, rather than simply changing the font style, size, weight, and other attributes.
- Add alternative text for images that convey meaning or represent branding logos and other marks.
- Hide decorative images using an empty alt attribute – alt="".
- Links should be clear and able to stand alone. Avoid links such as "click here," "read full article," more information" and so on.
- Do not rely on color alone to convey information.
- Be sure that the contrast between text and the background is significantly high.
- Use relative (% and em), rather than absolute (px and pt), font sizing to allow recipients to adjust text size to meet their needs/preferences.
- Administrative Email List (AEL) Job Codes
- Advertising in University Digital Communications
- Mass Email Lists
- Mass Email Requirements