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Best Practices for CSULB Mass (Bulk) Email Communications

The following information serves as a guideline for creating and sending bulk/mass emails using campus resources, such as the CSULB Listserv (@list.csulb.edu) or @csulb mail. It is strongly encouraged the following practices are effectively employed when creating mass email communications.

Email Composition

Envelope Information

  • Your "From" address should not be false or misleading; it should accurately identify the person or organization initiating the email communication.
  • Send from a verifiable CSULB email account or listserv (@csulb.edu or @list.csulb.edu)
  • Broadcast messages should be configured for moderation so recipients cannot reply-all.  If moderation is not enabled, use the "bcc" (blind carbon copy) function - this ensures that if a recipient responds with the "reply-all" function, it does not create a second mass email.  The "bcc" function also helps ensure privacy of the recipients.

Subject Line

  • Use clear and concise subject lines that define the purpose of the email.
  • Using overly expressive punctuation like, quotation marks, dollar signs, exclamation points, and all capital letters may trigger mail filters to intercept mail.
  • Certain words, word combinations and phrases will trigger spam filters and direct your mail into recipient's junk/trash mail folder.  See this article for examples.

Email Body

  • Use plain-text format whenever possible to reduce the variability in how email is displayed in recipient's email application.
  • Use links to website-based content to help keep your message short.
  • If possible, avoid hyperlinks to third-party websites. Instead, consider posting third-party website hyperlinks on a CSULB hosted website and reference the university website link in the mass email; this is more secure and provides a level of authenticity.
  • Avoid sending attachments.  Instead, consider posting the attachments as a file or webpage to a CSULB hosted website and then reference the CSULB website link in the email. This practice helps minimize unnecessary load on email servers and provides a level of authenticity.
  • On longer email communications, use a table of contents at the top of the body of the email with links (anchors) that enable readers to jump down to sections of the email.
  • Use more text and fewer images, and avoid text within images. (A high image-to-text ratio usually gets labeled as spam and directed to the junk/trash folder.)

Opt-Out

  • Where applicable, tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future.
  • CSULB students, faculty, and staff cannot opt-out of official communications from the University.  These communications may be sent to preferred email addresses defined in MyCSULB (or auxiliary HR system), or university provided  @csulb.edu or @student.csulb.edu accounts.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly.  A response time under 10 business days is good.

 

 Resources

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