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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.