University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.


Mass Email

About mass email

Mass email is a message sent to multiple recipients, not as part of a normal business functional communication. Alumni newsletters, large event invitations, and solicitations are common examples of mass email. If you'd like to send a mass email, begin with the information and instructions in the I Want to... section. If you have questions about whether your message is mass email, contact

Lyris ListManager (Lyris) is the University's mass email distribution system. Learn more about Lyris on the eCommunications—Enterprise Mass Email site.

Before sending mass email

Be sure your message serves your communications or project plan, and that your audience will be served by your message.


Mass email must include a 220 pixel wide wordmark in the header or prominently placed in the HTML message part. Use of the University’s mass email templates is recommended.



Mass email recipients should be provided a privacy statement that explains how any data obtained through the email will be handled.

Users of Lyris must include a link to the University’s Mass Email Privacy Statement. The Office of the General Counsel must approve privacy statements for mass email sent using other software, such as Constant Contact.

Legal requirements, including CAN-SPAM

University units sending mass email messages must adhere to the federal CAN-SPAM Act. See "CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business".

Opt-in and double opt-in

When a recipient opts-in (subscribes) to a list, they are asking to receive communications.

To prevent the addition of bad addresses (false, maliciously added, or typoed), double opt-in is required, where feasible, for lists maintained in Lyris.

Double opt-in steps:

  1. Following a request to subscribe, a confirmation email is sent, containing a link or other method the requester must use to confirm their subscription.
  2. The requester uses the link or other method to confirm their request.
  3. The requester receives a welcome message and is added to the list.

With Lyris, you can and should customize the confirmation and welcome messages.

Opt-outs and unsubscribes

Messages must provide a way for the recipient to opt-out or unsubscribe. The only exception is for official University communications sent to email addresses.

Alumni and donor requirements

Messages sent to audiences defined using University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) data must:

  1. Be sent using Lyris, using lists, known as segments, created by the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF).
  2. Use a segment not older than ten days.
  3. Use UMF's opt-out URL format.

Any and all fundraising campaigns conducted using mass email must work with an established University foundation and follow the requirements set forth in the Gift Solicitation and Acceptance policy.

Mass email surveys may be sent to alumni or donor audiences using email addresses from a University foundation database only with the foundation’s prior approval.

Internal-only requirements

Large-scale, internal mass email (e.g., to all faculty systemwide) sent using Lyris ListManager must include in the footer (1) the role or unit of the sender and (2) the audience, in standard form:

"This message was sent by <role/unit> to <audience>."


"This message was sent by the Senior Vice President and Provost to all Twin Cities students, faculty and staff."

Email and advertising

The sale of advertising space in University electronic communications to non-University entities implies an endorsement of a service or product. To preserve its academic independence and integrity, the University of Minnesota expressly chooses not to allow advertising on University websites, in email, on digital signage, and in other electronic publications. Advertising in any form, including banner advertising, in University of Minnesota electronic communications is prohibited.

Required email elements

Standard email templates for use by units include all required elements and are generally also appropriate for audiences.


  • Wordmark at the top or prominently placed in the message part if an HTML message part is used
  • "University of Minnesota" clearly identified in the text part
  • Name of the sending unit clearly identified (e.g., in the "UNIT NAME" section of the email template, in the “from” field, in the subject line).
  • A link to the University's mass email privacy statement at If using a system other than Lyris ListManager to send mass email, this statement may not be applicable and must be verified as accurate by the Office of the General Counsel.

Example of mass email template on a mobile device

Example mass email.

Click to see larger image


Required when sending to email addresses:

  • Opt-out or unsubscribe link, or method to opt-out or unsubscribe, except for messages that are primarily transactional (e.g., "We've received your order.")
  • Name and physical mailing address of the sending unit
  • Clear, non-deceptive "from" field using a email address
  • Non-deceptive subject line.

lyris listmanager

The University uses Lyris ListManager to distribute mass email to internal and external audiences. This tool is used by many colleges, schools and administrative units throughout the system.

email checklists

Use these checklists to make sure you're using the email templates properly and you have all the elements you need for the message.

download directory

All downloads available on the Our Brand site, all in one convenient location.

Go to downloads.