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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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:
- Following a request to subscribe, a confirmation email is sent, containing a link or other method the requester must use to confirm their subscription.
- The requester uses the link or other method to confirm their request.
- 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 @umn.edu email addresses.
Alumni and donor requirements
Messages sent to audiences defined using University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) data must:
- Be sent using Lyris, using lists, known as segments, created by the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF).
- Use a segment not older than ten days.
- 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.
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 non-umn.edu 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 http://privacy.umn.edu/mass-email/. 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.
Required when sending to non-umn.edu 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 umn.edu email address
- Non-deceptive subject line.