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Mass Email Guidelines

Mass email is an electronic communication that is sent to multiple recipients not as part of normal business communication. For example, alumni newsletters, event invitations, and campus-wide announcements are common examples of mass email.

The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that electronic communications 1.) are in compliance with accessibility standards, 2.) comply with guidelines that ensure network security; and 3.) effectively and efficiently use campus resources.

Internal (radford.edu) Recipients

Internal mass emails include those sent to all faculty, all students, and various subsets of those audiences who have a Radford.edu email account.

Criteria

The following criteria indicate whether a message can be sent via RU Announce. To be sent, the message must meet one of the criteria outlined below:

  • closures and delays.
  • health and safety issues.
  • information about governance or policy.
  • service changes or outages (IT, parking, electricity, water).
  • other events with the potential to affect a large segment of the university population.

Inappropriate use of RU Announce includes:

  • Personal messages;
  • Messages commercial in nature except those promoting university activities or events.

Sending an RU Announce

RU Announce is managed by the Office of University Relations. Submit your RU Announce message via an online form.

Requirements

Requirements for the email include:

  • Subject lines must explain the content of the message. For example: “Policy changes regarding your insurance benefits.”
  • Font size must be no greater than 14pt. This ensures the message will be most optimally viewable by mobile devices.
  • Font colors other than black are not permitted. This ensures that users with visual impairments that limit their ability to differentiate color are able to view the message as it is intended.
  • All text within the message must be in plain text (i.e. no text embedded in images). This ensures the content of the message is readable by the screen readers used by the visually impaired.
  • Links should be identified. Rather than saying “click here” a link should describe where the visitor will go.  For example: Instead of “Click here” use “Learn more about how this policy change will affect your benefits.”
  • Attachments should be avoided. Email attachments are often used to propagate computer viruses. As a result, many users are hesitant to open attachments. If an attachment is included, a description of what is in the attachment is required. For example: The attached document includes a registration form for the workshop.
  • A footer identifying the role or unit of the sender and the audience, and an e-mail address or phone number. For example: “This message was sent by the Vice President for Information Technology (cio@radford.edu) to all AP Faculty.” This ensures that if a user has any questions about the content, he/she knows whom to contact for more information or to follow up.

External Recipients

External recipients include all those with non-Radford.edu email addresses. These guidelines have been developed to ensure messages 1.) adhere to accessibility guidelines; 2.) are in compliance with CAN-SPAM regulations; and 3.) are effective at conveying the desired information.  If any portion of the audience includes individuals with external email addresses, these guidelines apply.

Requirements for the email:

  • If the message is HTML, the Radford University wordmark (Radford University’s name spelled out in its branded font) must be placed at the top of the message. To get a copy of the wordmark, contact University Relations;
  • If a graphical header is used, an “alt tag” that identifies Radford University must be used;
  • “Radford University” must be clearly identified in the content portion of the email;
  • A subject line clearly explaining the content of the message;
  • A valid reply-to address;
  • A specific name or unit from which the email is from;
  • A footer including an opt-out or unsubscribe link;
  • All text within the message must be in plain text (i.e. no text embedded in images);
  • Attachments should be avoided. Email attachments are often used to propagate computer viruses. As a result, many users are hesitant to open attachments. If an attachment is included, a description of what is in the attachment is required. For example: The attached document includes a registration form for the workshop.
  • Name and physical mailing address of the sending unit.