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Email Marketing

Overview

Email marketing can be an effective and low-cost way to distribute information to large audiences. Sending mass emails can help you reach a wide, targeted audience without bearing design, printing or postage costs associated with print publications. Mass email communications can be used for event invitations, newsletters or general announcements, and can reach specialized audience groups such as local alumni, general department alumni, students, donors, etc.

 

Email Protocol by Audience

The process for sending emails differs, depending on your audience.

Emailing an Internal Audience

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff

At the College of Arts and Sciences, the preferred methods for emailing internal audiences are through CWRU Gmail or MailChimp. In some instances, you may want to send a mass email to the College of Arts and Sciences’ department chairs or administrators. An easy way to do that is to email caschairs@case.edu or casadmins@case.edu respectively.

We also encourage you to submit campus-wide news and events to The Daily. Submit your message to The Daily at least 10 days before your target publishing date by emailing case-daily@case.edu.

Please contact us if you need assistance in planning and sending a mass email communications message. It is important to send emails only to those who are affiliated to the relevant college, department, activity, or to those who have intentionally signed up to receive such content (e.g. a listserv). If you send email blasts to recipients who are not interested and did not ask to receive such messages, your emails may be marked as spam.


Emailing an External Audience

  • Alumni
  • Non-alumni donors
  • Prospective graduate students 

In some cases, you will want to email alumni or donors to send a newsletter or event invitation; in other cases, you may be recruiting graduate students to your programs. In either case, it is important that you are aware of the guidelines.

Prospective Students
The preferred method for emailing prospective students is through Hobson’s Connect or MailChimp. Please consult with Lisa Chiu, the college’s director of marketing and communications, with questions about emailing prospective students.

Alumni and Donors
The preferred method for emailing alumni and donors is through iModules, which is integrated with the university’s alumni and donor database. Due to information privacy rules, only development staff members have access to this emailing system and the alumni and donor contact information. While these staff members can’t give you email addresses, they can send an email on your behalf. Please contact Jennifer Schad, manager of development operations and stewardship, at jxs1411@case.edu or 368.0096 and she will walk you through the three-step email process described below.

Using the alumni and donor database is important because:

  • It helps us avoid contacting the deceased and/or upset their living relatives
  • It prevents us from contacting individuals who have asked the university for no contact or no solicitations
  • It prevents us from wasting time and money sending mail to the wrong address, duplicate mail to spouses, etc.
  • You’ll reach a wider audience

 

Email System Processes

Set yourself up for success and learn about the best practices and policies for using the following email systems.

Steps to Creating Messages for a Targeted Audience

  • Develop target send date
  • Draft program description, artwork/images (if applicable), and biosketches or requests from program planner, guest and/or speaker
  • Write copy, design layout, submit to program planner for review, send test messages (to fellow staff only)
  • Send mass email
  • Allow at least one full week to write, design and send the message
  • Consult with the college marketing team to obtain faculty, student or staff email lists
  • Follow the university branding guidelines
  • Keep an email contact list to everyone receiving the communication (as you would with print mailings, it is important to keep track of your audience in case you need to follow-up for time or location changes, or want to send additional news)

Tips to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Message

  • Include a distinct “call to action” (ex: “Join us for a free reception!”)
  • Include links to relevant web content
  • Include a date, time, location and brief description
  • Include contact information for questions (email, telephone number, address) and parking information (if mailing to off-campus constituents)
  • Include an RSVP deadline date, if applicable
  • Strive for optimal email file size and load time

 

 

Using an Email Alias/Google Groups

Using Google Groups to create an email alias (ex: biology@case.edu) for your department has several advantages over using one’s personal email address, especially with regards to use on websites or in marketing materials. Aside from looking more professional, using an alias allows people to contact the department in general rather than a specific person. Also, multiple people can access the email alias through Google Groups. This is helpful so that if one person is out sick or on vacation, another person can respond to any emails that are sent to the alias. While it is a good idea to designate one person as the lead responder for the alias, having the ability for others to also access the alias is very useful.

How to Create a Google Group/Email Alias
In order to create an email alias, you must create a Google Group. Google Groups makes it easy for organizations, such as departments, project teams and student groups, to collaborate and communicate. Here are the steps for creating a Google Group/email alias:

 

Using MailChimp

[Protocols + process info to come]

 

Using iModules

The university uses an email system called iModules to communicate with alumni and donors. In some cases, you may want to contact alumni or donors with a newsletter or special event invitation. Due to information privacy rules, only development staff members have access to this emailing system and the alumni and donor contact information. While these staff members can’t give you email addresses, they can send an email on your behalf. Please contact, Jennifer Schad, manager of development operations and stewardship at jxs1411@case.edu or 368.0096 for questions.

Three-Step Email Process

  1. Pick a date for email delivery: provide roughly two week’s notice
  2. Define your audience: In order to create an email list, we must define the audience. Since email is free, you don’t have to worry about how many people you are emailing. At the same time, be respectful of your audience and only include constituents who would find the information relevant and useful. See the List Development section below for more guidance on who to include in your list.
  3. Prepare your email content

Information You Must Provide

  • Text for the body of the email
  • Text for the subject line of the email
  • What email address do you want the email to come from? (We recommend the chair or a department google groups/email alias account)
  • What email address do you want email replies to go to? (Choose who you would want to respond to the emails)

Optional

  • Photo file/(s) you want to include
  • Links to your social media accounts; otherwise, the general college social media links will be used
  • Links to pdfs or documents featured on your website

 

List Development

When you are sending an email, you may need help finding contact information for you audience.

Internal Audiences

  • Faculty and staff: [Add information about getting lists to contact faculty, staff, etc.]
  • Students: [Add information about getting lists to contact students]

External Audiences

1. Alumni and DonorsSometimes you will want to contact alumni, donors and/or community members outside the university. When we do so, it is important to use the most up-to-date contact information available.

Using the Alumni and Donor Database is Important because…

  • It helps us avoid contacting the deceased and/or upset their living relatives
  • It prevents us from contacting individuals who have asked the university for no contact or no solicitations
  • It prevents us from wasting time and money sending mail to the wrong address, duplicate mail to spouses, etc.
  • You’ll reach a wider audience

Email Lists
The university policy does not allow alumni or donor emails to be shared with departments; however, emails can be sent on your behalf through iModules. For help sending an email to alumni or donors, contact Jennifer Schad, manager of development operations and stewardship at jxs1411@case.edu or 368.0096 and/or read the section above on Using iModules.

USPS Lists
To request a list of updated physical addresses for your audience for a USPS hard-copy mailing, contact Jennifer Schad, manager of development operations and stewardship at jxs1411@case.edu or 368.0096.

Defining Your Alumni/Donor Audience

Alumni

  • Based on majors and/or minors
  • Based on class year
  • Based on a geographical area (ex: within 50 miles of Cleveland)

Non-Alumni Donors
Sometimes your department’s best donors are not alumni. Don’t forget to include these special supporters!

  • Based on time frame (ex: in the last year, 3 years, 5 years, etc.)
  • Based on a donor’s geographical location (ex: within 50 miles of Cleveland)
  • Based on a giving threshold (ex: donors giving $1,000+)

2. Prospective Students: Departments with graduate programs communicate directly with prospective students. [To learn more about…]

 

CAN-SPAM Act

When you’re sending out bulk emails to a list of your own, it is best to follow the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 guidelines. Although the website covers commercial messages, the laws also apply to nonprofit organizations.

The key points of the CAN-SPAM Act are:

  • Include a physical contact address on the email
  • Make sure that the email details how to be removed from future mailings (and that these requests must be honored)
    • Ex: “To unsubscribe from this list, please reply to this email and add the word “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.”

If you choose to send a mass email through Outlook or Gmail, you’ll need to make sure you take care of all the points laid out on the CAN-SPAM web site. Other programs such as MailChimp and iModules take care of this for you.

Page last modified: November 15, 2017