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.
The process for sending emails differs, depending on your audience.
Emailing an Internal Audience
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com respectively.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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
Tips to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Message
Using Google Groups to create an email alias (ex: email@example.com) 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:
[Protocols + process info to come]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 368.0096 for questions.
Three-Step Email Process
Information You Must Provide
When you are sending an email, you may need help finding contact information for you audience.
1. Alumni and Donors: Sometimes 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…
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 email@example.com or 368.0096 and/or read the section above on Using iModules.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 368.0096.
Defining Your Alumni/Donor Audience
Sometimes your department’s best donors are not alumni. Don’t forget to include these special supporters!
2. Prospective Students: Departments with graduate programs communicate directly with prospective students. [To learn more about…]
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:
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.