Content Review and Approval
The Office of Communications and Public Affairs will review any submitted mass email requests to ensure compliance with quality criteria, communications best practices and channel effectiveness. If necessary, the email administrator may consult with the email author to determine if mass email is the appropriate distribution channel and suggest other channels that could be more effective, including:
- @UofSC Today e-newsletter
- University calendar
- Targeted distribution list
- Digital boards
- Unit- or department-level resources such as website, intranet, listservs, newsletter, etc.
Quality Criteria for Mass Email
All mass email requests must adhere to the following standards:
- Distribution: Request form must be submitted at least three business days prior to your requested distribution date, with limited exceptions for urgent messages from executive leadership and for emergency notifications.
- Sender: Sender must be a University of South Carolina administrative office, academic unit or department.
- Recipients: All email recipients must have a university-issued email address.
- Content: The content must follow university guidelines, as noted in the Communications and Public Affairs toolbox. Content must also address one of the following critical needs for all faculty, staff
or student recipients:
- Messages from university executive leadership, including the president, provost and Board of Trustees
- Information about university-wide executive leadership strategic initiatives
- Changes to processes impacting a significant portion of the university community
- Deadlines or action-required items impacting all members of the university community
- Items of significant shared interest to all members of the university community, including faculty, staff and/or students as individual audience segments or combined as a whole
- Changes or significant enhancement in benefits of employment (to faculty or staff only).
- Templates: All emails must use an approved HTML template to conform with university brand standards. Custom templates must be submitted for review by the mass email administrator.
- Accessibility: All mass email content must be fully accessible, following the specifications on the Guides & Tutorials section of the Digital Accessibility site.
- Exclusions: Messages will not be sent if they contain:
- Event promotion (excluding certain university-level sponsored events)
- Personal appeals
- Explicit material
Best Practices for Developing Effective Emails
- Your message content should be brief, clear and relevant to all recipients. Instead of incorporating detailed information within the body of your email, provide a compelling summary and a link to additional details on your website.
- Who (person or entity) the message appears to be "from" is important. Many people evaluate the importance and relevance of your message based on who it's from.
- Keep your email subject succinct and avoid sales-heavy language.
- Avoid acronyms and jargon.
- Send collaborative messages with other university offices to prevent redundancy.
- Instead of sending attachments, upload documents to the “documents” folder of your unit website and share the link.
- Don't use “click here” language in or leading to hyperlinked content.
- Proof for grammar and spelling.
- Provide contact mechanism in case the reader has follow-up questions.