Mass Emailing to External Audiences

April 2, 2019

All faculty and staff of Lebanon Valley College must adhere to the following policy pertaining to mass email communication to external audiences. Failure to follow this policy puts LVC at risk of federal fines and being unable to reach wide audiences via email and can result in and may result in a suspension or removal of email privileges.

 

Definitions

Mass/bulk email —unsolicited email sent to more than 50 addresses

Blacklisting—when email providers block emails that come from a domain (such as lvc.edu); emails that get marked as spam because of how they are sent or their content can result in blacklisting that temporarily prevents an organization from sending any mass emails through that email provider; blacklisting can significantly interrupt business functions. At LVC, for example, it could result in our not being able to send mass emails to email prospective students or alumni.

CAN-SPAM Act—Federal law covering all email messages that include commercial content. It establishes requirements and gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them. Each email message in violation of the law can result in a fine of $41,484.

Commercial Content—Promotes a product or service. Transactional emails that are part of a previously agreed-upon relationship (recipient has opted-in to receive emails) are not considered commercial content. Examples of transactional emails: Sharing visit or event opportunities, scheduling visits or meetings, notifying recipients of updates or changes to policies, programs, etc.

Email harvesting—Collecting email addresses for your use without the permission of the recipients (email address holders have not opted-in to receive your emails). This includes using email addresses collected from company and organization websites.

Marketing Cloud—LVC’s mass email platform. It pulls email addresses from college databases, ensuring recipients have opted-in to receive emails. It also includes an opt-out functionality that meets the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act and removes the addresses of those who no longer want to receive emails. Marketing Cloud tracks open and click-through rates in the aggregate and for any recipient in the College’s Salesforce database. The platform includes branded templates so that LVC can send consistently high quality, readable, and responsive (able to be read easily across devices) mass emails designed to significantly reduce the risk of blacklisting. 

Opt-in/Opt-out—Mass emailing is a permission-based tactic. Recipients must expressly agree to be placed on a mailing list. They may do this by filling out online or paper forms or giving permission to third parties to share their addresses with clients. Every email message that is part of mass email communication or includes commercial content must provide a link for recipients to opt out, and the recipient’s name must be promptly removed from the mailing list. LVC’s Marketing Cloud software automates this function.

 

Mass Email Policy

MASS/BULK EMAILS: All mass emails containing commercial content for off-campus recipients should be approved and deployed by Marketing & Communications through the College’s Marketing Cloud software unless otherwise approved by the Chief Communications Officer or designated representative.

DEPARTMENTAL E-NEWSLETTERS: For all departmental e-newsletters to external audiences of 50 or more recipients, Marketing & Communications will design templates, review and edit/approve copy, and send the emails via the College’s automated marketing system. This helps the College adhere to the CAN-SPAM law, allows for the tracking of open and click-through rates, and supports unsubscribe management. LVC Marketing & Communications will send e-newsletters within two weeks of receiving mailing list and all required content from the requestor.

SPONSORSHIPS: Sponsorships may be included in mass emails (examples: corporate sponsorship of e-sports; business sponsorships in alumni e-newsletter). Sponsorships may also be included in transactional (non-commercial/non-mass-messaged) emails as long as the primary focus of the email is transactional and not focused on the sponsor (commercial).

SENDING FROM INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS: Mass emails containing commercial content are not permitted to be sent from an individual’s lvc.edu account.

EMAIL HARVESTING: Email harvesting is strictly prohibited.

SECURE DATA: Sending secure data via email is prohibited except when documented permission is obtained through the Office of Information Technology. 

ADHERENCE TO COLLEGE POLICIES: All email sent from lvc.edu or a third-party representative of must adhere to College policies as found in the Student, Staff, and Faculty Handbooks, including:  Nondiscrimination and Equal Employment; Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment; Employee and Student Gender Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Sexually Inappropriate Behavior; Anti-Hazing; FERPA; and Employee/Student Relationships.