Email Blast Policy and Guidelines

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to colleges, offices and departments that wish to utilize the email software for general purposes. This document details the approval process that email blasts will go through and critical requirements for sending emails. This document is not all-encompassing, and individual circumstances will be taken into consideration when approving an email blast.


High-Quality Images

Images must be high resolution and properly sized to fit the email template.

Avoid Images Containing Text

Images must not have any text saved as part of the image in compliance with accessibility standards set by the Association with Disabilities Act.

Text that is part of a graphic design element will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Alternative Text Required

All images must have alternative text that describes the image being used in a way that relates to the reason behind using said image. Example: photo of a woman wearing a blue hat outside cheering for a sporting event.


Videos can be included in emails as links—either text links or linked from an image. Videos should open in a new window to play. Videos can be hosted on YouTube or UCO On Demand (Kaltura).

Embedded videos will be removed from email communications as they are not compliant with UCO's Information Communications Technology policy and are often blocked by email clients as potential email threats, such as malware. In addition, embedded videos are often not accessible and lack playback controls.

Appropriate Language and Content

Content must use appropriate grammar and punctuation as well as language that is relevant to the message of the email.

Content used in the email blast must adhere to university standards and be appropriate for the target audience. No excessive swearing, political affiliation, lewd or indecent content or misleading language should be used.

Use language that is relevant to the message of the email. A conversational tone would benefit a casual email blast about certain information, while a more sophisticated tone would benefit an informational, academic email blast.

Email blasts and/or Centralities cannot be used for the promotion of outside or personal sales, fundraising or marketing efforts. Fundraisers for official UCO student, faculty and staff organizations are permitted.


Targeted Emails

Any email blasts that target email addresses must not have the opt-in/opt-out feature included. UCO email addresses may not opt out of any email sent by any UCO entity.

External Mailings

A defined target audience will produce better results than a mass email with no defined audience. Try an opt-in approach to reach audiences interested in the message. Email addresses that opt-out of receiving the email may not be re-added to the mailing list manually.

Internal Mailings

Any email blasts that target email addresses cannot include an opt-out feature. UCO email addresses may not opt out of any email sent by a UCO entity.

Mailings to Alumni and Donors

Mass mailings intended for distribution to Alumni and Donors must comply with the Office for Advancement Email Policy and may be requested via the communication request form linked within the policy. 


Use text to describe the destination of a link

Web links, or hyperlinks, should not be visible as part of the email text; instead, create a hyperlink using the relevant text.

Use of phrases like “click here” or “learn more” should be avoided, as they do not describe the destination of the clicked link.

Example: instead of “Click here to go to,” try “The UCO homepage is a great resource for upcoming news and events.”

Non-UCO links

Be cautious when including links to external websites. Make sure the external link is relevant to the message being conveyed and clearly stated.

Sending Frequency

A department, college or office may not send more than three (3) internal emails a week to email addresses outside of that department, college or office.

A department, college or office may not send more than one (1) external email a week to any email address.

Approval Process

  • External email blasts must be submitted to University Communications at least one (1) week in advance of the desired release date.
  • Approval of email blasts is contingent upon scheduling. Email blasts are scheduled outside of the 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. window to avoid conflicting with critical university communications. 
  • Internal email blasts must be submitted to University Communications at least five (5) days in advance of the desired release date.
  • Email blasts will be reviewed and approved by University Communications with assistance from the Office of Information Technology as needed.

Additional Requirements

  1. The content must be related to the university's mission. Mass emails are used for informational purposes and not for commercial or marketing and sales of individual items by university organizations (unless otherwise approved).
  2. The requesting party must obtain approval of the appropriate Dean or Vice President or his/her designee.
  3. Mass email must be of credible interest to at least 1/2 of the recipients.
  4. Centralities and mass emails may not be used concurrently to release the same information to the campus community; excluding emergencies and other time-sensitive critical information. 
  5. A request must be sent to University Communications in advance for email blast distribution, per the timeline outlined above.
  6. All email blasts must contain approved university branding.
  7. All email blasts must be ADA accessible and compliant with the university's Information Communications Technology (ICT) policy.
  8. University Communications will work with the office, department or college to determine a date and time for dissemination of the email based on the target population
  9. Emails with a distribution list of more than 200 require an email blast and proper workflow approval. UCO users may not avoid the mass email policy/guideline by sending multiple versions of the same message to fewer than 100 recipients.
  10. Email blasts sent to external recipients ( email addresses must go through University Communications with proper workflow to ensure compliance with (1) CAN-SPAM which will include list management and opt-in/out functionality, (2) digital accessibility as indicated in the ICT policy and (3) appropriate branding complimenting the email communication. 
  11. The 'from' email address must be on the list of approved email addresses and cannot be from individual user email accounts.
  12. Email attachments for blast communications are reviewed by case/request. When approved, attachments must be accessible.
  13. Digital communications, like web content, must also follow the Web Presence Guidelines
  14. For assistance in preparing an email blast, please contact University Communications.


Article ID: 39751
Wed 9/27/17 12:30 PM
Mon 11/8/21 1:57 PM