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 all mass email communications 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.

Policy Requirements

  1. The communications 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. Mass emails must be sent via university-approved platforms. Primary mass communications are distributed via Emma, the university's central email blast solution.  Additional tools delivering mass email communications approved for use must still follow the university review and approval process. 
  5. 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. 
  6. A request must be sent to University Communications in advance for email blast distribution, per the timeline outlined above.
  7. All email blasts must contain approved university branding.
  8. All email blasts must be ADA-accessible and compliant with the university's Information Communications Technology Accessibility policy.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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. 
  12. The 'from' email address must be on the list of approved email addresses and cannot be from individual user email accounts.
  13. Email attachments for blast communications are reviewed by case/request. When approved, attachments must be accessible.
  14. Digital communications, like web content, must also follow the Web Presence Guidelines
  15. For assistance in preparing an email blast, please contact University Communications.


High-Quality Images

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


Headshots of UCO faculty and staff need to be high quality, professional and meet university branding standards. 

Images and/or Graphics Must Note Contain Text to Convey Meaning 

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 any graphical element or image design will be considered and determined on a case-by-case basis upon review. 

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 Accessibility 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 this policy in addition to 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

  • Daily mass email communications will not exceed 3 messages to any one audience segment, exceptions include emergency and special priority communications. 
  • Communications are scheduled based on submission and approval date. Submitting in advance increases the chance of the preferred date and time of distribution. 
  • Mass communications are scheduled outside of the 8 a.m-5 p.m. hours of operations. 
  • 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 the Office of 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 the Office of University Communications at least five (5) days in advance of the desired release date.
  • Email blasts will be reviewed and approved by the Office of University Communications with assistance from the Office of Information Technology as needed.
  • The Offices of University Communications and Information Technology reserve the right to decline approval based on policy and or other more appropriate communication avenues. 
  • This approval process applies to all university mass communication distribution systems. 
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Article ID: 39751
Wed 9/27/17 12:30 PM
Fri 1/19/24 4:15 PM

Related Services / Offerings (5)

Centralities, the university’s daily newsletter shares information to all UCO Faculty and Staff. Students receive a modified, student edition on Tuesday and Thursday each week.
Request help related to your email service.
Need to email a large group, we can assist. Request an email blast, sometimes known as a mass email or single message to a larger group.
Request help related to a disruption in your email service.
Submit suspicious emails that spam or a possible phishing attack.