Guidelines for Email Marketing

Email is one of ACC’s official methods of communication. Here are some guidelines to help you understand how the college uses ACCmail and tips to improve the success of your message.

ACCmail usage

ACC limits the total amount of email sent to students to ensure users are able to manage their inboxes. Messages must be relevant, timely, and important.

  • To send an all-student ACCmail message, you must have approval from the vice president of student services.
    • The chancellor, provost, executive vice presidents, vice presidents, police chief, and emergency management coordinator are authorized to use collegewide student email to communicate information that relates to their area.
  • For ACCmail messages to targeted groups of students:
    • Academic deans have approval authority. Deans may grant permissions to department chairs to communicate information that pertains to their area of study.
    • Student services deans and directors also may use targeted student email for communications that relate to their area.
    • All others must obtain permission from the vice president of student services.

Best practices

  • Students, faculty, and staff should use professional standards when communicating via ACCmail. Don’t send anything you wouldn’t say publicly.
  • Keep messages simple and direct.
  • Use plain text – don’t include HTML or formatted content. Note: Many email programs turn off images by default, and not all users can view attachments.
  • If your message isn’t relevant for all students, send to a targeted group.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Make sure your information is accurate.
  • Test any hotlinks you include.
  • Think about your subject line. If it doesn’t seem relevant, users may not open your message at all.
  • Do not use ACCmail for solicitation, promotion of political viewpoints, or to share information unrelated to ACC business.
  • You can track your message’s open rate and other metrics using Google Analytics or your email marketing tool.

Notes about SPAM

Spam is unsolicited email. By sending email to only to those who have requested to receive it, you are following accepted permission‐based email guidelines. There are exceptions, of course, including transactional emails (e.g. a sales receipt, shipping notice, etc.) and office email.

All legitimate email marketing providers follow the provisions of the federal CAN‐SPAM Act. Many supplement the act with their own rules in their terms of service. The combination of law and terms of service place a high bar for what qualifies as SPAM.

Reputable email marketing providers have strong anti‐spam policies. For example, before uploading an email list on Constant Contact, the service makes you answer “yes” to each of the following statements:

  1. My list is consent based ‐ All contacts have given me or my business their prior consent to receive email communications.
  2. My list is NOT a third party list ‐ My list has not been purchased, rented, appended, or given to me from any third party source.
  3. My list does NOT contain role addresses or distribution lists ‐ e.g. email addresses that may be received by more than one individual: sales@, support@, users@, list@, etc.
  4. My list does NOT contain e¬mail addresses captured in my address book without prior consent. Including but not limited to: user group addresses, transactional addresses or auto‐response addresses.

Any addresses uploaded to email marketing providers that do not follow all four statements violate its terms of service.

Here are some other caveats to remember:

  • Make sure the people on your list have explicitly consented to receive emails from you for the purposes of marketing or communicating to them. Do not copy/paste addresses you find on the web.
  • Make sure the list is current. Lots of old email addresses cause lots of bounces, which influence your email’s deliverability.
  • A SPAM report occurs when one of your subscribers receives your email campaign and then reports it as unwanted. This can be as easy as selecting the “This is SPAM” button in their email account or the subscriber sending a complaint directly to Constant Contact or to another reporting service. As an example, Constant Contact tolerates only one SPAM report per 1,000 e¬mails sent.

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