Use of large student email lists
Guidance to staff sending messages
ugall, ug-colchester, ug-loughton, and ug-southend,
pgall, pg-colchester, pg-loughton, and pg-southend
Student membership of the appropriate versions of these lists is mandatory. They cannot opt out.
Limited to important University business only - should be related to academic studies, administrative procedures, health and safety, and security issues.
Must not be used for marketing or promoting events or optional activities/opportunities not related to study. (This is a requirement specified by the Information Commissioner’s Office).
These lists have a very restricted set of staff authorised to send to them.
Examples of messages expected to be sent to ug-all and/or pg-all, etc
- Announcements regarding critical incidents or crisis situations.
- Vital safety information - even if campus specific.
- Exam information - eg link to timetable when published.
- Announcements affecting large numbers of students - eg accommodation application arrangements for returning students.
- Periodic newsletters or bulletins with welfare or similar information - eg Health information, Christmas closure.
ugall-info, ug-colchester-info, ug-loughton-info, and ug-southend-info
pgall-info, pg-colchester-info, pg-loughton-info, and pg-southend-info
per-departmental, school or centre opt-out lists (e.g.
lawugall-info, lawpgt-info, and lawpgr-info) - see
lists for a complete list
Students may opt out of these lists. Care should be taken not to overuse these lists as this is very likely to increase student opt outs.
Should only be used for University (or Students’ Union) business.
Can be used for information which is likely to be applicable to large numbers of students.
Should not be used to advertise - use smallads-student for this.
These lists have a limited set of staff authorised to send to them.
Examples of messages expected to be sent to ug-all-info and/or pg-all-info, etc
- Weekly Students’ Union bulletin
- Educational Development Services announcements and bulletins relevant to students
- Recruitment for vacancies on campuses- including volunteering opportunities, paid work and placements.
- Information from Sports Centre.
- Maintenance issues affecting a limited part of campus.
In all cases
- Bear in mind the relevant legal requirements (see ICO website: http://www.ico.gov.uk/). If in doubt, ask the University Information Manager (email information.manager.
If offsite, add '@essex.ac.uk').
- Remember that misuse of the lists will make them less useful as more students decide to opt-out or delete messages without reading them. It is therefore in your best interests to ensure that volume of traffic is kept low and usefulness of information is high.
- Consider whether a large list email is necessary to communicate the message.
- Take care to restrict the emails to the smallest possible group. Use the restricted versions for emails which
are only relevant to students on one campus.
- Would a more refined or opt-in list be more appropriate?
- Are there alternative methods which could be tried?
- Could it be included in another message (eg daily/ weekly bulletin, SU bulletin)?
- Is an email necessary at all? Eg changes to opening hours could be put on door or web.
- Do not send attachments – use links to web pages to keep size of messages down
- Always use a clear and relevant subject header.
- Consider using generic account as ‘sender’ and/or setting up replies to go to a generic account (eg ‘Enquiries about Catering’ ‘Careers Advisory’). This makes it easier for recipients to filter or ignore messages unlikely to be relevant to them.
- As a guide, except in emergency situations, no office or individual would normally be expected to send more than one message per week (preferably less).
- Consider saving several items and sending together in a bulletin or newsletter
- Minimise repetition and reminders.
- Keep the size of emails down, for example by not including unnecessary images.
- Emails larger than 250kb cannot be send to the lists
- Send messages in plaintext if possible
- Remember that most large lists include students at all campuses and can be picked up remotely; consider whether messages are likely to be relevant to everyone.
- Use of large list messages will be monitored and privileges revoked where the system has been misused. Although this guidance is for the lists above, most of the considerations apply to other large lists (eg pgrall, departmental lists)
- Unless absolutely necessary, don't use 'high-priority' or 'follow-up' flags
- If possible, set an expiry date on the message
- Guidance on whether an email should be sent to a list can be obtained from
the University Information Manager (email information.manager.
If offsite, add '@essex.ac.uk')
Other lists and groups - including departmental lists, and other methods of communicating with students will be reviewed in due course. Comments would be welcome on how the University can maintain effective communication with students (http://www2.essex.ac.uk/forms/restricted/service-comments/default.asp?source)