General Mass e-mail policy

Policy Information
Policy TitleGeneral Mass e-mail policy
Responsible OfficeVP of Communications and Marketing
Policy TypeCommunications and Marketing
Policy Number305
Last Revision Date8/30/2022

This University policy applies to broadcast email, which is defined as email sent to 200 or more recipients at a time and intended to reach external constituents of the University (alumni, parents, donors). This policy does not apply to general email sent to students.

  1. General rules to follow
    1. Senders should familiarize themselves with all applicable rules and regulations affecting broadcast email. All broadcast email to alumni must be in compliance with University policies and federal rules, particularly in regard to Federal Trade Commission spam regulations, PCI Compliance Guidelines, Binghamton University Data Governance Policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act guidelines.
    2. Broadcast email to alumni and constituents must be sent using the Binghamton University Foundation's broadcast email services (IModules) unless the subscriber has opted into the specific email. Anyone sending broadcast emails that do not meet these requirements will be asked to cease by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
    3. All requests to send email shall be submitted to the Foundation via an online email request form. 
    4. Broadcast email cannot contain political or commercial messages (with the exception of messages from Binghamton University Alumni Association affinity partners and with approval by the associate vice president for advancement).
    5. Fundraising solicitation email must be approved by the associate vice president for advancement and/or a designee(s).
    6. The size of an email message cannot exceed 300k, due to bandwidth constraints and limits by major internet service providers.
    7. Attachments will not be sent using the broadcast email tool. It is recommended that senders provide a link to a website.
    8. Email content is subject to editing to ensure consistency with the University’s style guidelines.
    9. All email will have a unified look containing at least the Binghamton University logo and/or the Alumni Association logo. Emails should have a consistent look and feel that conforms to University brand guidelines. All writing should follow University style.
    10. Email messages should have a purpose directly related to the University and meet at least one of the following criteria:
      1. Inform the recipient about University, school or department news
      2. Contain a call to action, such as inviting the recipient to an event, asking for assistance or offering assistance
      3. Thank the recipient or involve him/her with Binghamton University.

        Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the vice president for advancement. Failure to follow the terms, conditions and guidelines of this policy may result in restricted access to broadcast email services.

  2. Number of broadcast messages in a given time period
    1. All broadcast email activity will be tracked by the Binghamton University Foundation to ensure alumni/others are not receiving excessive amounts of email communication. Designees from the Division of Communications and Marketing, the Binghamton University Foundation and the Alumni Engagement Office will define what constitutes excessive.
    2. Only two event promotion emails are permitted per event. As appropriate, other publicity vehicles should be considered (e.g., Facebook ads, postcards, phone calls). Exceptions to this policy may only be granted by the associate vice president for advancement and/or a designee(s). 

  3. Required information in emails (per federal CAN-SPAM Act)
    1. Each broadcast email must include an opt-out feature and the permanent mailing address for the Alumni Association or the department on whose behalf the email is being sent.
    2. All email must have a clearly worded subject line. Subject lines should not exceed 10 words.
    3. The stated purpose of the email must be included in the first few lines of the email.
    4. Reply email addresses must include the “” domain or be from designated senders approved by the Alumni Engagement Office.

  4. Scheduling broadcast email
    1. All email must be scheduled through the Binghamton University Foundation email request form to avoid unnecessary overlap with other scheduled emails. Scheduling of email should occur as early as possible and at least two weeks in advance. All necessary information for each scheduled broadcast email must be submitted at least five business days prior to the send date of the message. Find the request form online at All requests must be approved by the appropriate person (see section VI).
    2. Messages will be scheduled for delivery based on their strategic priority to the University.
    3. Blackout dates: No email will be sent on major holidays (religious and other), dates reserved for significant University communication or the last two weeks of the calendar year without approval by the associate vice president for advancement.

  5. Sending surveys to external constituents
    1. The Binghamton staff member/professor requesting/sponsoring the research survey must submit his/her approval for conducting the research project as well as the data set/criteria being requested.
    2. The Foundation Office will pull only one data set using the approved criteria.
    3. The Foundation will send two emails: an initial email and one reminder. No other emails will be sent.
    4. If the desired results are not achieved, the Foundation Office will need permission from the staff member/professor to pull a new set.
    5. All emails should be attributed to the department or program in the from field, rather than the staff member. Replies should come to an appropriate Binghamton address. 
    6. Surveys must be built and managed by the department/professor. The University recommends working with the Office of Institutional Research for surveys. Any other form of survey (Google Docs) will not be emailed to alumni.
    7. Survey sent to alumni involving a faculty tenure review process will be reviewed by the provost’s office before being sent.

  6. Oversight of broadcast email and messaging
    1. Email requesting a gift to the University will be approved by the associate vice president for advancement.
    2. Email involving sensitive issues or broad University messaging will be approved by the vice president for communications and marketing.
    3. Any email with the president’s signature shall be approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
    4. All email involving alumni events shall be approved by the Alumni Engagement Office.
    5. All email involving any school or unit in academic affairs shall be approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing in conjunction with dean of the appropriate school.
    6. Any email going to parents of current students must be approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing, in conjunction with student affairs or other appropriate units involved with the request.
    7. Email (other than email involving sensitive issues or broad University messaging) going to the entire alumni base will be approved by both the vice president for advancement and the Division of Communications and Marketing.
    8. Email segments (such as a residential community’s alumni base or club sports) shall be approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
    9. Email requests from student groups (Student Association (SA)-chartered or other) shall be approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
    10. Email requests from the Department of Athletics shall be approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing.