Do you need to email large groups of alumni, prospective students, or others? If so, you should use a service designed for bulk email campaigns, and not your Lafayette account. Using your Lafayette account to send bulk email to more than 100 non-Lafayette addresses presents two problems:

  1. Receiving mail servers often identify bulk email as spam. If a server tags your message as spam, not only will it not get delivered to addresses on that server, but it makes Lafayette’s system look like a spammer. The result: our server gets “blacklisted,” i.e., we end up on a widely-shared list of mail systems responsible for sending spam, and other systems automatically reject mail sent from all Lafayette addresses.
  2. The more addresses you’re sending to, the more likely you will be sending to people who have not asked to be included in your mailing. And the more recipients who tag your unsolicited message as spam, the more likely we are to get blacklisted.


Frequently Asked Questions

I really need to send bulk email. What can I do?

The college suggests you secure a subscription to a bulk email service such as Constant Contact or MailChimp, which will allow you to send to many addresses at a time. ITS has no affiliation with Constant Contact or MailChimp – departments need to make their own arrangements with commercial email services of this kind.

If I use the service, will people know the email is from me (or my department)?

Yes. These services allows you to designate the sender and reply-to addresses, a name that will appear in the message’s “From” field, and a Subject.

Why can't I just use my regular Lafayette account?

Receiving mail servers often identify bulk email as spam.

Using a commercial services for bulk email avoids those problems because the company has relationships with Internet Service Providers that help keep users of its services off of email blacklists.

Are there other benefits of using a bulk email service?

Yes. These services provide reporting information so you can see (e.g.) who clicked on links included in the message and to which addresses (if any) the message was not delivered (and for what reasons).

How should the message look?

You should look at the message before it is sent to make sure that it looks professional and does not look like a phishing scam. Ask yourself, if you were to receive this message, would you think it is legitimate?

Can I include links, images and other things in my message?

Yes. You have the option of sending your message as HTML, which allows you to format the message and include images and links. They also offer several message templates as well as the ability to create your own to match your department’s or project’s identity.

How do I get my addresses into these systems?

Create a list of addressees in Excel, then save the list as text (.txt), or as Comma Separated Values (.csv), or as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls). Address lists in all of these file formats can be imported into the services.

Can I import a list of email addresses from a Banner extract?

Yes, however there’s one extra step you might need to take. The services usually import one email address per line, but a Banner record can have several addresses attached to a single person, even within the “preferred email” field. Prior to importing your address list, go through your extract and make sure that there is only one email address per row. If you need to send an email to several addresses for the same person you should create multiple rows for that person.

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