OHIO Email Guidelines and Protocols


As a result of the Spring 2020 realignment of communications and marketing at Ohio University, University Communications and Marketing is now providing a comprehensive and robust central platform and creative support for email marketing to all Ohio University divisions, units, programs and initiatives. In order to ensure the best support with well-trained resources and to streamline costs, all mass email communications outside of those connected to customer relationship management (CRM) databases used by University Advancement for alumni communications, Athletics for communications and ticketing, or by Enrollment Management or academic colleges for student recruitment will be supported through a central email platform.


This guidelines document addresses the central email platform managed by UCM and covers email marketing and mass email communications sent both internally and externally with the following exceptions:

  • Emails to university alumni will continue to be managed through University Advancement with creative and platform support from UCM and will be primarily delivered through an email marketing platform connected to the alumni database.
  • Emails to prospective undergraduate students will continue to be managed through Enrollment Management with support as needed from UCM and delivered through the Slate CRM.
  • Emails to prospective graduate students may be managed through the UCM platform, through Slate, or through CRM platforms managed at the college level depending on the program and circumstance.
  • Emails to customers and potential customers of Ohio University Athletics will continue to be managed through Athletics and delivered through their ticket software, Paciolan.
  • Important business process emails, such as notifications send to students related to financial aid, scholarships, billing, etc., that require the inclusion of personal information, will continue to be managed by the appropriate University department and are outside of the scope of these guidelines.
  • When Ohio University considers a crime that would pose an ongoing threat to students, employees and members of the Ohio University community, "Crime Alerts/Timely Warnings" are posted by the Ohio University Police Department throughout campus. Alerts may be posted for the following crimes: arson, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal homicide, motor vehicle theft, robbery, and sex offenses. Crime alerts may also be posted for other crimes as deemed necessary. If Ohio University were to issue an Emergency Alert in the event of a situation or phenomenon that has the potential to immediately impact the Ohio University community, it would be available at http://www.ohio.edu/emergency/.

Email Platform

Aside from the significant exceptions noted above, OHIO colleges, divisions and departments seeking to send mass communications internally or externally should use UCM’s central email marketing platform, Emma. 

Emma is a WCAG-compliant platform, meeting the university’s digital accessibility guidelines. After setup and training are completed with the UCM Email Marketing office, users can manage their own email campaigns, or, if only occasional mailings are needed, users can request a single email send by completing the project request form

Emma’s features include:

  • OHIO branded, professionally designed email templates.
  • Support for preconfigured recipient lists for (most) OHIO audiences from OHIO systems of record, that are automatically updated. 
  • Personalized salutations (“Dear [name]”). [Not available until the integration takes place, and this will still require manual updates within each subaccount.]
  • Multiple user roles (creator, reviewer, sender).
  • WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
  • Google Analytics UTM code creation. We provide you with parameters and request your participation in adding UTM links to your emails. This will help our SEO Marketing Analytics Specialist monitor traffic coming to ohio.edu landing pages
  • Robust analytics dashboard.

Guidelines for Sending Email Using Emma

Emma users must use the service responsibly and abide by all Ohio University policies and procedures and federal, state, and other applicable laws and regulations, as well as the terms & conditions outlined in the acceptable use policy for the Emma platform.

Emma Subaccounts

Any college, division, or department currently using Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or another third-party email application to send mass email, upon renewal terms of the third-party contract will be directed to Nick Claussen [claussn1@ohio.edu] to determine if email needs can be met using the Emma platform. Provided Emma is an appropriate solution, the Email Marketing team will provide departments with subaccount access, templates, training, and information on adding Google Analytics to their email campaigns.

Requesting an Email From UCM

Please attempt to have all collateral ready and approved when submitting your email, including:

  • Sender's name and email address - This name and email address will appear in the "From" field of the message.
  • Subject - This will appear in the "Subject" field of the message.
  • Message body – The content of your email. This must include a clear call to action.
  • Recipients - The group or groups of individuals who should receive the message.
  • Send date - This should be at least 1 week from the date of your request.

The Email Marketing Team will conduct an internal proof on all emails before submitting a proof for the client on Teamwork. 

Internal Email (Faculty/Staff/Student Lists)

To request an email to the students, faculty, or staff of a particular college, use the UCM project request form. Please allow at least one week.

UCM distributes two weekly emails, the OHIO News email, which sends every Thursday, and the OHIO Employee News (OEN) email, which sends every Monday. OHIO News sends to Ohio University students, faculty, staff, friends and parents. OEN sends to Ohio University faculty and staff. Most content intended for a broad audience can be disseminated through one of these newsletters, rather than requesting a standalone email. Information on and deadlines for submitting stories for these newsletters 

Scheduling Requirement for Email to Internal Lists

In an effort to mitigate the number of emails received by OHIO’s internal audiences (Faculty, Staff, Students) from an internal sender, and to ensure recipients are not receiving duplicative content from multiple senders, any entity who has been granted use of an internal faculty, staff or student list must schedule the send date, content overview and recipient lists on the shared University Email Scheduling Outlook calendar a minimum of seven (7) days prior to the send date. All users on the Emma platform will be added to the shared calendar and it will appear under the calendar list when an Outlook calendar is opened. 

To schedule an email on the shared calendar, please select either “New Event” or “New Appointment,” and use the following format (this will differ slightly depending on whether you use Outlook online or the Outlook desktop app). 

Title/Subject: Submit the title of your email for example, Keeping Bobcats Informed or Ohio News. If the email is non-recurring and isn’t titled, use the email topic as the title for example, Budget announcement to staff. 

Attendees: leave blank

Date & Time: Input the date and time that the email will send from Emma (you can approximate the time but the date should be confirmed)

Room or Location: Complete this section by sharing the recipients you are sending to. For example an email that is going to students only would reflect STUDENTS. And email going to everyone on campus would reflect STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF. 

Description: Provide a basic list of content to be included in your email.

Process for Requesting Email to Alumni

Per University policy 37.030, all alumni communication must be sent in conjunction with the University Advancement database and CRM. Colleges, units and departments are not to maintain shadow databases, or distribute emails to alumni, and Advancement Operations does not provide email addresses to be used by individual colleges or entities.

To request an email to an alumni audience, use the UCM project request form. Please allow at least two weeks turnaround time.

IRB-Approved Research Recruitment Emails

UCM partners with the Office of Research Compliance to distribute research recruitment emails. To request distribution of a research email, use the UCM project request form, select “Email,” then select “Distribute a call for research participants with IRB approval.” If needed, UCM reserves the right to make minor revisions for grammar/clarity that, aside from rare instances, should not impact existing IRB approval. If assistance is needed with research wording language/best practices before formally submitting for IRB review/approval, you may indicate that when you fill out the email request form.

Below are some examples of acceptable research emails:

The following is a list of audiences which we are able to target for recruitment emails:

  • Campus
    • Athens
    • Regional Campus (per campus)
    • OHIO Online
  • Academic Career
    • Graduate
    • Medical
    • Undergraduate
  • Academic standing
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
  • College
  • School or Department 
  • Major/Certificate/Minor – what program you are in
    • Certificate

Cannot sort by:

  • Age
  • grade point average
  • Country
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Gender (preferred or otherwise)
  • Year of Graduation

Emails Containing a Solicitation

Per University policy 37.001, all efforts to secure philanthropic gifts from the private sector are to be coordinated through the Development Office, housed within the Division of University Advancement. Use the Advancement Marketing Services project request form to initiate a request.

Use of Images

You may use images from the OHIO PhotoShelter image archive in your emails. Please note that the students in the photo gallery have agreed to be photographed for general use purposes. Please consider whether the images you are choosing are appropriate for your message, and whether the students’ association with your topic are appropriate. These images should not be included in any negative informational announcement emails or other messaging that might cast the student in an otherwise-inappropriate light.

Marketing Emails and Newsletters to External Lists

Entities owning external email lists may upload lists to Emma subaccounts for use in marketing and communicating to external constituents. The use of purchased lists is not allowed. Emma is a permission-based email platform. You can only upload a contact list if everyone on that list has either asked to receive emails from you, or has had a clear relationship with Ohio University in the last 12 months. External emails do not require a schedule entry on the University Email Scheduling shared Outlook calendar; however, all emails are required to have a proofing and approval process in place. University email marketing staff can assist in developing an appropriate proofing and approval process for each sub account owner or can review the process already in place for efficacy. 

Transition from OIT Gammadyne to UCM Email Marketing Team

Beginning April 2021, mass email requests that OIT once fulfilled using Gammadyne will be migrated to UCM. The Email Marketing Team will look at requests on a case-by-case basis and will either 1) offer the requester an Emma subaccount so they can send their own emails; 2) direct the requester to submit their content for dissemination in OHIO News or OHIO Employee News; or 3) facilitate their request using the appropriate existing subaccount.

Security Requirements

Because of the potential impact a mass mailing can have on the university community, emails need to adhere to several basic security requirements. These requirements are designed to reduce recipient complaints and confusion, reinforce anti-phishing best practices and efficiently utilize campus resources:

  1. The From and Reply-to email address must be an @ohio.edu address or the address of an approved business partner.
  2. Links that collect information must point to an ohio.edu website or the website of an approved business partner.
  3. Data found within contact lists should be considered confidential and is not to be shared, disseminated, or used in any way beyond that needed to distribute emails through the Emma system.

If you are seeking information about email marketing that is not available in this document, please reach out to Nick Claussen, claussn1@ohio.edu