In order for email to remain an effective means of communication, the university must be strategic in its use of broadcast email messages. Using email impersonally or indiscriminately will harm the credibility of the entire university and make alumni, students, donors, faculty, staff, parents and friends of UH less likely to welcome email that would be of interest to them.
Broadcast email is any message or group of messages intended for an audience greater than 100 people. All broadcast email to UH System alumni, donors and friends should be created and sent using iModules, an email marketing tool. iModules is administered through the Division of University Marketing and Media Relations.Click here to find your Community URL to log-in to iModules.
Emails to current students, faculty and staff should be requested through IT at email@example.com.
Opting in to Email
Opt-in email campaigns are based on permission-based marketing. If constituents give you permission to communicate with them, then they are more likely to be engaged. The email list you are sending to consists of only constituents who have agreed to receive a particular message. The email content is more personal and relevant to the interest group to which it is being sent.
An opt-in email address is one in which the owner has agreed to receive future email communications from you. This is done through an email subscription form, that allows the constituent to sign up for emails they would like to receive. This eliminates unsolicited messages, which enables safer email campaigns and lessens SPAM complaints.
Click here for UH email subscription form.
Rules & Regulations
All UH System colleges and departments should become familiar with applicable rules and regulations related to broadcast email, including:
- The CAN-SPAM Act: http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
- To comply with this Act, iModules email footers are pre-populated with your valid physical postal address and an opt-out method for your constituents.
- iModules works with the leading ISPs to ensure that your emails are white listed and are not treated as spam.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in the Rehabilitation Act (Section 508 Amendment): http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
- iModules Statement of Responsibility: (PDF link)
Only trained email administrators can build email messages using iModules. Training for iModules is located in the iModules Client Community. In order to access the live online training sessions in the Client Community you must have a valid username and password. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request log in information for the Client Community.
The mandatory training courses, which are hosted online with a live instructor, are Email Marketing and Query Building. These online sessions must be complete in order to receive a username and password to login to the email marketing tool, called the prototype.
The username and password for the prototype is different from the username and password used to login to the Client Community. Please email email@example.com to receive your username and password for the prototype after training is complete.
Even after you have started building emails in the prototype, be sure to make use of the iModules Client Community as it offers many tutorials, videos, how-to documents and FAQ’s.
Policies & Procedures
- University Marketing only builds email messages in iModules for the President’s Office or the Division of UH Marketing and Media Relations. Each college is responsible for building their own messages.
- Any member of a natural constituency (alumni, donors, parents and friends) for whom University Advancement has a valid email address will receive email communications from UH unless he/she requests otherwise.
- University Marketing reserves the right to cancel messages if branding policies and guidelines are not followed.
- University Marketing reserves the right to reschedule messages if email volume to a particular audience is high.
- University Marketing reserves the right to determine the appropriate audience for any message being sent.
- University Marketing reserves the right to approve or decline a message request.
- University Marketing reserves the right to prioritize outgoing messages based on email volume or solicitation requests.
- Broadcast email may not be used for:
- Solicitations without prior approval by University Advancement
- Gathering contact information on alumni, donors, parents or friends without the approval of University Advancement
- Political solicitations
- Merchandise sales (exception: links to Athletics and UH Arts ticket sales)
- Service sales
- All UH broadcast email to alumni and donors is scheduled on the universal email calendar, which can be viewed here: https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=imodulesuh%40gmail.com&ctz=America/Chicago
- Emails can be scheduled for any day of the week using the Email Project Request Form.
- A member of the iModules team will confirm or provide feedback on the date requested.
- Email project request forms should be submitted at least three full business days in advance of when you would like the message to launch.
- Once confirmed, the email will be added to the email calendar in iModules.
- If sending to only UH interest groups:
- Interest groups can be queried in iModules.
- Emails can be scheduled any day of the week.
- Emails can be sent multiple times in one week.
- If sending to audiences other than interests groups:
- Can be queried in iModules or requested from Advance.
- Emails will be scheduled based on other messages scheduled for that week.
- Each community will be able to send one message per week.
- Power Users will be granted access to schedule and release email messages.
- Sometimes emails will need to be rescheduled at the last minute if a priority message, such as an email from the President, needs to be sent on a particular day.
See iModules email calendar below:
- Use of the UH/UHS president and chancellor’s image or name must have written approval from the VC/VP of University Marketing and Media Relations before an email can be launched. Use of a signature image is not permissible. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To maintain compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, UH General Counsel has approved a blurb, which must be placed in the footer of every email. This footer can be found as an iModules content block called, “Mandatory UH Footer”.
- The “reply to” email address will always be email@example.com. A member of University Marketing checks this inbox daily and sends necessary responses/comments to each email administrator.
- State the purpose of the email in the first few lines.
- State the name of the person or organization providing the information. No UH email should ever ask for a constituents username or password.
- Emails cannot contain attachments. It is advisable to include a hyperlink to the document or information on your website.
- Do not include hyperlinks to web pages that request user information.
- The University of Houston name, logos, marks or other branding elements cannot be used in the promotion of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or firearms/firecrackers.
- All emails being sent through iModules are reviewed for UH branding.
- UH System policies regarding governing communication, graphic standards, computing and privacy should be applicable to broadcast email.
- Emails must include an approved UH word mark.
- If a hyperlink in an email message sends a constituent to a UH web page, the web page must have an approved UH word mark in the header.
- Constituent data in iModules is populated with information from the Advance database maintained by University Advancement.
- Constituent interest group information is also maintained in Advance.
- Data is synced nightly between iModules and Advance. New graduate data is uploaded six to eight weeks after graduation.
- All audiences can be queried in iModules, except for groups based on donation information or solicitation emails requesting funds.
- Any email requesting funds must have an appeal code associated with the audience, which is provided by Annual Giving in University Advancement. These groups will be uploaded to iModules separately.
- Emails requiring audiences based on donation information must have a corresponding data request. Advance data requests can be submitted through the UA Intranet. A cougarnet username and password is required to access the Intranet.
- Advance Data Requests must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the email launch date and the output can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Colleges, departments and UH System members may only send broadcast emails to alumni, donors, friends, constituents who have opted in and full time faculty or staff affiliated with their college of department.
- Files of email addresses will not be released internally or externally. All broadcast email will be sent by University Marketing personnel or designated power users.
iModules Reviewer Group for Emails:
- Preview emails must be sent for all outgoing emails.
- All preview emails will be sent to email@example.com. This iModules Reviewer Group consists of members of the Marketing & Communication team, Annual Giving and various members of University Advancement.
- Emails should be reviewed and approved internally before sending to the iModules Reviewer Group.
- Include your name, email name and date email is to be sent in the “comments” section and your email address in the “reply to” section, so we know who is sending the preview email.
View the iModules manual online below:
Please refer all questions about iModules to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.