Tech Tuesday: e-mail tools and best practices at UST

Tech Tuesday: e-mail tools and best practices at UST

From Information Resources and Technologies

UST has several tools available to help you "spread the word" for news, events and other types of information. By understanding the tools and choosing the right one, you will be more effective in reaching your audience and you will help our e-mail system continue to run smoothly.

Bulletin Today
If your news is aimed toward a broad UST audience, Bulletin Today is the best option. You can determine if the message is intended for everyone, only for students, or just for faculty and staff. The benefit of using the bulletin is that it reaches all UST constituents, is available on the Web and can be found using a Web search feature. Bulletin Today appears in our e-mail inbox, but the actual article is posted on the UST Web site. For more information, visit About Bulletin Today.

Bulletin Update
Bulletin Update is similar to the Bulletin Today in that the news is distributed directly through the e-mail system. Bulletin Updates are generally notices from Public Safety, time-sensitive obituary notices or late-breaking news. The content may later be posted on the Web via Bulletin Today for easy reference.

Exchange e-mail system
Our Exchange e-mail system provides tools for internal and external communication. For ongoing internal communication, you can request a public distribution group that will be listed in the Exchange directory. Attributes of the group can be defined according to your intended use. It can be restricted in useful ways and it can be populated by the owner or by IRT importing a list of account names.

The Outlook Personal Contacts in your mailbox also has an option for creating a distribution group. This allows you to make a unique private distribution list that can include as many as one hundred names. These can be external addresses as well as UST addresses.

External communications
Some communications are directed primarily at external audiences. For this type of audience, Lyris Listmanager is the technology tool UST provides. It is able to send mass e-mail and has features such as list management, tracking and branding. Because of federal regulations regarding spam, users of Lyris Listmanager need to be aware of CAN-SPAM Act compliance, which requires sender information and unsubscribe options in an e-mail message. Lyris users will be hearing more about this soon as IRT is preparing documentation and support for the use of mass e-mail at UST.

Important reminders
IRT would like to remind you to use our e-mail system wisely. Always consider the effect of sending e-mail to a large number of recipients. The servers and network are adversely affected by the load this creates. Mass e-mail messages should only be sent after business hours when peak usage has ended so e-mail delivery is not hindered. Attachments to mass e-mail messages are particularly troublesome and should be avoided if possible; instead, explore other options that can be used such as putting information on a Web site and including the link in the e-mail.

Remember that sending confidential or very private information through e-mail should be carefully considered. We recommend you set up a consultation with your technology representative before using any of our tools for this purpose.

If you have questions about our communication tools, or wish to learn more about best practices, please contact your IRT technology representative, or call the Tech Desk, (651) 962-6230.