Bulk Messaging Policy
I. Statement of Policytop
This policy statement conveys key requirements for the appropriate use of New York University’s bulk email system, Email Direct. Email is an important communication tool and should be used responsibly, consistent with law and with the mission and policies of the University.
II. To Whom the Policy Appliestop
All University personnel involved in the procurement, preparation, and deployment of bulk email or subscription email messages sent via Email Direct.
III. Policy and Procedurestop
A. Use of Bulk Email
1. Access to Bulk Email System
Email Direct is NYU's official service for authorized employees to send Bulk Email to specific segments of the University community. To use this service, an account must be created on the user’s behalf in accordance with relevant University policies and procedures and at the discretion of the Digital Communications Group. Access to Email Direct for new users typically requires authorization by a dean, department chair, or other existing Email Direct user for schools. New central administrative unit users will also typically need authorization from a supervisor or existing Email Direct user.
2. Guidelines for Sending Bulk Email
Senders of Bulk Email must use the email service responsibly and abide by all NYU policies and procedures and federal, state, and other applicable laws and regulations.
While email is the principal tool for communication at NYU, it is recommended to limit the length and frequency of mailings. Bulk Email should be sent sparingly and only when the message is of high value to the recipients. Bulk Email should be curated for a targeted audience. Saturating your audience with unsolicited email may create a negative response to your message, even if these mailings are official University business.
Bulk Email to staff and faculty should be sent during local office hours (typically 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.). Bulk Email targeting multiple global locations should be sent at optimal times for all recipients according to local time zones. This may necessitate sending the same email to different audience groups at separate times (e.g.: an email sent during regular business hours in New York City would reach Shanghai in the middle of the night).
Send times for Bulk Email to students may vary depending on content, urgency, and recipients.
Bulk Email should follow NYU’s digital accessibility guidelines. Refer to NYU’s best practices for accessible email.
3. Restrictions on Bulk Email
Bulk Email should not use false or misleading header information (“To”, “From”, or “Reply-To”), or deceptive subject lines. Header information should accurately represent the sender and subject lines should clearly state the purpose of the message.
Email Direct may not be used for the purpose of sending:
- communications related to personal activities or non-University business;
- communications that violate University policy or applicable laws or regulations;
- communications that are counter to the University’s mission and core values; and
- Commercial Email.
The Provost Office or their proxy will consider exceptions to the prohibition on Commercial Email on a limited basis if the email is directly related to official University business (e.g. Campus Services sending an email to students, staff, and faculty regarding voluntary meal plans.) In the case of an approved Commercial Email, the email must:
- clearly identify the message as an advertisement;
- include a valid physical mailing address in the body of the email; and
- provide the recipient with a way of opting out of receiving future emails that advertise or promote the relevant product or service.
4. Recipient Lists
Access to recipient lists for students, faculty, and/or staff is determined by the purpose and type of Bulk Email (Official vs Subscription). Recipient data may be pre-seeded for Subscription Email intended for the entire University, otherwise subscription email recipient lists must be grown organically by allowing recipients to opt-in to subscribe.
B. Sending Official Communications
Email Direct (EMD) is NYU’s official Bulk Email system designed to reach Current Members of the NYU Community based on their roles and affiliations. EMD ensures that recipient lists are kept confidential and up-to-date, bounced email and other anomalies are handled in a structured environment, and that Cross-University Email is coordinated for orderly delivery.
Official Communications from schools, departments, and other units at NYU should be sent using EMD. Current Members of the NYU Community are not permitted to unsubscribe from Official Communications.
1. Official Communications Within Schools, Departments, Administrative Units
Any school, academic department, or administrative unit may send Bulk Email to their own respective faculty, students, and/or staff, as applicable. This may include sending announcements, internal newsletters, and notices on the unit’s own governance and concerns.
Any school, academic department, or administrative unit wishing to send Bulk Email targeting faculty, students, or staff of another school, academic department, or administrative unit must obtain approval from and coordinate internally with the primary communication team of the targeted school, department, or unit.
2. Cross-University Email
Cross-University Emails must be reviewed by the Office of the Provost or their proxy.
a. Limitations on Cross-University Messages
- There are restrictions on how many Cross-University Emails a group may send out per semester.
- Administrative units, schools, and school-based groups are allowed to send two messages per semester. Schools may send one additional message during the summer semester.
- Should your school or division need to send out additional Cross-University Emails above and beyond these limits, the request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Office of the Provost or their proxy.
- During the final two weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters, mailings to students should be avoided.
- Cross-university reminder mailings about previously sent messages are not permitted.
3. Restrictions on Official Communications
Email Direct should not be used to send Official Communications to recipients who are not Current Members of the NYU Community, i.e. prospective students, prospective employees, alumni, and donors. Communications intended for alumni and donors must be coordinated with University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), and communications to prospective students should be coordinated with Undergraduate Admissions or the graduate admissions team within the applicable school.
C. Sending Subscription Emails
Subscription Email should be sent only via a subscription list, from which individuals may unsubscribe.
Subscription Email may include organization/department newsletters, event invitations, promotions, or information on special interest topics.
1. Address Requirement
Subscription Email is required to include the real, physical address for the group sending the message. The address must be styled using a fully legible text size and a strong color contrast between the font and the background.
2. Unsubscribe Requirement
All Subscription Email must include a working, and clear and conspicuous link to unsubscribe. Use a strong color contrast and reasonable text size to ensure the link is easy to find and understand.
- Ensure the email includes a link to "unsubscribe."
- Honor opt-out requests in a timely manner.
- Do not re-add emails of those who have unsubscribed.
3. Restrictions on Subscription Emails
Email Direct may not be used to send subscription emails to recipient lists purchased or otherwise acquired from third parties (exceptions will be made on a case-by-base basis). Recipients who are not current members of the NYU community must opt in to receive subscription-based messages.
About This Policy
Effective Date Supersedes N/A Issuing Authority Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategic Communications; Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer; Provost Responsible Officer Senior Director, Digital Communications Group, University Relations and Public Affairs
Bulk Email: Bulk email, or mass email, is identical or substantially identical email messages simultaneously sent to a large group.
Commercial Email: Emails that are intended to advertise or promote a product or service or which are otherwise commercial in nature.
Cross-University Email: Email messages addressed to a population of students, faculty, and/or staff that spans multiple schools or units of NYU.
Current Member of the NYU Community: Any University employee, student, or other individual who is assigned a University NetID and has a current affiliation with the University.
Official Communications: Messages considered essential to the mission or operations of the University or academic policy and procedures are considered official communications. For messages that are distributed solely within an individual school or unit, the Dean of such school or Vice President (or equivalent position) in charge of such unit, or their respective proxies, may determine whether an email is essential and appropriate for distribution. For Cross-University Email, the Office of the Provost determines whether a message is essential and appropriate for distribution. Official Communications may include but are not limited to presidential and provostial communications, registration and academic notices, public safety warnings and alerts, unit/departmental updates, and legally required communications.
Subscription Email: Direct email communications targeting a curated list of recipients that are directly related to University business but do not qualify as Official Communications. Subscription Emails may include but are not limited to organization/department newsletters, event invitations, promotions, or information on special interest topics. All emails that target non-NYU email addresses must be subscription emails.