[unisog] off topic: mass emailing

Michael Holstein michael.holstein at csuohio.edu
Fri Sep 17 17:54:04 GMT 2010

> Sorry for the off topic post, but I'm looking for some feedback about
> how you are handling requests for mass mailings to internal
> constituents.

We use a product called "Group-Mail". One benefit is it can interface to
our ERP system and dynamically build a recipient list based on SQL
queries (for example .. just students, just staff, faculty+staff, etc.).
It can also throttle (batches of 100, etc.). It was pretty cheap, IIRC.

As to the "who can send" paradox .. there are special addresses for each
of those rules-engine based lists, and only particular IT staff can send
to them. Messages are sent from the (interested party) and then we send
it out. This largely avoids "noise".

The routine "hey .. this event is happening on Wednesday" sort of thing
is grouped into what we call "campus mailbag" once a week. This also
cuts down on the noise .. that's an HTML email with one-liner links to
the website (so 20-ish events only create one email).

The only time we send mass emails out for a single subject through this
system are IT-related warnings (a particularly realistic phishing email
and reminder, etc.), but even those have to come from a select few people.

Hope this helps.

Michael Holstein
Information Security Administrator
Cleveland State University

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