University of Southern Indiana

Mass Email Tips

More ways to communicate with students besides email


  • Put USI or "University of Southern Indiana" in the SUBJECT field.
  • Have Text in the subject - don't leave blank.
  • Include a phone number to contact email sender. Something spammers never do.
  • Include a NAME at the bottom of the email - not a generic "System Admin" signature
  • Use mail merge vs. putting all addresses in the TO, CC or BCC field (see below)
  • If multiple recipients use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) vs. TO or CC - unless it is OK for a recipient to REPLY-TO-ALL. 


  • Don't use many different font sizes and colors
  • Don't use a lot of exclamation marks - in the subject or the body of the message.
  • Don't send a large message > 400KB ** (see below)
  • Don't have all capital letters in the Subject.
  • Avoid spam phrases like "click here, Free, etc.
  • Don't send a message with only an image and no text.
  • Don't send a message with only an attachment and no text in the body field.
  • Avoid trailing spaces on the subject line or in unusual places which make the message look “cut and pasted” by a computer application.
  • Avoid symbols in the subject line.
  • Avoid sending an attachment that needs special software to open (example Publisher).

Messages blocked because there are too many recipients.

Some recipients' mail host will block messages if there are more than 20 recipients, that includes CC and BCC. Please try to use the mail merge if you have REALLY large mailings.

After sending a large mailing

Watch your “bounce” rate. If you have an address list  with a lot of bad addresses, take them out. Large mailings are bad enough, but combining them with unknown addresses will cause USI to get on block lists.

If you are sending out a mailing, you should be responsible for some of the clean-up work.  You should take time to process the messages you receive back as non-delivery.  If there is a typo in the email address fix it all the way back to the source (possibly Banner).  There is not much you can do if the recipient’s mailbox is full – but many non-delivery messages can be fixed.

**Mass mailings – please don’t send messages over 400KB.  When you fill someone’s mailbox, they tend to get aggravated. Be respectful that many people now read their email on a handheld device. Downloading a large email weighs on their data package.

How do you know the size of a message?

Send your message to yourself as a test message. 

Now, alter the view of your INBOX – to see the size of each message:

If you have the message preview on, turn it off (VIEW, Reading Pane, OFF)

You should see the field names above the first message: From, Subject, Received, Size.  IF you don’t see the SIZE field – you need to add it.

Steps to add the message size field:

Click View (at top), Arrange By, Current View, Customize Current View, Fields, Click SIZE in the left box, and click ADD, OK, OK.

Look to see what the size of the test message was.  IF it was larger than 400KB – then find a way to reduce the mailing (reduce the number of attachments, graphics…).  Try the test again.

Tips to explain B, KB, MB

(example 400KB is LESS than 3MB)

5B = 5 Bytes (or characters)

5KB= 5,000 Bytes

MB = 5,000,000 Bytes

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