Bulk Mailing

Sending bulk email to students is an important component of the U-Mail service, as it facilitates basic university business.  However, bulk emailing is considered by many recipients as being spam: unsolicited and unwanted email from an unknown sender.  This is analogous to the junk mail you receive in your postal service mailbox.

If U-Mail accounts become a repository for junk mail, they'll end up being of limited value towards the academic needs for which the service is needed.  To prevent U-Mail accounts for being the target of such unsolicited email, there are policies to limit bulk emailing to the student body.

Requesting a Bulk Email Distribution

We can send bulk mailings to undergrad students, grad students, or both grads and undergrads.  We do not provide mailings based on class-level or field of study.

Please submit your announcement at least two business days before your intended delivery date.  Any delivery date that falls on a weekend or a holiday will be sent the following business day.  Although we will make a best-effort attempt to send out last-minute announcements, we cannot ensure that such announcements will be delivered as requested.

Read on about the requirements for message content and administrative approval.  Once you are certain your message complies with these guidelines, submit your request using our Bulk Mailing Request tool.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you do NOT receive an email in your inbox after submitting your request, email announce-request@umail.ucsb.edu.

1. Review the Content Requirements

  • Your message must contain plain text only with no attachments or other formatting.  This will ensure it is readable for the largest possible audience.
  • Your message must contain a subject line appropriate to the content of the message body.
  • The message must contain an email "signature" indicating who sent the message and what campus organization is represented.

2. Vice-Chancellor or Dean Administrative Approval

  • Your message must be approved by a senior officer of the university.  For administrative departments, this signatory is the Vice-Chancellor of your umbrella organization; for academic departments, the Dean of your college or division must sign off.
  • After submitting your request, you will receive it as an email so check your inbox.  This email is the contractual agreement between your department and the university with the approver signature section at the end.

3. Options for Getting Signatory Approval PDF

  • You can digitally print this email as a PDF and have it digitally approved (DocuSign can be used).  You can also physically print it, have it approved, and scan it as a PDF.  Your senior officer must certify they have read the caveats about bulk mailing by approving that your message can be sent.
  • The PDF approval memo must be an attached digital copy and contain the entire text of the message in order to be sent.  Please email the PDF memo (request and approval) directly to announce-request@umail.ucsb.eduDo not fax the approval. Please disregard those instructions as that option is no longer viable.
  • The Vice-Chancellor or Dean approval is a hard requirement.  There are no exceptions as this is the contract between all departments and the university.

4. Acceptable Use Requirements

  • To prevent abuse through overuse, no single organization can send more than one bulk mailing in a week and no more than two bulk mailings in a month.  Make sure that your requests do not exceed this limit.
  • The message may not be a duplicate of another message previously sent by the same organization.  Only one copy of any given message may be sent.

Bulk Mailing Details

All messages are sent from the address

    University Announcements <announcements@umail.ucsb.edu>

and have the following tagline appended to the message you submit.

    The above message was sent as a student announcement.
    Replies to this address will not be read or responded to.

Frequently we get replies to messages sent out as bulk mailings.  Any replies sent to our bulk e-mail address bounce back with this message:

    Subject: your reply has not been read

    The message you replied to was sent by the U-Mail system
    as a university announcement. Replies to this address are

    not read by the author of the original message. Please
    review the contents of the original message and contact
    the actual sender for further information.