Email Communication Standards

Are you faculty or staff looking to send an official USF email to more than 40 recipients? The standards below will help you get started and do it right.

Introducing new email process changes

View the May 2016 email updates & process changes presentation
View the condensed email style guide handout

When to use which email system

Send toMessage typesSystem to use
Prospective students
Applicants
AllEMT
StudentsRequirediModules
StudentsClass-related updates and announcementsCanvas/
Blackboard
Faculty/staffRequirediModules
Alumni
Donors
Parents
External
AlliModules

Emails to students, faculty, and staff

The main goals of USF internal email communications are to:

  • Ensure students, faculty, and staff receive messages that are important to them
  • Empower students, faculty, and staff to receive information in the delivery format that they prefer
  • Limit the number of internal official USF emails to students, faculty, and staff, in order to increase attention to required messages and improve open rates overall

Emails are sent through the email marketing system called iModules. iModules handles e-newsletters, emails with personalized greetings, and emails targeted to specific sub-segments of the student, faculty, and staff population, as well as emails to alumni, donors, parents, and external audiences.

What types of messages are required?

All required email is easily identified as [USF Required] in the subject line. If the recipient does not agree with the importance of the message, the recipient may reply to the sender.

The following emails are considered required reading messages:

COMMUNITY-WIDE

Emergency
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: USF-wide by default
Other channels: USF Emergency System, Announcement, Digital Signage, Social Media

Safety Bulletin
To increase awareness of safety issues on and around a USF campus
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Consider targeting to include only those present at the affected campus location.
Other channels: USF Website, Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media

Facilities Updates
Need-to-know notices of construction/closures that impact the USF community, or a specific USF campus
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Target only those audiences who are active on the affected campus or location.
Other channels: USF Website, Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media, Flyer/Poster

Technology Systems
Updates, downtime, and scheduled interruptions of systems that affect the USF community
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Target only those affected by technology update.
Other channels: Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media, USF Website

LEADERSHIP MESSAGES

Message from the President
Updates deemed by the President to be relevant to the USF community
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: University-wide by default.
Other channels: Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media, USF Website, Digital Signage

Message from the Provost
Updates deemed by the Provost to be relevant to the USF community.
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: USF-wide by default.
Other channels: USF Website, Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media, Digital Signage

Updates from Leadership Team
Significant messages from the president, vice presidents, or deans. Announcements of campus- or university-wide concern
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Send only when a message to all audiences is needed to quickly disseminate correct information
Other channels: USF Website, Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media, Digital Signage

Leadership Team/Unit Changes
Changes in leadership of USF unit, creation of new unit, changes in the organization of a USF unit
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Only target students if the leadership change directly affects them. Other channels: USF Website, Announcement (if USF-wide), Social Media

STUDENT SPECIFIC

Academic Requirements
Information that students need to find, register for, and attend USF courses and programs
Target: Students
Instructions: Target only those students applicable to the requirements. If only undergrad, exclude graduate students. If only SF main campus, exclude students at branch campuses.
Other channels: USF Website

Billing/Tuition
Information, changes, reminders for billing related to tuition
Target: Students
Instructions: Target only applicable students. Exclude graduates if the information is only applicable to undergraduates. Exclude branch campuses and online students if the information is only applicable to SF main campus.
Other channels: USF Website

Financial Aid
Instructions for Financial Aid
Target: Students
Instructions: Target only eligible students
Other channels: USF Website

Health Requirements
Need-to-know information relating to student health
Target: Students
Instructions: Target only affected students
Other channels: USF Website, Social Media

Registration Requirements
Information needed to register
Target: Students
Instructions: Target only affected students
Other channels: USF Website

Scholarship Opportunities
Information needed to be aware of, and apply for, scholarships
Target: Students
Instructions: Target only affected students
Other channels: USF Website, Social Media

Jobs/Career/Networking Opportunities
Information related to career opportunities
Target: Students
Instructions: Select "Jobs/Career Opportunities" category in iModules Email Marketing. Consider e-newsletter format.
Other channels: USF Website, Social Media, Digital Signage, Flyer/Poster, Student Media (Foghorn/USFtv/Phoenix)

FACULTY/STAFF SPECIFIC

Employment/Benefits/Salary Information
What employees need to know about their employment
Target: Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Target only applicable faculty/staff. Consider an e-newsletter format for less time-sensitive matters.
Other channels: USF Website

Policy Updates
Announcements of new policy or changes to existing policy
Send through: USF Connect email
Target: Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Target only those affected by the policy update
Other channels: USF Website

EVENTS

The university sends a weekly USF Calendar email to students, faculty, and staff. The USF Calendar email contains listings of featured events, school/college-specific events, and events specifically intended for students and faculty/staff, respectively. The USF Calendar emails replace the one-off event invitation emails and help decrease the number of emails that students and faculty/staff receive.

To be listed in these USF Calendar emails, your event must be published to the USF Calendar with a description.

What types of messages are optional?

Optional messages are published as announcements on myUSF

Messages that are "good to know" but not required reading should be added as an announcement on myUSF

The following are considered optional reading messages:

TEMPORARY CLOSURES

Office Closures
Notifications to help avoid the frustration of unexpected office closures
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff who receive your emails
Instructions: Use the group with your sender name to ensure that you reach those who are interested in your services.
Other channels: USF Website

Parking Lot Closures
Notifications of limited parking and other parking availability changes
Target: Students, Faculty, Staff who are interested in parking info can stay opted in to this group.
Instructions: Send through the group “Parking Lot Information from Public Safety" in USF Connect. Note: If public streets are closed off, Public Safety sends a required message instead.
Other channels: USF Website, Poster/Flyer

STUDENT SPECIFIC

Student Leadership Opportunities
Updates about opportunities for students to engage in student organizations and clubs
Target: Students
Instructions: Send through Student Leadership and Engagement group
Other channels: USF Website, Social Media, Digital Signage, Flyer/Poster, Student Media (Foghorn/USFtv/Phoenix)

Student Senate
Updates from the (Graduate) Student Senate
Target: Students
Instructions: Send through "Student Senate" or “Graduate Student Senate” groups Other channels: USF Website, Social Media, Flyer/Poster, Digital Signage, Student Media (Foghorn/USFtv/Phoenix)

FACULTY/STAFF SPECIFIC

Financial Counselor
Upcoming dates for financial counseling on campus
Target: Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Send through Human Resources group. Consider (including in) e-newsletter format.
Other channels: USF Website, Bi-weekly event and newsletter

Grant/Award Achievements
Announcements of grants and awards won by USF students, Faculty, or employees, or other achievements
Target: Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Sent through respective sender group. Consider e-newsletter format.
Other channels: USF Website, Social Media

Grant/Award Opportunities
Upcoming deadlines for grants and awards
Target: Faculty, Staff
Instructions: Consider e-newsletter format.
Other channels: USF Website, Social Media

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access iModules?

How do I create emails in iModules?

  • Get approval from your supervisor to set up emails on behalf of your school, office, or department
  • Attend the email admin training. Upcoming sessions: CIT training schedule
  • Gain access and start creating messages

Request OMC to set up and send out your email?

Sending out a one-time message or don't want to go through training? Use this form to request that Web & Digital Communications prepare the email outreach on your behalf. Estimated turnaround time of such a request is 5 business days. If there is already a trained email admin in your office or department, we'll direct your request to them.

How do I add an announcement to myUSF?

Emails to external audiences

  • Messages to alumni, donors, parents of current students and other external groups are sent out through the iModules system and can also be requested through this form. Estimated turnaround time is 5 business days.
  • Messages for prospective students are requested directly from SEM Enrollment Communications.