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Mass Mailing Service

Procedure for Mass Electronic Mailings

This procedure describes the necessary steps to send a mass electronic mailing as specified in the Mass Electronic Mailings Policy.

Electronic Mailings for Advancement Activities must use the University Advancement Procedures for Electronic Mailings for Advancement Activities.

The University of Virginia Health System and the University of Virginia College at Wise have separate policies and procedures.

Certain mailings must be approved. To send a Mass Electronic Mailing:

  1. Decide the target population and message content. If approved, a message can be sent to:
    • all students who have registered electronic mail addresses and/or
    • all faculty and/or staff who have registered electronic mail addresses (includes Health System employees, some people in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies—all Centers—and some people at the University of Virginia College at Wise) or
    • a list obtained by the sender from University data sources
  2. Contact the appropriate University official to obtain approval to send your message. This person will need to know the target population and the message content.
  3. After the approval has been granted, the sender must use the Mass Electronic Mailings Distribution Request Form to request the distribution of the message.

Preparation and distribution of a mass email can take some time. While every attempt will be made to meet your delivery schedule, please be aware that delivery delays can occur due to several reasons, including the need to send a more urgent message in advance of yours or because of system hardware issues. As a general guideline, most messages will be distributed within 24 business hours of its receipt. For example, to insure that a message is received by its target population by Monday morning, you would need to submit it by close of business Thursday. Also know that to obtain the email addresses for a specific target population, you will need to allow your source of addresses sufficient time to generate and provide the email addresses of your intended recipients.

Same-day delivery or emergency requests are only available if approved by the appropriate Vice President or designee.

Delivery Limits

To ensure normal performance of the University's email delivery system, a throttle has been implemented on messages through any non-dedicated email server. For a given computer (connected to a specific IP address at UVa), sending of email messages is limited to 1,000 messages in any 60-minute period.

Properly configured e-mail clients will process the error message from the server when a message distribution exceeds the 1,000 addressee limit, thereby notifying the sender of the need to distribute the message to the remaining addressess after a 1-hour delay.

Those needing to send more than 1,000 messages in an hour from their computer will need to contact to schedule their send, providing to

  1. their sending IP address
  2. approximate number of messages (addressees)
  3. date and time of the send

While we will try to be responsive to emergency needs, 24-hour notice will facilitate our being able to schedule your send.

After your IP address has approval and before you send the messages, you will need to change your outgoing mail server (SMTP server) to:

If you are not using a mail merge program, you will want to send your message to yourself and then put the recipient email addresses into a Bcc: field. Note that most email programs have limits on how many IDs can appear in a To:, Cc: and Bcc: field. If you do not have a mail merge program, we recommend you contact the UVa email postmaster using the address for information on creating a Sympa mailing list for your purpose, even if it will be used only one time.

Sympa Mailing List Guidance

When a Sympa mailing list has more than 1,000 members, all messages to the list must be moderated (held for review before distribution to the list members) and must be distributed outside the hours 9AM to 5PM (inclusive) Eastern Time, Monday–Friday. The sending of these messages also needs coordinated with prior to the distribution of the message to the list members.

  Page Updated: 2015-07-10