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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. At present, we can send a message 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.

Establishing the process that distributes the message and distributing it can take some time. While we will attempt to meet your delivery schedule, please be aware that a message that is deemed more urgent or a problem with system hardware can delay the delivery of your message to its target population. We will try to distribute any message received within 24 business hours of its receipt. For example, to insure that a message is received by its target population by Monday morning, in most instances we would need to receive 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.

Delivery of messages that the sender believes require handling faster than the normal delivery process must receive from an appropriate Vice President or designee a designation for same day delivery—where the information to distribute the message (including its text and any needed email addresses) is provided no later than 3PM on the same day the message needs distributing—or emergency delivery—those rare and truly urgent deliveries that for safety or security purposes must begin as quickly as possible and proceed as rapidly as possible or that must happen after business hours or on a weekend. Same day delivery or emergency delivery requests should be accompanied by a telephone call to the UVa Help Desk (434-924-4357) with a verbal request to alert the email postmaster to the special handling mass electronic mailing request.

Upon receipt of all needed information, postmaster will direct the request for the mass electronic mailing to the appropriate individuals within ITS who will oversee the distribution of the message.

Delivery Limits

To ensure normal performance of the University's email delivery system, we have implemented a throttle on messages through any non-dedicated email server so that 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: 2015-06-22