University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

Recently in Mass Email Category

Want to include video in that email?

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You might want to think twice before doing that. While not yet updated to cover some of the newest clients, Campaign Monitor's The Current State of Video in Email article covers what works and what doesn't. While the conclusion that use of animated GIFs are the way to go if you absolutely must, which makes some of us shudder, it's clear that the tried and true method of linking to a video, or some Flash application, is the way to go.

MEUG meeting time change

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The Mass Email User Group meeting scheduled for 3-4 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27 has been pushed up by 15 minutes. The meeting is now 2:45-3:45 p.m.

The next Mass Email User Group meeting is Wednesday, October 27 from 2:45-3:45 p.m. 3-4 p.m. in Morrill 238A.

Our main topic will be internal audience segmentation. Matt Sumera, Associate Director for Internal Communications, will present on Internal Communications' work in selecting and refining audiences on the Twin Cities campus and system wide. We'll also look at the data available to see how your college or unit can select leverage these ideas to select from your own students, staff, or faculty.

Want to attend remotely? A screen share and conference call will be available. Note: audio is available only through the conference call. If you would like to attend remotely, please RSVP to no later than 1 p.m. on Monday, October 25. There is no need to RSVP if you will be attending in person.

Lyris nearing license limit

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The University maintains a license that allows us up to 2,000,000 million members in Lyris ListManager. Growth has continued and the system is at 97% capacity.

To date, it has not been necessary to establish any standards or limits on list sizes, or upgrade our license limit.

In the next two days, please do the following to all your lists, excluding lists that end in "-gel" or "-gil."

Method #1: Delete Old Lists

If you have old lists that are no longer needed, request that they be deleted. Make sure to save any member, content, mailing or tracking history you require outside of Lyris before making your request. Key contacts may send requests to, making sure to include the full list name.

Method #2: Clean Out Unnecessary Member Records

If you have lists that contains members who are unsubscribed, unconfirmed, held or in any other non-normal state, you may be able to delete those members. Some tips:

  • Settings exist to automatically purge these members after a certain number of days.
  • If your list is an opt-in list (members explicitly requested to subscribe), there is no need to hold on to unsubscribed member records. If your list is an opt-out list, you must retain and honor records of opt-outs, in Lyris or through another method.
  • Held and unconfirmed members will not receive mailings. Held members should be investigated and then fixed while unconfirmed members should be purged after a reasonable amount of time (e.g. 30 days). Note: autoreplies may result in members being held. Steps can be taken to eliminate most holds due to autoreplies by setting the "Precedence: bulk" header for mailings. See the blog post on reducing delivery failures in Lyris for more information on these settings.

Reducing delivery failures in Lyris

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One of the major issues noted by users of Lyris ListManager during a demonstration last month was Lyris' inability to distinguish between autoreplies and delivery failures. This forces senders to sift through many delivery "failures" to check for blocks and identify bad addresses. A "failure" may also result in a member being held, precluding them from receiving future messages without manual intervention.

Two things you can do to make your life as a sender easier:

  • Include the "Precedence: bulk" header in your mailings.
  • Set your list to not hold members.

Before you read on, if you are not already checking for delivery failures, you need to be, unless you're using University of Minnesota Foundation data in a GEL list or up-to-date, internal-only address lists (all addresses).

Including the "Precedence: bulk" header

This header tells mail systems that a particular message is a mass email, not simply a message from person A to person B. For internal-only mailings, you should always set this header, as it helps prioritize the delivery of mail.

For external mailings, there isn't much anecdotal evidence available yet. For external mailings, it may have positive or negative impacts on deliverability (your mileage may vary), but Google notes the need to set this header.

To add the header for future mailings from a single list:

  1. Go to Utilities‑>List Settings‑>Email Submitted Content.
  2. Switch to the "Email Header" tab.
  3. Enter "Precedence: bulk" (without quotes) in the "Append to SMTP header" field. Enter this bit on a new line if the field is not empty.
  4. Click "Save."

Repeat the steps for each list you wish to set the header on.

Set a list to not hold members

You will need to adjust this setting for each list.

  1. Go to Utilities‑>List Settings‑>Automatic Maintenance.
  2. Set "Hold users" to "no."
  3. Click "Save."

Change members from "held" to "normal"

For less than 50 held members, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Members‑>View Members.
  2. In the selection dropdown, choose "Show: held (bad email addresses)."
  3. Click the email address for one of the held members to open their record.Hint: use your web browser shortcut to open this in a new tab that doesn't have focus, so you can open them all quickly rather that repeating steps one and two for each member.
  4. Switch to the "Settings" tab.
  5. Change "Membership status" to "normal member."
  6. Click "Save."

Repeat steps 4-6 for other members.

Have more than 50 held members? Send an email to and ask that that held members on your list(s) be converted to normal members. Be sure to include all list names fully written out. Note: Typically, you should first set your list to _not_ automatically hold members, unless this is a one time cleanup and held members will be checked after each mailing.

Lyris downtime Tuesday, October 12

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On Tuesday, October 12 the Office of Information Technology will swap a network cable on the Lyris production machine. This may result in downtime of up to 15 minutes. This is scheduled to occur at approximately 6 a.m. To allow for some variance, expect Lyris to be unavailable from 5:45 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

If you have questions or concerns write to

Lyris ListManager 10 demo

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On Wednesday, September 29, from 1-2 p.m., Lyris will demo ListManager 10 for University users. Reporting and ease of use have been two significant concerns we've heard from users of the ListManager 9 (currently running here), so we've asked that the demonstration focus on changes to reporting, deliverability, and usability.

This is a good opportunity to see a newer version of the product and better determine if these changes address any of your business needs.

You will need to register to participate. [registration closed for remote attendees—you can still join us in Morrill 12] We'll be hosting a session in Morrill 12 and encourage other Twin Cities East Bankers to join us here, while others can commute over or participate in the webinar remotely.

Examining eCommunications

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Join your colleagues as we explore topics specifically related to online communications.

Here's the scoop:

Who: Anyone can attend (University students/staff/faculty or the general public)
What: Examining eCommunications webinars. Each 45-minute presentation will focus specifically on online communication as it relates to the University.
Where: On the web
When: August 2010 - June 2011; 10 a.m. CDT
Why: Learn about new best practices, glean tips and tricks, and ask questions of your colleagues all from the comfort of your own chair.
How: Attendance is FREE with registration. Want to receive reminders of upcoming webinars? Send an email to with subject line "Webinar Reminder" and we'll be sure to give you ample notice.

Here's what's on tap:

August 24, 2010
Images library redesign by Jeremy Casper, University Relations

September 28, 2010
Content Store by Pete Wiringa, University Relations

October 26, 2010
Using UMContent by Tim Roman, College of Continuing Education

November 30, 2010
Video by Liz Giorgi, University Relations

January 25, 2011 **New speaker**
Usability by David Rosen, Usability Services Manager, Office of Information Technology

February 22, 2011
Content creation by Office of Information Technology

March 22. 2011
Analytics by Pete Wiringa & Jeremy Casper, University Relations

April 26, 2011
Social networking by Jennie Lijewski, University Relations

May 24, 2011
Working with web templates by Kathy Jensen, University Relations

June 28, 2011
Tabbed search and keyword by Jeremy Casper & Pete Wiringa, University Relations

July 26, 2011
Events calendar by Jeremy Casper, University Relations

P.S. The series was originally titled "The Super Karate Monkey Death Car Webinar Series: A University Relations Tribute to the Writers of Newsradio." Which title do you prefer?

Looking for some email design inspiration?

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The mass email templates we've been distributing for about three years are great for getting up and running, but sometimes you just need to stand out. Grab your designer, someone who can hand code HTML and check out the Campaign Monitor Email Design Galley.

Of course, don't forget to include the wordmark prominently at an acceptable size.

Our Brand: How to Convey It

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I recently read Coca-Cola estimates its brand is worth $12 billion. Now, I'm not putting a dollar figure on the University of Minnesota brand but will simply state, "It is an extremely important asset."

Because the U of M's brand is so valuable, University Relations is embarking on a project to make it easy to give our brand the respect and care it deserves.

As many of you know, brand-related topics, assets, and information are now scattered among five websites: eCommunication Standards, eCommunications-Enterprise Mass E-mail, Graphic Standards, Images Library, and Style Manual. University Relations is unraveling each of these sites, reorganizing the information, streamlining navigation, and reassembling into ONE SITE. Yup! One site -

The new website will include the following for many mediums including electronic, multimedia, and print:
- Logo & Template Downloads
- Photos & Video
- Requirements & Guidelines
- Resources & Tools
- University Style

We are planning on building robust checklists, developing an easy-to-use "I want to..." section, and expanding the current eCommunications blog to address all communications-related topics.

The project is slated to be completed no later than January 2011.

P.S. Speaking of brand, here's a great article on measuring social media and its impact on brand.

P.S.S. One last note, University Relations recently changed two of its style guidelines...
- website is now one word; not two
- email is now one word; no hyphen