Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

To ensure the best effect for emails to many recipients within Jacobs University, it is wise to consider some guidelines:

  1. If possible, don't send mass emails! They are considered unsolicited communication by many, and ignoring this perception will strengthen resentment and future rejection.
  2. Consider using the Jacobs Blackboard instead of email. It is much more recipient-friendly.
  3. Consider what your recipients want! Instead of thinking about your intention, think about how the message will be received by your audience.
  4. Use mailing lists! That's what they are for. Everyone can create and maintain them, see Utilizing Mailing Lists, and others are regularly maintained (see below).
  5. Choose the address list appropriately! There are many mailing lists at Jacobs University to chose from, targeting addressees by topic or group. (see below) Pick the right one to prevent alienation.
  6. Send plain text only! HTML email can not be read by all recipients. Even if they can, chances are high, it will look different from what it looks on your system, so far as to be unreadable. Also mind users who don't have graphics (e.g., mobile phones). If sending rich HTML email to mailing list recipients is appropriate (see above), see How to configure a mailing list for sending HTML emails.
  7. Send only text, no attachments! Upload relevant documents to a web server (e.g., teamwork) and link to the document in the email text. (Or, skip the document preparation and write the information on the web, e.g. on teamwork.)
  8. Consider what your recipients can read! Don't link to Microsoft Word documents many can't open, others just won't.
  9. Write the list of email addresses in the Bcc: field, instead of the To: or Cc: fields, if not sending to a mailing list. The latter would be obtrusive to the individual's privacy (whose email address you would have disclosed to others), and would further spreading of viruses and worms (which often replicate by email to all email addresses in individual users' addressbook, which you would have flooded with potential targets). There is also the danger of someone using "Reply To All" and sending out even more unsolicited emails. Some email clients list all recipients before showing the text (will the recipient scroll 20+ screen pages to read a three line email text?). Email printouts would waste pages of paper for email addresses (go green!).
  10. Consider to send personalized emails by using mail merge, if a mailing list doesn't suit the needs at hand. Use this sparingly.
  11. Know and respect history. Email has a longer tradition than web pages, and many email recipients still know and use email how it used to be. Respect the community and blend in by following proper email netiquette. Don't set bad examples.

Following these hints will get better recognition. Ignoring them will likely lead to getting ignored: the annoyed recipient's spam filter is only one click away!

Mailing lists often asked about:




event announcements


daily chit-chat


official announcements to all students (maintained&moderated by Registrar's Office)


official announcements to all non-student Jaocbs members (maintained&moderated by IRC-IT)


all admin users (maintained&moderated by IRC-IT)


all employees of Jacobs University (maintained&moderated by personnel department)

"All" email users at Jacobs can be reached by sending email to both of jacobs-users and jacobs-students-announce. This is only acceptable for official business announcements by the University.

The full list of mailing lists at Jacobs University is here. A concise guide to mailing lists at Jacobs University is here.

Sending a message to multiple lists at the same time (aka cross-posting) is automatically rejected by the system. Please reconsider your audience and adapt your email target.