E-newsletter guidelines

So you want to create and send an e-newsletter? Ask yourself:

  • How often will you publish the newsletter?
  • Do you have the resources to publish on schedule?
  • Do you have the resources to add meaningful content to your web site so you can point e-newsletter readers to the site so they can read more?
  • Have you identified content topics?

Best Practices

  • Keep your e-newsletter design simple.
  • Keep paragraphs short, color your links, and use bold headlines to make it easy to skim.
  • Publish e-newsletters that are fewer than 500 words and focus on a maximum of three stories.
  • Follow the CAN-Spam Laws
  • Offer a way for users to unsubscribe.
  • If available, add social networking links to your e-newsletter.
  • Keep e-newsletter "Subject" lines short.
  • Test your newsletters before sending them out.
  • Always include the current date in the content.
  • Avoid graphics and complex HTML elements.
  • HTML is okay, but be sure to include a plain-text version.
  • Send newsletters regularly.

KUMC Process

  • People creating and sending e-newsletters representing units or departments of the University of Kansas Medical Center will use MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com/) to create and maintain their subscriber lists and e-newsletter files.
  • E-newsletters representing units or departments of the University of Kansas Medical Center will use a template that is aligned with the KU Marketing and Visual Identity (http://www.identity.ku.edu/) .
  • Contact the Manager of Web Design and Management to request an e-newsletter banner image and free MailChimp account. Please provide your name, email, phone, the unit or department for which the newsletter will represent, and name of newsletter if applicable.
  • Upon approval, a banner image and MailChimp account will be created and a KUMC-styled template will be made available in your MailChimp account. The login information will be shared with you, the Director of Communications and the Director of Internet Development.
  • The free MailChimp account allows for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Departments that need to reach more than 2,000 subscribers and send an unlimited number of emails per month will need to pay for such plans.
  • The KUMCNews@kumc.edu email will automatically be added to the list of subscribers for all newsletters when the account is created, and will be included in all campaigns sent by the account.
  • The banner image will be hosted on the KUMC server. Any image files used in the newsletter and the newsletter file itself will be hosted on the MailChimp server(s). KUMC will not maintain an archive of the e-newsletter files.

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Helpful Guides

These tools will be helpful in creating any kind of communications for your department:

KUMC Style Guide determines how campus communicators write for general audiences.

• KU Marketing and Visual Identity is the place for logos, stationery and branding information (including the use of the Jayhawk).

• Photo Release Forms are necessary if you want to use photos of patients or people outside the KUMC community for your website, newsletters or other publicity materials.