FAQs: Launch of new CU eComm program

How, why email policy is changing for some users

In response to feedback on the June 7 CU Connections story about the CU eComm program, here are answers to frequently asked questions about the effort.

If your question isn’t addressed here, please visit www.cu.edu/ecomm or contact your eComm specialist.

1. How does the change in the Advance email policy affect my team?

If you email a single list of more than 100 external constituents (alumni, donors, parents and/or friends), you will not be able to request (via Advancement.Reporting@cu.edu) or export those lists from the Advance Database as of July 1.

You may still request a list of “Entity IDs” via Advancement.Reporting@cu.edu. An EID list works the same as a query in the eComm email tool. Note that the Advancement Reporting team requires a two-week turnaround.

2. Is it a limit on what can be pulled from Advance or is it an outright ban on emails to more than 100 people?

It is a limit on the number of emails in a report that can be pulled from Advance. This does not affect snail mail lists.

3. Why is there a limit?

The policy is to ensure the University adheres to federal CAN-SPAM legislation, meet information security imperatives, and keep data on external constituents current and accurate. Regarding federal CAN-SPAM requirements, the CU eComm systems have unsubscribe technology built into the email marketing tool, therefore protecting the University of Colorado from potential fines.

4. What are potential federal penalties for violating federal CAN-SPAM legislation by emailing to a large group?

According to the CAN-SPAM act, “Each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, and more than one person may be held responsible for violations.”  (Source: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business)

Learn more here: http://www.cu.edu/ecomm/can-spam-legislation

5. Does this affect how I communicate with internal audiences such as students, faculty and staff?

You may continue to follow the processes on your campus for internal communications or use the eComm system.

6. How do Advance and eComm work together?

A data interface between Advance and eComm enables CU to communicate with external constituents in a targeted manner using eComm tools such as email marketing. The system also empowers constituents, allowing them to indicate email preferences and specify contact information via the online communities. This information is returned to the Advance database and enhances the quality and currency of data, thus improving future email marketing and communication efforts.

7. I’m currently using another email tool such as Constant Contact, Emma or Outlook to communicate in mass to my external constituents. Am I required to move to the eComm system?

If you want to use the most up-to-date, secure data on external constituents, you should use the eComm system. With eComm you will have access to more data, a robust email tool, precise reporting and greater connections with your constituents. There is no cost to use the eComm tools.

Read more about the eComm program.

8. Can the July 1 date be extended?

July 1 is the deadline for conversion. The eComm program has been in the works for three years. Communications began in March 2012 regarding the July 1 deadline.

9. Will I be able to create the same email queries and/or reports in eComm as I created in Advance?

It depends.

  • If you communicate with CU alumni, donors, parents or friends based on biographic, geographic or degree information, you can begin using eComm right away.
  • If you communicate with CU alumni, donors, parents or friends based on very specific information that you maintain internally (in a spreadsheet, for example), you can upload your list here.
  • Your eComm specialist will work with you to make your data available in eComm. Depending on the complexity of your data, this can take a few weeks up to six months.
  • If you communicate with CU donors based on specific giving history, you can pull or request EID reports (via Advancement.Reporting@cu.edu) . You can import any EID report into the eComm system. Note: Report request requires two weeks prior notice.

10. Why eComm?

The university moved to a single ecommunication vendor for several reasons:

  • To obtain new, good data on CU external constituents
  • To provide a robust, HTML-supported, email tool for all campuses, system and the Foundation
  • To communicate more effectively with constituents
  • To increase collaboration and cross-promotion between units, schools, colleges, departments and campuses
  • To create a single and secure data warehouse that houses all CU constituent data
  • To provide a single online community environment for CU constituents
  • To adhere to CAN-SPAM federal legislation
  • To save money

Learn more at www.cu.edu/ecomm.

11. What is CAN-SPAM legislation?

“The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.” (source: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business)

More helpful links:

12. What is the role of the CU Foundation’s reporting team?

The CU Foundation’s reporting team responds to requests from CU and CU Foundation employees for “lists” of external constituents that are used for demographic or statistical analysis and email or print communications.

You can still request a list of “Entity IDs”  via Advancement.Reporting@cu.edu. An EID list works the same as a query in the eComm email tool. Note that the Reporting team at the CU Foundation requires a two-week turn-around.

13. How do I request access to eComm?

It’s easy. Request access here.

14. Do I have to pay for access?

No. eComm is free to CU schools, colleges, units and departments who communicate with alumni, donors, parents or friends of the University.

15. Is eComm hard to use?

With any technology there is a learning curve, but the tool is being used successfully in many units across the university, including by some of CU’s largest users, including alumni associations, the CU Foundation and Office of the President. Generally, a few hours of training and a few weeks of use will get you off the ground

16. What kind of support is offered?

We’ve built a broad range of support resources, including an eComm specialist on each campus, online training manuals and webinars, user groups and an “all-things-ecomm” website at www.cu.edu/ecomm.

17. How do I know if my message is considered internal or external?

Internal = Faculty, staff and students
External = Alumni, donors, parents, advisory boards and friends

eComm Internal or External?


If your question isn’t addressed here, please visit www.cu.edu/ecomm or contact your eComm specialist.

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