Availability

The Broadcast email service is staffed 9 AM to 5 PM on Monday through Friday, except for university holidays. Staff will respond to queries and configure broadcast messages during those times.

Broadcast messages should be submitted two business days in advance of the desired send date/time to allow for adequate processing time. Please note that any custom recipient list requests may require additional time to fulfill, as these are processed by groups outside of IS&T.

Broadcast messages can be scheduled to send at the top of any hour of the day, except 6 AM on Monday through Friday as this conflicts with the sending of BU Today.

The Process of Sending a Message

  1. Once your message is written, formatted, and approved, do the following:
    1. Forward a copy of your approvals to specmail@bu.edu.
    2. Send the approved message, exactly as it should appear when sent, to broadcastmail-sample@bu.edu.
      Again, the message body and Subject field should be specified exactly as you want them to appear in the actual mailing.
      OR
      Compose your message in the HTML Email Makr and use the “Send to Specmail” button to send your message directly to the broadcast system. We highly recommend sending a copy to yourself and downloading a copy of your HTML file in case you need to re-upload your message to the Email Makr and edit it.
  2. An automated reply to your message will be generated and returned to you. This automated response will contain a unique identifier that serves as a tracking number for your message. The response will also request that you provide the following information:
    1. Date: When should the message be sent? Messages can only be scheduled to send at the top of the hour.
    2. From: Who should it be from? Use the email address or group/department alias (e.g. “Department” department@bu.edu) which will be displayed as the sender of the message. Using a group/department alias can make it easier for recipients to identify the sender, and we recommend it for that reason. Refer to the Guidelines for more information on using an alias.
    3. Reply-to: What is the email address to which replies to your broadcast mailing should be sent? (It can be the same as the From field). The address you select should be influenced by the number of responses you expect the email to generate and how those incoming messages will be monitored.
    4. Errors: What is the email address to which undeliverable email notifications from your broadcast mailing should be sent? The default option for errors is the same field as “reply-to” specified above. If you don’t need to monitor any delivery failures, please indicate “none” and we will utilize a “dead end” mailbox that is not accessed.
    5. Recipients: Who will be getting this message? If you are supplying the mailing list, you should attach it to your response to specmail@bu.edu in the form of a document with only a list of email addresses, or a list of BU ID numbers to be converted to BU email addresses.
    6. Delivery Confirmation: Specify any recipients you would like to receive a receipt confirming the delivery of the message upon completion.
    7. Approval: Who has approved this Broadcast Message?
    8. Your phone number: Provide a daytime phone number at which we can reach you if questions arise. If you are on Teams, you can note that as well.
  3. Once your reply containing this information is received, your email message will be processed and a sample of the message — exactly as it will be distributed to the specified target audience — will be sent to you for your approval.
  4. How to update a broadcast: The BU email that submitted the broadcast can modify the message text at any time before you give your final approval. To do so, begin a Forward of the message back to broadcastmail-sample and edit the text in the new message that the Forward creates. The body of the message should contain only the revised message text and the subject field should contain the unique identifier that was returned to you when you initially submitted your message for distribution. For example, if the subject line of the confirmation message was Broadcast Mail Request id=20060124.07:00:57, then the subject line of your revised message would read 20060124.07:00:57. Only the identification number should appear in the subject field; no other text should be included. When you send the message, a confirmation message indicating that the “email message body has been successfully updated” will be returned to you. Following that, a new sample message will be sent to you for your approval.
  5. If you agree that the message is ready to be sent, confirm this via an email message sent to specmail@bu.edu. When this step is complete, your message will be queued for release on the date that you specified.

Get Help

The IT Help Center is the primary contact for all Broadcast Message requests sent to IS&T. You can contact the IT Help Center by submitting a Help request from this page, sending email to ithelp@bu.edu, or calling 617-353-HELP.