Emails and school office systems: the science of emailing schools ... and GDPR
Our email addresses are the published administrative email addresses of the school, usually office or admin; we work by marking the emails for Attention of ... Headteacher, Head of Maths, Facilities Manager, Bursar or whoever in the Subject line, and find that largely this is successful in reaching any of the specialist teaching and non-teaching staff in the schools.
The above strategy is the only legal way of doing it under EC regulations (and under the new GDPR regulations.)
We know that someone in the school office has to go through all incoming emails, including the Head's, to delete junk mail and to forward emails to the relevant members of staff. (This might lead you to doubt statistics from online senders who quote that say 22% of emails were 'opened', when we know that 100 percent are opened and screened by the office.)
Using the admin addresses of the school makes these legitimate business-to-business (B2B) emails.
[If we had names or individual addresses of staff; eg. Head of Maths (ie. people - business-to-consumer (B2C) the rules require that those people opt-in first. We suggest that if you asked those Head's of Maths to voluntarily opt-in, you might get 20% of them? Note: under GDPR it is possible to mail people without an opt-in if you can show that the recipient has a 'legitimate interest' in your products or services, which is probably not difficult to show; but you still have the problem of gathering all their addresses]
We were the first company in the UK to offer an email to schools service back in 2004. We have been contacting staff in the schools in this way for the last 14 years and now most schools are geared/forced to receive communications by email in this way; because they receive a stream of emails from legitimate senders such as parents and the Local Authority mixed up with doubtless a lot of junk mail..
Also, our schools email lists are one-address-per-school; unlike, surprisingly, some others.
Our lists (now available from: www.schoolspostoffice.co.uk ) are constantly and continually being updated. The government has been converting schools to Academies at a rate of about 100 per month for the last few years. This often causes schools to change their name and email address. This is on top of the many schools who keep changing their addresses for various other reasons. We offer free updated copies of your list, on request during the licence period.
Sending emails using bulk emailing software: Updated 2018
We recommend and use GroupMail
- It has been around long enough to have built a good reputation and is continuously developed.
- The trial version of GroupMail is free to download and try out and to send batches of up to 100 emails.
- It includes a free html editor for composing html emails.
- GroupMail can send emails directly to each school; ie.not sending emails via your ISP who would likely object to large volumes of mail.
- Includes spam-checking mechanism to check your email doesn't look like spam
- Once you have the software email sending costs are zero.
Sending emails using online emailer websites
Online senders such as Constant Contact have a similar interface to GroupMail for composing emails and storing addresses, etc. They charge per email or per month.
Some senders such as M a i l c h i m p have trouble with schools email addresses. This is because they reject admin@... addresses, which is unfortunate as many schools use admin@... addresses.
Composing compliant emails
Email addresses supplied by us are the administratrive addresses of the school as published on their websites or by their LEA. In order to comply with the EC Directive you should:
- Include in the email the postal address of the person or company who is sending it.
- Include in the email a method by which the recipient can remove themselves from the list and from receiving further mails; via an email or website link.
- Remove quickly any school from your list who requests it.
- Acknowledge to the school that they have been removed.
If a school complains to your ISP about receiving unsolicited emails; if you have the remove mechanism specified above in place and you have removed all schools who have requested it, your ISP should be satisfied.
Golden rule; test it ... make a 'group' called test with three of your own email addresses in it and see that they all get through. Triple check; You don't want to send 24,000 emails with errors in them.
Deepspace Web Services Ltd.
Tel: 01603 477619
Fax: 0870 7051136