Mass mailing procedure

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A proper mass mailing procedure is necessary to make sure the message is clear and reaches its target audience, and to avoid errors, misunderstandings, complaints, or GDPR issues.

You know: every communication is an opportunity to get trust from your audience.


  • Prepare the content of the message (please take multiple days, invite others to write and verify, use a Google Doc to prepare)
  • Determine the right target audience
  • Choose the format
  • Choose a proper structure
  • Choose a good timing (closely related to the subject; not just before, during, or after holiday periods; not at busy moments)
  • Do send the message timely (depending on the subject/activity)

Quality check[edit]

  • Completeness of the message
  • Right sequence of statements
  • Did you cover all possiblities?
  • No conflicting statements?
  • Keep it easy, don't use uncommon or difficult words (not everyone uses a native language)
  • Correct, no errors, no confusion, trust (content, language, typing errors)
    • No privacy issues
    • Did you separate correctly by language? (user likes to be addressed in their mother tongue)
    • Verify (language dependent) URLs
  • Consistent layout (identity and style)
  • Select the right audience
    • You might need to filter/remove geographic-top domains for specific Belgian subjects (e.g. tax exemption)?
    • Possibly apply other filters (make sure you reach the correct target audience, and don't rely on "collateral damage" (spam), confusing, or unnecessary messages)



Preferably from: Put somebody (maybe yourself?) in To when possible, put everyone else in BCC.


Proper identification of Wikimedia Belgium NPO. There are strict legal requirements. Use a logo if possible/convenient.


Use UTF-8 HTML encoding.


  • Proper signature
  • Include a message like: (translated by language)

The Wikimedia logos are the property of the Wikimedia Foundation. You are receiving this message because you have indicated that you would like to be kept informed of our activities. Please respond if you do not wish to receive further messages.

Distribution list[edit]

  • Are you sure you can use the distribution list?
  • Did you take the latest version?
  • Did you systematically unsubscribe refused addresses?
  • Can you possibly target the message by community? (split the body text in variants)
  • Split by language
  • Sort for easy handling of reply mail (duplicates, removal or updating of addresses)
    • You might later resend and adapted message with a subset of the recipients (reminder, ...)

Technical pitfalls[edit]

  • With Google Suite you can only send an e-mail to a maximum of 500 recipients
    • Split your distribution list if needed (use the option "Resend this message"
  • Pay attention to accents (use UTF-8 encoding)
  • Be careful to have a proper HTML encoding and layout

Final check[edit]

  • Is it the right from address (info@ or other)?
  • Everyone in BCC (privacy)?
  • No more than 500 recipients?
  • Title?
  • Signature?
  • No other possible errors?


  • People might opt-out (this is not possible for member-related messages because we have the legal obligation to communicate to all our members for statutory reasons).
  • People might have questions, or remarks about the message

See also[edit]