Emma: Comparison of mass-email solutions

There are several methods you can use to email a group of users regularly. But not all methods work in the same way or offer the same features. Use the information below to determine what solution works best for your needs.

Exchange Online

Exchange Online (a feature of Office 365) supports "distribution lists" (or groups). Members of these groups are other Duke Office 365 users. Transport of the message remains in Office 365. The owners and members can be modified using Outlook on the Web.

Sympa Mailing Lists

Sympa is Duke's email mailing list system. You can create, join and manage email lists to connect to communities or groups at Duke.  You can also add members outside of Duke. Groups can be private, public, or moderated for discussions or announcements. Membership is not limited to Duke users. You can also use Sympa to create a general contact address for your department or program. 

Emma Mass Email

Emma is a bulk email service that can contain Duke groups (populated manually or automatically, then synced to Emma). Emma provides a robust editor for composing professional messages including offering templates with Duke branding. And after the mailing, Emma provides reports that let you know how many read your message and even which links in a message were clicked. 

What are you trying to do?Exchange OnlineSympaEmma
Allow users to control preferences for mail delivery optionsNoYesYes
Allow users to discuss a topicYesYesNo
Allow users to subscribe or add themselvesNoYesYes (approval required)
Auto-populate a group based on criteria (approval required)NoYesYes
Create messages using an editor for the serviceNoYesYes
Grant other users role-based accessNoYesYes
Keep a record of all sent messages to a groupNoYesYes
Limit communication to Office 365 usersYesNoNo
Permit unsubscribed users to postYesYesNo
Personalize a message to each recipientNoNoYes
Post to the email service using an email clientYesYesNo
Provide a contact address for a departmentNoYesNo
Schedule delivery of a messageNoNoYes
See how many people opened the message or clicked on a linkNoNoYes
Send a message to the same group of peopleYesYesYes
Send announcements or messagesYesYesYes
Required to adhere to CAN-SPAM laws, including an Unsubscribe link by default (unless approved otherwise)NoYesYes

Article number: KB0030741

Valid to: May 9, 2024