Emma: Terms of Service

Emma is an email marketing platform available to Duke departments and organizations. This document details the customer terms of use .


The following terms are used in reference to Duke’s Emma service throughout this document:

  • Account – Duke’s contractual agreement with Emma corporate
  • Customer – Department/organization subscribed to Emma
  • User Group – Configured in Emma for each customer
  • Subaccount – Assigned to a User Group

Recipient Lists

Mailings from Emma can be sent to internal Duke addresses, external addresses, or a combination. If you need to send to both types of addresses in the same mailing, your Emma subaccount will be configured for manual email address management only.

Internal Addresses

An internal email address is defined as the email address listed as the ‘preferred email’ for Duke faculty, staff, and students in the Duke Identity Management System. These email addresses are available in Emma as a synced Grouper or Group Manager list (see https://oit.duke.edu/what-we-do/services/group-management). Sending to large Duke groups, such as all staff or students, is restricted to the owners of the data – Duke Human Resources or the Duke Registrar – who may grant access to their email lists based on the content and number of email “sends” to the list. If access is granted, Emma users are prohibited from exporting the recipient list data and storing it outside of Emma. 

NOTE: Donors who do not have records in the Identity Management System are not available for automation in Emma. Persons identified as Duke affiliates are also not generally available.

External Addresses

An external address is defined as an email address that does not appear in the preferred email field of any record in the Duke Identity Management System (for example, addresses for peer institutions, members of the Durham community, donors/friends of the university). External email addresses can be included in recipient lists for a fee of $100 per 1000 email addresses.

NOTE: Duke community members often have multiple email addresses. Using a Duke email address that is not a recipient’s ‘preferred email’ is considered external. To ensure you are not subject to unnecessary charges when sending to Duke recipients, create your email list through Grouper or Group Manager (see https://oit.duke.edu/what-we-do/services/group-management).


OIT charges Emma customers a year in advance, by estimating anticipated usage.

To calculate fees, OIT conducts an audit of the customer subaccounts to accurately account for the number of external email addresses that are "active." Email addresses with a status of “error,” “opt-out,” and “archived” are not counted. OIT conducts audits quarterly, starting on Sept. 30.

In order to assist customers with planning their budget projections, OIT will provide a quarterly report of the email recipient audits, via email, to allow departments to update their budget expectation accordingly.

Duke will charge the customer for overages in FY Q3 that exceed Duke’s contractual agreement with Emma. Charges will appear as a JV by April 30.

Emma Subaccounts

As part of your Emma registration process, the OIT Service Team will consult with you to determine if you plan to send to internal or external lists. Based on this, you’ll be assigned one or more “subaccounts.” Subaccounts are set up to use either automated or manual lists.

  • AUTOMATED. The OIT Identity Management Team maintains and generates automatically populated lists of internal Duke email addresses. Lists are sourced from PeopleSoft (student) and SAP (faculty/staff) records and are synced hourly via Grouper. Use of these lists is restricted; Emma users may not export or store the list data. Users may browse existing lists or request a new list at https://groups.oit.duke.edu/groupmanager (login required).

NOTE: Emma users cannot add recipients directly to automated accounts.

  • MANUAL. Emma users maintain self-managed recipient lists without OIT involvement. Users may gather lists from sources within Duke or elsewhere, and external addresses are permitted.

If you need access to both automatically generated Duke internal lists and manual external lists, your account will be configured with more than one subaccount.


For help with Emma, contact the OIT Service Desk (https://oit.duke.edu/help).

Support hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays. Limited support is available after hours and on university holidays.

If your issue is time-sensitive, include this information in your request. Typically, the Service Desk will respond within one business day.

NOTE: If your Emma email is essential to the university business of University Communications, Human Relations or Student Affairs and must be sent within two business days, we’ll assign your issue “High Priority” or “Urgent” status and escalate it to our support team. After hours, escalated issues will initiate a page to a member of the team. 

Customer Responsibilities

The following are responsibilities of all Emma customers (departments/organizations):

  • Identify a “power user” for your organization who will:
    • Serve as point of contact
    • Escalate issues
    • Add/remove users
    • Manage templates
    • Manage recipient lists
    • Stay up-to-date on Emma and its associated Duke guidelines through training, documentation or user group discussions.
  • Prior to sending emails, send a test and review recipient lists.
  • Do not make any changes to Duke branded email templates without permission from Duke University Communications. For questions, contact Anne Light anne.light@duke.edu.
  • Adhere to all data security policies (see below).
  • Adhere to Duke’s bulk email policy (see below).
  • Submit issues to the OIT Service Desk at https://oit.duke.edu/help and advise the Service Desk of issue priority.

Data Security

Do not send personal health information (PHI) through Emma. All Duke policies regarding the sharing and public access to sensitive data apply (see https://security.duke.edu/policies/data-classification-standard).

Opt Out/Unsubscribe

When sending emails, you must include an Unsubscribe link (as required by Section 2.A. of the Emma Anti-Spam Policy available at https://myemma.com/legal/anti-spam-policy), unless the email is a transactional or relationship message (as defined by the Federal CAN-SPAM Act) -- these are messages required for the business function of the university. Provided templates include an Unsubscribe link. To remove the Unsubscribe link from a mailing, you must obtain prior approval from the OIT (https://oit.duke.edu/help).

Group/Bulk Email Policy

Bulk emailing to individuals at Duke is subject to the group email policy (https://oit.duke.edu/about/policies/group-email-policy).

Service Provider Responsibilities

The following are Duke’s responsibilities for delivering the Emma mail service:

  • Provide a dedicated IP address
  • Support email delivery to Duke email addresses
  • Maintain appropriately organized and trained staff
  • Facilitate a steering committee for review and enhancement of the service
  • Create subaccount structure for customer (department/organization)
  • Maintain services impacting Emma:
    • Shibboleth integration
    • Automated sync with Identity Management System
  • Maintain contract with Emma for effective pricing and vendor service
  • Monitor service and communicate impacts to users in real time

As with any system, there are known issues. The following are currently being addressed:

  • In the Emma 'Audience -> Groups' interface, the groups contact totals in the top level may not match the membership totals once you select a specific group to view the membership. The number of contacts listed having selected a group is the most reliable number. Emma support is aware of the problem. Using your browser's 'force refresh' of the Groups page may fix the issue.
  • Subaccounts with recipient lists populated by automation will only send to the preferred email address. University staff and faculty can set this preferred email at https://oit.duke.edu/what-we-do/applications/account-self-service. Duke Health staff and students cannot make changes to this setting. Recipients who have configured their preferred email address to forward, for example to a Gmail address, will not receive the email at the forwarded address. Duke is reviewing policies on the preferred email setting.


Article number: KB0031742

Valid to: August 11, 2024