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sample HTML email

What is MustMail?

MustMail is a mass communications application developed by Cal Poly Corporation for use by Cal Poly communicators. The application was designed to utilize existing Cal Poly resources and services to provide a simple mechanism for sending and managing small and large scale email communications, while being flexible to allow for growth and expansion over time.

The MustMail application allows communicators to send impactful customized HTML emails to university or department created email groups, collect analytical data when applicable, and provide auditing of outbound communications.

Getting Started

To get started using MustMail, submit the Application Form. If you would like to use an existing HTML email template or create your own template you must submit it to for review in accordance with standard Cal Poly Mass Mail guidelines on accessibility.

Access to the MustMail application is restricted to defined campus groups/departments. Please contact your group or department administrator to request access or inclusion in alternate groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I email?

MustMail allows you to email campus and/or department created groups. As part of your account setup you will submit a list of email address that you can "send as" (ex. MYDEPARTMENT@CALPOLY.EDU) and your list of Sympa groups that you can "send to." Both your from and to lists must be authorized by Information Technology Services.

Which email groups can I send to?

Cal Poly provides a list of auto-generated email groups that are available for mass communications (ex: all faculty, all students, etc.), these lists are updated nightly via the campus data warehouse. Departments can request to use these groups (See Mass Mail Guidelines) or they can create their own groups within Sympa.

Can I add groups to my MustMail list if I already have access to them?

Yes, you can add additional emails to your list. To request additions or changes to your approved email list contact the MustMail administrator at If you are adding additional restricted lists a new application form must be submitted to

What is Sympa?

Sympa is the Cal Poly open source, web-based email list management application that provides both user and administrator interfaces. Sympa allows you to create and manage email lists, subscribe or unsubscribe from email lists, or serve as a email list moderator. Departments on-campus can use Sympa to create custom groups from existing data or use existing auto generated groups.

How do I create a new Sympa group?

Creating a Sympa group is easy. Lists are created using a department or club account. To create or modify a list, login to the Cal Poly Portal using the department or club account. Once logged in to the Portal, there will be a link to Sympa in the Single Click Access channel. The name of the link will be "Email Distribution Lists." The link will initially be hidden; it can be displayed using the Hide/Show Links option. For more information visit the following:

What are HTML templates?

sample email edit image

The MustMail application uses HTML formatted email templates. These templates can be given editable sections to ensure limits to modification of the template. Any section of the email can be made editable as required and your account can contain multiple templates for your department. Please note that the only elements that may be marked as editable are <h1-6>, <div>, and <p>. See the code below for an example of how to create an editable region called 'block1'.

Can I make my own templates?

Building HTML templates requires an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of HTML email, such as the specific issues with various rendering engines (Office, Apple Mail, etc.). It is recommended that your template be fully tested prior to submission for use within the application. Some specific requirements include (but are not limited to):

  • Emails must adhere to University brand guidelines
  • References to resources such as images must be hosted from a secure web location (SSL / HTTPS)
  • Styles should be in-line where applicable


A simple syntax is used to creating editable sections for your template.

		<div contenteditable="true" id="block1">
		 {% block block1_block %} 
		 {% if block1 is empty %} 
		 {% else %} 
		 {% endif %} 
		 {% endblock %}

Will I need tech support to use MustMail?

Using MustMail is easy and you should not require IT support once your account is configured and your HTML templates are developed. However, setting up your account will require some technical support. MustMail uses the existing campus network security for account management and will require your department network administrator to assign permissions.

What are the steps to send an email?

Not counting the approval process (if required), there are 3 key steps to sending an email:

  1. Login using your account, select the template for your email, and define the type of email you are sending
  2. Fill in your email including the FROM, TO, SUBJECT, and analytics data (if applicable)
  3. Preview and send

Can MustMail tell me how my email performed?

sample analytics image

Absolutely! Analytics are provided via Litmus. In order to protect user data, access to Litmus is via request only. To request a tracking code please email the application administrator at Users will be provided a tracking code snippet and reporting URL. Both are entered into the application form during your email creation process. Email analytics will allow you to:

  • Track email openings
  • Track email forwarding's
  • Track printed emails
  • Track viewing platforms
  • Track regional viewing

I'm a data geek, how do I know who went from my email to my website?

MustMail templates support the Google Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) which can connect with any site running Google Analytics. For more information on how to use UTM please email the application administrator at

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