Send welcome, verification, password reset, update and reminder emails from any node.js app.
While we would prefer for email to be phased out and replaced by something better, the fact remains that most people still use email as their primary means of (digital) communication.
Given that email is not going away, we need to make sending email to people as simple and reliable as possible.
Reliably Send beautiful email with dependable delivery.
When email that has to get through as quickly as possible so everyone can get on with their lives.
In producing this module (for our own use) we have made a few of technical decisions (for pragmatic reasons) these are:
- use environment variables for storing sensitive information (API Keys) and projects-specific configuration (Template Directory)
- use Mandrill for reliably sending email messages because it has good documentation, excellent "deliverability" and includes a few thousand free emails per month (with all the benefits of their paid plans!)
- use Handlebars for email template rendering. Handlebars is very easy to use and allows us to send beautiful HTML emails without the complexity or learning curve of many other view libraries.
Note: if you prefer to use a different Email Service provider or template/view library for your project, please let us know! We are happy to support alternatives to make this project more useful to others people with specific needs.
Checklist (everything you need to get started in 5 minutes)
- install the
hapi-emailmodule from NPM
- create/get a Mandril API Key
- set your
MANDRILL_API_KEYas an environment variable
- If you don't already have a /templates directory in your project create one!
- create a pair of email templates in your /templates directory
- borrow the code for
hello.htmlfrom the /examples/templates directory of this project!
- create a file called
welcome.jsand paste some sample code in it (see: /examples/templates/welcome.js )
hapi-email from NPM
npm install hapi-email --save
2. Mandril API Key Environment Variable
hapi-email requires you set an environment variable to
securely store your Mandril API Key.
If you are new to environment variables, we have a
quick introduction: https://github.com/dwyl/learn-environment-variables
Get a Mandril Account and Create an API Key
If you have not already registered for Mandrill,
get started: https://www.mandrill.com/signup/
if you get stuck, we are here to help:
Note: If you prefer to use a different email sending provider,
please let us know which provider you prefer so we can add support.
3. Create your Template(s)
.html (pretty design) and
.txt (plaintext) templates to get started.
Question: Should we create plaintext templates (in addition to html?)?
Quick Answer: Yes.
For Expanded Answer, see: Plain Text Templates? section in Notes (below).
If you are stuck, have a look at /examples/templates.
4. Send the Email!
Proposed Method Signature:
Set the template directory for your project:
There are many situations where you want to send people email.
A simple "hello & welcome to our community" email you send to people when they register to learn more about your product/service.
Verify Email Address
As part of registering new people for your Hapi app you will need to verify their email addresses to ensure that people are not signing up with fake emails (or worse using someone else's email!)
Set a New Password
People forget passwords, we need to help them set a new password as quickly & securely as possible.
Remind people they signed up but have not used the product/service?
Sam liked your post/photo/update ... social validation that your life has meaning!
Which Email Service Provider?
We are currently using Mandrill for dwyl.
Which View/Template Libaray?
For simplicity we are using
handlebars is tried and tested and while it does not attempt
to do anything fancy ("VirtualDOM"), it does allow
you to do sophisticated templates with includes and iterators
and supports compilation so its fast
(fast enough ... how many millions of emails are you sending per day...?)
Yes... mustache is "faster" than handlebars ... but in our experience having conditionals (i.e. "logic") is very useful for reducing the number of required templates while not (significantly) increasing complexity. we don't think
if statements in views are a "crime" ... do you...?
If anyone feels strongly about switching to an alternative template engine, please raise an issue: https://github.com/nelsonic/hapi-email/issues
(please give clear reasons, i.e. not "react-ify-licious-heah because its so cool ... ")
Plain Text Templates?
In our experience, while most modern email clients
(Gmail, Apple/iOS Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook)
HTML email enabled by default,
often the people who prefer text-only
(e.g: people with Blackberry phones,
visual/physical impairment or company email
email systems - with aggressive filtering)
are "higher value" customers. Also,
possibly more importantly (depending on who is using your product/service) you can have technical privacy-concious people
that only read
.txt email to avoid sending
and tracking data ... but, if you're building a tool for
non-technical people, focus on the fact that
is more accessible and prevents your messages getting
blocked by spam filters.
- Designing for the inbox:
(plenty of detail & highly informative)
- Who Cares About Plain Text [email]? https://blog.aweber.com/email-deliverability/who-cares-about-plain-text.htm
- Can Email Be Responsive? http://alistapart.com/article/can-email-be-responsive
- Coding your emails (What’s so hard about HTML emails?): https://www.campaignmonitor.com/dev-resources/guides/coding/
- Best Practices for Plain Text Emails and Why They’re Important: https://litmus.com/blog/best-practices-for-plain-text-emails-a-look-at-why-theyre-important
- Email Client Stats: https://emailclientmarketshare.com/
- Email Adoption: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_email#Adoption
- Mandrill Node module code: https://bitbucket.org/mailchimp/mandrill-api-node (sadly, not on GitHub...)
- Message send method: https://mandrillapp.com/api/docs/messages.nodejs.html
- API Key: https://mandrillapp.com/settings/index/
- Original implementation (tightly-coupled in our "Alpha"): https://github.com/dwyl/time/issues/135