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Sending e-mails with Python

Python comes with a couple of libraries that allows us to create e-mail messages and send them. These are the email and smtp libraries.

Creating the e-mail

Creating an e-mail using Python is made easy with the email library. We'll just define the content, and its metadata (From, To, Subject).

from email.message import EmailMessage

email = EmailMessage()

email['Subject'] = 'Test email'
email['From'] = '[email protected]'
email['To'] = '[email protected]'

email.set_content('Hello, John')

Sending the e-mail

Sending the e-mail can be a bit more tricky. E-mail sending goes through SMTP, so we'll need an SMTP server that can process sending it.

If you are working in a corporate environment, you'll probably have access to an SMTP server. If you don't, you can always use Gmail or Hotmail to send e-mails. Warning: don't send large amounts of e-mail using personal accounts. If many people mark your e-mails as spam, you could see deliverability of your personal e-mails go down.

We'll send our e-mail using the smtp library.

Log in to the Gmail SMTP server

In this example we'll be using a fake Gmail account to send messages. You can use your own account if you wish!

import smtplib

s = smtplib.SMTP(host='smtp.gmail.com', port=587)
s.starttls()
s.login('[email protected]', 'password')

Sending the e-mail

Once we've got the MIMEMultipart message and we've logged in, we're ready to send it.

s.send_message(email)
s.quit()

Complete code

Below is the complete code you can use to send e-mails with Python. Try putting some or all of it into functions so that it becomes really simple to re-use it!

import smtplib

from email.message import EmailMessage

email = EmailMessage()

email['Subject'] = 'Test email'
email['From'] = '[email protected]'
email['To'] = '[email protected]'

email.set_content('Hello, John')

s = smtplib.SMTP(host='smtp.gmail.com', port=587)
s.starttls()
s.login('[email protected]', 'password')

s.send_message(email)
s.quit()

It's quite straightforward to send e-mails using Python! All we have to do is:

  1. Create the e-mail using the EmailMessage object;
  2. Set up our SMTP server connection;
  3. Send the message!

Enjoy sending e-mails from your Python apps! If you are developing an app that will send many more e-mails, it could be worthwhile looking into an e-mail service such as Mailgun.

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