1.0.4 • Public • Published

    Hapi Email

    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:

    1. use environment variables for storing sensitive information (API Keys) and projects-specific configuration (Template Directory)
    2. 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!)
    3. 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-email module from NPM
    • create/get a Mandril API Key
    • set your MANDRILL_API_KEY as 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 one called hello.txt the other hello.html
    • borrow the code for hello.txt and hello.html from the /examples/templates directory of this project!
    • create a file called welcome.js and paste some sample code in it (see: /examples/templates/welcome.js )

    1. Install 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: Join the chat at https://gitter.im/{ORG-or-USERNAME}/{REPO-NAME}

    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)

    Create simple .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:

    sendEmail(template, options, callback);

    Simple Example:

    Set the template directory for your project:

    email.setTemplateDir(__dirname + '/path/to/templates/')

    Want Examples?

    There are many situations where you want to send people email.

    Welcome 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.

    Reminder Email?

    Remind people they signed up but have not used the product/service?

    Notification Email?

    Sam liked your post/photo/update ... social validation that your life has meaning!


    Which Email Service Provider?

    We are currently using Mandrill for dwyl.

    If you want to use an alternative mail sender, e.g: sendgrid or amazon ses
    please tell us: https://github.com/nelsonic/hapi-email/issues (we are always happy to help)

    Which View/Template Libaray?

    For simplicity we are using Handlebars, 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)
    have 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 .txt email is more accessible and prevents your messages getting blocked by spam filters.

    Useful Links:

    Background Reading


    Technical Detail


    npm i hapi-email

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