How to Send Emails in Laravel

In this article, we’re going to explore the Mail API in the Laravel web framework. Laravel takes advantage of the popular SwiftMailer library, which is easy to use and comes with a variety of email drivers to choose from. In the latter stages of the article, we’ll go through an in-depth demonstration of the concepts discussed in the first half of the article.

Setting Up the Prerequisites

Laravel implements a wrapper on top of the SwiftMailer library that makes email management very easy to configure and use at the same time. You can find the default mail settings at config/mail.php.

<?php

return [

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Mail Driver
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | Laravel supports both SMTP and PHP's "mail" function as drivers for the
    | sending of e-mail. You may specify which one you're using throughout
    | your application here. By default, Laravel is setup for SMTP mail.
    |
    | Supported: "smtp", "sendmail", "mailgun", "mandrill", "ses",
    |            "sparkpost", "log", "array"
    |
    */

    'driver' => env('MAIL_DRIVER', 'sendmail'),

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | SMTP Host Address
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | Here you may provide the host address of the SMTP server used by your
    | applications. A default option is provided that is compatible with
    | the Mailgun mail service which will provide reliable deliveries.
    |
    */

    'host' => env('MAIL_HOST', 'smtp.mailgun.org'),

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | SMTP Host Port
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | This is the SMTP port used by your application to deliver e-mails to
    | users of the application. Like the host we have set this value to
    | stay compatible with the Mailgun e-mail application by default.
    |
    */

    'port' => env('MAIL_PORT', 587),

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Global "From" Address
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | You may wish for all e-mails sent by your application to be sent from
    | the same address. Here, you may specify a name and address that is
    | used globally for all e-mails that are sent by your application.
    |
    */

    'from' => [
        'address' => env('MAIL_FROM_ADDRESS', 'hello@example.com'),
        'name' => env('MAIL_FROM_NAME', 'Example'),
    ],

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | E-Mail Encryption Protocol
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | Here you may specify the encryption protocol that should be used when
    | the application send e-mail messages. A sensible default using the
    | transport layer security protocol should provide great security.
    |
    */

    'encryption' => env('MAIL_ENCRYPTION', 'tls'),

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | SMTP Server Username
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | If your SMTP server requires a username for authentication, you should
    | set it here. This will get used to authenticate with your server on
    | connection. You may also set the "password" value below this one.
    |
    */

    'username' => env('MAIL_USERNAME'),

    'password' => env('MAIL_PASSWORD'),

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Sendmail System Path
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | When using the "sendmail" driver to send e-mails, we will need to know
    | the path to where Sendmail lives on this server. A default path has
    | been provided here, which will work well on most of your systems.
    |
    */

    'sendmail' => '/usr/sbin/sendmail -bs',

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Markdown Mail Settings
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | If you are using Markdown based email rendering, you may configure your
    | theme and component paths here, allowing you to customize the design
    | of the emails. Or, you may simply stick with the Laravel defaults!
    |
    */

    'markdown' => [
        'theme' => 'default',

        'paths' => [
            resource_path('views/vendor/mail'),
        ],
    ],

];

When it comes to sending mails, Laravel supports different drivers to choose from. As you can see, the default MAIL_DRIVER is set to smtp.

If you are going to use the smtp driver to send mails then you’re also required to set other related settings like MAIL_HOST, MAIL_PORT, MAIL_ENCRYPTION, MAIL_USERNAME, and MAIL_PASSWORD.

On the other hand, if you are going to use the sendmail driver, then you want to make sure that the sendmail system path is set to the correct value in the config/mail.php file.

You can also set the from address that will be used while sending mails under the from key. And finally, if you want to use Markdown-based email rendering, you can set those settings under the markdown key.

The cherry on the top is that you could also use third-party email service providers like Mailgun, Mandrill, SES, and SparkPost. If you are using one of those services, you need to make sure that you set the corresponding settings in the config/services.php file.

So that was a basic introduction to the mail API related settings in Laravel. From the next section onwards, we’ll go through a custom example that shows you how to send emails.

Create the Mailable Class

In this section, we’ll create the mailable class, which will be used to send emails. The mailable class is responsible for sending emails using a mailer that’s configured in the config/mail.php file. In fact, Laravel already provides an artisan command that allows us to create a base template.

php artisan make:mail DemoEmail

That should create a blank email template at app/Mail/DemoEmail.php, as shown in the following snippet.

<?php

namespace App\Mail;

use Illuminate\Bus\Queueable;
use Illuminate\Mail\Mailable;
use Illuminate\Queue\SerializesModels;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Queue\ShouldQueue;

class DemoEmail extends Mailable
{
    use Queueable, SerializesModels;

    /**
     * Create a new message instance.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function __construct()
    {
        //
    }

    /**
     * Build the message.
     *
     * @return $this
     */
    public function build()
    {
        return $this->view('view.name');
    }
}

Let’s replace the contents of that file with the following.

<?php

namespace App\Mail;

use Illuminate\Bus\Queueable;
use Illuminate\Mail\Mailable;
use Illuminate\Queue\SerializesModels;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Queue\ShouldQueue;

class DemoEmail extends Mailable
{
    use Queueable, SerializesModels;
    
    /**
     * The demo object instance.
     *
     * @var Demo
     */
    public $demo;

    /**
     * Create a new message instance.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function __construct($demo)
    {
        $this->demo = $demo;
    }

    /**
     * Build the message.
     *
     * @return $this
     */
    public function build()
    {
        return $this->from('sender@example.com')
                    ->view('mails.demo')
                    ->text('mails.demo_plain')
                    ->with(
                      [
                            'testVarOne' => '1',
                            'testVarTwo' => '2',
                      ])
                      ->attach(public_path('/images').'/demo.jpg', [
                              'as' => 'demo.jpg',
                              'mime' => 'image/jpeg',
                      ]);
    }
}

There are two important methods the mailable class generally implements—__construct and build. The __construct method is used to initialize objects that you’re supposed to use in the email template. On the other hand, the build method is used to initialize more email-specific values like from, view template, attachments and similar.

In our case, we’ve passed the $demo object as a constructor argument, and it’s assigned to the demo public property.

In the build method, we’ve initialized an email-specific configuration.

  • The from is used to set an email address that’ll be used as a from address.
  • Using the view method, you can set the email template that will be used while sending an email using this mailable. In our case, we’ve set it to mails.demo, and it means that you need to create a view template file at resources/views/mails/demo.blade.php.
  • Next, the text method is used to set up the plain text version of an email template.
  • As we’ve just discussed, the __construct method is used to set up objects that’ll be used in the email template, you can also use the with method that allows you to set the view data of a message.
  • Next, we’ve used the attach method to attach an image with a message.

Of course, we need to create email templates that we’re supposed to use while sending emails. Go ahead and create a file resources/views/mails/demo.blade.php as shown in the following snippet.

Hello <i>{{ $demo->receiver }}</i>,
<p>This is a demo email for testing purposes! Also, it's the HTML version.</p>

<p><u>Demo object values:</u></p>

<div>
<p><b>Demo One:</b>&nbsp;{{ $demo->demo_one }}</p>
<p><b>Demo Two:</b>&nbsp;{{ $demo->demo_two }}</p>
</div>

<p><u>Values passed by With method:</u></p>

<div>
<p><b>testVarOne:</b>&nbsp;{{ $testVarOne }}</p>
<p><b>testVarTwo:</b>&nbsp;{{ $testVarTwo }}</p>
</div>

Thank You,
<br/>
<i>{{ $demo->sender }}</i>

Also, let’s create the plain text version of that file at resources/views/mails/demo_plain.blade.php.

Hello {{ $demo->receiver }},
This is a demo email for testing purposes! Also, it's the HTML version.

Demo object values:

Demo One: {{ $demo->demo_one }}
Demo Two: {{ $demo->demo_two }}

Values passed by With method:

testVarOne: {{ $testVarOne }}
testVarOne: {{ $testVarOne }}

Thank You,
{{ $demo->sender }}

So that was the mailable class at your disposal, and we’ve not done yet as we need to use the Mail facade to actually send mails. In the very next section, we’ll explore how you can use the Mail Facade to send emails using the DemoEmail Mailable class that was just created in this section.

Wrapping Up

In this section, we’ll create an example to demonstrate how you can use the Mailable class that was created in the last section.

Let’s create a controller file at app/Http/Controllers/MailController.php with the following contents.

<?php
namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Http\Controllers\Controller;
use App\Mail\DemoEmail;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Mail;

class MailController extends Controller
{
    public function send()
    {
        $objDemo = new \stdClass();
        $objDemo->demo_one = 'Demo One Value';
        $objDemo->demo_two = 'Demo Two Value';
        $objDemo->sender = 'SenderUserName';
        $objDemo->receiver = 'ReceiverUserName';

        Mail::to("receiver@example.com")->send(new DemoEmail($objDemo));
    }
}

It’s important to note that we’ve included the Illuminate\Support\Facades\Mail Facade that will be used to send an email. In the send method, the following statement is responsible for sending an email by initialising the App\Mail\DemoEmail Mailable in the first place.

Mail::to("receiver@example.com")->send(new DemoEmail($objDemo));

The to method of the Illuminate\Support\Facades\Mail Facade returns an instance of the \Illuminate\Mail\PendingMail class, which already contains an appropriate mailer configured in the config/mail.php file.

And finally, we use the send method of the \Illuminate\Mail\PendingMail class that sends an actual email.

To test it, let’s add an associated route in the routes/web.php file.

// Email related routes
Route::get('mail/send', 'MailController@send');

And with that in place, you can run the http://your-laravel-site.com/mail/send URL to see if it works as expected.

On the other hand, if you want to test your email templates quickly, without sending actual emails, there’s a provision in Laravel that allows you to log all outgoing emails.

To achieve that, you need to set the value of MAIL_DRIVER to log in the config/mail.php file. Next, you could run the aforementioned URL and inspect the log file to check if the email template was logged there.

If everything goes fine, you should see an email being logged to the storage/logs/laravel.log file.

That’s pretty much it as far as the mail feature is concerned in Laravel, and that concludes this article as well.

Conclusion

Today, we went through the mail API that comes built into Laravel, and it also supports a variety of drivers as well.

Starting with basic concepts, we implemented the mailable class that is an essential element in the mail API in Laravel as we moved on. At the end, we also tested the mailable class by creating a custom controller to see if it actually works.

If you’re just getting started with Laravel or looking to expand your knowledge, site, or application with extensions, we have a variety of things you can study in Envato Market.

I would love to know your feedback in the form of queries and comments using the feed below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *