emayili is a package for sending emails from R. The design goals are:

  • works on all manner of SMTP servers and
  • has minimal dependencies (or dependencies which are easily satisfied).

The package name is an adaption of the Zulu word for email, imeyili.

Installation

Get the stable version from CRAN.

install.packages("emayili")

Or grab it directly from GitHub.

# Install from the master branch.
remotes::install_github("datawookie/emayili")
# Install from the development branch.
remotes::install_github("datawookie/emayili", ref = "dev")

Usage

First create a message object.

Creating a Message

The message has class envelope.

class(email)

Add addresses for the sender and recipient.

email <- email %>%
  from("alice@yahoo.com") %>%
  to("bob@google.com") %>%
  cc("craig@google.com")

There are also bcc() and reply() functions for setting the Bcc and Reply-To fields.

Add a subject.

email <- email %>% subject("This is a plain text message!")

Add a text body. You can use html() to add an HTML body.

email <- email %>% text("Hello!")

Add an attachment.

email <- email %>% attachment("image.jpg")

You can also create the message in a single command:

email <- envelope(
  to = "bob@google.com",
  from = "alice@yahoo.com",
  subject = "This is a plain text message!",
  text = "Hello!"
)

Simply printing a message displays the header information.

email

You can identify emails which have been sent using emayili by the presence of an X-Mailer header which includes both the package name and version.

If you want to see the complete MIME object, just convert to a string.

Adding an Inline Image

Adding an inline image to an HTML message is possible. There are two ways to achieve this.

1. Base64 Encoding

First you’ll need to Base64 encode the image.

img_base64 <- base64enc::base64encode("image.jpg")

Then create the HTML message body.

html_body <- sprintf('<html><body><img src="data:image/jpeg;base64,%s"></body></html>', img_base64)

And finally add it to the email.

email <- envelope() %>% html(html_body)

Note: It’s important that you specify the appropriate media type (image/jpeg for JPEG and image/png for PNG).

2. Using a CID

Unfortunately some mail clients (like Gmail) will not display Base64 encoded images. In this case using a CID is a working alternative.

First create the message body which references an image by CID.

html_body <- '<html><body><img src="cid:image"></body></html>'

Then attach the image and specify the cid argument.

email <- envelope() %>%
  html(html_body) %>%
  attachment(path = "image.jpg", cid = "image")

Sending a Message

Create a SMTP server object and send the message.

smtp <- server(host = "smtp.gmail.com",
               port = 465,
               username = "bob@gmail.com",
               password = "bd40ef6d4a9413de9c1318a65cbae5d7")
smtp(email, verbose = TRUE)

To see the guts of the message as passed to the SMTP server:

print(email, details = TRUE)

Using STARTTLS

If you’re trying to send email with a host that uses the STARTTLS security protocol (like Google Mail, Yahoo! or AOL), then it will most probably be blocked due to insufficient security. In order to circumvent this, you can grant access to less secure apps. See the links below for specifics:

Standards Documents

The following (draft) standards documents relate to emails:

Similar Packages

There is a selection of other R packages which also send emails: