How to Send Automated Email Messages in Python

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How to Send Automated Email Messages in Python

While commercial email clients provide the ease of a user-friendly graphical user interface, they sometimes lack the flexibility and customizability that many developers or content producers want for their emailing requirements.

The ability to send automatic messages using SMTP in Python is something that is guaranteed to come in useful, whether it is for sending a thank you email to a new subscriber on your social media channel or adding email capability to your current project.

Continue reading to learn how to get a Python script to send emails running on your PC right now.

What Is SMTP?

Simply explained, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a communication protocol used by mail servers to send email over the internet.

It is a component of the TCP/IP suite’s application layer, which is a collection of protocols used for communication across the internet or other comparable networks. In an SMTP-enabled network, a technique known as store and forward aids in the movement of mail between networks.

To enable communication between participating SMTP servers, software known as Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) is used at each endpoint. SMTP’s primary function is therefore to control where and how mail goes from one point to another in a network.

Getting Started

You must have an email account in order to use this application to send emails. This is due to the fact that we will be sending emails through the email client’s SMTP service. We’ll be utilizing Gmail for this course.

To send test emails, you may also use a local SMTP debugging server, but for now, we’ll use an email account since it’s more obvious.

It is feasible to utilize an existing Gmail account, but as you experiment with your application, it may quickly get clogged with test emails. This is why we suggest establishing a ‘throwaway’ account for testing purposes.

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Now, enable the option to let less secure applications access to your Gmail account. Another reason to use a throwaway email is because messing with your main email’s privacy settings is not encouraged.

Writing the Email in Python

Python 3 has a module named smtplib (short for SMTP library) that may be used to interact with SMTP servers.

The first step, like with any other Python module, is to import smtplib.

import smtplib

Initializing an SMTP Object

You can now use smtplib to generate an SMTP object that will offer you with the majority of the functionality of a traditional email client. The functionalities of an SMTP object, on the other hand, may only be accessed via instance methods. The next step is, of course, to define an object instance.

mySMTP = smtplib.SMTP("smtp.google.com") 

This instructs the SMTP object to send emails through Google’s SMTP server.

Following that, we provide the sender and recipient email addresses. This is when your Gmail account from previously comes in helpful.

emailSender = “senderMail@sender.com”
myThroaway = "myEmail@gmail.com"
emailRecipients = [myThroaway]

It’s worth noting that the recipient list is really an array, which implies it’s meant to hold non-atomic items. As a consequence, in this area, you may even provide a whole email list!

Writing the Message

Possibly the simplest part of the procedure, you must enter data that you would typically provide when creating a new email. This includes the following:

  • Sender’s details
  • Recipient’s details
  • Subject
  • Message body

These fields are separated by triple quotation marks and are organized as follows:

newEmail = """From: From Person <senderMail@sender.com>
To: To Person <my_email@gmail.com>
Subject: Email Test
This is the body of the email.
"""

Sending the Email

Finally, we may send the email from your SMTP server to the recipient’s server using the sendmail command.

mySMTP.sendmail(emailSender, emailRecipients, newEmail)

There’s just one thing left to do: reorganize the code to avoid any potential software crashes.

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Troubleshooting YourPython Email Program

Your SMTP server may sometimes fail to establish a connection with the recipient’s, or there may be a problem sending an email from one SMTP port to another. In such a case, your software may abruptly crash.

To accommodate for such situations, use a try-except block and place the error-prone statements inside the try block. Your complete program, including the try-except block, should look like this:

import smtplib
emailSender = “senderMail@sender.com”
myThroaway = ‘my_email@gmail.com’
emailRecipients = [myThroaway]
newEmail = """From: From Person <senderMail@sender.com>
To: To Person <my_email@gmail.com>
Subject: Email Test
This is the body of the email.
"""
try:
smtpObj = smtplib.SMTP(‘smtp.gmail.com’)
mySMTP.sendmail(emailSender, emailRecipients, newEmail)
print (“Email sent successfully!”)
except SMTPException:
print ("Error: There was an error in sending your email.")

Securing Your Emails

If you plan to use Python to send emails in the real world, you must ensure that the communication is safe on both sides.

The transmission is not encrypted when using a basic SMTP server with the default port. This implies that if someone is listening in on your network, they may get your login credentials as well as the content in your email.

To get around this issue, utilize the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol to encrypt your connection. This is the same mechanism used by major email programs like Gmail and Outlook to guarantee that your emails are never intercepted.

To do this, we must make a few small adjustments to the software we developed before.

Of course, the first step is to import the ssl library as well as smtplib. By connecting to appropriate ports on both ends, the ssl library allows you to create a secure SSL context and communicate across an encrypted network.

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A safe SSL context consists of ciphers, protocol versions, trustworthy certificates, TLS settings, and TLS extensions.

After that, we can provide the TLS port and include a few SSL library methods to construct a secure emailer.

With all of the modifications performed, the code looks like this:

import smtplib, ssl
smtpServer = "smtp.gmail.com"
port = 587
myEmail = "my_email@gmail.com"
password = "my_password"

context = ssl.create_default_context()
newEmail = """From: From Person <senderMail@sender.com>
To: To Person <my_email@gmail.com>
Subject: Email Test
This is the body of the email.
"""
try:
server = smtplib.SMTP(smtpServer,port)
server.starttls(context=context)
server.login(newEmail, password)
except Exception as e:
print("the email could not be sent.")
finally:
server.quit()

As previously, you should build and utilize the SMTP instance inside a try-except block to avoid unexpected application crashes.

What You Can Do With This Python Script

You may now take your fantastic and unexpectedly valuable talent of automating emails using code to any platform that involves sending emails to a diversified mailing list.

From using it on your own website to send automatic appreciation emails to emailing Christmas cards or invites to your family and friends, the possibilities for this simple Python script are only limited by your imagination.

Furthermore, this is only one of the many amazing things you can accomplish using Python. Python has never been simpler to learn, thanks to its widespread developer support and simple syntax.

Check out our post on how to construct your very own Telegram bot with Python 3 if you want to keep developing awesome things with code!

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