How to send email in R

RLang tutorial for sending emails over SMTP.

R Lang is a powerful programming language for mathematical modeling and statistical analysis. But did you know R can also be used to send emails? This is a useful feature and allows programmers and scientists to sent alerts and dataset results via email from with r scripts and RStudio. In this post we'll cover two popular methods for sending email in R.

Setup your environment

Install RLang by downloading an official distribution or by using a package manager. On OSX you can use Brew to install R like so:

brew install r

Next we can verify r is installed and functioning by running the RScript command from a terminal or command line. Verify RScript installation with the version argument

Rscript --version

RLang SMTP libraries

In order to send email in r we need to install some packages. The main packages we will cover in this post are:

  • sendmailR
  • blastula
  • httr

Each library has pros and cons and we will go over each to help you decide which package to use when sending an email.

Installing packages

To install packages in R lang we use the install.packages function. Run the RScript commands below to install all the packages we need:

Rscript -e 'install.packages("sendmailR",repos="http://cran.r-project.org")'
Rscript -e 'install.packages("httr",repos="http://cran.r-project.org")'
Rscript -e 'install.packages("blastula",repos="http://cran.r-project.org")'

This will make our desired packages available in our R code when calling the library function.

Send email with sendmailR

The sendmailR package is a popular library for sending email to an SMTP server. It has good support for most formats but does not accept authentication. We can still use sendmailR to send emails to SMTP servers but the emails will be delivered from our own machine via SMTP and not through an MTA mail transfer agent. This is fine for many use cases.

Pros

Easy setup for automated email sending with no user input.

Cons

Does not support authentication. For sending with authentication use the blastula package covered in the next section.

Example usage

Create a new R script and import the sendmailR library plus httr for http requests.

library(httr)
library(sendmailR)

Then send using the sendmail command:

# Now send an email to the address
from <- "<my@sender.com>" 
to <- address
subject <- "Send email with R!"
body <- "Wow, R can do everything."
sendmail(from,to,subject,body,control=list(smtpServer=host,smtpPort=port))

Send with Blastula

Another great package for emailing in Rlang is blastula. In contrast to sendmailR it supports SMTP authentication too meaning we can send emails through an SMTP server that we control.

Pros

Support MTA mail transfer with authentication (username and password).

Cons

Requires a credentials file or user input to enter password. For this reason it may not be suitable for automated scripting.

Example usage

First import blastula:

library(httr)
library(blastula)

Then compose and send an email:

email <- compose_email(
  body = md(c("Test email"))
)
print (paste("Enter password when prompted", password))
smtp_send(
  email = email,
  from = email_address,
  to = email_address,
  credentials = creds(
    host = host,
    port = port,
    user = username
  )
)

Testing email sending

If you wish to send emails in R and test the results try MailSlurp. You can create unlimited test email accounts and trap outbound email messages before they are sent. Create a free account today to get started.

Related content

Fake SMTP servers for safe testing that prevent any outbound emails from reaching real users

Test emails safely with no risk of spamming users with real emails

Java email library for SMTP and creating email addresses

MailSlurp Java SDK for sending and receive email and attachments on the JVM.

SMTP email application libraries

How to send email in CSharp, PHP, Ruby, Java, Python, and NodeJS using the SMTP protocol and MailSlurp mailservers.

1111 SMTP Connections failing

1111 SMTP Connections failing

How to Send an Email in Python

Send emails using SMTP mailer in Python. Detailed tutorial for sending mail in Python.

How to send emails in Javascript (NodeJS)

JS SMTP email sending guide using HTML and NodeJS.

PHPMailer tutorial (Sending email with PHP)

PHPMailer tutorial (Sending email with PHP)

How to send an email using Powershell (Windows and cross-platform)

Use Send-MailMessage in Windows Powershell to send emails using an SMTP server or MailSlurp's free email API.

How to send email in R

RLang tutorial for sending emails over SMTP.

SMTP Commands and Response Codes List

A full list of commands and response status codes for SMTP mail servers when sending emails.

Test SMTP servers with Telnet

How to use Telnet to test the SMTP servers?

What Is Amazon Simple Storage Service (SES) - And How Can I Use It?

Amazon SES is an email service among virtual servers, AI apps, and libraries. Ideally, you can integrate your email system with your program hosted on Amazon.

Grab all details about an SMTP Port

What are common SMTP mail server ports and how do you find them?

Which SMTP Port Should I Use?

Picking the right port for SMTP mailservers

Avoiding email spam filters

How to send emails that don't trigger a spam warning.

BCC and CC in SMTP emails

What is cc and bcc in email? What is the difference between cc and bcc?

BCC For Email: What It Means And When To Use It

What is BCC email field (blind carbon copy) and how does it differ to CC?

What Is The Best SMTP Port To Use?

MailServers use TCP ports to transmit emails. Picking the right port between 25 vs 2555, 465 vs 587 in SMTP is easy with this guide.

How to configure Mail desktop clients with MailSlurp

How to setup MailSlurp with Outlook, Gmail, Thunderbird, Mail app and more.

Send email with CSharp using SMTP Client and MailSlurp

Create a custom SMTP client and access MailSlurp inboxes from CSharp/DotNET.

DMARC – All Facts that you should know

DMARC – All Facts that you should know

Email size limits

Email size limits

The Fundamentals Of Email Subdomains

How to manage email subdomain custom mailboxes using SMTP/IMAP mailserver settings.

How to send emails in VBA

Send email in Visual basic

A guide to PHP Mailer

A guide to PHP Mailer

SMTP IMAP Settings

How to access MailSlurp email accounts using IMAP and SMTP servers

SMTP Relay for outbound smtp servers

How to use SMTP relay to address spam and security issues that affect outbound mail servers.

SMTP vs HTTP MailSlurp inboxes

The difference between HTTP and SMTP inboxes and domains in MailSlurp.

What are SMTP ports

What are SMTP ports

CSharp send SMTP email

How to use CSharp SMTP client to send email with MailSlurp mail server

Send SMTP email with Java

How to use Java SMTP client to send email with MailSlurp mail server on the JDK

Send emails in NodeJS using SMTP

How to use Javascript SMTP client (or Nodemailer) to send email with MailSlurp mail server

Send SMTP emails with PHP

Use PHPMailer to send emails with SMTP and MailSlurp

Send SMTP email with Python (using SMTPLib)

How to send emails with Python's built-in SMTP client and MailSlurp mail servers.

Ruby send SMTP email

How to use Ruby SMTP client to send email with the MailSlurp mail servers

Ready to dive in?Start building email applications today.