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SilverStripe has emailing functionality using the built-in mail() function in PHP. Features include sending plaintext- and HTML emails, sending bulk emails, subscription, handling bounced back emails.


Your PHP configuration needs to include the SMTP module for sending emails. If you are not running an SMTP server together with your webserver, you might need to setup PHP with the credentials for an external SMTP server (see PHP documentation for mail()).


Sending combined HTML and Plaintext

By default, emails are sent in both HTML and Plaintext format.

A plaintext representation is automatically generated from the system by stripping HTML markup, or transforming it where possible (e.g. <strong>text</strong> is converted to *text*).

$email = new Email($from, $to, $subject, $body);

The default HTML template is located in sapphire/templates/email/

Sending Plaintext only

$email = new Email($from, $to, $subject, $body);

Custom Template

The emails you create may contain quite a bit of content and perhaps custom elements, background images and generally be too complex to write out in PHP code.

To support this you can specify a SilverStripe Template to be used instead of the built in file.

  • Create a '' file inside mysite/templates/email.
  • Fill with what you need to include. You can use any of the SilverStripe Template syntax (e.g. <% control %>, <% if %>, $FirstName etc). Such as the following:
<h1>Hi <% if FirstName %>$FirstName<% end_if %></h1>

The above is a simple hello email that prints out the first name of the user and a welcome message. We're not finished quite yet, there is a couple things we need to do:

  • Before you call send() on your email, set the template with setTemplate()
  • Populate any custom data into the template with populateTemplate() again, you need to do this before you call send(). In this example above, we used 2 fields - $FirstName and $WelcomeMessage so we need to ensure they are populated:
$email = new Email("", "", "Welcome to mysite");

// sets the template to be used -

// You can call populateTemplate multiple times or bundle everything into an array, 
// including DataSetObjects.

// Member::currentUser() includes $FirstName

$welcomeMsg = 'Thank you for joining on '.date('Y-m-d').'!';

    'WelcomeMessage' => $welcomeMsg,



Class definition:

class MyEmail extends Email{
    $to = '$Email', // Be sure to encase this in single-quotes, as it is evaluated later by the template parser
    $from = '',
    $ss_template = 'MyEmail';


$email = new MyEmail();

Administrator Emails

The static function Email::setAdminEmail() can be called from a _config.php file to set the address that these emails should originate from. This address is used if the from field is empty.

Redirecting Emails

Email::send_all_emails_to($address) will redirect all emails sent to the given address. We recommend using this in your local development environment. You can either configure this in your mysite/_config.php:

if(Director::isDev()) Email::send_all_emails_to("");

If you use a SilverStripe Environment file to manage your configuration then you should include the following in your development copy:

define('SS_SEND_ALL_EMAILS_TO', '');

Email::cc_all_emails_to() and Email::bcc_all_emails_to() will keep the email going to its original recipients, but adds an additional recipient in the BCC/CC header.

if(Director::isLive()) Email::bcc_all_emails_to("");
else Email::send_all_emails_to(""); 

Setting Custom Headers

For email headers which do not have getters or setters (like setTo(), setFrom()) you can use addCustomHeader($header, $value)

$email = new Email(...);
$email->addCustomHeader('HeaderName', 'HeaderValue');

See Wikipedia E-mail Message header for a list of header names.


The newsletter module provides a UI and logic to send batch emails.

API Documentation


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