Sparkpost delivery method for ActionMailer
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SparkPost Rails

This gem provides seamless integration of SparkPost with ActionMailer. It provides a delivery_method based upon the SparkPost API, and makes getting setup and sending email via SparkPost in a Rails app pretty painless.

Getting Started

Add the gem to your Gemfile

gem 'sparkpost_rails'

Then run the bundle command to install it.

By default, the gem will look for your SparkPost API key in your environment, with the key SPARKPOST_API_KEY. You can override this setting by identifying a different key in the initializer (config/initializers/sparkpost_rails.rb):

SparkPostRails.configure do |c|
  c.api_key = 'YOUR API KEY'

Note that an initializer file is not required to use this gem. If an initializer is not provided, default values will be used. See "Additional Configuration" below for a list of all the default settings.

In each environment configuration file from which you want to send emails via Sparkpost, (i.e. config/environments/production.rb) add

config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :sparkpost

Additional Configuration

You can establish values for a number of SparkPost settings in the initializer. These values will be used for every message sent from your application. You can override these settings on individual messages.

SparkPostRails.configure do |c|
  c.sandbox = true                                # default: false
  c.track_opens = true                            # default: false
  c.track_clicks = true                           # default: false
  c.return_path = 'BOUNCE-EMAIL@YOUR-DOMAIN.COM'  # default: nil
  c.campaign_id = 'YOUR-CAMPAIGN'                 # default: nil
  c.transactional = true                          # default: false
  c.ip_pool = "MY-POOL"                           # default: nil
  c.inline_css = true                             # default: false
  c.html_content_only = true                      # default: false
  c.subaccount = "123"                            # default: nil


When calling the deliver! method on the mail object returned from your mailer, SparkPostRails provides the response data directly back from SparkPost as a hash.

result = MyMailer.welcome_message(user).deliver!


  "total_rejected_recipients" => 0, 
  "total_accepted_recipients" => 1, 
  "id" => "00000000000000"

If the SparkPost API reponds with an error condition, SparkPostRails will raise a SparkPostRails::DeliveryException, which will include all the message data returned by the API.

SparkPostRails will support multiple recipients, multilple CC, multiple BCC, ReplyTo address, file attachments, inline images, multi-part (HTML and plaintext) messages - all utilizing the standard ActionMailer methodologies.

Handling Errors

If you are using ActiveJob and wish to do something special when the SparkPost API responds with an error condition you can do so by rescuing these exceptions via ActionMailer::DeliveryJob. Simply add an initializer:


ActionMailer::DeliveryJob.rescue_from(SparkPostRails::DeliveryException) do |exception|
  # do something special with the error

SparkPost-Specific Features

Configuration Settings

You can specifiy values for any or all of the configuration settings listed above on an individual message. Simply add a hash of these values to the mail message in a field named sparkpost_data:

data = { 
  track_opens: true,
  track_clicks: false,
  campaign_id: "My Campaign",
  transactional: true,
  ip_pool = "SPECIAL_POOL",
  subaccount = "123"

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

Additionally, return_path can be overriden on a specific email by setting that field on the mail message itself:

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test", return_path: "")

Transmission Specific Settings

For an individual transmisison you can specifiy that SparkPost should ignore customer supression rules - if your SparkPost account allows for this feature. Simply include the flag in the sparkpost_data field on the message:

data = { skip_suppression: true }

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

To schedule the generation of messages for a future date and time, specify a start time in the date parameter of the mail. The date must be in the future and less than 1 year from today. If date is in the past or too far in the future, no date will be passed, and no delivery schedule will be set.

start_time = + 4.hours 

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test", date: start_time)

You can set a description for a transmission via the sparkpost_data as well. The maximum length of the decription is 1024 characters - values longer than the maxium will be truncated.

data = { description: "My Important Message" }

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

By default, content from single-part messages is sent at plain-text. If you are only intending to send HTML email, with no plain-text part, you can specify this as shown below. You can also set this in the configuration to ensure that all single-part emails are sent as HTML.

data = { html_content_only: true }

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "<h1>test</h1>", sparkpost_data: data)


SparkPostRails supports sending messages via subaccounts in two ways. The default API key set in the configuration can be overriden on a message-by-message basis with a subaccount API key.

data = { api_key: "SUBACCOUNT_API_KEY" }

mail(subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

Subaccounts can also be leveraged using the subaccount ID with the master API key.

data = { subaccount: "123" }

mail(subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

Recipient Lists

SparkPostRails supports using SparkPost stored recipient lists. Simply add the list_id to the sparkpost_data hash on the mail message:

data = { recipient_list_id: "MY-LIST"}

mail(subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

NOTE: If you supply a recipient list_id, all To:, CC:, and BCC: data specified on the mail message will be ignored. The SparkPost API does not support utilizing both a recipient list and inline recipients.

Substitution Data

You can leverage SparkPost's substitution engine through the gem as well. To supply substitution data, simply add your hash of substitution data to your sparkpost_data hash, with the key substitution_data.

sub_data = {
  first_name: "Sam",
  last_name: "Test

data = { substitution_data: sub_data }

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test", sparkpost_data: data)

Recipient-Specific Data

When sending to multiple recipients, you can pass an array of data to complement each recipient. Simply pass an array called recipients containing an array of the additional data (e.g. substitution_data).

recipients = ['', '']
sparkpost_data = {
  recipients: [
    { substitution_data: { name: 'Recipient1' } },
    { substitution_data: { name: 'Recipient2' } }
mail(to: recipients, sparkpost_data: sparkpost_data)

Using SparkPost Templates

You can leverage SparkPost's powerful templates rather than building ActionMailer views using SparkPostRails. Add your template_id to the sparkpost_data hash. By default, ActionMailer finds a template to use within views. A workaround to prevent this default action is to explicitly pass a block with an empty text part:

data = { template_id: "MY-TEMPLATE" }

mail(to: to_email, sparkpost_data: data) do |format|
  format.text { render text: "" }

NOTE: All inline-content that may exist in your mail message will be ignored, as the SparkPost API does not accept that data when a template id is supplied. This includes Subject, From, ReplyTo, Attachments, and Inline Images.

###Other Mail Headers If you need to identify custom mail headers for your messages, use the ActionMailer header[] method. The gem will pass all approprite headers through to the API. Note, per the SparkPost API documentation

Headers such as 'Content-Type' and 'Content-Transfer-Encoding' are not allowed here as they are auto-generated upon construction of the email.

headers["Priority"] = "urgent"
headers["Sensitivity"] = "private"

mail(to: to_email, subject: "Test", body: "test")