Adebola Adeniran Hi! I'm Adebola! I'm a full-stack React/Node.js and Ruby on Rails engineer from Nigeria. I mentor junior developers via the Google Developer Program, and I'm a regular contributor to some of the most widely read programming blogs. You can follow me on Twitter @debosthefirst.

Sending emails in Node.js using Nodemailer

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Sending Emails in Node.js Using Nodemailer

Editor’s note: This post was updated on 29 August 2023 to reflect Google updates that require two-factor authentication and a Google-generated app password to connect Gmail accounts to Nodemailer.

In certain cases, a developer may wish to send emails to an application’s users directly from the server, like a welcome message or an account setup link. Nodemailer, a zero-dependency Node.js module, makes it easy to send emails from a server by abstracting away some of the complexities that arise when connecting an application to an email service.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover how to configure an email address for Nodemailer, send emails from inside of an application, attach files to an email, add fields for CC and BCC, and finally, add CSS and HTML styling to an email template.

To follow along with this article, you’ll need:

  • Node.js v6.0.0 or a more recent version installed globally on your machine
  • npm installed globally on your machine
  • Basic knowledge of Node.js and JavaScript

If you wish to follow along, you can view the code for this demo in my GitHub repo. Let’s get started!

Configuring an email address for Nodemailer

If you don’t already have an email address you’d like to use to follow along, start by setting up a new one. You can use any email service, however, if you’re using a Gmail account, there are some important steps you’ll need to follow to configure your account.

Gmail configuration

By default, Gmail prevents bots from accessing emails hosted on Google servers. Gmail runs several checks to ensure that every email account is accessed by a recognized user at a recognized location.

Google requires your account to have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled to connect it to Nodemailer. Set up 2FA on your Gmail address by going here.

We’ll also need to set up an app password. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go here. Make sure you’re logged in to your Gmail account
  2. Under How you sign in to Google, select 2-Step Verification
  3. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your email again
  4. Scroll down to App passwords and click the arrow, >
  5. In the Select app dropdown, select your app or enter a custom name, then do the same for the Select device dropdown
  6. Click Generate, and a modal will pop up with your 16-digit app password. Copy it to somewhere secure

Setting up the Node.js server

Now that our email account is set up correctly, let’s start writing our code.

First, create a new directory. I called mine fassstmail:

mkdir fassstmail
cd fassstmail

In the fassstmail directory, create a new Node.js project:

npm init -y

Next, we’ll install Express Handlebars, a templating engine that allows us to create HTML email templates:

npm i nodemailer-express-handlebars nodemailer

Creating an email template

Now that we’ve installed the required dependencies, let’s set up a template to send emails.

In the root of your project, create a folder called views. Inside, create a file called email.handlebars, which will hold the HTML code and styles for our emails.

Handlebars is a templating language, so we can add variables to our HTML, then substitute the variables for the values we want in our final email. In Handlebars, variables are structured with two opening and closing brackets surrounding the variable text, as in {{variable}} .

In the email.handlebars file, let’s create an HTML template for a simple welcome email:

// email.handlebars
<!DOCTYPE html>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <meta http-equiv="x-ua-compatible" content="ie=edge">
  <title>Welcome Email</title>
  <h2>Hello {{name}}! </h2>
  <p>We're glad to have you on board at {{company}}. </p>

In the HTML template above, we have two variables, {{name}} and {{company}}. Later, we’ll learn how to replace the variables in this template with actual values.

Sending an email in Nodemailer

Now that we have our email template set up, let’s create an entry file. Create a file called server.js at the root of your fassstmail project. In server.js, add the following code, which will trigger sending an email:

const hbs = require('nodemailer-express-handlebars')
const nodemailer = require('nodemailer')
const path = require('path')

// initialize nodemailer
var transporter = nodemailer.createTransport(
        service: 'gmail',
            user: '[email protected]',
            pass: 'password_for_your_email_address'

// point to the template folder
const handlebarOptions = {
    viewEngine: {
        partialsDir: path.resolve('./views/'),
        defaultLayout: false,
    viewPath: path.resolve('./views/'),

// use a template file with nodemailer
transporter.use('compile', hbs(handlebarOptions))

  for (const user of users) {
    if ( {
      const mailOptions = {
        from: '"My Company" <[email protected]>', // sender address
        template: "email", // the name of the template file, i.e., email.handlebars
        subject: `Welcome to My Company, ${}`,
        context: {
          company: 'my company'
      try {
        await transporter.sendMail(mailOptions);
      } catch (error) {
        console.log(`Nodemailer error sending email to ${}`, error);


In the mailOptions object, template refers to the template file we want to use with Nodemailer. In our case, we want to use the email.handlebars file. The context object holds the actual values we would like to use in place of the variables in our Handlebar template file.

I’ll replace the variable {{name}} with Adebola and the variable {{company}} with My Company.

Finally, to trigger sending an email, call the transporter.sendMail function and pass it to the mailOptions object.

To test your code, run the command node server.js in your terminal. You should get a Message sent response. When you navigate into your email, you should also have received the email.


Screenshot of the Nodemailer email received successfully

And that’s it! You’ve successfully sent an email using Nodemailer. You can follow the steps outlined above to send other types of emails, and you can even use Nodemailer to notify yourself if something goes wrong on your server.

Now, let’s learn how to add attachments to our emails.

Adding attachments to your email

In the root of your project, create a folder called attachments, which will contain the files we would like to add as attachments to our email. I’m going to add an image called pic-1.jpeg by adding it to the attachments folder.

Next, add the following line to the mailOptions object.

var mailOptions = {
attachments: [{ filename: "pic-1.jpeg", path: "./attachments/pic-1.jpeg" }],

In the mailOptions object, attachments takes an array, meaning you can attach any type of file to the email you’re sending. Now, when we send the email, the image is attached.


Screenshot of Successful Nodemailer Email with Image Attachment

To attach other types of files to your email, like PDFs or documents, just follow the same process.

Adding CC and BCC to your email template

Let’s add fields for CC and BCC to forward your email to multiple email addresses at once. Add the following code to your mailOptions object:

var mailOptions = {
cc: '[email protected]',
bcc: '[email protected]'

In the image below, you can see there is a CC field with a second email address:

Screenshot of Nodemailer Email With Another Address on CC


Adding styles to your email template

You can add styles to your emails in the same way you would add styles to an HTML file. In the <head> block in your email.handlebars file, create a style block where you can add all of your desired styles:

  h2 {
    color: #c4c4c4;

I added a header to my email that appears in a light grey color. I’ll use this field to send a personalized message, as seen in the image below:

Screenshot of Custom Styling Added to Nodemailer Email



Now, you have all of the tools you need to get started creating and sending emails with Nodemailer and Node.js.

Nodemailer is an excellent tool that makes it easy to send emails from an application securely. In this tutorial, we learned how to make our own email template in Nodemailer, add attachments, and add custom styling. You can follow this process any time you need to communicate with the users of your application.

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Adebola Adeniran Hi! I'm Adebola! I'm a full-stack React/Node.js and Ruby on Rails engineer from Nigeria. I mentor junior developers via the Google Developer Program, and I'm a regular contributor to some of the most widely read programming blogs. You can follow me on Twitter @debosthefirst.

2 Replies to “Sending emails in Node.js using Nodemailer”

  1. Its Great but google have Updated we cannot use google account password directly. if we want to use nodemailer we have to enable two step verification and Also passcode from google for specific device

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