I'm putting together a membership website wherein the members of the site can send an email to each other via an email form presented to them in the front end. The email will go to their email's inbox -- not anywhere in EE.

In the template, I have access to the sender and receiver's email addresses. I have the form ready. When the user clicks the "Send" button -- what should I do next? Is there a native EE way to do this? Or a free add-on that is reliable?

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    For privacy, you probably shouldn't expose the recipient to the sender's email. Also, it's probably a good idea to have a record of all messages sent to each other (to prevent abuse). Therefore, you probably want a private messaging add-on, not a way to send emails directly from a template. Just a thought :) Jan 23, 2013 at 7:22
  • I didn't plan to show the recipient's email address (though the member can explicitly set an option to show it). I was going to let the sender enter his/her email address, but I could do without that (I'll know what the sender's email is behind the scenes). So, at minimum, possibly just have a textarea for the email message. However, I like the idea of a private messaging add-on. Suggestions? Jan 23, 2013 at 8:00
  • The first party EE forum plugin does private messaging (although not very well). Also, I think Solspace Friends does private messaging, though I've never used it. Jan 23, 2013 at 8:49

2 Answers 2


I agree with @Andy Homan. The Tell-a-Friend option will work for you, but because of your set-up you will need to secure it well. This is a prime opportunity for spammers to use your server, for sending spam. There is some leeway, if your members are also restricted to just real life members of your organization. But that won't stop someone from being gung-ho about marketing themselves or their work to as many other people as possible. So be forewarned.

That said, we use the Tell-a-Friend form for a number of things in one of our client's set-up. They wanted to be able to send full text of letter-writing campaigns to both the writer, local politicians, and keep an internal copy. This was before add-ons like 'PostMaster' by ObjectiveHTML. And 'Tell-a-Friend has served us well.

If you have a lot of members, you'll probably want a method for the user to select which members to send to. This could possible be ajax type ahead on the member list or maybe the Chosen Select plug-in or VMG Chosen Member, but otherwise, the form should work well.

Just a note about security, because having your website blacklisted as a spammer is no fun. Make sure ONLY members can access the form. See if you can limit the number of emails per hour or only 1 or 2 per 15 minute period. Track outgoing emails with a service like Mandrill or another service. This will allow you to see if a user us targeting the full membership list. Also, if possible, figure out a way to allow for members not to receive mail, from other members.


Sounds like you could probably use the native Tell-A-Friend Form tag. http://ellislab.com/expressionengine/user-guide/modules/email/tellafriend.html

  • "In order to use the Tell-a-Friend feature, you will need to link to it. First, create a Template and place the Tell-a-Friend form in this Template." - my email form already exist on a page that displays a certain Channel entry. I don't want to create another page. Am I misunderstanding? Jan 24, 2013 at 4:55

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