Sending Template Mail

Mandrill Templates

To use a Mandrill (MailChimp) template stored in your Mandrill account, set a template_name and (optionally) template_content on your EmailMessage object:

from django.core.mail import EmailMessage

msg = EmailMessage(subject="Shipped!", from_email="",
                   to=["", ""])
msg.template_name = "SHIPPING_NOTICE"           # A Mandrill template name
msg.template_content = {                        # Content blocks to fill in
    'TRACKING_BLOCK': "<a href='.../*|TRACKINGNO|*'>track it</a>"
msg.global_merge_vars = {                       # Merge tags in your template
    'ORDERNO': "12345", 'TRACKINGNO': "1Z987"
msg.merge_vars = {                              # Per-recipient merge tags
    '': {'NAME': "Pat"},
    '':   {'NAME': "Kim"}

If template_name is set, Djrill will use Mandrill’s messages/send-template API, and will ignore any body text set on the EmailMessage.

All of Djrill’s other Mandrill-specific options can be used with templates.

Formatting Merge Data

If you’re using dates, datetimes, Decimals, or anything other than strings and integers, you’ll need to format them into strings for use as merge data:

product = Product.objects.get(123)  # A Django model
total_cost = Decimal('19.99')
ship_date = date(2015, 11, 18)

# Won't work -- you'll get "not JSON serializable" exceptions:
msg.global_merge_vars = {
    'PRODUCT': product,
    'TOTAL_COST': total_cost,
    'SHIP_DATE': ship_date

# Do something this instead:
msg.global_merge_vars = {
    'PRODUCT':,  # assuming name is a CharField
    'TOTAL_COST': "%.2f" % total_cost,
    'SHIP_DATE': ship_date.strftime('%B %d, %Y')  # US-style "March 15, 2015"

These are just examples. You’ll need to determine the best way to format your merge data as strings.

Although floats are allowed in merge vars, you’ll generally want to format them into strings yourself to avoid surprises with floating-point precision.

Technically, Djrill will accept anything serializable by the Python json package – which means advanced template users can include dicts and lists as merge vars (for templates designed to handle objects and arrays). See the Python json.JSONEncoder docs for a list of allowable types.

Djrill will raise djrill.NotSerializableForMandrillError if you attempt to send a message with non-json-serializable data.

How To Use Default Mandrill Subject and From fields

To use default Mandrill “subject” or “from” field from your template definition (overriding your EmailMessage and Django defaults), set the following attrs: use_template_subject and/or use_template_from on your EmailMessage object:

msg.use_template_subject = True
msg.use_template_from = True

If True, Djrill will omit the subject, and Mandrill will use the default subject from the template.


If True, Djrill will omit the “from” field, and Mandrill will use the default “from” from the template.

Django Templates

To compose email using Django templates, you can use Django’s render_to_string() template shortcut to build the body and html.

Example that builds an email from the templates message_subject.txt, message_body.txt and message_body.html:

from django.core.mail import EmailMultiAlternatives
from django.template import Context
from django.template.loader import render_to_string

template_data = {
    'ORDERNO': "12345", 'TRACKINGNO': "1Z987"

plaintext_context = Context(autoescape=False)  # HTML escaping not appropriate in plaintext
subject = render_to_string("message_subject.txt", template_data, plaintext_context)
text_body = render_to_string("message_body.txt", template_data, plaintext_context)
html_body = render_to_string("message_body.html", template_data)

msg = EmailMultiAlternatives(subject=subject, from_email="",
                             to=[""], body=text_body)
msg.attach_alternative(html_body, "text/html")