June 13th, 2013, 10:19 AM
E-mail form with third party recipient
I have a client that wants an e-mail form on a activist website where the recipient is a government office.
The idea is that we would pre-compose a message and let the visitor fill in his/her name and e-mail address. An e-mail would then be sent from our mail server (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Reply-To set to the visitors e-mail address.
Is this at all possible? Is it ethical? (our purposes are noble) Would we get blacklisted?
I realise that the best solution would be to make the visitor copy and paste the email, but my client really wants this solution. Plus that we want som way to keep track of the amounts of e-mails being sent.
August 7th, 2013, 05:16 AM
its perfectly possible to send an email from your IP and sender address but specify a different Reply-To field in the MIME heades (and indeed From: address also).
There is always lots of confusion about the SMTP envelope (the actual sender address and recipient addresses) and the MIME fields. Think of it this way the SMTP envelope is like the envelope of a letter, the MIME content is what is inside. You can put anything you like in the letter and it will still be delivered based on the envelope.
So yes just change the Reply-To field (and From) and then be sure to send it using an SMTP sender at your domain. If you have an SPF record for your domain then the receiving server can check your SMTP sender address vs the SPF record to ensure you are not spoofing email. The remote mailserver MAY choose to regard the email as suspicious if the Reply-To/From don't match the SMTP Sender address/domain, but will rarely block based on that alone.