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Testing Laravel emails with Tinkerwell and HELO

There are many ways to test emails in Laravel applications. In this tutorial, we are using Tinkerwell to trigger the email and display the content in HELO to see how it looks in modern email clients.

Configure HELO

The configuration of HELO is straight forward. Simply set your mailer to SMTP on your local machine and your are ready to go. And if you prefer cloud solutions, then pay attention to Mailtrap Fake SMTP Server - an email testing tool, that is mentioned in the official Laravel documentation. Using a username for the SMTP authentication creates a mailbox in HELO and makes it easy to separate emails between different projects. You can have as many inboxes as you need.


Create the email

Laravel supports Markdown emails and deals with the heavy lifting of HTML email templates. Even in the year 2020, people are still using old email clients and don't have access to modern CSS – so starting with a battle tested email template and going from there is always a good idea.

php artisan make:mail MarkdownTestMail --markdown=emails.markdown

Send the email with Tinkerwell

Dispatching emails with Tinkerwell is as easy as it sounds. You don't have to create orders in ecommerce systems or trigger password reset emails over and over again. Simply pull the data from your application and pass it to the Mailable:

$body = 'This is a test message';
Mail::to(new User(['email' => '[email protected]']))->send(
new App\Mail\MarkdownTestMail($body)

Running this code results in this output:

Tinkerwell screenshot

Preview the email content

The email shows up in HELO instantly – this is how it looks:

HELO email preview

Show additional debug information

If you are using the HELO helper package, HELO shows additional debug information for the email. In this example, we can see the view file, the view content before the rendering process and the data that is available in the view.

HELO email debug information

You can get HELO here and Tinkerwell here.

Eric L. Barnes, Creator of Laravel News
“I use Tinkerwell all the time now. Love that app.”

Eric L. Barnes

Creator of Laravel News

Dom Thomas, Developer
“Since I use Tinkerwell, my productivity has increased, it saves me a lot of time and more and more with each new version.”
Dom Thomas


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