I'm writing a timer job which once complete it sends out an email from [email protected], when it arrives in outlook it shows that address as the from person.

Is there a way to get it to display a 'display name'. For example all emails received from me would show Paul Matthews not [email protected]. (Which I know in this instance is probably more to do with AD and Exchange).

The code I'm using is below.

var emailFromAddress = _properties["EmailFromAddress"].ToString();
           var emailToAddress = _properties["EmailDistributionGroup"].ToString();
           var webAddress = _properties["WebSiteOfLibrary"].ToString();

           var subject = "New Report - " + DateTime.Now.ToString("dd MMM yyyy");

           StringDictionary messageHeader = new StringDictionary();
           messageHeader.Add("to", emailToAddress);
           messageHeader.Add("from", emailFromAddress);
           messageHeader.Add("subject", subject);
           messageHeader.Add("content-type", "text/html");

           using (SPSite site = new SPSite(webAddress))
               using (SPWeb web = site.OpenWeb())
                   DateTime timeNow = DateTime.Now;
                   var sb = new StringBuilder();
                       "<STYLE TYPE='text/css'>body, html{font-color:#000;font-family:arial;font-size:8.0pt}</STYLE>");
                   sb.AppendFormat("<div style='font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri'>Results between {0} and {1}</div><br/><br/>", LastRun.ToString("dd MMM yyyy hh:mm tt"), timeNow.ToString("dd MMM yyyy h:mm tt"));
                   sb.AppendFormat("<div style='font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri'>Total: {0}<br/><br/>", total);

                   SPUtility.SendEmail(web, messageHeader, sb.ToString());

The thing is, the email address has to be [email protected] which we will use this for multiple applications, so the display name should reflect a name of the application.

2 Answers 2


Might I suggest switching to using the System.Net.Mail.MailMessage object instead of SPUtility. SPUtility.SendEmail is a good shortcut but, as you've seen, you lose a lot of control over how the message is sent and formatted. The MailMessage object gives you that back but does require just a tiny bit more work.

To answer your specific question, the MailAddress object handles the formatting of the email address and name combination so you would have to use your application name as the 'fromname' below.

MailMessage msg = new MailMessage();

msg.From = new MailAddress(web.Site.WebApplication.OutboundMailSenderAddress, fromName);
msg.To.Add(new MailAddress(to));
msg.Subject = subject;
msg.Body = message;
msg.IsBodyHtml = true;
msg.BodyEncoding = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8;

SmtpClient server = new SmtpClient(web.Site.WebApplication.OutboundMailServiceInstance.Server.Address);

  • Thank you. Worked like a charm. However the SPUtility returned a boolean if it successfully sent an email. Is there a way to do that with MailMessage class? Jul 3, 2012 at 9:04
  • I am pretty sure that the .Send() method will throw an exception if there is a problem with the email. While not quite as simple as a boolean, it does provide a great deal more information as to why the send failed. In both cases, all it will tell you is whether or not the message was handed off to the specified SMTP server.
    – Dave Wise
    Jul 3, 2012 at 17:02

If you want to customize the sender email address, then you cannot use SPUtility.SendEmail -- you'll have to use the System.Net.Mail framework classes.

Under the covers, SPUtility calls a method named "RemoveFriendlyNameFromEmailAddress" :(

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