Delay email to send at a specific time

I don’t have the answer yet, but I want to build a service that allows somebody to schedule email to be sent at a certain date or time. Most importantly, it should come from their existing email address and integrate with any existing email service.

The point of this post is to gauge any interest, either by comments or (more likely), hits from google. I’ll outline my plan for anyone interested.

An individual signs up to the service through a short two step form. Step 1 asks for their email address and a password to use with the site. On submission an email is sent to the address given to verify that the person has the ‘right’ to email from that account.

Once confirmed there would be two ways to send email at a scheduled time from your own email address.

Method 1

Log in to the site and use a simple email form, similar to any other webmail service. One would be able to specify a list of recipients, the subject, message and any attachments followed by the all important send date.

Method 2

Using your prefered email application, you compose the email and send it to an email address (delay@mail.com for example). In the body of that message are some parameters that tell the service who to send the email to and at what time. I was thinking something like:

(test@mail.com, test2@mail.com : 2pm 1st Decemeber 2007)

followed by the rest of the message. The beauty of this method is you can write the message in thunderbird, outlook, gmail or whatever else you use, and still delay the time the email is sent out to recipients. It’d even work from a blackberry.

Concerns

Put simply, spam and spoofing. There would be the verification step, but I wonder whether this would be possible to bypass? Plus the email would be sent from a server I hosted, not the domains reverse dns IP. Perhaps the mail would be frequently makred as spam?

If this sounds like a service you’d like to use please leave a comment. I don’t want to spend too much time on it if I’m the only person that will use it! 🙂