Email: Send an Email

Use this action to automatically send an email message to any email address. It should be used when you are notifying someone and are not expecting any response or information back.

By default, replies are added as comments within the instance. However, you can add a custom reply-to address during configuration so any reply is sent as an email to a custom email address instead.

Use case

This action has many applications and should be the default action for sending emails. For example:

  • Send a confirmation email after a record change.
  • Distribute materials as part of an interviewing process.
  • Remind vendors of due payments.
  • Alert team of company updates.

There are three special use cases covered in more detail; these take advantage of unique Catalytic features:

Use email tracking to confirm email delivery

This action has the option to track when the sent email is opened. To turn this on or off set the Track Email Opens field to true. This will record information like if the Email was opened, the Date Time when it was opened, or the IP address of where it was opened.

Use email tracking to set up unique task conditions:

  • If an email was never opened, send a reminder next week.
  • Collect the IP address and Date time data for an email campaign and see what regions are opening the email within the first 5 minutes.

Email tracking false positives and negatives

Some recipients will have email providers or servers that strip out the delivery tracker, or open all emails before handing it off to the recipient. This could create false positives (tracking says it was opened, but wasn’t) or false negatives (tracking says it wasn’t opened, but it was).

So although the action uses industry standard email tracking technology, the tracking has limitations and will not be 100% accurate.

Use the email bounce feature to handle undelivered messages

If an email is sent but is undeliverable, this action’s email bounce feature will automatically return unique output fields like:

  • Email bounced: A TRUE or FALSE response for whether the email bounced.
  • Bounced email address: The email address where the email could not be delivered.
  • Bounce message: The message or error returned by the system.

This email bounce capability makes for easy automation of undeliverable mail. For example:

  • After a large email campaign is sent, collect each Bounced email address in a data table for review.
  • Or, automate resending a bounced email based on the Bounce message, if the issue was temporary.

For more information on setting up email bounce handling, best practices, and tips on troubleshooting, check out the Undelivered or bounced email article.

  • Note: If an email is opened or bounces after the process ends, the fields can’t be updated. This task will update the email delivery or bounce fields after the task has ended, but is unable to update fields after the Workflow has ended. To avoid this, add a task with a delay after this task, or set up the Workflow so this task is not the last task in a process.

Send replies to a custom email address

By default, if a user replies to an email sent by this action, the reply is added as a comment on the run.

To open up more possible automation, you can instead send all replies to a custom email address. For example, use this action to send a basic email, then set the custom reply-to address to automatically route all replies to:

If a custom reply-to email address is used, replies are not added as a comment on the run.

Send replies to a Catalytic email trigger

Set a Catalytic email trigger as the custom reply-to address so users can reply to an email and automatically start an automated process. See an example of this in a simple, 3 step invoice process:

  1. As part of handling invoices, vendors upload an invoice to a Catalytic webform to trigger an invoice payment process.
  2. After the invoice is uploaded, vendors receive an email confirmation of receipt.
  3. Vendors can reply to the receipt email to find out the current status of the invoice; their reply triggers another process that sends them a progress.

How to configure this action

This action is configured similarly to an email and is commonly used with field references to create dynamic automated emails.

The maximum number of recipients between To:, CC:, and BCC: is 50.

Fields for this action

  • To address

    • Add email address of the recipient. For multiple recipients, use a comma separated list.
    • ✅   Heads-up: If you add multiple addresses , a single email is sent to all recipients—rather than a single email to each recipient.
  • CC

    • Add any email addresses in a comma separated list to include in the CC. This is useful for notifying someone of the task, like for compliance or mailing lists.
  • BCC

    • Add any email addresses in a comma separated list to include in the BCC. This is useful for sending emails to large mailing lists where the list should remain private.
  • Sender name

    • The name of the company or person this email is coming from. Email clients typically show the Sender name and email address of all incoming messages. ˝
  • Email subject

    • The email subject line.
  • Email Body

    • Replacement text for the footer, including a link to unsubscribe, if appropriate. If left blank, the default footer will be displayed.
  • Attachments

    • Any documents for the recipient. This may include guidelines or necessary data. Attachments are not required. The current system limit for outbound emails (including attachments) is 7Mb.
    • ✅   Heads-up: To add more than one attachment, separate each item with a comma. If a comma is missing, the attachments do not get included in the email.
  • Track Email Opens

    • Set to true to track whether or not the email was opened. Leave blank to not track email opens.
  • Custom Reply-To Email Address

    • By default, replies to the email sent by this action are added as comments on the run.
    • Enter an email address to instead have replies sent to a custom reply-to address. If a custom reply-to email address is used, replies are not added as a comment on the run.
  • Output Field Prefix

    • To help keep output fields organized, choose an output field prefix to add to the beginning of each output field name as this action may output more than one field.
    • The step’s name is used as the prefix by default.

What will this output?

Email bounce output fields are added to the output if an email bounces.

Email tracking fields are added to the output if Track Email Opens is enabled.

This action may generate multiple fields. To help keep output fields organized, the prefix above will be added to the beginning of each of the output field names, separated by two dashes. Each field will result as:{{output-field-prefix--output-field}}. Learn more

Output fields for this action

  • emailSent

    • A confirmation if the email was sent.

Additional Output fields for email tracking

  • Email opened

    • A TRUE or FALSE response for whether or not the email was opened.
  • Email opened datetime

    • The date and time the email was opened
  • Email opened by IP

    • The IP Address for the user who opened the email
  • Email opened by user agent

    • This will capture the message returned by the addresses where the email bounced.

Additional Output fields if an email bounces

  • To

    • A list of all recipients of the email a form task.
  • Email bounced

    • A TRUE or FALSE response for whether or not an email bounced.
  • Bounced email address

    • A list of all the email addresses where the email bounced.
  • Bounce message

    • This will capture the message returned by the addresses where the email bounced.
  • Bounce type

    • The bounce type for the bounced email.

Get help with a problem or question

If something’s not working as expected, or you’re looking for suggestions, check through the options below.

Why are the bounce fields always empty?

After an email is sent, if it bounces this action normally returns extra output fields like: Email bounced, Bounced email address and Bounce message.

A common reason why these fields may not appear or appear blank is if the process ends before the email bounces. If an email is opened or bounces after the process ends, the fields cannot be updated.

To avoid this, add a task with a delay after the email task, or set up the Workflow so this task is not the last task in a process.

Why are my emails not sending?

If you get the bounce message “Catalytic has sent too many emails to this address recently. Please try again later”:

  • Catalytic limits the number of emails you can send to a single email address to 100 emails per hour. Exceeding that amount, under all circumstances, will trigger this message.

  • If you have a business case that requires you to send over 100 emails an hour to a single recipient, please contact Catalytic Support.

If you have the comment on the instance, “Catalytic did not send your email … because an email with the exact same subject and body was sent to this address within the last hour.”:

  • Catalytic has an built-in spam prevention system to limit unintentional duplicate emails—this is intended to help avoid accidental spam, or embarrassing duplicates.

  • This error occurs if an email with an identical body and subject line has been sent to the same email address within the last hour. To send the exact same email, wait an hour.

  • To bypass the spam protection, see How do I bypass the spam protection altogether?.

If you have the comment on the instance, “Catalytic did not send your email … to [addresses] because … have a history of bouncing”:

  • If prior emails have repeatedly bounce for a given email address, that address will be added to our blacklist to prevent sending messages inadvertently. This message indicates that Catalytic skipped sending the message because past messages repeatedly bounced.
  • If you know the issue that causes the bounce is fixed, you can email support to ask for the email to be removed from the blacklist.
How do I bypass the spam protection altogether?

To bypass the spam prevention, make each email unique. For example, add the Run Start Date to each email—this globally available field includes the start date in 2020-01-22T16:35:55.342Z format. This will ensure all emails are sent, even if all other content is the same.

💡   Tip: To make the date format more readable, use the Dates: Format a date time action with a format like D/M/Y HH:mm:ss.

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