Airtable automation action: Send email
  • 29 Feb 2024
  • 9 Minutes to read
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Airtable automation action: Send email

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Article summary

Plan availability

All plan types with varying limitations

Permissions

  • Owners/Creators - Create, delete, duplicate, configure, or rename an automation and edit an automation's description.

  • Editors - View an automation's configuration or copy an automation's URL.

Platform(s)

Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app 

Related reading

Creating an Airtable automation - Learn how to set up your first automation in Airtable.

Try it in Airtable

Set up your automation

Setting up an automation to send an email

When building an Automation, you may choose the Send an email action. When the automation runs successfully, a corresponding email will be sent to selected email targets, containing the customizable information of your choosing during the automation configuration process. Automations are included in every Airtable plan, with varying limits depending on your plan. For more information please see airtable.com/pricing.

After you have configured your base in the manner you choose, you can then begin configuring your automation. To start creating an automation, click on Automations in the upper left corner of an open base. Then, click “Create an automation” to begin the setup process, see this article for more information. For this example, we will be setting up an automation that sends an email when a project, in our Project Tracker template, is completed.

Step 1: Choose a trigger

First, we will set up a trigger to fire when a project enters a "Completed" view. In our Project Tracker base, we have previously created a filter that only allows projects from a completed checkbox field to enter the "Completed" view. To do this, choose the corresponding table/view within the base and test the trigger. After testing successfully, we can move on to setting up the action.

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Step 2: Add the action

To set up the "Send an email" action click the blue "+ Add Action" button. Then, click on the "Send an email" option. This will bring up a box with configuration options to add recipients, a subject line, and the message body.

Your automation can send out a custom message that combines information from both previous Airtable records referenced in this automation(by either the trigger or previous actions), emojis, rich text, and plain text. To insert static text, such as a single email, enter the text you'd like directly into the input.

You can click the blue and white plus-sign to add dynamic values from the triggering record, or any previous actions. Additionally, you can access any record's values by clicking on the Field values drop-down arrow.

Notes:

  • You may email any number of base collaborators with verified emails, or, depending on your plan, a set number of other unique email addresses (non-collaborators) per day. You'll see this denoted at the top of the send email action. More on this below. 1500001876041ScreenShot2021-01-22at23849PM.png

  • To see an example of how you can format your records as either a list or a grid, particularly helpful for linked records, in an email see this article.

  • Looking to add a break to the body of your email? Consider using a page break by inserting the <br> tag.

Step 3: Customize options

By clicking on the Show more options drop-down arrow, you will have the ability to customize four additional parts of the automatic email you send out, which includes CC, BCC, From name, and Reply to. During rollout/testing, it's a good idea to BCC your own email address. You can remove your email address after the automation is confirmed to be sending the email correctly.

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The From name field allows you to add a custom name such as your company rather than your email address on the email receiver's end. It's worth noting that there will still be some "via Airtable" tags visible in the email.

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Step 4: Preview email

First, confirm that the To, Subject, and Message fields are filled in. You will then see the Preview email button become clickable next to the "Run test" button in the lower left-hand corner of the Send an email action's setup menu.

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Clicking on this option will pull up a preview of the email so that you can verify that the formatting or structure of the email is appearing the way you would like it to. Doing this before testing the action helps to prevent multiple test emails from being sent out because of formatting updates. This also allows you to see who the test email is being sent out to so that you can warn them about the test email, if necessary.

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Note

Remember that if you change something in your base, then you will need to retest the trigger step in the automation in order to see the update reflected in the preview email.

Step 5: Run a test and turn the automation on

After your message looks the way you want it to you must click "Run test" to ensure the action is working properly. If the test runs successfully, then at this point it's a good idea to check that the test email sent successfully. If so, you can now turn on the automation so that your custom notification sends out each time a project is completed.

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Note

Running into a problem or error in your automation? Check out our troubleshooting automations article for some helpful tips and potential solutions.

Images in emails

There are a few options for adding images to emails sent via Automations. Images can be added to the email Body and/or email Attachments sections of the configuration window. Airtable attachment field tokens inserted into the email Attachments section will add any images (or other file types) as an attachment at the bottom of the email.

Option 1: As an in-line image or hyperlink in the message body

It's important to note that Airtable Attachments are secure, meaning inline image tokens from an Attachment field in a base will render as an expiring link rather than a permanent image link. 

This means that any Airtable Attachment image embedded in the message body will expire. To work around this, you will need to use publicly hosted images inserted in-line using HTML. In these cases, rather than storing the image in an Airtable Attachment field, you will need to store the publicly available URL in a URL field that can then be inserted into the email's message body dynamically.

  1. In-line image  ⇢ HTML

    1. For publicly hosted images, you can include a static in-line image using an HTML image tag. <img src="https://picsum.photos/200">

    2. If you've stored a publicly available image's URL in a field in your base, then you can insert that field's URL token to dynamically have an inline image appear in the body of the email. That will look something like this in the message body, where "Image public URL" is the name of the field where you are storing those URLs:

  2. Hyperlink  to URL of attachment ⇢ Markdown

    1. Insert one URL and format using Markdown: [Text](URL)

  3. Trigger record ( thumbnail image )⇢ Render as HTML list

    1. Insert just the attachment field (or others as desired). Each record would need to have an attachment in its respective attachment field cell to display in the email.

  4. Find records ( thumbnail image )⇢ Render as HTML grid

    1. Insert just the attachment field (or others as desired).

    2. Using this method you can find 1 specific record with an attachment in another table and send the same attachment in all emails.

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Option 2: As a file attachment

  1. Find records ⇢ Insert list of field values, attachment field, flatten into Attachments field of Send Email action

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Send email action limits

Limits related to the Send an email automation action are dependent on three factors. 

  1. The first is the number of automation runs left for your workspace as outlined here

  2. The second limit has to do with who is being emailed. No matter the plan type, you can send any number of daily emails to collaborators who have verified emails for their Airtable accounts. For non-collaborators or users who haven't verified their email addresses, here are the individual plan limits

    1. Free - All recipients must be verified collaborators in the base where the automation resides.

    2. Team - Can email 100 unique non-collaborator email addresses per day.

    3. Business - Can email 1000 unique non-collaborator email addresses per day.

    4. Enterprise Scale - No limit on the number of non-collaborators that you can email per day.

  3. Additionally, there is an overarching limit of 1000 recipients per run in automations that contain this action. Consider utilizing the Find records action to "batch" the number of recipients per automation run

FAQs

Can I remove the Airtable branding from emails sent using the send email action?

It isn't currently possible to remove the Airtable branding or add your own custom branding to emails sent via the send email action.

Can I find additional metadata about sent emails such as delivery status, click-through rate, or open rate?

No. In most cases, if the automation successfully ran, then it means that our mail server at least was able to successfully send the email to the recipient, but that won't confirm whether or not the email ended up in a spam/trash folder.

Which plans allow this automation to send emails to non-Airtable users?

Non-users can only receive automated emails from this automation action on paid plan workspaces. Currently, workspaces on the Free plan are limited to only emailing collaborators with verified emails. However, unlike the Send email action (via Airtable), Free users can use the Gmail: Send email or the Outlook: Send email actions to send emails to non-collaborators.

What is the sender email address?

All email messages will show up as from "Airtable Automations" at this email address: noreply+automations@airtableemail.com. However, you can specify a custom "From Name" and "Reply To Email Address". These will appear in the email as "From Name (via Airtable)".

How do I schedule an email to be sent out?

The time with which an email will be sent out using this Automation action is determined by the trigger chosen. If you are looking to send emails at a specific time or within a certain timeframe then check out our article on the "At a scheduled time" Automation trigger.

Why aren't emails sending correctly to my collaborators?

Make sure each of your collaborators has verified the emails connected to their Airtable accounts. When creating a new Airtable account you should receive an email from Airtable with a link to click to verify your email.

Why am I getting an "invalid email address" error using a valid email?

If you are attempting to send an email to a valid email address, but still receiving the "invalid email address" error, this may be a problem with our underlying email service. The fastest way to fix this is to have the owner of the email sign up for an Airtable account with that email address and then verify that email address with our system.

How can I format the emails I send out?

We support using Markdown syntax and a variety of HTML tags within your emails to ensure things are formatted the way you'd like. We currently support using the following HTML tags: <b>, <br> <u>, <strong>, <em>, <img>, <a> and <span> tags. You can also include inline CSS by adding a style attribute to your HTML tags.

I'm getting an error that says my "To" input is empty, what does this mean?

Likely, the cause is that the test record's email field is blank. If you know how to determine the test record, then you can use that information to troubleshoot and find a solution.


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