Workflow Trick – Using an Email Field

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I had a conversation on Twitter the other day regarding ways to email another contact in the system that is not the “Related Contact” on a record.  A use case may be “Email this other contact or user when something happens too”.  A solution…

Use an email field on the object.

While there may be some drawbacks, if you ARE able to formulaicly get another email address, you could populate an email field on the object to the send future emails to.

Step 1 – Create an email field on the object

Workflow Trick

Step 2 – Assure that that email field gets populated.  This could be accomplished by another workflow rule or business process.

Step 3 – Create your emailing workflow rule.  From there, you can select, as a recipient “Email field: FieldName” instead of a user or related contact record.

Workflow Tip

There may be some drawbacks to this approach, depending on your situation.

#1 is that the email address won’t be updated automatically if someone changes the email address on the source record if it’s pulled from another object (i.e. if you use a user’s email address, and they change it, workflow will not automatically update all of the related email fields)

#2 is that a workflow rule cannot trigger another workflow rule, and so this technique works best for records that get the email address populated when they are created, or populated manually before the notification sends.

To close, this is not a “Be all and End All” approach, but it may be another tool in your toolbelt to give more flexibility when choosing workflow recepients.

Any thoughts or improvements to this process?  Leave a comment!  Thanks for reading.

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