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Automation Action: Send Email

Send an outgoing email immediately or on a scheduled future date.

Built-In Action

Send an outgoing email message.

Emails can be sent immediately or you can Schedule Send on future dates. Email messages can be sent in plaintext, Markdown and/or HTML format. You can add attachments and you have the option of including the incoming attachments.

Enter the From & To addresses and Subject. The Reply To, CC & BCC are optional. The To, CC and BCC entries can contain multiple addresses separated with commas, semi-colons or line breaks.

If you want to send the email to the sender of the incoming message set the To address to the %Msg_From% built-in variable. The To address should contain the recipient name and email address where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of the recipient mail server marking the email as spam. The format is: name <email>. For example: Howard Williams <howard.williams@somecompany.com>. You can use %variable% replacements for both parts. The %Msg_From% will already contain both name & email parts if the sender supplied them. Adding an Unsubscribe link to your emails will also reduce likelihood of the email being marked as spam. You can create a Web Form message source with an unsubscribe form to process unsubscribes and then include the Web Form URL as a link in outgoing emails.
Sending To Multiple Recipients

The To address can contain multiple recipients separated by commas, semi-colons or line breaks. The receiver of the email will see all addresses in the 'To' address on the email they receive. If you want to send the same email to multiple recipients without each receiver seeing the other recipients you can use a For..Each loop, looping on Comma Separated Values In or Lines In. Inside the loop, use the Send Email action and assign the To address to the variable containing the individual email address. Each email will then be sent separately with a single 'To' address.


You can attach files to outgoing messages. You can also include attachments from the incoming message.

To add attachments - click the ... button on the Attach box to add local files. You can also use %variable% replacements in the Attach box to include files created by other actions.

Enable the Include Incoming Attachments option to automatically add any incoming attachments with the outgoing email. This will be in addition to any other attachments you add.

Enable the Include Incoming Inline Attachments option to attach incoming inline attachments. Inline attachments are images and other types of file that are included in the body of the incoming email. If this option is enabled then ThinkAutomation will add the inline attachments as regular attachments to the outgoing message.


For the body of the email click the Message tab to enter the message text. Click the HTML tab to compose the HTML portion (you can use either or both). When the email is sent it will include both plaintext and HTML. If HTML is specified, but no plaintext, then ThinkAutomation will automatically create the plaintext portion of the email from the HTML. Both the Message and HTML can contain %variable% replacements.

Using Pre-Prepared HTML

If you have created a %variable% containing HTML (for example using the Wrap HTML action) you can use this on the Message tab. If the %variable% content of the Message tab is HTML (contains <html> and <body> tags) and the HTML tab content is blank, then ThinkAutomation assumes you want to send HTML content.


You can use Markdown in the Message tab text. The Markdown will be converted to HTML when the email is sent. To use Markdown to HTML conversion - ensure that the HTML tab content is blank. You can disable the Markdown to HTML conversion by unchecking the Convert Markdown To HTML When Email Is Sent option. See: Markdown Notes.

External Content For HTML

For HTML content you also have the option of using an External File or URL For HTML. If an external file or URL is specified then this will be read and used for the HTML content. When using an External File or URL then you also have the option to Embed Images. If Embed Images is enabled then any external images used in the HTML will be downloaded and embedded. Not all email clients will display embedded images - so you should test this option before using.

If the Convert CSS To Inline Styles option is enabled then any stylesheets in the HTML will be converted to inline style attributes. This provides better email client compatibility.

Scheduling Messages

Email messages can be sent on future dates using Scheduled Send option.

For example, suppose you have an Automation that responds to a sales order email. The Automation sends the customer a 'thank you' email when the order is received. You could then use the Scheduled Email option to send a follow up email in 30 days time to see how the customer is getting on with their new product.

Any number of scheduled email responses can be setup. ThinkAutomation saves the email in the Message Store database along with the scheduled date and time that the message should be delivered.

Enable the Scheduled Send option and specify either Send After n Days or Minutes, or Send On A Specified Date/Time and enter the date/time to send the email.

Send Option

If you are not using the Scheduled Send option you can select one of the Send Options:

  • Add To Outbox Queue - the email is added to the outbox queue and will be sent by the ThinkAutomation Server as a separate process (with automatic retries for any temporary failures). The Automation will not wait for the email to be sent. Your Automation will execute faster with this option. This is the default option.

  • Send The Email Immediately - the email is sent immediately and the Automation will wait for the result. The result can be returned to a variable from the Assign Result To list. The result will be 'success', 'retry' or a fail reason. If your outgoing email server returns a temporary failure, then the result will be 'retry' and the email will be added to the outbox queue to be retried later.

  • Do Not Send The Email - the email is not sent. The mime text can be returned to a variable (see below).

Assign Mime Text To

You can also optionally assign the MIME text (EML) created for the outgoing email to a variable. This is useful if you want to save the mime text to a folder for an external mail server to pickup, or use a custom action or script to actually send the message. If the Do Not Send The Email send option is selected, then ThinkAutomation will not send the email itself - it will just assign the resulting mime text to the specified variable.

Send Via

By default outgoing emails are sent using the Email Sending options specified in the Server Settings. You can optionally specify email sending options on a per outgoing email basis. This is useful when you want to route specific outgoing emails via specific mail servers. For example, suppose you have two mail servers, one located in the USA and one in the UK. You could choose to send emails via the USA or UK server based on some condition.

Click the Send Via tab to specify the Send Via options.

Each of the Send Via options can use %fieldname% replacements. This allows you to conditionally set the Send Via options.

Send Signed

You can optionally digitally sign the outgoing email. A digital signature is a unique identifier that validates the authenticity of a person’s outgoing email messages and assures recipients they have come from that person, as opposed to a cybercriminal or unknown sender. Unlike a simple electronic signature, digital signatures cannot be replaced or altered, thus giving recipients peace of mind that the contents of the incoming message are safe before opening it.

Select the Send Signed tab and enable the Send Signed option. You must then select a certificate to use for the signing. Click the Select Certificate button. You can choose a certificate imported into the Windows Machine certificate store, or select a PFX file. Only certificates that have been obtained from an independent certificate authority and are valid for email signing should be used.

The Send Signed option is not available when using SendGrid to send outgoing messages.

Send Test Email

The Send Test Email button will send the current message immediately, regardless of the Schedule or Send Option. The email will be sent using any Send Via settings. Change the To address if you want to send a test message to yourself.