How to automatically send an E-mail or SMS via a workflow action.

Once you have created some message templates you may wish to automate the sending of the messages. This can be done via a workflow action or an alert, here we discuss the workflow action.

Workflow actions are triggered automatically when a workflow step is run. Workflow steps are run on job creation, when jobs are taken form the pool and whenever a user pushes a blue progress button. On each of these occasions you can trigger any number of workflow actions which includes the ability to send any number of e-mail or SMS messages.

To set up a workflow action to send a message follow these steps:

  1. Firstly note you need to be a superuser to configure workflows.
  2. Click on the Config menu.
  3. Click on Edit workflow systems.
  4. Drill into the appropriate workflow system by clicking on the pencil icon to the right of the name.
  5. Click on the Routes tab.
  6. Choose the route that you wish to add the message sending workflow action to in the Select workflow route dropdown. Remember that each workflow system can have multiple route variations and you will need to add workflow actions separately to each route.
  7. Scroll down to the detailed editor and find the step that you wish to send the message. We would not recommend sending messages to clients on the job creation step, this is because although job creation generally happens at a predictable point based on your frequency/offset, it is possible for users to create jobs early. Instead you would be better off sending an alert at job date + 1 day (for example).
  8. Click on the Create new action button alongside the appropriate step.
  9. Choose the action Send an E-mail using a template or Send an SMS using a template depending on which message format you wish to send in. Remember that SMS messages incur a cost of 5p per message.
  10. In the first dropdown choose the template. You will need to have created a template specific to this workflow system, you can read how to do this here. If you see the message ERROR - Create a template first! then you do not have any templates for this workflow system.
  11. In the second drop down box select who the e-mail should be sent to, your options with a brief explanation are listed below or in more detail in this article.
    1. [External] Basic search for a client address -> This will send 1 x message per client to the e-mail address on that client record. This is generally held in the E-mail 1 field.
    2. [External] Client contacts -> Here you choose a contact tag and the system will send 1 x message to any contacts associated with the client that are tagged with the contact tag you have selected.
    3. [Internal] Specific Glide user -> Here you can choose a specific Glide user to send a message internally. The system will send 1 x message to this user, using the e-mail address that they use to access the Glide system.
    4. [Internal] Glide user with job position -> Here you can select an active job position or the current holder of the job, the system will send 1 x message to the current occupant of the position or the current holder of the job.
  12. Click Save to save the workflow action.

Here are some other tips for sending messages via workflow actions:

  • If you have added the workflow action to a progress button the button will show an icon so that users are aware it will send a message.
  • The message will either be queued or sent immediately (the system sends these messages every 5 minutes) depending upon your default setting and also any specific setting for the template you have chosen.
  • If your template includes reference to actual or target dates, check that you are not sending the messages before these dates are likely to exist.
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