Generating an Automated email from a lookup field

Hi all,

First time poster so forgive me if I’m posting this incorrectly. I’m trying to create an automation where by an email is sent at creation of a new record (through a form). That task seems simple enough, but I’m struggling to connect a separate tab into the flow.

The desired flow is as follows:

  1. User submits a completed form which includes a division field (ie, business group)
  2. There’s a lookup to a separate tab which pulls that division contact(s) into the view automatically
  3. Automation then sends email notifying the division contact of the new record for their review.

Problem is, I can’t get the lookup reference to the division contact to pass the automation test. It continues to say that I’m not referencing a valid email address, which is true, as the lookup is not returning a value but a string.

Any help is appreciated. Glad to answer follow up questions.

Try creating a new formula field that looks like this:

{Your lookup field} & ""

And then reference that formula field in your automation.

Does that solve the problem?

Unfortunately no this created problems and opportunities that both lead to failure.

First, the contacts being pulled through the lookup are “collaborators” so the email is contained within that field type which was removed through the formula.

It gave me the idea , however, that I could add a column in the division contact table listing the email and using the formula that way. That also failed by the test showing nothing in the “To” line.

If you’re visually seeing a valid email address and you know that it’s a text string instead of an array (which is what you would get with a lookup field), it’s possible that the problem might be with the way that Airtable handles automations that are triggered by “new records”.

It seems like Airtable triggers the automation as soon as the new record is created — often before any data has populated the record. You might be better off triggering your automation with “new record in view”, so you can control when the record appears in that view.

Also, Integromat is probably the most powerful automation tool that you can use with Airtable — significantly more powerful than Airtable’s built-in automations — and you can even set it to run on a schedule every X number of minutes to check for new records to send emails to.

1 Like

SCOTT! You’ve done it! Moving it to “New Record in View” was the key. Appreciate your help SO much. I’ll look into Integromat too. Appreciate all of this.

Glad I could help! :slight_smile: If you don’t mind, could you please mark my comment above as the solution to your question? This will help other people who have a similar question in the future. :slight_smile:

Also, since this seems to be a problem with the way that Airtable’s automations handle the “new record” trigger, you may want to submit it as feedback to them here:

I don’t believe that you’ll have any of the same problems with Integromat, which is a very mature, very advanced, and very robust automation platform.

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