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Invalid email address causes automation to fail

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cpierson90
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hey everyone,

So i created an automation that email to texts a group of individuals when certain criteria are met. This is a large list of people (sometimes over 100). This works flawlessly unless someone changes their carrier... or their phone number and I have to wait for the automation to fail to see which email to text address is incorrect.

This is fine however it will not send to the remaining valid email addresses it just halts the whole automation. I'm hoping to still have the automation fully fire even if one of the email addresses is invalid. Is there anyway to do this or is this a limitation of validating email addresses before sending within airtable?

2 Replies 2
Dan_Montoya
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @cpierson90 ,

 

This is a common queueing problem that you come across.  There are many ways to trigger an automation:

  1. If a record meets a series of conditions -  This is one of the more straight forward approaches and fastest to implement.  However, what do you do when one fails?  How do you cause the automation to run against this record again.
  2. If a record enters a view -- In this case, you can create filters on the view which mirror what you have in method 1.  By changing the criteria, you can quickly cause the records to no longer meet the criteria and fall out of the view.  Change it back and they will meet the criteria again.  However, this also does not resolve the issue of how to reprocess things that didn't finish with out your intervention.
  3. Use a combination of 1 or 2, a checkbox and an automation based on a timer.  This is an approach I have been using in my larger bases where I need to process a lot of things over time.  Every 15 minutes, the timer runs and searches for records that meet the criteria for method 1.  For those records, check the box that runs the automation.  This method limits you to 400 records an hour due to the maximum of 100 records being returned in the find record automation.  If you need more than that, you can scheduled more 15 minute automations off set by 5 minutes, essentially upping that number to 1200 records per hour.

Some advantages of method 3

  • If I want to manually reprocess a record I can do it by checking the box.  
  • I can expose the checkbox in an interface and not have to be at the data or automation layer to retrigger the automation
  • I can create a reporting interface that shows me how many items are checked still needing processing.
  • Records that caused an automation to fail will be picked up and reprocessed once the data is fixed.

You can do something similar but more sophisticated if you use a single select.  Set the single select to "START" in the 15 minute automation.  Then in your main automation set it to "IN PROGRESS" at the start and "COMPLETE" at the end.  If you have a bunch stuck in "IN PROGRESS" you'll know that the automation didn't complete for those records.  You can add another feature to measure the time  that a record went into "IN PROGRESS".  If is is more the 2x -3x longer than what you expected show that in your interface.Screenshot 2024-02-14 at 7.09.09 PM.png

Hey Dan, 

Actually the automation in question is when a form is submitted and I'd prefer to keep it that way. My question was more related to any type of work around for email addresses that might frequently become invalid to allow airtable to send to the users it can without just cancelling the whole automation until all the email addresses are valid?