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Send an email to a contact from the sheet?

Evan Meyers
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2015 Posts

I'm building a sheet that contains various users in different roles on different teams.  I'd like to email the users listed in a column when a change is made to a record.  


ex. I capture a program manager name in column D and when a change is made to any columns in the row, I want to email the admin (easy, set up an alert for any changes) and whomever is listed in column D.  Is there a way to do that?  What about emailing people from multiple columns, like a program manager (column D) and a product owner (column F).


any and all advice is more than appreciated!!!!


cheers, evan


  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    The Notification Alert (on changes) does not have the contact list functionality that the Reminder Alert (on dates) does for sending to persons in a contact list column.


    Is there another column you could key on for the Notification?


    For small teams, it would be possible to add columns that key on the the D and/or F columns in your example to fire off the Notification. We had less than a dozen PM's and PO's at my last place of employment. And very little turn over. Adding and maintaining a dozen columns would not be hard. More or more frequent and then I'd look for something else.


    There are applications such as Zapier and Azuqua that can watch for changes in your sheets and take action when something occurs.

    Check out the Community for threads discussing them.


    Hope this helps.





  • Evan Meyers
    edited 12/07/15

    J. Craig Williams


    Thanks for the reply...I am building a master sheet that few will have access to, so I don't mind having a ton of columns that are only viewable/accessible by admins...but I still don't know how I can key off the columns for sending alerts/notifications (ie. send to the name listed in column D).


    If there is no automated way to accomplish this, I am thinking that I will have to bake the setting up of alerts for changes to the key people as part of the review process.


    Does anyone know an automated way to have the recipient of an alert or notification be the contencts of a cell (ie. Program Manager is in column D...send an alert to whomever is listed in column D when something happens).

  • Travis
    Travis Employee

    Hi Evan, I have a couple ideas you might look into. 


    1) Are there regular changes? You could build a report that shows all rows that were updated in the last X days and are assigned to a specific Program Manager. This report can be email as a PDF attachment to the PM on a regular basis (daily/weekly/etc). Downside to this, if changes are rare, the PM could get blank PDF attachments (if the report is set to automatically send).


    2) Add the Modified (Date) column to your sheet which will show a timestamp of when the last change was made in the sheet. Add a Date column (Reminder Date) with a formula that will add 1 day to the Modified (Date) timestamp. 


    =Modified5 + 1


    For row 5.


    Set a sheet level reminder to look to the Assigned PM column and the Reminder Date column. Now, when a row is updated, the Reminder Date will be set for *tomorrow* and will send an email to the PM assigned to the task. 


    Let me know if you have any questions on these. 

  • Patrick Lawler
    edited 12/09/15

    Hi Evan, 


    How big many rows are you working off on your sheet and how many different people could potentially be in "Column D"? As J. Craig mentioned Azuqua is an option that could work. I do want to let you know that I am a Customer Success Manager at Azuqua and sending row level notifications to a "contact" or email from a particular column of that row is a very common use case. We actually did a live webinar with Smartsheet where we covered this exact scenario and here is the link to that: 




    Basically, our service enables you to set up a monitor that will watch for changes to a sheet. When those changes happen the user can specify a value or email from that row that was updated that they want to send an email to. 


    There are definitely a number of options for solving this as J. Craig mentioned and Azuqua could be useful if you have a large number of rows or multiple people who need to receive alerts. Happy to answer more questions if you have them as well. 





  • @Travis ...fantastic suggestions!!!


    I want to roll this process out for the end of this year and with vacations around my office, I have a week left to finalize v1 of the new process that leverages SMARTsheet.  That being the case, for the first version, I was planning on having the admin group receive an alert on a change and then highlight changed rows and data where the last updater is not part of the admin/reviewer group.  Once a change is reviewed, they will manually add in the date of the review so we'll have a history of who accepted what change and when and we will key off having a reviewer be the last modifier as the way to indicate a record is approved and we can key off that for reports and whatnot.


    I will probably use the pdf reports for mgmt level circulation, but I find your concept about leveraging a formula off of the last modified date interesting.  You mention sending an email to the PM assigned to the task.  Is that a data element within the sheet?  That's my ideal use case... if not, where is the PM assignment specified for the alert?


    @Patrick, wonderful information!  That sounds like a great option for slice 2 of rolling out this process.  If things look good on using SMARTsheet to solve our use case (managing regularly changing updates in a register that is leveraged by several departments), I can certainly make a compelling case to get some funding for the plugin.  I'll have a look!!!

  • Travis
    Travis Employee

    Hi Evan! The PM assigned to the task can be located in any Contact List column. When setting up the reminder, point the reminder to that Contact List column.


    Here's information reminders: http://help.smartsheet.com/customer/en/portal/articles/542913-using-reminders


    Let me know if you have any other questions! 

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Perhaps good to know is that every cell has its own history, which can be viewed from the right-click context menu "View History" item. The functionality is currently limited to only viewing but I've used it often when figuring how what changed, by whom and when. Definitely not a full featured yet, but useful to know about (in my opinion).


    Another revisioning feature I used a lot is the Highlight Changes feature.



    This is a sheet feature, not a user feature but will show the changes since the last period as chosen from the drop down list.

    Again, not quitte what you are looking for, but useful when thinking about revisions.







  • Thanks for all the great suggestions (keep them coming)!


    I've put together a process proposal leveraging some of these features and look forward to enhancing things as I dig deeper into what's available.


    Definitely add my vote to focusing on building out functionality around querying history and adding the ability to date/time stamp actions for querying to trigger alerts and messaging.  Really enjoying SMARTsheet so far.

  • Hi all,


    I am very keen to understand how the below works


    "For small teams, it would be possible to add columns that key on the the D and/or F columns in your example to fire off the Notification. We had less than a dozen PM's and PO's at my last place of employment. And very little turn over. Adding and maintaining a dozen columns would not be hard. More or more frequent and then I'd look for something else."


    I own a Smartsheet project plan with only 6 editors. I am trying to setup so that immediate notifications on any changes to a specific row only goes to the editor(s) that I define for each row.


    Some notifications would go to only 1 editor, some to two of them etc etc. It all depends on the task contained in the row.


    Any and all help very gratefully received!

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Notifications can be set up to trigger on a change in the row or in specific columns.

    Notifications can be assigned to any shared user.

    Emails can be immediate.


    Reminders are set up to trigger on Dates in the row.

    Reminders can be assigned to any shared user or to the email address listed in any contact column. Unfortunately, the won't be immediate.


    What you are looking for is a nuance that may not be possible with the current implementation.





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