SPD 2013 Workflow – Send email to shared or external mailbox

It’s long been an issue with SPD2013 Workflows (yes, some people still use that today), that you cannot send an e-mail to an external email or a shared mailbox. SharePoint 2013 Workflow can only send emails to organization users and a shared mailbox is not a user.

If you try sending an email to an external or shared mailbox you will most likely end up with an error like this: “BadRequest to /_vti_bin/client.svc/sp.utilities.utility.SendEmail”.

So to do it, you have to get your SPD2013 Workflow to start a SPD2010 Workflow. the SPD2010 Workflows only task is to send that email to the shared mailbox.

SharePoint 2010 Site Workflow

Step 1: Create a SPD 2010 Site Workflow

Step 2: Create 3 Initiation form parameters

Parameter definitions:

emailbodyMultiple lines of text
recipientSingle line of text
subjectSingle line of text

Step 3: Create a “Send Email” action

Step 4: Input the parameters in the “To”, “Subject” and “Body” areas of the email

Step 5: Publish it

SharePoint 2013 Workflow

Now, the task is to create or edit your SPD2013 Workflow to start the SPD2010 Workflow with the correct parameters.

Step 1: Define 3 variables for use when starting the 2010 Workflow in the next step

Parameter definitions:


Step 2: Create “Start a Site Workflow” action
Step 3: Select the “send email” workflow from the list

Step 4: Match the 3 parameters with the 3 variables

NOTE: The recipient parametervalue should be type = String.

You should end up with a result that looks like this:

Now, each time your SPD2013 Workflow runs, it will start the SPD2010 Workflow to send out the email. This is, so far, the only way I’ve found that a email to an external email or shared email can be sent from a SharePoint Designer Workflow.

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