Flow: How To Send Emails In Two Ways

Surprisingly it took me a long time to realize that there are actually two ways to send emails in Flow. As a result, I want to share the solutions with you so you don’t miss out on this information either!

1 – Compose Email Directly In Flow Builder

Step 1 – Use “Send Email” Action

There is a standard Flow action called “Send Email”, where you can write the email directly in Flow.

Step 2 – Enter Important Input

You can use a static string, a text template, or other resources in the Body and the Subject. Check out How To Use “Action” for detailed explanations of each field.

2 – Use Standard Email Alert

Step 1 – Create Email Templates and Email Alert

Go to Setup > Email Alerts. To create a new email alert, you need either a Classic email template or a Lightning email template.

Step 2 – Use Action and Search For The Email Alert

Once you create the email alert, it will show up in the available actions list. All you need to do is to populate the Record Id.

When To Use Which?

Standard Action: When you want to write a dynamic email using Flow variables

By using the standard Send Email action, you can customize the content or recipients using the variables you created in the flow.

However, you cannot reuse the email action in other flows.

Email Alert: When you want to organize and reuse the alerts in other flows or processes

You can organize Email Alerts in Setup and reuse them in Workflow, Process Builder, and Flow Builder. If you don’t need to write a dynamic email, using Email Alerts would be the best option.

You can read more on Lightning Email Template in Automation and their behaviors in Email Alert Action.

Is This Helpful? Check Out Flow Use Cases Or Write Us One!

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Doug Sharpe

Both of those options are problematic. The Send Better Email action on UnofficialSF is the thing to use. SBE supports Lightning templates and enables flexible field substitution. https://unofficialsf.com/send-better-email-flow-action/


How do I use Flow to allow the email to be “previewed” before sending?

  • I would like to add a button to my record page called “Preview Email”
  • When clicked, it fills in all of the email Header/Subject/Body fields
  • Allows the user to edit if needed
  • Then the user clicks “Send”

I normally send emails using the “Email Template, Email Alert, Workflow Rule” thing, but for this email alert I have the following:

  • – the email data is coming from two objects
  • – I may need to iterate thru/include multiple related records in one email

I’d also like the “sent emails” history to show up in the right related pane (on the record page)


I ended up using “Salesforce Lightning Templates” which includes a “Preview” button. Thanks anyway.

Tom Martin

Hello – I’m trying to use an email template / letterhead, and therefore chose to use the Email Alert. This works well in my flow, but my Community Users get an error (insufficient access rights on cross-reference id) It’s definitely the email alert causing the issue, as other methods work (Note: I did install Send Better Email, but it falls short in my use case – my email recipient is a custom object, and SBE requires contact/lead/user in conjunction with at template…)

Any thoughts on solving xref error for my users invoking the email alert in a screen flow?


I am struggling with the same issue regarding email templates. Did you find a solution for your problem?


I’m on Sales Cloud with System Admin user. I have created a record triggered flow where the flow is triggered when the custom object is created. After that, the flows fetch all the account records with type ‘Customer-Direct’ and then it fetches the contacts related to those accounts and sends them an email. While debugging, I see that it fetches the records but shows the same error mentioned above, i.e. ‘insufficient access rights on cross-reference id’ when Email Alert action takes place. I tried with permission and sharing settings but didn’t work. How can I resolve this?


This can happen if the users doesn’t have access to the folder the email template is in.

Ed Arakaki

Guys, what if I need to send emails through flow and this emails need to be recognized by email to case? Is this transparent as I’d already configured On Demand email to case? I understand by documentation that email alert can work with email to case, however, there’s no reference for send email action

Last edited 2 years ago by Ed Arakaki

Hi, can you please help me with a flow I created to send email alert to Public groups when a new article is published. It is not sending email alert although the flow seems to work when debug it, but it doesn’t send email in reality. doesn’t pick up the selected Public groups when created a new test article. thanks for any help.

Hafsa Adeel

Thanks a lot. I will try this 😊

There is definately a lot to find out about this subject. I like all the points you made

Norma Reed

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