SMTP (Outbound Email)

SMTP is an acronym for 'Simple Mail Transfer Protocol' - it's an internet standard for email transmission. Whenever you send an email - from Gmail, Outlook, iCloud or anywhere else - your email client is interacting with an SMTP server to handle the send operation. Flow XO allows you to bypass the need to actually access the external app, and send an email directly through Flow XO as though it was sent from e.g. Gmail.  There's a good write up on SMTP over at Wikipedia.

There are no triggers for the SMTP service - if you'd like to monitor for new email being received and trigger when you're sent an email,  you should use Gmail.

The only action is:

  • Send an Email

It can sometimes be difficult to get SMTP set up because of the variations in requirements between email providers. You should always check with your email provider that you have the correct settings in place and that your email account is configured to allow connections from other services (e.g. Flow XO).

Connecting Your Account

You can use SMTP anywhere in your workflow (after the trigger) where you'd like to send an email from your external email service. In the example that follows, we'll simply trigger on a new Pipedrive deal - we'll get the person associated with the deal as our first task - then send an email from Gmail, but via Flow XO's SMTP service. A good example of where I might do this is when I want to send a HTML email, which I can't do by using the Gmail service (which currentky;lsupports only plain text), or if I'd like to use another email service inside Flow XO that isn't supported as an app in itself.

This is a little more involved than a standard Flow XO authorization: 

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The inputs here are determined by your email provider. Note that the settings in the picture above should work as displayed for authorising a Gmail account, but you should be aware that there can be a degree of trial and error here. In general - 

  • Host - Your email provider will give you this, it will usually take the form
  • Username  - This will normally be the email address of the account you're authorizing 
  • Password - The password of your account
  • Port - This can vary depending on the account and the actual email being sent. You should leave this empty unless you are experiencing problems. If you do get an error, common settings to resolve issues are:
  1. Enter '465' into the Port setting, and select 'Yes' under 'Use SSL?'
  2. Enter '587' into the Port setting, and select 'Yes' under 'Use TLS?'
  3. Enter '25' into the Port setting, and select 'Yes' under 'Use SSL?'

If you do get an SMTP error code when you run the task, you can see a  list of errors here that might help you to figure out what's going wrong.

Moving onto the settings of the task, we're given the following:

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Most of the fields here are self explanatory:

  • To - The recipient of the email. You may give multiple addresses, separated by a comma, such as ','.
  • From - You may be able to specify a different from address than the email account you have authorized dependant on the settings of your email account.
  • Cc / Bcc - As above, you may provide multiple, comma separated email addresses.
  • Subject - A subject is required on every outgoing email.
  • Text - This is the plain text body of the message. It must always be provided, but if you give HTML in the setting below, the plain text element will be sent as content but not visible to the recipient of the email. It doesn't have to be the same text as in the HTML.
  • HMTL - You can provide HTML code here to format the message that is sent. Note that if you provide HTML here it will override the plain text in the body of the email received, but the plain text will still be sent as part of the email content.


How is email sent via SMTP handled in my actual email account?

When you send an email using Flow XO’s SMTP service, you are using the server of the actual email service that you’re authorizing. The email received will appear to the recipient no differently than if you sent it through the native client. It will also usually appear in your sent items exactly as if you’d sent it through the app directly.

Known Issues

Let us know how we can improve Flow XO on our feedback site.

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