I was wondering if there is a way to make a list automatically email to an external users email when a new item is created/edited. I know users can set up alerts on lists, but this only works for their outlook emails. On a separate note, when you're setting up an alert, there is a text message option. This option is greyed out for me. Is there any way to change this?

  • Why not use a workflow?
    – Akhoy
    Sep 3, 2015 at 18:18
  • There are people who will not be in at work and would rather have it send to a different email.
    – Andrew
    Sep 3, 2015 at 18:26
  • Can you not specify an external email address as the recipient of a workflow's email task? (using a 2010 workflow if in SP 2013/SP Online) Sep 3, 2015 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


To trigger an email, most people will tell you how to create a workflow (probably with SharePoint Designer). That's quite easy, it would work in most cases. But it's not the purpose of workflows (+ they do appear in the UI, they're slow, ...)

Another approach is to ask a developer to create a custom App (sorry we have to say "add-in" now). That app would contain a "remote event receiver", i.e. a Web service triggered when an item is added. That Web service would send the email.

About the Text Message option: it's grayed out because it's not configured (it can be configured with a texting service provider on on-prem installations). But I'm not sure it's available at all in SP online.

  • 1
    Using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Utilities.Utility.SendEmail won't work for every recipient. Only adresses specified as email address for valid SharePoint users will be accepted by this method. So for external email you'll need to use standard .NET API and authenticate to mail server yourself. Sep 3, 2015 at 19:47

The easy answer, for now, is to make a SharePoint 2010 workflow in SPD and use that to send the email to an external email address since the 2010 version (unlike 2013 version) can send to external emails.

How do you send emails to external email address in sharepoint online workflows

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