Help! I have a pretty simple 6 step workflow that was working, and now all of a sudden the initial notification email is failing to send to the workflow participants and I see this error: Coercion Failed: Input cannot be null for this coercion. When I check the Completed Workflows it says the Initial notification cancelled, but the others completed (and they have not.)

Any ideas, developer friends? I have check the possible answers to "coercion failed" but does not apply to this situation.

Is there not a way to attach screen shots here? I'm sure that would be helpful.

Here is the set up of the workflow to send the initial notification if the grant documents has been upload, item created and first reviewers have not checked their boxes yet.

If WorflowContextAssocation:Start on Item Creation equals yes
If CurrentItem:New Document Upload equals YES
and CurrentItem:Pam1stReview is empty
and CurrentItem:Financial Coordinator 1st Review is empty
and CurrentItem:Mack1stReview is empty
Email Archer, Pam;Harris, Mack;CurrentItem:Financial Coordinator

I would be might grateful for feedback.

  • Eric, thank you so much for your response. I was in such a tither when I sent the message, those key words are actually already in my workflow. I had our server team restart the server, hoping that would clear out this annoying message. No such luck. I can't figure this out. Again, thank you for responding. Hope things are well in Ohio!
    – RSpain
    Mar 1, 2016 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


I just ran into this issue and resolved it by adding another layer of variables to my workflow. In Summary I have two lists one for sending the main email and a secondary to manage the users who are added to the TO/CC fields of the email in the main list. Some of my logic was a Yes/No to include a specific group or not in an email. I found it bombed when the users were not included.

Logic that worked for me:

  1. Variable 1 (lookup users from people picker field in my secondary list and pull them as login names as semicolon delimited)
  2. Variable 2 [variable 1 as string]
  3. Email: TO/CC: [Variable 2 as string]

Old Logic that gave me the error:

  1. Variable 1(pull users from list
  2. Email: TO/CC: [Variable 1]

(error if users were not present in Variable1)

Hope this helps others who run into this, also you can use this method to concatenate variables together like this.

  • Variable 1 [x]
  • Variable 2 [y]
  • Variable 3 [Variable 1;Variable 2] (result is [x;y])

Oh and one more side thought as I noticed you are in a document library so if it has metadata that is required and a user uploads multiple documents they will be in a drafted checked out status until they fill them out and check the documents in.

  • Really? You ran into this problem? Wow. I will print and study your solution. At first review, it's a little above my comprehension (using variables) but gives me something to study. THANK YOU!
    – RSpain
    Aug 19, 2016 at 14:28
  • well the problem was similar as in my workflow I got the same generic error message, so for what it was worth I wanted to share my findings with you. - best of luck!
    – Chris G
    Aug 19, 2016 at 18:57
  • And it is much appreciated, Chris G.
    – RSpain
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:53

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