I created a workflow which will send email to action owner. I initially had the returned field as Display Name Semicolon Delimited but I keep on encountering error below:

Coercion Failed: Unable to transform the input lookup data into the requested type.

I changed the returned field as string but the upon editing, the name in the TO field in the email is not reflecting the correct one.

Correct Name - Ostan, Rochelle R SSSCMLA-FO/HGI

Reflected Name - 37;#Ostan, Rochelle R SSSCMLA-FO/HGI

Because of this, the name is not receiving email from Sharepoint

3 Answers 3


You should return either Login Name or Email.

  • I used log in name and it returned this name - i:0#.w|asia-pac\r.ostan
    – Ehj Daria
    Jun 3, 2016 at 15:58
  • Do a string replace operation and replace i:0#.w| Jun 3, 2016 at 15:59
  • How do I inject a string replace operation and replace i:0#.w| ?
    – Ehj Daria
    Jun 3, 2016 at 18:22

That usually happens when you use an empty field and set it to be something other than a string. For example, when you use a lookup value you can use it as a string, a lookup id, or a lookup value. If that lookup hasn't been set, lookup id and lookup value will give you a coercion error.

Same with a people field - if you try to use it as a 'Display Name' in workflow and the field is empty, you get the error.

Create a string variable, and before the email, set the variable only if the lookup is not empty. Then use that variable in your email instead of the actual lookup field.

  • hi Hardik, yes youre right, i am encountering coercion error. Can you please teach me how to create the variable as when I did, I still result to coercion error. Maybe there is something wrong with my variable set up and how I use it in the email.
    – Ehj Daria
    Jun 3, 2016 at 18:08
  • the workflow is not working upon creating new item but when I edit the new item, the workflow works. @hardik
    – Ehj Daria
    Jun 3, 2016 at 19:04

37;#Ostan, Rochelle R SSSCMLA-FO/HGI is the way how SharePoint saves data, whenever using any people picker field preferable method is to use the Display Type as Login Name or Email ID in the Workflow.

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