In our SP2010 Intranet (Windows authentication) we are using "Alert Me" feature and it has been working great.

However, Currently we have a new difficult situation where we want to send the Alert Emails to External Email Addresses e.g.: [email protected] , [email protected], [email protected]

These External users (e.g.: [email protected] , [email protected], [email protected]) do NOT have access to our SP2010 Intranet. But regardless if it make sense or not, It is really really important to send these external users the Alert Email to their addresses whenever a certain event occurs on a specific list.

So, How to accomplish that?

I thought about (1) & (2):

1) Configuring the "Send Alert To" to send the Alert Email to one of our local Intranet users, then, Set a Rule in the user's Outlook to Forward the Alert Email to the external email addresses.

=> I don't like this solution, Because it is not so efficient.

2) Inside our environment we create new AD accounts for the external users where we set the Email Address property to their actual external email addresses. After that, We configure the "Send Alert To" to the newly created AD accounts, and hopefully the Alert Email will be sent to the External Email Addresses.

=> I don't like this solution, Because it is too messy, and who is going to clean the AD after a while? What if we got a situation where we need to send the Alert Emails to zillions of external users (It is so impractical to keep one creating AD account for each and every external user).

It is impossible to change our authentication method. So, Could you please help me out with a better or different approach ?

  • I noticed that some of you are saying that solution #2 (add external user to AD, set email property accordingly) is working. I have found a similar issue, and that was my first guess for a solution. Using OTB SharePoint 2010 I am unable, either via alerts, or workflows to send emails to external users despite having added them properly into AD. At this point, I can provide those users access to SharePoint but none of the email functions work properly for them. To clarify, have ANY of you had success using that option previously?
    – user10685
    Sep 12, 2012 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


We use approach 2 for people who need to collaborate external to our organization. As long as this is segmented off in your AD it isn't terrible to maintain. We have them configured to expire after 1 year and require a sponsor to renew their membership.

This gives them an AD account they can access the site, and notifications sent to them go to the external address provided.

It works well for our needs.


You could use a workflow to email a distribution group, and the only setup required is to add those peoples external email addresses as contacts in your mail system.

After that you only have to add or remove people from the distribution group and then they will or wont receive the alert.

The only downside to this is that you have to set up the workflow, and it is a little more complicated than the Alert Me setup

If this isn't appropriate, Are you looking for a different/more complex/simpler solution?

Keep in mind the more robust a system you want, the more likely you will have to rely on a code solution to solve it.


This should work - http://sharepointgeorge.com/2010/configuring-outgoing-email-sharepoint-2010/

Haven't tested but looks like it would work.

Thanks, Andrew

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    – SPDoctor
    Jan 25, 2013 at 7:05

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