Current Infrastructure: SharePoint 2010 Standard (RTM)

My Question: Can the community advise me if it's possible to store an email address as a variable within an SPD Workflow?

Scenario: My scenario is that I've inherited a workflow solution that generates an email for specific people in the business depending on a name selected in a dreop down (choice) column within a custom list. There are then lots of else-if branches which generate the same email template to different people.

This already looks like a maintenance nightmare, so I'd like to redesign the workflow logic so that there is only one step (the email generation) but instead of editing blocks of Else-If steps to be sent to different people, the workflow will populate the email template with the addresses of the required people.

My possible options: I'm thinking I can do this two ways: -

  1. Keep the selection field with the drop down names and find a way to resolve these to email address
  2. Change the name selection to a People / Group Look-up

My preferences are to keep to option one, as I'd like to limit the names that can be selected as recipients, which I believe I'd lose with Option 2.

Any options that I may have missed, or any elaboration on the above would be appreciated.


1 Answer 1


I would be inclined to follow your option two. When you classify a field as "Person or Group" you can specify whether you want to be able to select any user, or a user from within a certain group. So my advice would be:

  1. Create a SharePoint group which contains the users who could be selected
  2. Insert a People/group field in your list to select recipients
  3. In SPD create a variable with String type. And populate it with the Person field, and select email address as type.

Let me know if I have missed something and/or can help any further.

  • Go with this solution. Trust me. I don't even know how complicated it would be to try to resolve a string name to a person to get their e-mail address. Let SP do the work for you by using a person field. May 20, 2016 at 18:50

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