Custom Workflow Emails


Custom Workflow Emails allow you to personalize your workflow notification and completion emails. A WYSIWYG editor plus dropdowns to insert placeholders for workflow details makes it simple to build templates for informative and actionable emails.

When creating a new template, you'll be started off with a basic example to give you an idea of what's possible. From there you can make it your own. Include instructions on what to look for when reviewing content, add a link to the live page for comparison, or add your organization's contact information.

Creating Workflow Email Templates

To create a Custom Workflow Email:

  1. Navigate to Manage Site > Custom Workflow Emails.
  2. Navigate to the container in which the new Custom Workflow Email will be stored, or create a new container using Add > Container.
  3. Click Add > Custom Workflow Email.
  4. Configure the following fields:
    • Name - To make things easier when assigning templates to Workflow Definitions, we recommend including the email type in the name (i.e. "Notification" or "Completion").
    • Parent Container - The container where your Custom Workflow Email will be stored.
    • Email Subject - The subject line of your email.
    • Email Content - The body of your email. See Workflow Detail Placeholders below for a list of placeholders you can use to populate your email with workflow details.
  5. Click Submit to save your Custom Workflow Email.
Note - The Insert/edit image menu supports only External links for Custom Workflow Emails. You can use images managed in Cascade CMS, but you must use the fully-qualified, absolute URL to the published image.

Workflow Detail Placeholders

The following placeholders are available to populate your emails with workflow details: 

Available Workflow Detail Placeholders
Name Placeholder Preview
Asset Linked to its Cascade CMS Location {{ASSET_NAME}} Contact Us
Asset Linked to its Live, Published Location {{ASSET_NAME_LIVE}} Biology Faculty Directory
Current Date the Email is Sent {{CURRENT_DATE}} May 22, 2022
Current Step's Name in the Workflow {{WORKFLOW_CURRENT_STEP_NAME}} Editing by Approvers
Due Date {{WORKFLOW_DUE_DATE}} June 10, 2022
Email Recipient {{WORKFLOW_EMAIL_RECIPIENT}} Tessa Smith
History of Steps Passed in the Workflow and Any Comments Along the Way {{WORKFLOW_HISTORY}}


May 16, 2019
Chris Lee started workflow
"Please review these changes."

Latest Comments on the Workflow {{WORKFLOW_LATEST_COMMENTS}}

Latest Comments

Comments from Amanda Sims
"Please review these changes."

Link to the Asset {{LINK_TO_ASSET}}
Link to the Workflow {{LINK_TO_WORKFLOW}}
Live Link to the Asset {{LIVE_LINK_TO_ASSET}}
Owner of the Workflow {{WORKFLOW_OWNER}} Britt Wilson
Site Link of the Asset in Workflow {{WORKFLOW_SITE_LINK}}
Site the Asset in Workflow Belongs to {{WORKFLOW_SITE_NAME}} Business Site
Start Date {{WORKFLOW_START_DATE}} Dec 14, 2022
Step Actions (if any) {{WORKFLOW_STEP_ACTIONS}}

Available Actions

Step Owner of the Current Workflow Step {{WORKFLOW_STEP_OWNER}} Britt Wilson

User Options

Version Comments {{VERSION_COMMENTS}}

Version Comments

Comments from Amanda Sims
"Updated title and tags."

Workflow with its Link {{WORKFLOW_NAME}} News Article Approval: Registration Begins on August 21

This table lists all available placeholders, but multiline placeholders are available in the email message body only.

Note - When used in an email subject, any placeholders that include a link (ex. {{WORKFLOW_NAME}}) will strip out the link and display only the name or label.
Note - Placeholders that include user information will display the user's full name if found (ex. John Smith), otherwise the user's username will be displayed (ex. john.smith).

Email Styling Best Practices

  • Keep it simple. Using complicated HTML elements that rely on positioning or floats can be hit or miss when displayed across different email clients.
  • If you need to position elements, use a table instead of a div. Avoid empty td elements and use cellpadding for spacing. You can add a role="presentation" attribute to your table to avoid screen readers treating it like tabular data.
  • While extremely popular in web design, SVG images have limited support among email clients. Use PNG, JPG, or GIF as an alternative.
  • Use fully-qualified, absolute links for images and be sure to include alt text attributes in case images are blocked by an email client.
  • Images can be made responsive by adding the responsive class to the img tag.
  • Use inline styles (optionally, with !important) to add or override styling for your content.
  • Try to keep your total email size under 100kb to avoid getting caught in spam filters and having email clients such as Gmail clipping your content.

Using Custom Workflow Emails

Use your Custom Workflow Emails by attaching them to one or more Workflow Definitions in the Properties tab under Custom Workflow Emails.

When attaching Custom Workflow Emails to a Workflow Definition, you can specify two types of emails: notification and completion.

  • Notification emails are sent when an Email trigger's mode is notify (or not specified) and should be used when a workflow requires the recipient to take action to move a workflow forward.
  • Completion emails are sent when an Email trigger's mode is completed and should be used when a workflow is finished to provide the workflow owner information about the results of the workflow via the comments.