Wacky workflow: Slack reaction to email, back to Slack — what?

  • 22 April 2021
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Wacky workflow: Slack reaction to email, back to Slack — what?
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Today’s workflow is a bit of a quirky one. We’re pretty huge users of Slack here at Zapier. It’s not uncommon for something to come up in a message, or buried in a thread, that I want to refer to later. I’ve built Zaps that create to-do items in my task management app du jour, and that has worked alright (maybe that should be a Workflow Wednesday post itself). But here’s something a little different.

The Backstory

I came up with this one sort of by accident. I was looking through Slack preferences, seeing what I may not have come across before. That’s when I saw this:

We don’t really use email that much at Zapier, and certainly not enough that I’d want to send those into Slack (though I may use this for the Slack instance that my wife and I use). I tested it out and this is how it appears in Slack:

My Quirky Idea

I thought…

what would it be like to add a reaction to a Slack message then send an email to that unique Slack address, including the message (and a link to it) in the email body, and have it show up in Slack?

I know, I know. Why on earth would I make a Slack message look like an email, showing up in Slack? How is that at all helpful?

Well…

  • some things don’t necessarily need to be bookmarked in Slack, and
  • I may not want to add it to my to-do app (partially because it’s probably a different one from last week).

So why not have Slackbot deliver the Slack message in the form of an email, with the “sender” being the person who wrote the message in Slack and the body being the message and a link to the original thread?

How It Works

Trigger: Slack — New Reaction Added (I chose our :mailman: emoji)
Action: Formatter — Truncate the Slack Message (for use in the subject field)
Action: Email by Zapier — Send Email (to the unique email address provided by Slack)

1. Add reaction in Slack

2. Zap runs and sends the email

3. Slackbot presents that email

Because I Can

Whether I (or anyone else who reads this) actually use this workflow remains to be seen. It was partly a “let’s do it because it’s possible” exercise, but also I think it’s kind of a neat way to send myself a message that stands out and can be easily found.

Plus, this is a way to get my email fix, since I don’t often find myself in my email account. Maybe I should send Slack messages to my Zapier email address and get my fix that way 😛 


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