Send Followed Topics to Email

Regular Contributor

Yammer is a powerful collaboration tool, and in this author’s opinion, will increasingly replace email as a system of connecting people as they work together.  If you don’t know how or why someone would think that, there’s a lot to read on the subject, but for now you can watch this short video.


However, email isn’t going away any time soon, and sometimes you’ll want posts with a certain topic (hashtag) to be forwarded to you or someone else via email.


The secret is to use Flow, which was released as a preview on April 29, 2016.  This preview has just enough hooks into Yammer that we can accomplish this task.


There are two Flow hooks into Yammer as an event – two Yammer-specific “triggers”.  The first is a post in a group, and the second is a post in your following feed.  For what we’re doing in this article, we’re going to use the second trigger.


And let me start by saying you do NOT need to be a hotshot developer to do this.  The directions are long-winded but you CAN do this.  Some bits are a little tedious but honestly, this is doable for any Community Manager or Yammer admin.  :)


First, go into Yammer, choose the topic about which you want to email updates.  For this demo we’ll use the #Flow topic on the Office 365 Customer Network.  Go to your topic and click the +Follow button SYTE1.png.  Take a note at the number at the very end of the URL for that topic.  In this case, the number is 13811529.  You’ll need that later.


Next, you need to sign up for Flow by accessing the Flow site.  Go ahead and sign up. 


At the top of the Flow page, hit “My flows”, and then select Create new flow.




See?  Not scary, right?  So it asks you how you would like to start.  Well, we want to start with Yammer.  And, sigh, yes, it is all the way at the bottom.  Choose the very last item – Yammer – When there is a new message in my Following feed.




You’ll be asked to authenticate to Yammer – just put in your username and password when it prompts you.  (It’s all Microsoft and you’re logging in to Microsoft; you don’t have to worry about compromising your security with this.)


Ok, so that looks promising.  And a little confusing.  Hit the little + symbol beneath the blue Yammer bar.




It asks you to choose between adding an action and adding a condition.  For now, you need to add a condition.


When the black condition box opens up, just click inside the “Object Name” box and right below it two little blue boxes will appear.  Click on the second one, “Message Text.”  On Relationship, click the down arrow and select “Contains”.  And then on the Value, enter the number of the topic.  Here’s a screenshot:



Ok, so now we have a trigger, we have a condition, now we need an action.  Our action is to send an email to yourself. 


On the “If yes” side of the screen, below our black condition box, click the purple “Add an action” button.  When it asks what you would like to do next, select “Office 365 Outlook – Send email”




You again need to create the connection, which means another log on.  Go ahead and do that. 


Now you’re asked to build the email message.  Fill in the To field (probably yourself), the Subject field (probably the name of the topic), and the Body field (probably the text of the post). 


For this example, I’m including a link to the thread.  Enter in this string:  “” (no quotes), and click on the MessageID button below to insert that button.  Then hit enter to give a new line, and then click on the Message Text button.  This will grab whatever information is in that message that started all of this and email it to you.


(You’ll have to put in the appropriate network name in place of itpronetwork)




Ok, so let’s see if that works.  At the bottom of the page is a box labeled, Flow name.  Put in a name for your flow and click Create Flow.  Again, don’t agonize over the name; we can change it later.  It’ll ask you if you want to submit it to the gallery (publish to the world).  Let’s not, just yet.  :)  Click Done, then Manage.




Now it’s listed in “My flows”, and it’s running!  The next message to that topic will send you an email about it.  If it doesn’t work, click on the little i symbol and it’ll show all the logs for it running (or not running).  Review the article and make sure you got everything in place. And make sure that you’re actually following that topic, or it won’t work at all, guaranteed.


Ok, that’s it.  :)  You’re done!  That’s it, the flow will run (as you) until you come back to the Flow screen and pause it with the pause button (||).  You can edit it any time by clicking on the name, and again the i symbol holds the logs of when it ran, when it failed, and why.  Delete with the trash can (but why would you?!)


I’ve also tested some flows that put information from Yammer into SharePoint so that you can keep a running log of activity within Yammer in a central repository, but that’s for another day.  Enjoy!


(Originally posted on the Office 365 Network 17 June, 2016)

2 Replies

This looks amazing, Tom! (I look forward to officially "liking" your post, which I cannot do today using IE 11).

:) Thanks. The like works in Chrome. In IE sometimes you can find it, kind of like finding your socks in the dark. It's there but you can't see it.