The Objective:

We'd like to set up a template email that will send (one time only) to individuals who have a specific relationship type added to their contact record.


  1. (Individual) A is a member of (organisation) X. Both A and X are in Civi as contacts.
  2. A has a new relationship to X (e.g. of type 'Chairman of') added to their contact record
  3. This triggers an automated email to be sent to A (with helpful content specific to that relationship type)

What we tried

I thought I might be able to do this through:

  • setting up a Smart Group (for all contacts with relationship type 'Chairman of')
  • setting up a scheduled reminder with recipients limited to the Smart Group so that every time a new contact is added to the Smart Group they would be sent the scheduled reminder.

However, this doesn't seem to be enough, as there's no 'entity' (of 'contact in group' or 'relationship type') or similar to trigger the scheduled reminder.

Any ideas if/how we might be able to get this going?

1 Answer 1


I think using the CiviRules extension (to be found at https://civicrm.org/extensions/civirules) will help you with what you want to achieve.

You will also need to install the Email API extension (found at https://civicrm.org/extensions/e-mail-api) to be able to use the CiviRules action to send an email.

I do not know if the trigger 'new relationship' has been thoroughly tested, but you start should be to read the CiviRules documentation and see if this might do the trick.

  • Would he be able to base the rules on 'added to smart group' anyway?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:30
  • Thanks - it looks like CiviRules might be quite useful in other ways. The only problem is that we don't have direct access to install extensions (our agency would need to do this for us, and that might take some considerable time). Is there any way you can think of to do this without an additional rules extension?
    – Ollie M
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:13
  • 1
    Unfortunately not, as you already discovered scheduled reminders do not operate on relationships or smart groups. Any other solution will probably mean extensions in some form or shape, that is sort of what they are for :-) Apr 14, 2016 at 12:13
  • Thanks for the confirmation Erik - I guess we'd better drop a note to the developers!
    – Ollie M
    Apr 14, 2016 at 17:08

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