How to send email notifications for comments in Drupal 7 with actions & triggers (or the Rules module)

Rules module logo Do you have a Drupal 7 web site? Do you want to get an email when someone comments, so you don't have to check your site all the time? Don't panic! Here's how you do it.

You don't need to install any new modules to do this in Drupal 7. All that's needed is a little configuring and to copy and paste in a short bit of code.

Update: Both the easiest & most powerful way to get these notification emails (in Drupal 6 or 7) is to install and configure the Rules Module. NodeOne has a great set of video tutorials on their site explaining how to use the Rules module. I've also put example code for a Rules-based email notification in the comments to this post for both Drupal 6 and Drupal 7


Step 1: Getting started

Go to the Modules page, and make sure that you enable the Trigger module (at Modules > Trigger) and turn on Clean URLs (at Administer > Configuration > Search and metadata). These are core modules/settings in Drupal 7, so you don't have to install them, just turn them on.

enabled checkbox for Trigger on the Modules pagelocation of Clean URLs in administrative interface

Step 2: Taking action

Your next step will be to create an action, so that drupal can perform it when a comment is saved.

Go to Configuration > System > Actions.

Actions link shown on Configuration page

On the Actions page, choose the dropdown for Create an Advanced Action at the bottom of the page, and click on Send email and then Create.

create an advanced action dropdown with Send email highlighted

On the Configure an advanced action page, fill in the first 3 fields, as in these examples:

  • Label: Send an email notification to site owner upon comment save
  • Recipient:
  • Subject: New Comment at

The trickiest part of this entire endeavor is filling in the Message field, but here's some easy sample code that you could just copy and paste in:
### Node
[comment:node:title] at: [site:url]node/[comment:node:nid]#comment-[comment:cid]

### Comment

### Review

Those bits of code within square brackets are called tokens. Tokens are placeholders, little bits of code that represent commonly-used values. To find more tokens in Drupal 7, you must have two modules enabled. First, turn on the core Help module, which you should have enabled anyway...because it's helpful.  However, I find it bizarre that, even though you're only using tokens included in the Core, you must still install and turn on the Token module, too.

Only then can you point your web browser to the Help > Token page at and get a list of all the tokens you can choose among.

Step 3: Triggering your action

At the top of the page, click on the Triggers link to go to the next step. This page can also be found underneath Structure > Triggers.

Triggers link shown at top of Actions page

Be sure to choose the comments tab on the Triggers page.

Comments tab shown at top of Triggers page

You have a number of choices, but since mine is a solo blog, Trigger: After saving a new comment seems most appropriate. Click on the dropdown instructing you to Choose an action and click underneath system on the name of the Action (Send an email notification to site owner upon comment save) you created in Step 2 and then click Assign.

action selected on dropdown for Trigger: After saving a new comment

successfully assigned action to trigger

Step 4: Testing your comments form

Now, as far as you know, your web site is set up to email you when someone saves a comment.  To be absolutely certain that your new action and trigger are working correctly, you need to test it.

Browse to any page, article, or blog post on your site and post a comment.

Check your email at the address you chose in step 2. Does this email give you the information you expected?

Remember to delete your test comment off of your site.

For more information



We will soon upgrade to

We will soon upgrade to Drupal 7, but in the mean time I am looking for a solution that enables us to customize the trigger module or see if it exists in Drupal 7 already.

We would like to alert users when specific content is published using triggers, via email. That you know of, in Drupal 7 - does the trigger module included in the core allow one to do this?

Adelle Frank

Probably, but...

I think Drupal 7 core can probably do what you want, but I need a little more detail about what you want to happen:

  • What specific content: is it a content type or a node with a particular term attached to it?
  • Which users do you want to receive emails? The author of the content? All users? Those who have commented on the content?  There are only a very few preset tokens that relate to users, by default.


It would be a node, which we

It would be a node, which we have identified as a page or book page or news announcement and it would be only items posted to a certain view for this specific announcement or content type.

Thus, the author of the content would be the only user to generate the action from the trigger. And, let's say we wanted the email to go to a listserv or two.

Adelle Frank

Not with Core alone, but...

You could include multiple email listservs in the Recipient field, so long as you separate them with commas, like so: ","  I tried this with a token, in addition to the 2  listserv emails, but that didn't seem to work, so you'll probably want to stick with spelled-out email addresses.

I was going to excitedly write a comment explaining how to create this action & trigger, but then I noticed that the only relevant Action I can create is: "Publish Post" when a node is created.  It doesn't look like I can make the action specific to a content type (except for the core types of comment and user) or to a content type with a specific Term. And I'm assuming from your reference to Views that some kind of vocabulary term is used to mark up a node so that it appears in the correct View. Sorry! :(

However, it looks like you might be able to create this workflow with the Rules module, which also requires the Entity module to work. See instructions for using Rules.

Finally, if you need to use different tokens, I've copied over a great list of all basic tokens to the site.



Very helpful, Adelle! Many thanks for looking into this for me. (and thank you for including the relevant links to the specific modules needed to make this work!)