I'm trying to use Receiving_User fields in an email template for a single user. I know that Receiving_User is only supported for mass emails, but it "kinda" works for single users too.

I'm getting some inconsistent functionality with merge fields and I'm wondering if anyone has been able to solve the following problems:

  1. It appears that custom plain text fields are not supported - they display as blank when merged in the template. Is there a workaround?

  2. I have one custom picklist field that does merge correctly in the template, but I created a new picklist field and that does not merge. I've compared the two fields (field level security, etc) and I don't see any differences. Anyone seen this before?

FYI - The standard fields like FirstName and LastName merge correctly. I'm using this email template as a password reset email for a Salesforce Community.

2 Answers 2


Salesforce support told me the following:

For portal users, the Receiving_User is actually pulling fields from the Contact object, not from the User object. Even the standard fields are from the Contact, not from the User.


My testing for the 'Welcome Email' sent when a user was added to the community found the Receiving_User fields were populated when I manually registered a contact for the Community, however they were blank when the user self-registered.

Some more digging around found the 'Guest User Profile' (accessed by 'Public Access Settings' button on the Community Site page) used for the Community did not have the permission to 'View All Users'.

When I enabled this permission the Receiving_User fields correctly merged on the emails.

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