Table of contents


Test email sending

A courtesy copy of all emails sent from the integration, staging and production environments is sent to a Google Group. Integration and staging emails have a subject prefixed by the environment name.

If you need to test the process of subscribing to an email alert, you can subscribe with You should then see two copies of the email at that address when you perform an action that triggers an email alert (the courtesy copy and the subscriber one).

The process for triggering an alert varies by publishing application, but it usually involves creating a new edition of some content, then publishing it with a ‘major’ update type. The change note you enter will appear in the email that gets sent.

A useful debug step if you’re not sure if an email has been sent is to check Email Alert API to see if it has created records in its database.

$ govuk_app_console email-alert-api
> ContentChange.last
> Email.last
> DeliveryAttempt.last

Emails won’t be sent if no one is subscribed, so you’ll need to do that first. The integration and staging environments only allow email to be sent to a small number of email addresses so you cannot test using your own email address in these environments.


Due to the way that we send the courtesy copy emails and the anonymisation integration data sync, we can’t fully exercise the code that matches content changes with subscriptions. Therefore, it is not safe to rely on the courtesy copy Google Group to guarantee that emails are being sent to subscribers, and instead a better test is to subscribe yourself and check that emails arrive.

This page was last reviewed on 7 May 2019. It needs to be reviewed again on 7 November 2019 by the page owner #govuk-2ndline .
This page was set to be reviewed before 7 November 2019 by the page owner #govuk-2ndline. This might mean the content is out of date.