Automate sending Discourse invite emails with Zapier

Make sure that you are using the group’s name and not the name of the category that you allow the group to access. You can find the group’s name in the URL for the group, or from the group’s Name field:

If that does not resolve the issue, make sure that the Discourse API key you add to Zapier is a global All Users API key. Also, make sure that the API Username set on Zapier has permission to add users to the group. Any admin username on your site will work for this.

Let me know if this doesn’t resolve the issue for you.

You can invite the user to multiple groups by adding a comma separated list of group names to the group_names field on Zapier. Discoure doesn’t have the concept of sub-groups, so you will need to add the name of each group you want to invite the user to.

From the screenshot you have provided, it looks like you are trying to give the user access to a category and all of its subcategories. Instead of creating a group for each subcategory you could just allow a single group to access the category and all of its subcategories. This is configured on the Security section of the category’s edit page.


Thanks for your reply Simon !

So, regarding the API :

I had give the access to only one user (the admin) I thought it was ok. So now I created a new API to give access to all user.

But, it still didn’t work. But I may have understood the issue :slight_smile:

I’m trying to add a “category” name, in the “group_names” field. So I guess it can’t work :).

I misunderstood the name of groups/category/topic…

On the screenshot you can see a list of maybe 15 subcategories : TB, MT, RD,MA…)

For example, the URL of the first subcategory is :

So I guess would like to invite new members automatically to some private subcategory, and Not some Group.

On the URL I gave you, I would like to give only access to the subcategory “TBD” for example.

And, another user will have Only access to another one.

Do you know if it’s possible to do it ?

Maybe I just have to replace the field “group_names” on Zapier, by the one for Categories ?

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Groups and Categories are a source of much confusion in Discourse!

  1. Groups are collections of people.
  2. Categories are collections of topics. You can’t invite people to them per se. But access to these is controlled by groups.

To achieve what you want, make a group. In the relevant category security settings, add access for that group. Use that group for the invites API. Done.


Thanks for your reply Nathan !

I will try that and post my result here :wink:


Your solution works fine, thanks ! :smiley:

I have another question, maybe you (or @simon) could help me in that :

With Zapier, is there a way to give access to a New group, for people who are already members of Discourse ?

Basically, here is my workflow :

1/ A member joins one of my courses

2/ Zapier takes his email from my learning platform, and send him an invite to my Discourse + add him automatically to the right group, related to the course he just joined.

3/ Sometime, a few months later, this same member will join Another course : So, with my actual process, my Zapier will send him a new invite to Discours, whereas he is already a member, so the invite will not work.

I would need Zapier to give him access to a new group, if he is already a member of my Discourse.

Do you see a way to do that ?

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You could check with a get action event, if the user already has an account:

And if it’s the case, you run a path where you add this user to a group using a put action:

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Awesome Krischan ! Thanks for your quick reply ! I’m trying it right now.

The Get part seems to work.

But I have an issue on the Put action :

1 / Can you tell me which Content-type do I have to put in header ?
(I guess I still add my API Username and API Key)

2/ On the URL of the Put Action, do I have to use the group ID (in number, like 110 in your example), or can I use the name I can get on the URL of the groupe ? (like “course-A” for example)

I tried to use the Name of the groupe (I don’t know where can I get the group ID) and it doesn’t seems to work.

Thanks ! :smiley:

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Content type: multipart/form-data

No, I guess you have to use the group ID. You can get it eg. from the json file:


Awesome, with this content type + group ID, it seems to work !

Thanks for your quick help Krischan!


Hi Krischan ! :slight_smile:

Do you know if there is a way to notify the user by email to tell him he has been added to a group (with the Discourse API on Zapier) ?

I know it’s possible to tick a box, when we manually add email to a group on Discourse.

It could be good if I could trigger an email when my Zap is adding them to a new group.

Thanks !

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Why don’t you send him a private message with a post event?


Thanks for your reply @Krischan !

Do you see a quicker way to notify the user ? (It’s ok if it’s a basic message from discourse, just like the one the user receives if I tick the checkbox “notify the users.”

Screenshot 2021-05-19 at 18.15.37

Your solution is great, but as I have a lot of groups and automations, it could be great if I could just add “one” data type, for example to just “activate” the notification, instead of creating 30 new zap :stuck_out_tongue:

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Sorry, I haven’t done this yet. But maybe this post can help you:


Thanks for your reply Krischan !
I will check that :slight_smile:


Hi guys :slight_smile:

Do you know if there is a way to Remove a member from a group, using the same logic explained upper ?

I noticed the API has a way to Delete group member : Discourse API Docs

But I’m not sure how to use it on Zapier :confused:

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I need some help here. I’ve followed all the instruction and the link was created. However, the link is not assign to an e-mail. The e-mail field is empty and the user don’t receive any e-mail.


The results:

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Has anyone had error messages on their email invite zap’s recently? In my case I get 403 and 404’s and some invites are not sent out successfully

It sounds like a permission issue with either the Api-Key or Api-Username. Try checking both of those on your Discourse site. Make sure that the user you have supplied for the Api-Username is still active on the site and that the Api-Key has either the Global scope, or has a Granular scope with the Invites scope box checked.

Let us know if that doesn’t fix the issue.

I’m bumping Juliano’s message because I tried this just now and experienced the same thing. How do I ensure that the invitation I create is an email invitation? I seem to be able to create only link invitations, although those work just fine.

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A little update on this, since I’m trying again.

Zapier’s Discourse integration app appears to have a defect: it maps both the “email” and the “skip_email” POST request body value to the same key: “skip_email”. This results in Discourse receiving an HTTP POST request with no “email” item in the request body, so the invite is created as a “link” invite rather than an “email” invite.

I’m sending Zapier a support email. We’ll see what happens. :person_shrugging:

If I use Zapier’s generic Webhook feature, I can create the invitation, but Discourse isn’t sending the email, so I need to figure out why not. I’ll follow up when I learn more.

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