How do I enable the External Approvers workflow?

You can use Sprout's Approval Workflow to collaborate with external approvers. Note that this feature is only available with Sprout's Advanced Plan.

Note: You can add up to three external approvers.

Add an external approver email address to your Message Approvals workflow and have the approvers follow the email prompts to approve and reject content.

Note: Before creating a workflow that includes an external approver, you must enable Link Sharing for your account. Learn more about Link Sharing with this Help Center article

To create a new Message Approval workflow with external approvers:

  1. Navigate to Account and settings > Settings.
  2. Click Approval Workflows under Global Features.
  3. Click Create New Workflow. The Create Approval Workflow window appears.
  4. Enter a Workflow Name.
  5. Customize your workflow steps and approvers:
    1. Create your first step by giving it a name.
    2. Enter Sprout users or type in an email address of a non-Sprout user you want to include in the workflow. For Sprout users, select their name when it appears. For external approvers, press Return on a Mac or Enter on a PC.
    3. Select who to require approval from in the dropdown.
  6. (Optional) Add additional steps, if necessary.
  7. (Optional) Select whether you want users with Full Publishing permissions to skip steps in your workflow.
  8. Click Save.

Now you can navigate to Compose to start creating posts and assign your new workflow to those posts.

As you create your posts in Compose, select your Message Approval workflow in the Publishing Workflows section.

After you apply the Approval workflows and schedule your posts, your external approvers are notified via email.

Note that external approvers won’t receive emails for every post assigned to them for review. Instead, they’ll receive one email for posts recently assigned to them. They’ll receive an email 5 minutes after posts are assigned. The email takes them to a consolidated stream where they can see all the posts awaiting their review.

When an external approver receives their email, they can click View approval posts to navigate to their post approval stream. 

If this is their first time accessing the stream, they’ll need to enter their name and time zone.


Then they can navigate through their stream and Approve, Reject or Comment on the posts.


To view comments in Sprout:

  1. Navigate to PublishingNeeds Approval.
  2. Locate the post.
  3. Click to open the image12.pngTeam Conversations modal.

If an external approver leaves a comment, it will appear in Sprout under the External Comments tab.


You can also leave internal comments that will only be seen by team members in Sprout.



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