The Pull from email attachment step is here!

Hi everyone,

I’m Warren and I’m a software engineer at Parabola. Last week, we released a brand new step: Pull from email attachment.

You can use this step to email CSV/XLS file attachments directly to a dedicated email address for your specific Parabola flow. Once you set up and publish your flow, sending CSV/XLS files to that dedicated email address will automatically trigger your published flow to run. You can check out the detailed docs here.

Currently, this step can handle files up to 5MB in size.

This has been a highly requested feature from our customers, so I hope you enjoy it.


The Pull from email attachment seems to work great with csv files. However, all xls and xlsx files fail for me. Prefer to use xlsx for this step. Help please.

Hi @Ken_Aldridge,

Thanks for reaching out. I replicated this step with an xlsx file, but wasn’t able to recreate that error.

There are two things that may be happening in your step Pull from email attachment. Within the step, are you:

  1. Selecting the same File Type as the one you are emailing? In this case, you’d select File Type option “XLS / XLSX”.

  2. If your xlsx file has multiple tabs, in the step’s Sheet section, are you selecting the name of the tab you’re wanting to pull into Parabola? Is the tab name staying constant when you’re emailing the file, or does its name change often?

Hi Adeline,

Sorry for the delayed reply. After much frustration, I’ve resorted to converting all Excel files to .csv prior to sending to Parabola. I verified the file type was correct everytime I tested. Also, my excel files have only one sheet, and I could never make a sheet selection because the file would not import and thus sheets could not be recognized. I’m happy to send you a file iif you’d like to test with one of my files. Not sure what else to do.

Hey Ken! That would be really helpful for us tracking this down. Please send a couple example files that do not work to and we will look into the issue!

I’m still having issues with the Pull from email attachment step. I was finally able to successfully pull a file. The only differece was that the failed file had 15,400 rows and the successful file had only 17. Otherwise the data (columns) were the same. Is the number of rows limited when pulling a .csv file?
Only upload option here is for .jpeg. Don’t see an option to upload a .csv here.

Hi @Ken_Aldridge,

Thanks for reaching out about this. The step ‘Pull from email attachment’ has a file size limit of 1MB which could be the cause of what you experienced. What was the file size, for the one with 15,400 rows? Could you clarify on what you mean by uploading option for .jpeg? We don’t currently support this file type in our steps.


Thank you for your reply. The file is indeed 1.8MB. Any suggestions? Might help to add a popup or something stating the actual error reason. Also still trying to figure out why .xlsx files stopped working in the Pull step, while .csv files seem to work.

I misunderstood the previous comment asking me to send files to an email address. Thought it asked me to upload here, which only allows .jpeg.

Hi @Ken_Aldridge,

Thanks for the feedback about making the error messaging more clear about file sizes. What are the sizes of your .xlsx files? If they’re >1MB, then this would likely still be the cause of the error. Can you email us examples of your files (.csv and .xslx) to so we can troubleshoot this further?

I wish I had found this thread before I started trying to email files >1Mb :slight_smile:

The frustration is that you get no indication (that I can find) that your file has been rejected as being too big.

It would be great if Parabola could grab a csv file from a URL, but I ended up using Integromat to do that, then copy to Google Drive converting to Sheets. The Parabola can do the magic there.

It works, but it ain’t so pretty !

Hi @NigelG, totally understand the frustration. This is something we’d like to improve and it is on our radar to enhance the indication/error messaging when a file is too large.

Parabola can grab a CSV file from a URL if it hosts a CSV, meaning if it auto downloads when you go to it. If it is this URL type, then you can pull from that CSV file via the import step Pull from an API by entering the URL into the step’s API Endpoint URL section.

If it is a URL for a CSV file that prompts a download, then unfortunately at this time Parabola can’t pull from it yet.

1 Like

Thanks. Is this true for type URLs as well ?

I can’t get it to work, despite it being an “auto-download” but that may be because it is >1Mb ?

Hey all!

We just updated this step to allow up to 5MB files attached. More work to come later around notifying you when an email came in that either had the wrong file type, or had a file too big.


Is there a way to look at the email copy itself and parse it instead of just the attachement @brian ? I would love to parse some incoming emails instead of using a 3rd party email parsing tool

Not at the moment! Can you explain more what’s in the email that you want to parse, and where its coming from? I’d like to understand your use case more.

Sure, I want to parse HARO emails…they look like this:

Biotech and Healthcare 1) Summary: Seeking mental health experts for advice on navigating the holiday season

Name: Casey Gillespie Marin Living magazine

Category: Biotech and Healthcare


Media Outlet: Marin Living magazine

Deadline: 5:00 PM PST - 8 October


I am looking for 1-2 mental health experts for a feature in our
holiday issue about navigating the 2020 holiday season. We are
expecting this year to look very different for a lot of people
with holiday gathering being much smaller, families unable to
travel to see each other and the likelihood that many people
will be spending the holidays alone. With mental health issues
on the rise in 2020 this is a hot topic. I am looking for advice
on how to handle this added stress during the holidays and
provide some practical steps people can take to get though
November and December. I can send questions by email if that
more convenient than a phone interview.


Must be located in the San Francisco Bay Area -- Marin County
preferred. Looking for mental health experts with accredited

Back to Top Back to Category Index


2) Summary: Family caregiving in ethnically diverse communities (non-English speaking caregivers)

Name: Juana Poareo Next Avenue

Category: Biotech and Healthcare


Media Outlet: Next Avenue

Deadline: 5:00 PM MST - 9 October


Seeking two caregiver experts or health care professionals who
work with ethnically diverse family caregivers who struggle with
language barriers in their communities.

Also seeking two non-English speaking (Hispanic/Latinx/Asian,
etc.) caregivers to interview about coping with language

Thank you!


Seeking experts and caregivers in U.S. only.

Back to Top Back to Category Index


3) Summary: Seeking doctor for lifestyle story on COVID-19

Category: Biotech and Healthcare


Media Outlet: Anonymous

Deadline: 10:00 AM EST - 8 October


For a magazine aimed at midlife women interested in health and
wellness, I am looking for a doctor (perhaps an intensivist or
pulmonary critical care physician, but not required) willing to
do a 15-20 minute phone interview on these topics. 1)The top
three signs a patient needs to go to the ER for possible
Covid-19. 2)What is proning, and why it works. Please only
respond if you can chat briefly by phone- emailed responses are
OK but I must also do a phone call to confirm everything, per
the magazine.


Must be a board-certified physician currently practicing in the
United States. Please note that if you are a product
spokesperson, I can't mention the product. Thank you!

Back to Top Back to Category Index


As you can see there is some sort of structure in place…i want to parse out each query, split it into its individual parts (category, query etc.) and store it in a database.

I have actually built a solution already glueing together various tools but it would be nice if Parabola had something like a mailhook that would parse the email itself instead of just the attachement.

Basically i need subject line, body and maybe headers so i can transform then as needed.

1 Like

Hey @Sebastian_Schaeffer,

Sounds like an interesting use case! If you haven’t done so already, add your request to our feature requests section in our community forum. That way, other users can chime in and provide additional feedback.


Zapier will parse an email for you.

You could then send to Parabola.

Or look at as Zapier is fairly basic.

1 Like

Hi everyone! Wanted to share this update to our “Pull from email attachment” feature. You can now pull the subject and body of an email into a Parabola step!