Validate Email HTML

How to Code Mailto Links in Your HTML Emails

Do your readers know exactly who in your organization to contact and how to reach them when they have specific questions? Do you? With mailto links, your subscribers can click the link and ask the perfect person their questions. Contacting specific departments is easy! You can adjust your mailto links to direct messages to specific members of your sales team or let your subscribers easily provide feedback. 

Mailto links are a great tool to use in your email marketing campaigns. Since we’ve explained why no-reply emails are a terrible idea in a previous article, it’s likely you’re already sending out emails with proper reply-to addresses monitored by a designated team or email marketing associate. But are you using mailto links yet?

What if you’re running several campaigns and want to keep all the replies straight? It’s difficult to manually separate general queries from specific conversations about your latest promotional deal. What’s the solution? Mailto links!

Create an HTML code for an email link to let your readers get in touch. Not quite sure what email links, or mailto links, are? We have your back.

We’ll explain how to link to an email by coding an HTML mailto link that’s prepopulated with fields like subject line, “to” address, carbon copy (Cc), blind carbon copy (Bcc) email addresses, and an email body. We’ll also review the advantages and disadvantages of using a mailto link.

What is an HTML mailto link?

Mailto – that’s not a real word, right? Like the usual jumble of acronyms and seemingly made-up email words, yes, it’s a real word.

“Mailto” is HTML code that adds a link to a web page or email – anywhere you can insert HTML. When your readers click on the mailto link, it opens an email message in their default email client, like Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, or Yahoo Mail.

In its most basic form, a mailto link looks like this:

<a href="">Get in touch!</a>

We’ll unpack this soon in our code tutorial and discuss other parameters you can specify, like subject lines and “to” addresses. That’s right, with mailto links, you can direct conversations to the right individuals in your organization.

Make it easy for your subscribers to contact the person ready and capable to help them with their specific questions and needs. After all, as any email marketer will tell you, good marketing strategies revolve around starting conversations with customers.

Why are mailto links useful?

As we mentioned, mailto links are a great way to direct readers’ messages to the right recipients in your organization. But there are even more reasons to use mailto links. Here are some benefits of using mailto links:

  • Direct your emails to specific recipients. Separate general queries from customer feedback, technical support queries, and refund requests.
  • Minimize reply-to errors. Sometimes, your customer really wants to get in touch. But they misspell your email address. Avoid these errors and lower user friction with mailto links.
  • Sort incoming mail. Let’s say you’re running a small business and don’t have many email marketers available to monitor your business’s email at all times and sort through different incoming mail. Use tags and filters on your end based on specific email subject lines (that you set in your mailto emails) to sort all incoming messages. 

Is there a downside to using HTML email links?

So, what’s the catch? Well, here are a few reasons why mailto links might cause issues:

  • Some of your readers use web-based clients like or Not every one of your readers will have a default email client setup on their laptop. While they’re more likely to have one specified for a mobile device, there’s no guarantee users will have one set up. Mailto links won’t work for these subscribers.
  • It’s harder to track mailto link clicks. While it’s easy to track how many readers interact with web forms, it’s difficult to keep tabs on how many readers click on a mailto link.
  • Gmail automatically converts email addresses to links. This can be a problem if you’ve coded your mailto link with prepopulated fields, like subject lines and email bodies. This poses a problem if your intended reply-to address isn’t the same as the link text. 
  • Spammers exploit Mailto links. This is perhaps the biggest risk, especially in terms of web development. Spammers often use bots to crawl sites, find mailto links, and inject spammy messages. If your security protocols aren’t tight, you might be on the receiving end of some malicious content, like malware!

What fields can you add to an HTML email link?

Let’s explore some parameters you can code into your mailto link (and why you should). Here are some of the fields you can specify:

  • Recipient addresses: With mailto links, you can specify exactly where you want your subscriber to send their email reply by entering a recipient address field, otherwise known as a “to” address. This makes it easier to keep track of different email conversations and ensure the right people in your organization receive these messages.
  • Subject line: Set a subject line to easily spot and categorize your readers’ replies.
  • Bcc and Cc addresses: With mailto links, you Bcc and Cc team members. This way, everyone who needs to see these messages can stay engaged in specific conversations.
  • Email bodies. Have you ever received a long, rambling email from your customer only to find out what they want at the very end of their message? It’s not fun. Code mailto links to provide your readers with prepopulated questions they can answer.

How can I create an HTML email link?

Now that you know why you should use mailto links and the disadvantages to be aware of, it’s time to learn how to code a mailto link in your email template with HTML and CSS.

In this section, we’ll cover how to code:

  1. A simple mailto link.
  2. A mailto link with Bcc and Cc email addresses.
  3. An HTML email link with a subject line.
  4. A mailto with a populated email body.

Before we start…

We know you’re itching to dive in, but let’s get some housekeeping out of the way. For the following tutorial, you’ll need a working knowledge of HTML and CSS. Check out our email coding basics and some code review best practices to catch up to speed.

Alternatively, check out Parcel’s mailto code generator to hit the ground running. This code generator helps you start with code snippets you can use in your email template. 

1. How can I code a simple mailto link?

Check out this basic mailto link:

<a href="">Get in touch!</a>

Let’s break it down:

  • <a>: is an HTML tag defining a hyperlink.
  • href: is an attribute of the HTML <a> tag used to specify a link’s destination.
  • mailto: precedes the “to” email address. This designates the person responsible for responding to specific queries as the recipient email address that opens up in your reader’s default email client.

Pretty simple, right? Let’s mix it up.

To add more than one “to” email address, simply separate them with commas:

<a href=",">Get in touch!</a>

2. How can I code a mailto link with Bcc and Cc email addresses?

Let’s build on the basic mailto link and add two parameters:

  • bcc: allows you to specify one or more email addresses to be Bcc’d on your message.
  • cc: allows you to specify one or more email addresses to be Cc’d on your message.

For example, we’ll set the “to” address as Then, we’ll Bcc and We’ll also Cc

<a href=",,&">Get in touch!</a>

3. How can I code a mailto link with a subject line?

Remember how we said adding a subject line is a great idea? It’s time to set up our game and learn how. We’ll build on the basic mailto link and add one parameter to set a subject line:

  • subject: allows you to specify the subject line of your message. All text must be URL-encoded, meaning you’ll represent spaces as %20.

Okay, let’s try it! We’ll set the “to” address as Then, we’ll BCC and set a subject line of “Email Testing Tools.”

<a href="">Get in touch!</a>

4. How can I code a mailto link with an email body?

Finally, this is the last piece of the puzzle! Adding these parameters will integrate mailto HTML body links:

  • body: enables you to specify your email body. You can add some text to help your subscribers start their message. Just like the subject line, all text must be URL-encoded, and you’ll represent apostrophes with %27.

Let’s set the “to” address as Then, we’ll specify a subject line of “Email Testing Tools” and a body of “I’d like to know more about….”

<a href="">Get in touch!</a>

Every email link matters...

And that’s a wrap! You should now have a firm grasp on how to use mailto links in your email to create better customer engagement and make your life easier. Of course, mailto links aren't the only things people will click on in your email campaigns.

Your calls to action (CTAs), newsletter links to your latest content, and body copy links to key landing pages are all super important to the inbox experience. A 404 or the wrong link could really derail your efforts. Plus, you've also got to worry about UTMs for tracking. Sinch Email on Acid is here to simplify the process with the URL validation step in our Campaign Precheck automated workflow.

Before you hit send, don’t forget to test your email! Why leave the success of your email marketing campaign up to chance when you can be sure your email will display and work exactly as you intend with Email on Acid?

Give Campaign Precheck a Try!

While you can use our email readiness platform in a variety of ways, we’ve designed the optimal predeployment checklist with Campaign Precheck. It streamlines and simplifies the entire pre-send process for efficiency and accuracy. Log in now to start using Campaign Precheck. Or, sign up for your free trial today!

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