Email has been around for a while now that it is sometimes considered an old-fashioned method of communication. Despite that, it is still a widely used and effective mode of communication. Most people know about using email clients and contact links, but they may not be aware that they can use some HTML links like a mailto link. You can find out more about what these links are and how they are used by reading below.
This link is a type of HTML link that can be inserted into an email or placed on a webpage. It is used to immediately bring up the default email client once activated. Each Internet browser requires a default email software to open an email client. For example, if you have chosen something like Microsoft Outlook as your default client, then any link you click will automatically open this program every time.
You can see these types of links used all over online. You may often see these types of links when you go to a contact page on someone’s website, clink on their “Email me” or similar link, and have your default email client open up right away. Once the client opens up, a new message will open with their email already in the “To” field so that you can write them directly.
The HTML used to make these types of links is fairly simple. You just need to add “<a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>Text you want to be displayed</a>” to the page on your site where you want people to contact you. For the “text you want to be displayed,” you can choose whatever you want your visitors to see; just make sure it is something that lets them know it is how they contact you. Some common ones are “email me,”link here,”send mail,” etc.
There are some further modifications you can make to that simple code line. You can add “?subject=The%20subject%20of%20the%20mail” behind your website in the link (with the quotes after it) to have the subject field already filled out when the email client opens. Adding “?subject=The%20body%20of%20the%20mail” will pre-fill out the body of the email. You can even use these to format other parts of the email of the like the CC and BCC fields.
You can also create these links for use in a sent email. Using your email client, write the text you want to be displayed and highlight that text. Click on the hyperlink option, and go to “Link to” or a similar option, then enter the email you want to be used or select one of your recently used emails. If you have not disabled hyperlink formatting in your client, then you can also just enter your email into a text area of your client and hit “Enter/Return” to instantly make it a working link.
If you do not want to make the link look so obvious, you can easily create a screen tip. This makes text appear when someone hovers their mouse over a certain word or phrase. Just click on the “ScreenTip” option in your client and enter your display text. You could also forgo adding text, which would make the screen tip just show your email.
Despite all that you can do with these links, they do have one major issue, which has caused many webmasters to move away from using them in favor of contact forms. The issue is that some email clients will either block these links entirely or parts of these links. This will either create a warning that has to be unblocked, or it will cause the client to not open at all. This can cause all kinds of issues for your users and make them not want to contact you.
As you can see, there is a lot to these simple mailto links. Even though they are easy to create and customize, many find their issues with blocking parts of the code or all of the code to be cumbersome, resulting in them using other email methods instead. Regardless, they are still used by several webmasters as a fast and easy way to communicate with their viewers.