E-mail link trick...

  Gaz 25 21:22 31 May 2004

I was playing about and found that you can click a link and have it auto fill e-mail address, subject and the message area. :-o

Here is the code, remove space between mail and to, and either side of the @ symbol.>>>

a href="mail to:test @ test.com?subject=Message&body=This is the message area, type whatever you want in here...">Click here to mail me /a>

Great! Just wondered if it would help anyone. Never seen this before anyway.

  Gaz 25 21:23 31 May 2004

<a href="mail to:test @ test.com?subject=Message&body=This is the message area, type whatever you want in here...">Click here to mail me </a>

  Gaz 25 21:31 31 May 2004
  Taran 22:22 31 May 2004

You can add CC and BCC addresses to send to multiple destinations as well as filling in the subject line and part of the body text as well.

  Gaz 25 22:25 31 May 2004

yeh, so I have just realised.

Taran, I have never seen the body filled in before though?

  Taran 23:36 31 May 2004

It's a technique that's been in use for some years now, but not too many people use it.

I'm a great believer in letting people type their own message to me on the odd occasion that I use an email link. Filling in part of the body text always seems a little presumptuous to me, but there we are. Call me old fashioned (or anything else you like).

Most of the time I use feedback and contact forms rather than email links anyway but yes, you can predetermine TO:, BCC:, CC:, Subject: and Body text and all or some of them can all be included into a simple text link if you want to do it.

  Gaz 25 23:41 31 May 2004


It's ok. What you are saying is quite acceptable and you have a point, it seems to be CGI form's now that are used.

I know what you mean, I thought that is was a bit silly to have a body text predetermined, but you know... its a handy feature I guess for some reason or other.

  Taran 00:24 01 Jun 2004

It can be useful if you want to start a message off with something along the lines of:

Regarding item number 123 from your online catalogue:

On that subject I know of one person who runs a small business selling a lot of products online. She doesn't use a dedicated commerce package despite me badgering her almost daily about it and each product has an enquiry hyperlink next to it as well as an order form link.

She either gets the order form as feedback to process or her email links each have product details embedded in them so whichever product someone is interested in is obvious as soon as the email hits her inbox.

It's a bit clumsy but a series of message rules I set up for her filters the emails into relevant categories and stores them in appropriate folders and I've automated them via Outlook to create Excel invoices based on their predetermined content.

It works well unless some bright spark decides to alter the text the link puts in the body of the message, but then again, that's what her order forms are for with their selection listboxes and options. The PHP form handler I wrote for her processes them and also writes the details to a MySQL database. That way she always has a fallback if things go wrong and she can keep long-term resords for sales analysis without having to do it all manually.

With a bit of lateral thinking you can come up with some interesting possibilities using very mundane seeming solutions and the ability to send multiple messages using CC and BCC from a static link is pretty powerfu really. Not many people have a real world use for it, but if you did its always nice to know it can be done and quite easily too.

Then again it would take a lot to make me give up my form handlers. You have to love PHP, ASP and CGI for the convenience they offer.

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