To send an email with a formula, you can build a "mailto:" link with the HYPERLINK function. In the example shown, the formula in G5 is:


When the link is clicked in Excel, the default email client will create a new email with the information supplied. The link text ("link") can be customized as desired.

Generic formula

"link text")


In this example, the goal is to create a clickable link that will result in a ready-to-send email.

The mailto link protocol

The mailto link protocol allows five variables as shown in the table below:

Variable Purpose
mailto: The primary recipient(s)
&cc= The CC recipient(s)
&bcc= The BCC recipient(s)
&subject= The email subject text
&body= The email body text

Notes: (1) separate multiple email addresses with commas. (2) Not all variables are required.

The variables are presented as "query string parameters", delimited with the ampersand (?) character. For example, a fully formed mailto: link in an HTML document might appear like this:

Example mailto link

When a user clicks the link text, a new email will open in the default email application with the variables filled in.

Creating the link

In Excel, the HYPERLINK function can be used to create links. The basic syntax is:

=HYPERLINK("link","link text")

The link itself is a text string that represents a valid link. The link text (called "friendly name" in Excel) is the text displayed to a user.

Ultimately, the goal for the formula in G5 is to build a string like this:

Because the mailto link uses several pieces of information, it must be assembled with concatenation.

The formula is a bit tricky. While the ampersand is the operator for concatenation in Excel, it is also used to delimit the mailto link parameters (cc, bcc, subject, etc.). This means that some ampersands (&) are used to join text in the formula, and some are embedded in the final result. In the code below, the ampersands in yellow are used for concatenation in Excel. The white ampersands are embedded in the final result:


Note: the formula above is entered with line breaks for better readability.

Empty mailto parameters

For the sake of simplicity, the formula above does not try to exclude empty parameters from the final result. In quick testing with Gmail and Outlook, missing parameters seem to be ignored gracefully. The behavior in other email applications may vary.

Dave Bruns Profile Picture

AuthorMicrosoft Most Valuable Professional Award

Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.