How to Get iCalendar (.ics) File to Work Properly in Email?

Hi, we're doing an email for a client for an upcoming event they want to promote. They would like to include an .ics file to allow people to add the event to their calendar (usually MS Outlook). I tried to make a direct link in the email to the file that resides on their server.

But in certain email clients, when you click the link it displays a page in the default browser with the text from the file, instead of asking you to open or download it.

- Anyone know how to 'force' the file to download or open, and not display in the browser?

Thanks. I know I could also add the file as an attachment, but I have an aversion to attachments (some people don't like them, don't know what to do with them, or think they are spam).


travisbell travisbell, 8 years ago

Hey jethro,

Which clients are opening the link in a browser? Not all clients know what to do with a .ics file so I wouldn't imagine it's a universal feature you could count on.

Having said that however, if there's a client we know supports ics files, and yet it still won't pick it up, let me know and we can do some digging.

Travis Bell
Integrati, 6 years ago


I too am about to send a campaign for en event out in a week or so and was hoping to be able to use and .ics file?!

Is there anyway to use this in CM... best practice.

Realise this post is a bit older now but I would love any guidance feedback on this please.


bangonline, 5 years ago

Hi folks,
Did anyone end up getting back to Integrati about this? We tried adding a hyperlink to a ics/vsc file but it kept opening the link in the web browser then prompting for save/open when clicked in Outlook 07 which isn't very usable and might make people confused about what they should actually be doing with the file.

Bang! Online Marketing

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 5 years ago

Hi Brad, welcome to the forums! As Travis mentioned earlier, you can't count on .ics files working as desired in every email client. This is an issue with individual email clients, not the Campaign Monitor app. Duly, there aren't any 'bulletproof' workarounds, as yet.

Just for future reference, there are a couple of things that can happen when you link to an .ics file from within an email campaign, then someone clicks on it:

1. The file opens and automatically adds itself to your calendar (hooray!)
2. The file opens in your browser and asks to be saved/opened somewhere... (hmm)
3. The email client, browser or anything doesn't know what to do with the file and it all goes southward (boo)

So, not always a perfect solution.

Another option is to experiment with Google Calendar events. Admittedly I haven't yet played around with this thoroughly, so I'd love to hear if linking to Google Calendar, or providing links to both an .ics file and a Google Calendar event covers most bases.

Best of luck, Brad! We'd love to know how this works out.

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