Adding a link to a vcf file in email newsletter - thoughts?

I just got a newsletter from and noticed they'd added a link to a vcf file in the footer.
Never seen this done before and strikes me it's a good way of getting subscribers to add you to their contacts folder. It seems really neat.  See image below.
Any views on this - pros and cons?

Mathew Mathew, 8 years ago

It's an interesting idea for sure, though I've not personally seen and tried one.

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If you use Outlook it downloads the small vcf file and then prompts you to save in Outlook - that puts it directly in your Contacts folder.
I guess my question is with so many other email clients would all those clients recognise the vcf file and auto add it to Contact folder. If not then it could be more trouble than it's worth.
Anybody know how other email clients would handle a vcf file?

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Stormy Stormy, 8 years ago

Depends on your target demographic really. If you mainly email business contacts, then it's a fair bet they're using Outlook (or an equivalent client) and can send/receive .vcf, .vcs, ics etc...

Most desktop clients can handle them absolutely fine, but I wouldn't expect web-based mail clients to know what to do with it; they'd likely treat it as just a file to download, so if you're more consumer-focused, I'd skip it.

Don't forget that as well as contacts you can also send calendar entries, very useful for event invitations! For example, using the RSVP-style emails, have the 'Yes' link direct to the calendar file - you've got confirmation of attendance, and the client has an automatic reminder added to their calendar :)

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Mathew Mathew, 8 years ago

Very interesting idea Stormy, if anyone does that we'd love to see it.

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Diana Diana, 8 years ago

I've used links to both ics and vcf files in the past and both work great if, as Stormy said, you're sticking with a corporate demographic. The .ics files are especially great since you then get that record of how many people added the reminder to their calendar and such and the .ics format is pretty universally supported with desktop email clients, at least the last time I tested it all out.

D. Potter
Campaign Monitor
therealjustinlong therealjustinlong, 8 years ago

I have had my vCard attached to all of my email signatures for the last year or so. I have never had a problem with people opening them. I know if you use gmail it will not let you import it into your contact list right away. You first need to save the vCard then click on your address book and then import from file. Kinda of a pain but it still works.

zapatoche, 8 years ago

I have just tried to link to .vcf card from an email to see if it would propmt outlook to download the vcard.
But it just open the card in my default browser in it's full cryptic format.

Is there something I should do?

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