Short post today, since everyone’s starting to think about turkey and traffic by now.

I received an email from Rob the other day, asking if he could create a link that would start up a Lync voice call. If so, he could then send this link via email, enabling whoever received it to make a auto-call just by clicking that link.

This IS possible to do with Lync Server. In fact, there’s a couple variations of it out there.

#1 – One-Click Dial with the Lync Internet Explorer Add-In

I mentioned this the other day – an add-in that Lync-enables every recognizable phone number on a website. You click the Lync icon next to it…and Lync auto-dials the number for you.

#2 – Auto-Contact URL for Voice Calls

As it turns out, it’s pretty easy to send a Lync-enabled phone number via email.

All you have to do is create an HTML link in this format – “tel:+12223334444“. 1 plus the area code plus the number. No spaces (and no quotation marks, of course). In HTML it’ll look like this: <a href=”tel:+12223334444″>Call 222-333-4444</a>

Outlook will even auto-create the link if you type it out in an email window.

Lync grabs onto any tel: links Outlook receives. So when the email arrives and the recipient clicks the link, it will automatically open a Lync call window.

(NOTE: Rob also asked about triggering a video call in the same way. I don’t know of a link format that will do this directly. But! Adding video to a call is just one more click in the call window. So, still within reach.)

#3 – Auto-Contact URL for Instant Messages

The same method as #2 can be used to send an IM link. Except in this case, you would use the person’s SIP address. For example:

Thanks to Tom Kisner at for his blog post detailing the auto-contact URL syntax. Perfect fact-check for me on this one (our own tests matched up to his formatting lockstep). If you don’t use Outlook, or want to see the straight HTML used in these auto-contact links, check out his post.

Have you used a link like this? Within your company or outside it? I’m curious to hear what happened, & if you had any snags along the way. Please email me or comment below.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving! See you next week.

3 Ways to Start Conversations With Lync Auto-Contact URLs

7 thoughts on “3 Ways to Start Conversations With Lync Auto-Contact URLs

  • February 20, 2015 at 9:56 am

    My issue was on the receiving side. I am an avid Lync user and hated the process required to manually copy and paste phone numbers from web pages, emails, PDFs, etc. My first attempt was similar to option #1 above, i found a Chrome add-in that does the same thing. However I found that 90% of the number i needed to dial came to me via email
    Enter Lync Select Dial

    Awesome app that just requires you to select text from any source and then hit F8. BAM, you’re dialing.

  • September 10, 2015 at 4:41 am

    I have tried different methods suggested and it always behave as the mailto: attribute. In other words it does not start an chat session but an email and prepropulates the email address. Any idea if this is a configuration isssue of IE (9) or outlook or Lync?


  • September 10, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Sorted. I used my own SIP address. If you use a different one works. Thanks

  • March 8, 2017 at 3:25 am

    How can I use #2 method using Skype for business Id instead of contact number

  • January 22, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    How do you add a subject to the conversation in the hyperlink?

    IM:(what do I type here for a subject to display)

    • January 25, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Honestly John, I’ve never even tried that! The auto-contact URLs need to point by SIP address first. I wonder if you could add a subject after that, parsed by a semicolon. Like this: IM:;Meeting Topic.

      I’ll try this out. If you do come across a working solution, please let me know so we can post it!


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