Send user an email with link

Hello, 

I want to send to users emails, like an administrator, in which I can add a text that is a link. For example, I want to send another user's name which should be a link to that user's profile. I tried sending '<a href="$user->getURL()">$user->name</a>' like a %s (defined in languages file), but in the mail I get only the name, without the link.

Thank you