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How to send a text message from your email account

With the many different messaging apps and services available to us online and on our mobile phones, sometimes it’s easy to forget that good old SMS still exists. Like the pneumatic tubes in mailrooms from days of old, the pneumatic tube of texting is sending an SMS via email. If you’re ever in a pinch and without your phone for whatever reason, here is a guide on sending a text message via email.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • Active email account

  • Browser extension (listed below)

  • Web service (listed below)

How to send text messages via email

This guide will walk you through a few different methods on how to send a text from your email account. If you find yourself sending texts through email often, you might want to download a browser extension to make your life a little easier.

Step 1: Using the email client of your choice, compose your email. You can use either your smartphone or your computer to write it.

Step 2: Instead of entering an email address in the recipient box, insert the 10-digit phone number of the person you’re trying to reach.

Step 3: Once entered, tack on the appropriate “@gateway” address behind the phone number.

Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common service providers in the United States and their corresponding gateway addresses. Keep in mind that if you’re trying to send a message that’s more than 160 characters long, it will often be sent through the Multimedia Message Service (MMS). If the person you’re messaging doesn’t have a messaging plan that includes MMS, then they will not receive the message, or they may be charged an extra fee to open it. However, some carriers also offer email-to-MMS gateways, so make sure to use this if it's a long message.

Carrier SMS Gateway Domain MMS Gateway Domain
Boost Mobile
Cricket Wireless
Google Project Fi
Republic Wireless None
Straight Talk
Ting None
Tracfone Depends on underlying carrier
U.S. Cellular
Virgin Mobile

One final thing to note is if you use Boost, Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless, Straight Talk, Ting, or Tracfone -- all of which are mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) -- you may need to enter the gateway address belonging to either Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T, rather than those in the above list, as they all piggyback on these major networks.

Download an extension for faster texting

If you use Chrome as your browser and want to send SMS using your Gmail account often, we suggest trying this timesaving extension. It's called Send Your Email to SMS (text), and it will format your email automatically for texting, makes email-to-text much easier to read, and is more efficient as you don’t have to worry about carrier codes. Messages arrive in your inbox and can be replied to, making it more natural to carry on a conversation with a mobile user, and you can even set up SMS alerts for incoming emails, too.

If you want more automation and use Google Voice, it's possible to link Google Calendar with Gmail with the If This Then That (IFTTT) smart device management system. From here, you can set up IFTTT to schedule a text using Google Voice, which some may find a faster option than going through the whole process with email.

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Use web app services (business-friendly)

There are many online services and apps for sending texts via email, which may be more suitable for businesses. Message Media is one of our favorites since it makes the process very simple, and it supports SMS, RCS, MMS, Messenger, and even WhatsApp messages.

It has a useful feature where you can see your original message and the subsequent responses, so you can quickly track a conversation. It also allows you to text international phone numbers, and for an additional cost, you can use alpha tags for identifying senders, text-to-voice, dedicated numbers, and other handy extras.

You can try Message Media for free to see if it works for you, but you’ll need to sign up for a monthly subscription to continue use after the trial period.

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