Despite the fact that just about everyone can read their email on their smartphone, there will always be times and situations in which it is more advantageous to send a short email as a text.
This is particularly useful if you’re emailing a non-smartphone user, need to send a text when you’re away from your phone, or want to use a text for branding purpose. Professionals tend to pay far more attention to texts than emails, so it can be a powerful communication strategy!
The process works via an email to SMS gateway. As long as you know the phone number of the recipient in question — and the name of their service provider — it’s easy to locate an appropriate gateway address for forwarding your message. Here is everything you need to know about how to send a text from your email account.
Sending an email as an SMS
Step 1: Using the email client of your choice, compose your email as you would normally. You can use either your smartphone or your computer to do so.
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 it. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common service providers in the United States and their corresponding gateway addresses.
|Carrier||SMS gateway domain||MMS gateway domain|
|Alltel||[insert 10-digit number]@message.alltel.com||[insert 10-digit number]@mms.alltelwireless.com|
|AT&T||[insert 10-digit number]@txt.att.net||[insert 10-digit number]@mms.att.net|
|Boost Mobile||[insert 10-digit number]@myboostmobile.com||[insert 10-digit number]@myboostmobile.com|
|Cricket Wireless||[insert 10-digit number]@mms.cricketwireless.net|
|Project Fi||[insert 10-digit number]@msg.fi.google.com|
|Sprint||[insert 10-digit number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com||[insert 10-digit number]@pm.sprint.com|
|T-Mobile||[insert 10-digit number]@tmomail.net||[insert 10-digit number]@tmomail.net|
|U.S. Cellular||[insert 10-digit number]@email.uscc.net||[insert 10-digit number]@mms.uscc.net|
|Verizon||[insert 10-digit number]@vtext.com||[insert 10-digit number]@vzwpix.com|
|Virgin Mobile||[insert 10-digit number]@vmobl.com||[insert 10-digit number]@vmpix.com|
|Republic Wireless||[insert 10-digital number]@text.republicwireless.com|
Keep in mind that if you’re trying to send an email 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 Multimedia Messaging, then they will not receive the message. Some carriers also offer email to MMS gateways — detailed in the table above — so if you’d like to send a message that’s more than 160 characters, use an MMS gateway instead of an SMS gateway.
Download an extension for faster texting
There is also a Chrome extension that is specifically designed to help users send texts from Gmail. If you use Gmail and send a whole lot of emails as text messages, this little extension is a valuable — and free — download.
The extension is called Send Your Email to SMS (text), and you can download it here if you are currently in the Chrome browser. This won’t change much: It simply adds a little phone icon to your Gmail email window. Type out the email that you want to send, and then click the phone icon. This will bring up your list of Gmail contacts and allow you to search through it to find the person you want to text. You also have the option to add a new phone number just by typing it in.
The email is automatically formatted for proper texting and replies to the text will be emailed back to that Gmail address, allowing you to successfully carry on conversations. It’s not that useful if you don’t use Gmail at all, but if a lot of your contacts and activity are in Gmail, this extension makes email-to-text much easier and more efficient — and you don’t have to worry about carrier codes. The app also allows you to reverse the process and get text alerts for important emails that you receive in Gmail, which may be nice if you are on the go but really need to follow a particular email conversation.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gmail and Google Calendar also tie in with the If This Then That smart device management system. That means you can set up IFTTT to, for example, schedule a text using Google Voice, which may be easier than jumping directly into an email for some devices.
Update: The Gmail extension option was added.