How to send a text message from your email account

There are times when you may find yourself needing to send a text message when your phone is out of reach — maybe it’s charging or maybe you left it at home. No matter the reason, sending texts from your email account is sometimes necessary.

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

Sending an email as an SMS

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.

Carrier SMS gateway domain MMS gateway domain
AT&T [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Boost Mobile [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Cricket Wireless [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Google Project Fi [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Republic Wireless [insert 10-digital number]
Sprint [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Straight Talk [insert 10-digital number] [insert 10-digit number]
T-Mobile [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Ting [insert 10-digit number]
Tracfone [depends on underlying carrier] [insert 10-digit number]
U.S. Cellular [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Verizon [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]
Virgin Mobile [insert 10-digit number] [insert 10-digit number]

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, or they may be charged an extra fee to open 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.

One other thing to note is that some carriers don’t operate their own mobile networks. In the list above, Boost, Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless, Straight Talk, Ting, and Tracfone are mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). This means they piggyback on other operators’ cell towers, depending on where you are in the United States. Because of this, you may sometimes need to enter a gateway address belonging to either Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, rather than those in the above list.

Download an extension for faster texting

Chrome Email to Text

There is a Chrome extension that is specifically designed to help you 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. All it does is simply add a little phone icon to your Gmail email window. If you type out the email that you want to send and then click the phone icon it will bring up your list of Gmail contacts and you can 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.

This feature will format your email automatically for texting. You will receive replies on your Gmail box, and you can answer to carry on a conversation with a mobile user. It’s not that useful if you don’t use Gmail, but for regular users with a lot of contacts in Gmail, this extension makes email-to-text so 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 and need to follow a particular email conversation.

We should point out that Gmail and Google Calendar also tie in with the If This Then That (IFTTT) smart device management system. That means you can set up IFTTT to schedule a text using Google Voice, for example. For some devices, that might be an easier option than opening an email.

Use web app services (business-friendly)

Message Media screenshot

There are plenty of web services that provide alternative options for sending texts through email. Message Media makes sending messages super easy, making it one of our favorites. This web app is primarily a business communication tool. It supports SMS, RCS, MMS, Messenger, and WhatsApp messages. You can try it for free, but you’ll need to sign up for a monthly subscription after the free trial period.

Message Media is somewhat similar to using carrier codes, but it contains a number of additional convenient features. For example, it lets you see your original message along with the answer, which is useful when tracking different conversations. You can also use the app to text international phone numbers. For an additional cost, you can access even more features to help you with your business communication needs, such as alpha tags for identifying senders, text-to-voice, dedicated numbers, and other handy extras.

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