Texting via Email

I have been asked if it is possible to send texts through email.  It is actually pretty easy and convenient to text from your mail client.  This can be done via Outlook, Outlook Express, GMail, or virtually any mail client.

What is the advantage of being able to do this?  There are potentially several advantages.  One is, you have a record of the text in your mail client.  It is typically easier to find things there than on your phone.  A second is you can send to multiple people and/or groups at the same time.  You could do a mass text very quickly and easily.  Third, it is usually easier to type on the computer than to pull out your phone to text.  If you have your mail contacts linked with your email which is fairly common, you can also utilize the same service on your phone if you are away from your computer.

You will need to keep in mind, this is still a text you are sending, and you will typically have a 140 character limitation for a single text message or it will get broken into multiple texts.

So how do you do this?  First, you need to know what carrier each person uses.  Luckily, you just enter this once (unless they change carriers) and it will be saved in your address book if you save the contact.  Just use the 10 digit cell number for ‘number’ for each carrier below:

  • Alltel: number@message.alltel.com
  • AT&T: number@txt.att.net
  • Boost: number@boostmobile.com or number@myboostmobile.com
  • Cricket: number@sms.mycricket.com
  • Metro PCS: number@mymetropcs.com
  • Nextel: number@messaging.nextel.com
  • Powertel: number@ptel.com
  • Qwest: number@qwestmp.com
  • Sprint: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com or number@pm.sprint.com
  • Suncom: number@tms.suncom.com
  • T-Mobile: number@tmomail.net
  • Tracfone: number@mmst5.tracfone.com
  • U.S. Cellular: number@email.uscc.net
  • Verizon: number@vtext.com
  • Virgin Mobile: number@vmobl.com

(I know this isn’t an all-encompassing list, but it should cover most of the likely carriers.)

Now that you have the list, all you need to do is create a new contact in your email client.  Make sure you differentiate this address with their normal email address, i.e. if you already have a Jeffrey Client, call this one Jeffrey Client – Cell.  For the email address, use the format above for the carrier they use for their phone.  Save the contact and you are ready to go.  Just create a new email and use the new “Cell” address and send the message.  You can add multiple contacts and add them to a group.  You can send to multiple groups in the same email/message.

There is a little bit of setup involved but afterwards you have the advantages of using your email client to send texts.