Productivity tools bring out the best and most efficient parts of you and your business. As a business owner, it's likely (in fact, it's expected) that you have your hands trying to grapple with many things at once. In many cases, you'll be communicating with your employees and clients throughout the day, and often by email. But, how can you achieve this when you're away from your computer?

A man and a woman sending text messages to an email from a desk.

It's hard to be abreast of the facts when you cannot communicate as and when due. It's also not always possible, convenient, or proper to send a text. In contrast, an email will be more effective in communicating a message to a recipient. Some people resort to to-do lists, and that works even with its significant limitations.

An Email will not work where you don't have data on your phone or you're somewhere that offers cellular service. Still, your data or LTE service is either non-existent or sketchy. Thankfully, mobile devices (primarily phones) can come to the rescue in such situations, allowing you to send texts through email. This article will teach you how to send an email via your phone's text messaging service and how to text message from email. You'll also be able to receive text messages from email accounts. Let's dive in…

How to Send an Email from Your Phone’s SMS or MMS Service

Here are the steps you need to take to send an email through your phone's text messaging system.

  1. Open the texting (SMS or MMS) app on your phone.
  2. Enter an email address in the Recipient field, instead of a phone number as you normally would.
  3. Navigate to the area where you’re to type your message and do so.
  4. Tap the Send button.

At this point, you're likely wondering what happens next. Here's the simple explanation: the moment you hit that Send button on the user interface, your cell phone provider's systems are smart enough to detect that you're trying to send the message to an email address instead of a phone number. Therefore, rather than sending a text message, it sends a regular email with a .txt file attachment.

Including photos, videos, or audio files will also reach the recipient as attachments.

When the recipient receives the email In the From field, they'll see the attached mobile number with a domain name. The domain depends on the sender's cell phone service provider, so you're likely to have something similar to:

  • [phonenumber]txt.att.net (AT&T)
  • [phonenumber]tmomail.net (T-Mobile)
  • [phonenumber]messaging.sprintpcs.com (Sprint)
  • [phonenumber]vtext.com or [phonenumber] at vzwpix.com (Verizon)
  • [phonenumber]vmobl.com (Virgin Mobile)

Implications of Using the “Text to Mail” Method

When you send emails from your text messaging environment, you will not be able to change the subject line. The recipient will see the message with a "(no subject)" subject line. While there are cases where this suffices, in others, it won't cut it, especially when you're keeping track of an ongoing list.

You need to be able to search and find texts with a single subject line, and the preferred way to do this is to use the alternative "email to text" method.

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How to Send an Email via Text

You can send text messages through email to communicate your message. Conversely, there could be times when there's no cell phone service, but you have free Wi-Fi. This can happen at the airport, but you need to send everyone at the office an emergency text.

Some businesses opt to use SMS API gateways for this purpose, but there's an easier way. This method also applies to multimedia messages you wish to send from your email.

1. Find the SMS or MMS gateway for your recipient’s carrier.

To send an email to text, you'll enter a peculiar email in the To field of the email. This email comprises the recipient's phone number and the carrier's SMS or MMS gateway domain.

Thus, for the phone number xxx-xxx-xxx-xxxx, the email address is xxx-xxx-xxx-xxxx at txt.att.net if the phone service provider is AT&T. Here's a chart showing the SMS and MMS API gateways for significant cell phone services in the US:

Carrier SMS Gateway MMS Gateway
AT&T txt.att.net mms.att.net
Boost Mobile sms.myboostmobile.com myboostmobile.com
Cricket Wireless sms.cricketwireless.net mms.cricketwireless.net
T-Mobile tmomail.net tmomail.net
UScellular e-mail.uscc.net mms.uscc.net
Verizon vtext.com vzwpix.com

You can also find carrier-specific information for recipients using websites such as https://freecarrierlookup.com.

Suppose your job requires you to send emails to text regularly. In that case, you should save each email address as a contact to enable you to access them easily.

2. Compose your message

After you've typed the recipient's email address in their carrier's acceptable format, you're ready to compose your message.

The length of your message and attachments (if there are any) determines if you're sending an SMS or an MMS.

Carriers typically have separate gateways for SMS and MMS messages, so you must select the right one depending on your message's content.

SMS messages allow up to 160 characters, while each MMS can take an unlimited number of characters and hold multimedia attachments.

If your SMS exceeds the 160-character limit, most carriers will gracefully split it into several 160-character chunks. The unlimited character count is one reason to choose MMS over SMS.

3. Now, you can send your text.

When you send a text, your recipient will see who sent it from your email address.

If the recipient replies to your text, you'll see their reply as a new message in your inbox.

Note that messages from SMS gateways can land in the Spam folder, so ensure you check there if you haven't received a response.

“Text to Email” or “Email to Text”: Which Should You Use?

When your business considers the best way to send an email, both methods in this article are handy when you need a quick solution. They work well for personal uses but are hard to scale or automate.

"Email to text" is excellent for reaching large groups such as your workforce in an emergency. But, you may not have the luxury of time to collect their email addresses, phone numbers, and SMS gateways.

Modern businesses use robust APIs to create a two-way email to SMS solution.