Email SMS is not a new concept. Its been possible for years and yet, recently, I’ve found there is still some confusion about how to get it done. My hope is that this article will help those who have not yet ventured into the Email SMS world, or who are trying, but can’t quite make it work.
Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices – Wikipedia
Email SMS – What is it?
In short, Email SMS is a simple process where a text message (SMS) is sent to a cell phone, by email.
Email SMS – Why is it important?
Messaging has become a very popular means of communication and many companies know this. Bigger companies have even created messaging services, to compete with SMS. However, SMS (or text) messaging is still the most basic, easiest to use, messaging system, for cell phones.
Email SMS can be used for:
Marketing – Companies are allowed to send marketing materials to cellular subscribers. While this type of marketing may be legal, I’m not a fan and there are laws about how this is done, what is allowed, and options for opting out. Regardless, I find SMS Marketing to be a huge annoyance.
Reminders – Many services have the ability to send out reminders and/or confirm appointments. Having a reminder or confirmation, sent to the cell phone, I always have with me, is a huge convenience, as far as I’m concerned.
Updates/Alerts – This is the most important reason for me. If I’m running a business, where some equipment or service is crucial to daily operations, I want to know, immediately, when there is an issue, requiring my attention (I.E. A website is down. A server is down. A priority service ticket has been generated. There is an emergency.). I may not be able to check email from my phone, but just about any cell phone, available these days, allows text messaging (SMS).
Email SMS – How to do it.
If cellnumber = your 10 digit cellular telephone number, compose a short message, in your favorite email program and in the “TO:” field, use the email format below:
- Alltel: email@example.com
- AT&T: firstname.lastname@example.org
- AT&T MMS: email@example.com
- Boost Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Centennia: email@example.com
- Centennial MMS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cricket: email@example.com
- Cricket MMS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I-Wireless (Kroger): email@example.com
- Metro PCS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mobi: Itsz (Hawaii): email@example.com
- nTelos: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Powertel: email@example.com
- Qwest: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rogers (Canada): email@example.com
- Sprint: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sprint (HTC Mogul): email@example.com
- SunCom: firstname.lastname@example.org
- T-Mobile: email@example.com
- US Cellular: firstname.lastname@example.org
- US Cellular MMS: email@example.com
- Verizon: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Verizon MMS: email@example.com
- Virgin Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org
An easy way to determine what email address to use, for Email SMS, is to do the opposite. Send a text message (SMS), from your phone, to your email address. Simply put your email address in the “TO:” field, of your phone’s SMS application.
I have tried this for several cellular providers and it has always worked for me.
Word of Caution
When one communications technology talks to another, there are always some restrictions. Keep in mind a text message needs to be short (less than 160 total characters). Another thing to remember is many cellular subscribers still have to pay for Text Messaging (SMS), so use this technology sparingly. Finally, I do not condone SMS marketing or SMS spam. I firmly believe I should treat others as I want to be treated. So, if you don’t want your cell phone spammed with SMS marketing, don’t spam others with SMS marketing.
Quick Thank You…
I’ve been taking advantage of Email SMS technology for quite a while, but I didn’t have a complete list, including every cellular provider. I was able to strengthen my list, thanks to the articles and comments found here:
- SMS through E-Mail: Cingular, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin Mobile
- SMS through E-Mail: US Cellular, SunCom, Powertel, ATT, Metro PCS and Alltel
Thank you David Kirk and Tech Recipes.