This may not be news for a lot of people, but I just discovered that you can send text messages via email to most major cellular providers. This tip is stellar in that it is part stupid frugal trick (save money on texting from your cell phone by emailing for free), part productivity (you can probably type faster from a normal QWERTY keyboard than a phone), and part tech geek. You get the three-fer on this one! Here’s how to do it.
SMS Vs. MMS
SMS, or Short Message Service is also commonly referred to as a “text message”. With a SMS, you can send a message of up to 160 characters to another device. Longer messages will automatically be split up into multiple texts. Most cell phones support this type of text messaging.
MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service can be used to send longer messages and/or pictures, video, or audio content. It is most commonly used to send a photo taken with a camera phone to another phone. Most new cell phones with multimedia capabilities support MMS.
How to Send a Text Message Via Email (SMS & MMS):
To send a text message via email, you must use a SMS or MMS to email gateway. Just substitute a 10-digit cell number for ‘number’ for each carrier below:
- AT&T: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS), email@example.com (MMS)
- T-Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS & MMS)
- Verizon: email@example.com (SMS), number@vzwpix (MMS)
- Sprint: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS), email@example.com (MMS)
- Virgin Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS), email@example.com (MMS)
- Tracfone: firstname.lastname@example.org (MMS)
- Metro PCS: email@example.com (SMS & MMS)
- Boost Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS), email@example.com (MMS)
- Cricket: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS), email@example.com (MMS)
- Republic Wireless: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS)
- Google Fi (Project Fi): email@example.com (SMS & MMS)
- U.S. Cellular: firstname.lastname@example.org (SMS), email@example.com (MMS)
- Ting: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Consumer Cellular: email@example.com
- C-Spire: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Page Plus: email@example.com
Sending text messages to email is actually a much easier task.
Making the Most of Texting from Email:
To take this to the next level from a productivity standpoint, I’d recommend creating ‘contacts’ within your email account so that you aren’t constantly looking up all of those cell numbers that you don’t have memorized each time you send an email.
How to Add Cell Numbers for Text Messaging in Gmail Contacts:
In the following example, I’m going to add my mother’s cell to my gmail contacts. Let’s say that her phone provider is Verizon and her number is (555)123-4567. You should be able to set up contacts through most email programs (if you can’t, switch to gmail).
1. Click on ‘contacts’:
2. Now, add a new contact (in lower right corner):
3. Put in ‘name’ and the word ‘cell’ to clarify between email and cell contacts in both the Name and Nickname fields:
4. When composing a new text message, simply type in your contact’s name:
Texting through Email Topics
- What text message productivity tips have you found to be useful?
- Have you figured out any other ways to save on text messages?
- Are there any providers I’ve missed?