Send text message through email for free!

January 16, 2012 by Karl

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It is now possible to send your friends and family a text message through email instead of through your phone.  If you are an old school email hugger like myself, this is welcome news. I am now using it to automatically send a text to my cell phone (tracfone) when someone leaves a voicemail message on my business phone (separate from my cell service).

My wife and I have been refusing to pay the monthly fees for smart phones, and texting through the standard keypad is not my cup of tea.  There is another way!  If you know the carrier of the cell phone you want to text your message to, it’s just a matter of putting the phone number in front of the “back door” or gateway email to text address of the carrier.  The receiver can even respond by text and you will receive it as an email. Please keep in mind that SMS text messages are only 160 characters in length. Each cell phone carrier will respond in different ways if the message is longer. Mine creates multiple text messages.

This all came about because I was searching for a way to be alerted on my cellphone when I received a new voicemail message through my business line (which I now have with voip.ms).  Voip.ms allows you to set up your voicemail account to send an email with the voicemail message attached.   This was a welcome improvement to the old answering machine sitting on the desk in the office, but how do I alert myself to a new message when I am on the road?  Well, email to text messaging was the answer.  I set up my Thunderbird email application on my business computer to filter incoming emails.  The filter option I selected looked at the subject line of the incoming email.  If it included “voicemail” in the subject line, it would forward the email to my cellphone email to text address.  I needed to shorten the header file that is sent with attachments (view: headers/normal) in order to shorten the size of the email.  It works like a charm!  Someone calls my business line and leaves a message.  A minute or two later I receive a text message on my phone with the name and phone number of the person who left the voicemail message.  I can choose to call my voicemail service to listen to the message, or I can just call the person back.  Back at the office, My email in Thunderbird will have the actual voicemail message attached, which I can listen to through my computer.

Here is how you send an email to text message (carrier dependent).  Find out who the carrier is of the cell phone you want to send the text to.  Look it up in the list below.  Copy the email address for that carrier and change the part in square brackets to the 10 digit number of the phone you wish to text.  Example for Alltell is 1234567890@message.alltel.com (where 1234567890 is the number of the person you are trying to text).  If the carrier has more than one, you will need to try them all until you find one that works.  For Tracfone scroll down for more instructions. :

Alltel
[10-digit phone number]@message.alltel.com

AT&T (formerly Cingular)
[10-digit phone number]@txt.att.net
[10-digit phone number]@mms.att.net (MMS)
[10-digit phone number]@cingularme.com

Boost
[10-digit phone number]@myboostmobile.com

Nextel (now Sprint Nextel)
[10-digit telephone number]@messaging.nextel.com

Sprint PCS (now Sprint Nextel)
[10-digit phone number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
[10-digit phone number]@pm.sprint.com (MMS)

T-Mobile
[10-digit phone number]@tmomail.net

US Cellular
[10-digit phone number]email.uscc.net (SMS)
[10-digit phone number]@mms.uscc.net (MMS)

Verizon
[10-digit phone number]@vtext.com
[10-digit phone number]@vzwpix.com (MMS)

Virgin Mobile USA
[10-digit phone number]@vmobl.com

Tracfone
If you have a tracfone like I do, you need to email to each of the following in order to figure out which one tracfone is using for your phone service. Tracfone uses multiple carriers throughout the country depending on where you are living:


[10-digit phone number]@txt.att.net
[10-digit phone number]@vmobl.com
[10-digit phone number]@mmode.com
[10-digit phone number]@tmomail.net
[10-digit phone number]@myboostmobile.com
[10-digit phone number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
[10-digit phone number]@messaging.nextel.com
[10-digit phone number]@mymetropcs.com
[10-digit phone number]@cingularme.com
[10-digit phone number]@message.alltel.com
[10-digit phone number]@questmp.com



4 Comments »

  1. John bazinet says:

    Tried all TracFone addresses. None worked for me. I get my TracFone service via the gov.free phone service of safelink. Does safelink have their own backdoor e-mail address? Do you know what it is? I tried @safelinkwieless.com and that didn’t work either.

    • Karl says:

      John,

      I’m not sure. So far you are the first to tell me this hasn’t worked. All I can offer is to try contacting safelink to see if they have an email back door. If you find anything please share it with us so we can all learn from your experience!!

      As an alternative, you can set up a google voice account and text your phone through google voice.

      Karl

  2. Paul says:

    Hey Karl, checking to see if you ever got anything from Safelink. I was trying to setup a broadcast for employees and all Safelink would tell me was that the only phone they allowed email on were Android phones. I went around in circles with her about 10 times before I finally hung up.

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