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email to SMS

Email to SMS

Send and receive SMS by email
with our email to SMS platform


What is the email to SMS service and how does it work?

The email to SMS UK gateway allows you to use email to send and receive SMS messages. Emails are sent in a specific format and arrive on the recipient's phone as a text.

If a reply number has been set up, then the recipient can also reply to the text, which is then converted back to an email and delivered to your email inbox.

How does SMS to email work?

3 simple steps to set up the email to SMS service

Set up a free email to SMS account.

If you're a UK company, your account comes with 50 free text credits for testing.

Contact The SMS Works to authorise the domain or domains from which you'll be sending you email to SMS.

An email domain is the part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol. Send your email to [email protected]

Purchase some SMS credits
The minimum order is £10 + VAT, at 3.14 pence per SMS credit.

What is the format of the emails for sending an email to SMS?

Sending text messages using the email 2 SMS gateway is simple and quick.

All emails need to be in plain text format. HTML emails will be rejected and messages will not be sent.

The format of the address is as follows:

[email protected]

The first part of the email address, '07900122321' is the mobile number to which you want your text to be sent.

The second part, 'senderID' is the sender ID or who the text message is from. 

Format of email to SMS

Formatting email to SMS
International SMS

How do I set the originator or sender ID of a message using email to SMS?

The originator / sender ID is who the message is from. There is a maximum of 11 alphanumeric characters or 15 numeric characters. No spaces are permitted.

The sender ID is specified after the mobile number in the following format.


If no sender ID is specified, an error message will be generated. You'll be sent an email detailing the issue. If you have a reply number set up up in your account, that can be used as the default sender ID, if you ask us to specify it.


Composing the message content using the email to text service

The message content itself goes into the body of the email.

A standard text is160 characters and uses 1 text credit in the UK. You can send text messages of up to 1280 characters in length. Longer text messages use more than 1 text credit.

To indicate where the message content ends, finish your message with the characters ##

This tells us where the text message ends and prevents the sending of email signatures or anything else that appears at the end of your emails.

See a sample email to SMS below

message for email to SMS


How does SMS to email work?
terms and condition for SMS shortcode

How do we manage authorisation to use the service?

In order to authorise your email to SMS texts, we validate the originating domain of the outbound email, e.g exampledomain.co.uk. This prevents unauthorised use of email to SMS on your account.

We can authorise as many different domains as you wish.

For all email to SMS traffic, we check that the originating domain of the email is authorised on your account.

To enable email to SMS and authorise your domains, send an email to [email protected] with the domain(s) your want to authorise and we'll add them to your account as well as enabling your account for email to SMS.

You are unable to use the email to SMS gateway with personal email addresses, e.g gmail, hotmail, etc.


Receiving replies to your email to SMS texts

In order to receive SMS to email, you need to first have an active virtual mobile number on your account.

The SMS reply number allows you to receive replies by SMS, which are then routed back to you by email.

Virtual mobile numbers are quick and easy to set up and cost £13.50 + VAT per month. A free 7 day trial is also available.

To receive inbound SMS to email, you don't need to set the sender ID as your reply number. We'll automatically use the number that's set up in your account (the sender ID is who the message is from).

If you have more than 1 virtual mobile number, contact us to let us know which number you would like to use as your default reply number.

When the recipient replies to a text, the incoming text will be routed back to the email address that sent the outbound email to SMS.

If someone texts your virtual number directly, rather than replying to a text, then their text will be routed to the reply email address that is set in your customer account.

The default reply email address can be set by logging into your account and scrolling down to Reply Numbers. Here you can set the default forwarding email address.

Fast, reliable, robust SMS API
SMS API prices

Email to SMS pricing

There is no set up setup, monthly fee or minimum contract term.

The email to SMS platform operates a simple, pay as you go service.

The minimum order is £10 + VAT, which purchases 334 text credits. 

Credits can be purchased by card or bank transfer, and do not expire.

Send SMS credits are charged in line with the following sliding scale:

No. of SMS Credits

Delivered only price per UK text (Ex VAT)

0 - 10,000


10,001 - 25,000


25,001 - 50,000


50,001 - 100,000


100,001 - 250,000


More details about our pricing and how you can buy text credits can be found on our SMS pricing page.


What are the benefits of an email to text service?

Email to SMS message service is a popular way for organisations to send and receive texts.

  1. It's Quick and easy to set up
  2. You can have unlimited users
  3. Users don’t need any IT skills, so no training required
  4. Allows two-way messaging with text replies being received by email
  5. No software to download
  6. Email to SMS works with any email client

Are there any disadvantages with email 2 SMS?

Sending text messages directly fomr your email does have a few drawbacks.

None of them are major issues but it’s a good idea to be aware of some of the minor drawbacks.

Email can be subject to delay.

This could be a problem if the SMS you are sending are time critical.

More third party data processors.

Sending SMS by email inevitably means that more organisations will be processing your data. This could be an issue if the nature of the texts are sensitive or if you are required to log data processors under GDPR regulations.

More data is stored in different places and could increase security risk.
Email is stored in your email client outbox, so there’s reasonably high exposure of the message sent. This could potentially present a data security risk.

Summary of email to SMS features

Secure texting

Only permit specific email domains and IP addresses to access the email 2 SMS message service.

Remove email signatures

Remove lengthy email signature and disclaimer information by ending your email to SMS with ##.

Send long texts

You're not restricted to the standard 160 character limit. Your can send texts of up to 1280 characters in length

Receive replies to your email in box

Using a virtual reply number you can receive replies to your email in box. You can then reply to those emails to continue the SMS conversation by email.

Send to multiple recipients

Separate your email to SMS addresses by a comma and send to multiple recipients. You are only limited by the maximum your email client permits.

Works on all email clients

The email to text service works with all email clients, so there’s no need to set up a new email system.

No technical skills required

No coding or technical skills are required to send an email. If you can use email then you’ll have no problems with email to SMS.

Email 2 SMS delivery reports

Track your campaigns by checking delivery reports. These are easy to find in the 'delivery report' tab in your account.

What can an email to sms gateway be used for?

Email to SMS can be used in countless ways to communicate with customers or members of staff. Here's a brief summary of the most common email to SMS applications.

  •   Staff and team SMS alerts. Send important and time critical SMS message alerts that need to read and acted upon immediately.
  •   Server and hardware SMS alerts. Send hardware and server failure alerts instantly to members of staff so that they act immediately.
  •   Promotional texts. Get your latest offers into the hands and minds of your customers and prospects within seconds. 98% of all text messaging sent are read within 5 minutes. (Source - Mobilesquared).
  •   SMS booking confirmation. Email to SMS can be used to send reassuring booking confirmations to customers.
  •   SMS delivery notifications. Email 2 sms gateways are a great way of sending delivery notifications for packages or important documents.
  •   SMS appointment reminders. Reduce 'no-shows' by up to 72%, by sending email 2 SMS appointment reminders.

Ready to test our email 2 SMS platform?

If you'd like to test our our email to SMS service, you can be up and running in a few minutes.

Set up a free test account, contact us to authorise email to SMS, and you'll be all set.

We'll be here to offer quick and helpful support if you need us.