Send and receive SMS by email with our email to SMS platform
What is the SMS to email service and how does it work?
The email to SMS gateway allows you to use email to send and receive texts.
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 arrives in your email inbox.
3 simple steps to set up the email to SMS service
1. Set up a free SMS to email account (If you’re a UK company, your account comes with 50 free text credits for testing.)
2. Contact The SMS Works to authorise the domains from which you’ll be sending you email to SMS. (email [email protected])
3. Purchase some SMS credits (minimum order £10 + VAT, 2.9 pence per SMS credit.)
See below for details on how to format your emails.
What is the format of the emails for sending an email to SMS?
Sending a text 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 email address is as follows.
The first part of the email address, ‘07900123456’ is the mobile number to which you want your text to be sent.
The second part, ‘senderID’ is the sender ID or who the message is from. (More details on this below.)
If you want to send the message to more than one recipient, simply add more email addresses, separated by commas. (We set no maximum number of email addresses in each email but you may need to check if a maximum is imposed by your email service provider.)
How to 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 will be used as the sender ID.)
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 messages of up to 1280 characters in length.
Longer 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 message ends and prevents the sending of email signatures or anything else that appears at the end of your emails.
Please see a sample email to SMS below
In order to authorise your email to SMS texts, we use 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 authorise your domains, simple contact us and we’ll add the domains to your account.
Accounts wishing to send email to SMS must also have the service enabled on their account. (Contact us to enable this.)
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 replies to your email to SMS campaigns, you need to first have an active virtual mobile number on your account.
The reply number allows you to receive replies which are then routed back to you by email.
Virtual mobile numbers are quick and easy to set up and cost £8.50 + VAT per month. (A free 7 day trial is also available.)
To receive replies, 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.
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 344 text credits.
Credits can be purchased by card or bank transfer
SMS credits do not expire
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 is a popular way for organisations to send and receive texts.
- Quick and easy to set up
- Unlimited users
- Users don’t need any IT skills, so no training required
- Allows two-way messaging with text replies being received by email
- No software to download, works with any email client
Are there any disadvantages with email 2 SMS?
Sending SMS by email does have a few things to be aware of.
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.
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 on your account and you'll be all set.
We'll be here to offer quick and helpful support if you need us.