You’re aware of email and text message as popular forms of communication and two of the best for business and marketing. But did you know you can send emails as texts too?
You might wonder what the difference is. Both email and text messaging have their advantages and where one lacks the other serves as a perfect alternative. However, SMS email addresses do exist and you can collect them very easily.
Keep reading to find out what SMS emails are, when to use them, and how to get them.
What is an SMS Email Address?
SMS stands for short message service. SMS is also known as text message. However, emails can be sent as SMS as well.
An SMS email address is an address used to send text messages in lieu of a phone number. The format of an SMS email address is the user’s mobile number and the carrier. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each carrier has its own domain, so if you need to compile a list of SMS email addresses, you can find complete lists online. However, in order to use the correct domain, you need to know the carrier of the mobile phone number. Below, we cover why you might need to use an SMS email address.
Differences between Email and SMS Text Messages
Before listing potential uses for SMS email messages, let’s consider what differentiates email from SMS text messages.
Emails are used to send potentially lengthy messages that are sometimes intended to be kept for future reference. They can include images and attachments. Therefore, they are more customizable and are great for marketing.
Text messages can be great for marketing as well. Where text messages have the upper hand on email is that they have a higher open rate. Text messages are limited to 160 characters, but because of this they are easier to consume and therefore more user friendly.
So, what happens when you pair the two? SMS email can be an effective way to communicate with your users.
Benefits of SMS Email
Email is one of the best marketing channels due to its availability, speed, and ease. Almost everyone has email, mass messaging can be done in seconds, and the popularity of mobile devices has made checking email more convenient than ever.
Text messaging shares these benefits; and enhances them. Text messages are even quicker and easier to access. So why not “text” your emails? Essentially, that’s SMS email.
SMS delivery increases the chance of your message being received and read. Not only is a text message front and center on users’ phones, but it’s less likely to get lost in an inbox full of messages that get ignored or missed completely if not checked every day. Additionally, users do not need to be connected to the internet to receive a text message.
Remember, SMS text messages are short. Shorter than emails. So if you’ve got, say, an email newsletter or a lot of information to communicate, use an SMS email to summarize or send a link to those important emails. It’s a great way to send reminders and updates.
Quick, concise, easily consumable messages can back up important emails. Sending your message to more than one place increases the chance of it being received, opened, and read.
Why Use SMS Email over Text Message?
First, it’s quicker and easier to send mass messages via email than text message. Typically, email messaging software can accommodate larger quantities of data than text message software. It’s designed for batch sending.
Second, you could send a regular email and a regular text message, but sending mass texts via the internet saves time and money.
Third, sending SMS email protects your privacy. When you send an SMS text, recipients see your email server instead of your phone number.
Fourth, you don’t need a cell phone to send SMS emails; you can send from your computer. We’ll tell you how.
How SMS Email Works
Each carrier has an SMS gateway. This is why you need a specific SMS email address for each recipient rather than just typing the phone number into the “To” field of your email.
Since each carrier has its own messaging protocol, you must send using the SMS email address to serve as a gateway between your server and the receiving carrier protocol.
Rather than bogging down your messaging application by attempting to support every single proprietary protocol out there, the gateway simplifies things. Delivery is seamless since SMS email addresses identify the carriers, or routes, via which messages need to be sent.
How to Use SMS Email
Get SMS Email Addresses
Before you can send SMS emails, you’ll first need phone numbers. Using phone numbers you already have and/or those you plan to collect, you can identify the phone carrier or each of those numbers using a phone number validator.
This tool not only identifies the carrier you can use to develop SMS email addresses but also whether or not the number is active. Don’t waste time and money sending messages to inactive numbers. Messages won’t be delivered to inactive numbers no matter the channel.
Procuring phone numbers is not alone grounds to send messages through that channel. You’re going to have to receive consent from users to communicate via SMS. Without it, you could face fines for TCPA violations.
You already know that to be added to a subscription list or to receive regular emails, users have to opt-in to receive those communications and be provided with the opportunity to opt-out should they change their minds.
SMS requires separate consent. Just because a user opts in to email communication does not necessarily mean you are free to send SMS emails. You can add this opt-in choice to any number of places. But possibly the best place is during the email opt-in process.
For example, to opt-in to receive communication via email, users often must provide their email address on a form. Phone number could be another field on that form, and a check box can easily be added there. Double opt-in applies as well.
When the form is submitted, for example, the user receives an email right away requesting confirmation. This not only confirms that the email address is valid but also provides the user another opportunity to opt-in to email communication. Future emails should contain a link to unsubscribe.
Similarly, when a user opts-in to SMS text message delivery, he or she may receive another confirmation message with instructions to, say, “Reply YES to enroll” and “STOP to unenroll.” In both cases, users clearly provide consent to receive messages and have the option to back out at any time.
When to Use SMS Email Addresses and How to Get Them
To summarize, SMS emails can be sent to consumer phones from a computer. You can send messages in bulk and protect your phone number by sending from an email server instead.
By pairing email and text message, you increase the chance of your message being received, opened, and read. Use Searchbug’s phone validator to identify the carrier of the numbers in your list to append SMS email addresses to them.
Then, experience the speed and ease of SMS delivery. Save yourself time and money by only messaging valid numbers and avoiding SMS text message fees. Take two of the best channels of communication and marketing and combine them to enhance your campaigns today!