If you need to distribute urgent business communications or marketing campaigns while you’re on the go, logging into a marketing platform or messaging app isn’t always practical. However, we’re willing to bet you probably have access to email no matter where you are. Email to text allows you to turn emails into rapid-fire, easily digestible SMS messages that can be read quickly by your customers, clients or subscribers.
We’ll explain how to use email to text, why it’s beneficial for your business and some important considerations to keep in mind if you’re using this mode of communication.
SMS marketing: Making the switch
SMS, or short message service, is the fastest way to get a customer’s attention. These bite-sized, text-based messages are nearly guaranteed to be opened and read by recipients, and when they require a response, most people write back in 90 seconds or less. Though email is equally ubiquitous, the interaction rate for SMS or MMS messages is many times higher.
Making the switch to SMS is beneficial for:
Because a text can be read in a matter of seconds (and most customers can’t ignore that irresistible little ping!) SMS is ideal for when you need their attention, like sending messaging about flash sales or time-sensitive communications.
For messages where a response is required, like confirming an appointment or gathering a missing piece of information for an order, SMS is a great choice. Customers can respond with a few taps of their fingertips, or better yet, by clicking a single link.
SMS messages are a useful touchpoint when they’re part of a broader marketing campaign that requires multiple communications. If there’s a big software update coming up, for example, you might send an initial text to give customers an early heads up, then follow up with a series of emails and in-app messages with further details.
Making a personal connection
When you send a text to a customer, your brand is right there alongside the recipient’s friends and family members in their inbox. It’s a personal place to be. You can further deepen the relationship by sending personalized messaging, which customers appreciate.
Mobile devices were responsible for a whopping 68% of all web traffic in the world in 2020, a number that only continues to grow. With SMS marketing, desktop computers don’t even factor into the equation. You have the benefit of being 100% mobile-friendly, which is how most customers prefer to communicate.
Switching from email to text
The benefits of SMS for business are clear, but where does email come into play? Email to text is a simple yet powerful system for turning business-related emails into consumer-friendly SMS messages.
How does email to text work, technically speaking?
Email to text works via a simple API. An API, or application programming interface, allows two distinct applications to communicate with one another. In this case, those two applications are your email provider and a text messaging app.
Using an API, emails from a brand are converted into SMS messages that are compatible with the user’s text messaging interface. The messages can be sent out en masse, to individuals, or to certain groups based on the sender’s segmenting criteria. As you can see, this makes it incredibly easy to turn an email campaign into a text=based one.
Email to text is a relatively simple process, but it can’t accommodate all types of emails. Emails with special formatting, heavy images, forms and other more complex features don’t translate well to text. So, you’ll need to be mindful of the content of your message when using email to text conversion.
How to use email to text, logistically
You don’t rely on a single form of communication to talk to the people you know in real life. Instead, you use the phone when it’s convenient, text messaging when you’re on the go, email when you need to send attachments, and so on. You use the medium that best fits the message and the needs of your intended recipient.
Your business communications should be no different. You shouldn’t just send email to text messages; instead, use email to text as one component of an omnichannel communications strategy.
As its name suggests, an omnichannel strategy includes many different communication channels, like voice, email, text, and chat. But that’s not the only defining feature. In a true omnichannel approach, all channels are integrated, meaning the conversation can flow seamlessly from one messaging medium to another. A conversation that begins over text can transition to email with no loss of context, and likewise for any of the other available platforms.
Email and SMS work incredibly well together and are most powerful when their capabilities are combined with those of other channels, each playing off one another so that the whole is greater than the individual parts.
Important SMS marketing considerations
As we mentioned earlier, email to text isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all messaging needs. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when using this type of message.
Mind your message length
SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. Your constraints may vary based on your contact center platform and the recipient’s phone provider, but in general, short is best. Keep messages brief and light on multimedia content to avoid them getting truncated.
Include a direct call to action
SMS messages are best for getting the recipient to take action, like booking a call, clicking a link, or claiming a discount. Sending an email to text without a call to action is a missed opportunity to generate engagement and increase conversions. Make sure every campaign makes it abundantly clear what action you want the recipient to take and that it’s easy for them to do so.
Personalize the message
One of the biggest advantages to SMS messages is that they can be highly personalized. Drawing upon data from your CRM, customize your message based on the recipient’s purchasing history, relationship length, VIP status, and past campaign activity. This not only increases ROI but leads to greater customer satisfaction, as well.
Customers share their email addresses more readily than their phone numbers. So, you’ll need to make it worth their while to receive texts from your brand. Offer an incentive like an exclusive discount or free gift for opting in and entrusting you with their phone number.
The regulations on marketing text messages are stricter than those on email. To stay on the right side of the law when sending SMS messages, you need to get customers’ express written permission to contact them over text. To maintain compliance and reduce your risk of unwanted legal action, it’s imperative to extend this same level of consent to your email to text communications.
Frequently asked questions
How do you send an email as a text message?
A simple API can convert a standard email into a mobile-friendly text message. The recipient will receive the message from a ten-digit number that looks like a normal phone number.
Can I send a text from Gmail?
You can send a text from Gmail if you know the recipient’s cell phone number and SMS gateway. The SMS gateway is a web address that’s distinct to each mobile carrier. For example, T-Mobile’s SMS gateway is tmomail.net. So, to send a text from Gmail to a recipient with the phone number (987) 654-3210, you’d enter email@example.com into the recipient line in your Gmail message. Additionally, there are various third-party platforms that allow you to send a text from email.
How do I send an email as a text to an iPhone?
You must know the iPhone recipient’s phone number and mobile carrier. Then, you’ll need to look up the carrier’s SMS gateway. The SMS gateway is a web address that looks like this: txt.att.net (this is AT&T’s SMS gateway). To text an iPhone user who’s an AT&T customer, you would direct your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.