How to Send & Receive Text Messages in Outlook
Outlook is more than just sending messages to email addresses. You can even send text messages on phone numbers directly from Outlook to anyone and get replies back to your email address or phone number. Besides that, Outlook also facilitates you to get text messages whenever you receive important emails. In this blog, we are going to discuss all these cool features of Outlook with step-by-step instructions.
Send Text Messages in Outlook
It is actually very simple to send text messages in Outlook. From Outlook, click "New Email" from the top menu bar. Under the "To" section, you have to enter the phone number instead of an email. After the phone number, you have to enter the carrier gateway domain, such as @vtext.com, @message.ting.com, @tmomail.net, etc.
Now which gateway domain you should use depends on that phone number carrier. For example, if the carrier is T-Mobile, then you will use the @tmomail.net gateway domain. In addition, you will find two different types of gateway domain for most of the carriers, i.e., SMS gateway domain (text-based with 160 characters limit) and MMS gateway domain (longer text with the support of multimedia). So, if the receiving person has a data plan, then it's recommended that you use an MMS gateway domain.
Once you know the gateway domain, simply paste it next to the number. Afterward, write the subject, message, and hit the "Send" button. This way, either an SMS or MMS is sent to that number via Outlook.
Receive Text Messages in Outlook
Once the person receives a text message from you, he/she can simply reply to it and you will receive the reply back in Outlook just like you receive an email reply. This way, you can now have back and forth messaging in Outlook.
Trick to get Carrier and Domain Gateway
Since you cannot send someone a text message via Outlook without knowing the carrier, you can ask the person to send a text message from his/her phone to your email address. Once you receive the message in Outlook inbox, not only you will get the information about the carrier but also get the domain gateway details.
Until now, we have discussed how you can send text messages in Outlook by entering the phone number, but manually entering the phone number every time seems outdated. Luckily, Outlook allows you to create individual contact to make this process much easier. Follow the below steps to create contacts in Outlook:
- Click the "Contacts" icon from the bottom left corner.
- Click "New Contact" from the top left corner.
- Enter the name in the "Full Name" section and then the phone number with the carrier gateway domain in the "Email" section. Once done, click "Save & Close".
This way, when you are writing a new message in Outlook, you just have to enter the name in the "To" section and Outlook will automatically suggest the saved number.
Create Group Contacts
Instead of just creating individual contacts, you can also create group contacts. It is useful if you want to send the same text to several people. Follow the below steps to do it:
- Click the "Contacts" icon from the bottom left corner.
- Click "New Contact Group" from the top left corner.
- Click "Add Members" from the top menu bar and then click "New E-mail Contact".
- In the pop-up window, enter the member's name in the "Display name" section and the phone number with the carrier gateway domain in the "E-mail address" section. Once done, click "OK".
- Keep doing steps 3 and 4 until you have added all the members.
- Once all the members are added, give your group a name and then click "Save & Close".
This way, you just have to enter the group name in the "To" section when writing a new message to let Outlook send the message to all the group members.
Modify where Replies are Directed
By default, if someone replies to your text message, it will be sent back to your email address. But you can direct such replies to go to your phone number. Follow the below steps to do it:
- Go to the "Options" tab and then click "Direct Replies To".
- Under the checkbox "Have replies sent to", remove your email address and enter your phone number with carrier gateway domain. Once done, click "Close".
This way, the replies will now be directed to your phone number.
Receive Text for Important Messages
Sometimes your boss or any other person sends you an important email that you don't want to skip and reply asap. You can ensure that you never skip such important emails if you also receive a text message about them. Outlook makes it achievable with its "Rule" feature. Follow the below steps to do it:
- Go to any email message of a person whose messages are important to you.
- From the "Home" tabs, click "Rules" and then click "Create Rule".
- Now you have to create a rule that lets you receive a text message whenever that person sends you an email. So, under the "Create Rule" window, tick the "From [person name]" checkbox and click "Advanced Options".
- Click "Next" on the first screen and then tick "forward it to people or public group" on the next screen.
- Under the section "Edit the rule description", click the hyperlink of "people or public group".
- In the pop-up window, enter your phone number with the carrier gateway domain in the "To" section and click "OK". Afterward, click "Finish".
This way, you have created a rule that will send you a text message whenever you will receive emails from that specific person.
Sending or receiving text messages in your email address seems a futuristic thing, but it's actually here. Outlook way of offering text message support can help a lot of us in managing our day-to-day business conversations. The above-listed techniques and methods will surely help you get true benefits from such features.
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