There may be some messages that are emailed to you where you'd like to get alerted on your phone via a text message. For example, you might have an advisory subscription and you want to be specially notified when that type of message comes through.
The solution is to identify which emails you want to be alerted to, and then have those emails somehow create a notification on your phone. The exact approach to this depends on the capabilities of both your email provider and your phone.
It depends also on the capabilities of your mail program, e.g., Gmail, or Yahoo mail, or an app on your phone, etc. And there may be several options to choose from.
IMPORTANT: Be aware that some providers charge a per-message fee for texts, so make sure you're aware of the costs associated with getting text messages and that you're ok with whatever charges they have before sending yourself messages.
NOTE: The procedures identified in this message may not reflect changes that Google makes to their GMail website, but it should be close enough to find your way through the process. Let John know if there are some things that need to be updated in the process.
Your phone's email app may offer a solution to alert you
One example is that you can set up your phone to be alerted for not just some, but ALL messages you receive. If that's the case, then you only need to determine how to have your phone app itself alert you. And there could be some phone apps out there that can notify you based on the sender's address so you can be selectively alerted. It's the app on your phone that's identifying when to alert you on specific messages.
Forwarding your email as a text message
If you'd like to forward specific emails as a text to your phone, you may be able to do so. This could provide you with an alert to go check the email, even though texts may not be able to handle all of the message's content. Many text message providers limit texts to the first 160 characters, but hopefully that's enough to let you understand the alert you get as a text.
Let's go through an example of setting this up in Gmail, and then you can identify a similar approach if you're using another mail program. Note that if you have multiple types of messages to be forwarded to your phone as text, you can create a separate rule for each. The process is relatively quick once you see how it works.
This involves two steps:
1) Identify which email(s) you want to send to your phone's text service
2) Forward the email (or send a message) to your phone as a text
In Gmail, we'll use what's called a "Filter" to do both of these. On other mail programs, a filter may be called a rule. It allows you to specify what messages to look for, and then specify what to do with them. Our filter will look for messages that contain specific words in the subject of the message. (Other things you could look for could be messages from a specific address, or with specific words in the body of the message, etc.) But before we create the filter, we need to identify the email address we'll be forwarding our message to.
In order to send this email as a text message, we next need to forward it to the text message address of our phone. You may not yet know your text message email address, but you should be able to identify it. First, find out what company is your carrier. It's typically yourphonenumber@serviceproviderdomain. Look for your carrier in the list below. You can use the one that's shown with your phone number. If it's not present, search the web to find out how your carrier wants texts to be sent to your phone via email.
For Sprint customers, for example, The email address should be the 10-digit number at the domain "messaging.sprintpcs.com." For example, if the number is 123-456-7890, the email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a list of some of the carrier text message address domains:
|Text Message Domain Suffix (preface with your 10-digit email for your phone's text address)
Once you have your complete text email address, give it a try and send a message to yourself. If you email a message to your text email address and you get the text, then you're in business. If not, double-check that you have the 10-digit phone number and the correct suffix, and search the web for help (or contact your carrier). You'll need to make sure you have the right address before continuing.
Now that we have the email address of your phone's texting system, we can create the filter rule. One of the simplest ways to create the filter is to first open a message that you would have wanted to be alerted to. Click the triple dots at the right (as shown in the following image) and select Filter messages like this.
This will bring up a dialog that allows you to specify which messages this filter will recognize, as shown here:
We can then specify a number of different criteria - some of which, like the From address, will already be filled out. If you wanted to be notified about ALL the messages sent from that address, that's all that's needed. In this case, we want to just notify us when 11-Hour trade alerts are sent from that address. Since every 11-Hour alert contains the words 11-Hour Options in the subject, we can use that to filter just those messages. But since there's a date in the typical message, we can't use that in identifying the subject of the original message, because the subject has more than just those three words. Instead, we'll use the Has the words search criteria and just look for some of the words. As you can see in the image, above, 11-Hour Options has been put in that Has the words field, meaning that this filter will apply to any message that has those words in the subject. And since we specified a From address, it will only apply to messages from that address with those words in the subject. Note that this filter will send any message from that address that has 11-Hour Options in it, so if something is sent out with those words, it will trigger this filter. You may want to include other parts of the message, such as [Trade Alert] or something else if you find that you're getting more messages forwarded than you'd like.
You may want to use something more generic, such as Trade Alert, to trigger your messages, but you might find that you get other messages that use those words in their subject that you don't want to be alerted to. So take a moment to look through the messages you do want to be alerted to and see if you can identify what trigger words work best. You may find one rule can cover multiple alert types. Also, if the wording in an alert message changes, you may need to update your filter rule(s) to match it - so don't forget to keep an eye on the inbox if you think you might be missing a message when it doesn't arrive at the expected time. You can then review your rules if you find it didn't trigger the forwarding.
Now that we have identified which messages are to be handled by this filter rule, we can left-click the Create filter text button so we can specify part 2: what to do with the message. You'll see the following window appear:
If you haven't identified any forwarding addresses in your account, you'll notice that the Forward option is not selectable. And if there are forwarding addresses present, but not your phone's text message email, address then you'll want to add that as a new forwarding address.
We need the text address for our phone, which was described in an earlier step. If you don't have that yet, go back and get it (see above).
Click on Add forwarding address, and you'll see the next screen appear.
Click on Add a forwarding address on this screen, and in the dialog that pops up, enter your phone's text address and click Next
Click Proceed in the popup that appears. A confirmation message will be sent to that email address, which should send a text to your phone.
The text message that Google sends to your phone will include a number within parentheses, probably preceded by a # sign. That's the confirmation number that you'll need to enter to confirm that you have access to that email address. Enter your confirmation number into the designated box and click the VERIFY button.
Now, with your forwarding address verified, you can continue with your filter. If you don't see your partially-completed filter that you were working on, just open up the example message you want to forward and start again, clicking on the create filter from the message's menu, and entering 11-Hour Options in the Has the words box, then Create Filter. This time, you'll see that you can select the Forward option and select the new email address you just entered (it's blurred in the image, below). If you have more than one Forwarding address set up in your GMail account, be sure to select the correct one. Finally, click the Create filter button, and that's it. You should now get a text message on your phone when you receive a message from email@example.com that has the words 11-Hour Options in it.
Rather than waiting until you get the next 11-Hour Options alert, test out the rule yourself. Send yourself an email with the filter's trigger words in the subject, and verify that you get the text message once the email arrives. If it doesn't come through, review the steps to confirm that you've got everything set up correctly.
Using Other Email Systems
That completes the process for GMail. If you have another mail program, such as Yahoo mail, or Outlook, or something similar, you can use the steps above to create a similar filter using the tools that system provides. You can usually search the web to find step-by-step instructions for each type of mail program that shows how to create a filter (they're typically called "Rules"). You'll use a similar process that was described for Gmail, where you'll search for specific words that appear in a typical message and then forward those messages to your phone's text message address. As before, make sure you test it out by sending yourself a message with the trigger words in the subject and verify it's working so you're ready for the next alert that comes through.