Set Up Outlook to Send Messages as Texts

Businesswoman using cell phone in library
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If you're going to use Outlook to text message certain emails to your cell phone, it needs to be left on, and any previewing of messages by anti-spam software should be off for this purpose. In other words, anything that interrupts the receipt of the message and the application of the rule would stop the process. Most anti-spam software doesn't interfere with this, and some lets you set it to ignore emails that have certain characteristics.

The steps to set Outlook to check messages automatically are below.

1. Click on the Tools tab at the top.

2. Select Options.

3. Click on the Mail Setup tab.

4. Click on the Send/Receive tab.

5. Click the box next to "Schedule an automatic send/receive every..." box and set the minutes you want.

6. Click on Close and OK and you're finished.

Why Send Emails as Text Messages?

Why would you want to have emails go out to people as text messages rather than just forwarded as email? First, even though the time estimates vary, surveys have shown that people read their text messages much sooner than they do their emails. If a message is time sensitive, it is clear that a text will get read much sooner.

While just about everyone uses SMS text messaging, many do not check their email on their phones.  Some consider it an office or desk activity. They just do not see an email as time sensitive as a text message.

A text message can also easily be forwarded, so if a husband and wife need to know about a closing time change, they can text it back and forth.

In today's world, texting has taken the place of voice calls in the younger generations, so using it in business going forward is a good idea.

Setting a Rule in Outlook to Forward Messages as Texts

Now you need to decide which emails are important enough to have them sent automatically to your cell phone as text messages.

Since Outlook is automatically checking email you need to tell it which ones to process with an Outlook Rule.

You might want to just have the emails of a certain client or clients forwarded, or one idea would be to tell clients to enter something like "Text Jim" in the subject to get the email to you quickly. Another way, if you have the capability, is to have another special email address set up like "client@yourdomain.com" or "urgent@yourdomain.com". This way you can have all emails to this address only sent to your phone.

Steps to set this up are below.

  1. We're setting up a rule to send messages from a certain person to the cell phone, so go to one of their emails and right-click on it. Select the Create Rule option.
  2. Note that the first screen already has the box checked to process this rule for this person's emails that you've received. Click on Next.
  3. The next box is where you select the option "forward it to people or distribution list". Click that box and then at the bottom click on the link "people or distribution list".
  4. Enter the text message address of your phone in the To: box at the bottom, as in 5555551212@vtext.com. Click Next, click Next again to skip the next step.
  5. Name your rule, make sure the "Turn on Rule" box is checked and click on Finished.