Forwarding inbound text messages to email

Text messaging works in both directions - you can send an SMS to someone's phone or they can send a message to you.  That applies to the TextPower system, too.  When you send out an alert or important notification to a large group of mobile numbers - or even to an individual - you might want to be able to see the reply that they send back.  This reply, or any message sent from a phone into the TextPower system, is referred to as a "mobile originated" or "MO" message.

Our customers wanted a simple method of seeing these MOs so we've created one.  Now we can forward any message that comes into our system to one or more email addresses that you specify.  If you send out a blast message saying "Our office is closed on Monday due to the holiday" and someone replies back, "I've got an emergency - my power is out… who can I call?" that message can now be immediately forwarded to an email address - or multiple addresses - of your choosing.  

Why should we do this? What's the advantage of forwarding inbound text messages to an email address?

Many customers have asked us why they should do this.  It’s simple… if you want to provide excellent customer service to your end users this will help.  Here’s why:

Mobile-originated (MO) messages fit into two different categories: 

  1. Structured messages.  These contain a keyword, action word or command word and will generate an automated response.  For a description of the type of response and to learn more about the differences between these various message types see our FAQ:  
  2. Unstructured messages.  These messages do not generate an automated response.  These messages should be read and, if necessary, acted on through human intervention.  A message such as “the lights still are not on at my house” or “I can’t report for jury duty tomorrow” will be received by the TextPower system and stored for action by the account holder.  They can be accessed on the customer portal or via TextPower’s APIs.  However, this may not be convenient for customer support personnel who may be assigned to responding to these matters.  
The simple solution developed by TextPower is to convert those text messages to an email and forward them to any address of your choice.  Although you cannot respond via email and have it converted back to a text to the end user (yet - we are working on this!) you may still want to be aware of these messages.  Forwarding them via email is a simple, effective and rapid mechanism that allows you to help your end users.  They text to you, we receive it and convert it to an email and you receive it as a standard email in any email application (Outlook, Gmail, etc.)

How can we set this up?

This is done very easily on a special page in the TextPower customer portal - just login with your credentials and choose the correct campaign (usually the one that does not say "-AlertDispatcher").  Then go to the Campaigns>Email Notifications menu item.  There you will see this screen:


You can set the email forwarding of MOs by the type of message sent (called a "condition") depending on whether you are using a shared short code or a toll-free number (TFN):

  • Checking "Optin Changes" in the "Setup Email Notifications for Known Cell Numbers" will forward MOs to the email specified address (multiple addresses can be entered if separated by a comma) whenever a number opts-in or opts-out of your service.
  • Checking "All Known MOs" in the "Setup Email Notifications for Known Cell Numbers" will forward every MO which can be identified as one destined for your service, regardless of content, to a specified email address.  

All forwarded emails, regardless of whether you use a short code or a TFN, contain:

  1. The cell phone number that sent the message.
  2. A time stamp.
  3. The full content of the text message sent.  

This is a great feature of the TextPower system. It provides an easy, simple way to know what your customers are saying in text messages without having to check any apps or web pages.  Their messages come right to your email InBox and you can distribute them by just forwarding the emails.   

if you have any questions about this "message forwarding" function just email us at or call 888.818.1808 x2.  (Of course, you can text your message to our toll-free number: 888.818.1808)