User ManualEmail Discussion Group User Guide Mobile First FormattingUsing SMS/MMS Text Messaging with your mailing list

Using SMS/MMS Text Messaging with your mailing list

SMS and MMS are similar but different technologies for sending text messages to phones.

You can add subscriber's phone numbers to your list, and they will receive the emails as text messages.  They can reply to the text message, and it will come back to the mailing list.

We will send the message to their phone carrier via email, using a special domain name given to us by the carrier.  While the email arrives within a few minutes, the time it takes for the carrier to send the text message can vary.  Therefore, this service is not useful nor reliable if you need instant delivery.

Types of Text Messages

  • SMS are short text only messages. A long email can be split up into several text messages.
  • MMS can contain text and graphics.  While mail-list does not send graphics, the size of the text message can be fairly large.

Carrier Domains

Notice how some phone carriers have different domain names for SMS and MMS messages.

Carrier SMS Domain MMS Domain
Bell Mobility

Boost Mobile
Sprint / Nextel
U.S. Cellular


If your carrier's domain name is not listed, please see for a current listing.

How We Handle Messages

To conserve space, Headers, Trailers, and Physical Address will be automatically removed from outgoing messages.

Since the Click to Unsubscribe link is not included in text messages, we send a simple text email twice a month to all SMS subscribers. This text message asks your subscriber to reply if they want to unsubscribe.  

Text Message & Phone Limitations

Since SMS and MMS have size limitations, we truncate long messages sent to phone numbers.

SMS text messages are for older cellphones. They will typically only receive the first 140 characters of the email message.

MMS will work on smartphones (iPhone and Android). They can typically receive up to 3,000 characters of the email message.


How to Use Text Messaging with Your List

Turn on Mobile First Formatting

Log into your mail-list account at

  • Click Customize Your List.
  • Click Mobile First formatting.
  • Select Format All Email For Small Screens.
  • Click Yes.
  • Click Save.

Allow Phone Numbers

In the Customize Your List Menu, click Allow Phone Number on Your Email List.

  • Click Yes.
  • Click Save.

How to Add Phone Numbers to Your List

You will need to add your subscriber's phone number as well as their carrier's domain for the type of message being sent.

Examples phone number formats shown below:           Basic phone getting short SMS messages (carrier: Verizon)       Smartphone getting longer MMS messages (carrier: Verizon)

Do not include parenthesis or dashes in the telephone number; only use digits.