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How to Build a Text Message Notification System in 5 minutes for Free

Free Text Message Notification System

Picture this: it's the early 2000s and the local grocery store I was working at just scored an amazing deal on produce. We're talking 10 pounds of juicy, sweet oranges for just one dollar! The catch? The fruit is super ripe and needs to be sold quickly. That's where I come in. I built a text message notification system for the store so that customers could be alerted to these unbeatable deals in real-time.

10 pounds of oranges
Who doesn't want 10 lbs for a dollar?

Now, you might be wondering why I chose text messaging over email. Well, let's face it, emails can be slow and often go unopened or ignored. But text messages? Those are attention-grabbers. And when it comes to snagging the best deals, time is of the essence.

Text message reads "Oranges are now 10 lbs for $1. Get 'em before they're all gone. - The Corner Grocer Albany
Example text message received

There are plenty of text messaging services you can pay for these days, but they are anything but free.

So, I'll let you in on a little secret: you can create your own text message notification system for free. All you need is the phone number and wireless carrier of each person and you’ll use email to send the text messages in bulk. All you need to know if the formatting.

The email address is the phone number @ the specific wireless carrier’s domain. For example if my phone number is 555-123-4567 and I am using T-Mobile, then the email address to send me a text would be (ignore that last period)

Gmail client showing correct way to format an email to send a text
How to format an email to send a text

Simply enter each phone and domain as a separate email address, then send your message. Boom! You now have a free text message notification service.

Here are the domains to use for each carrier: (full list obtained from DigitalTrends)


SMS Domain


Boost Mobile

Cricket Wireless

Google Prjoect FI

Republic Wireless


Straight Talk




Depends on underlying carrier (can try

US Cellular


Virgin Mobile

Bell Mobility






Virgin Mobile


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