Friday, August 07, 2009

How To Setup Gmail SMS Alerts For Urgent Emails for Free

Not so long ago we looked at how to send emails to cell phone as SMS for free. Lots of people found the article quite useful. Today I wanted to extend it a bit further and show you how you can use the info from the previous post to setup SMS alerts for important emails that land in your Gmail account.
Gmail SMS
The whole thing is fairly simple. I am pretty sure some of you have been using it already.
First you need to get free email to SMS gateway for your mobile carrier. If you didn’t get it last time you can easily do so now. The page lists email-to-sms gateways for 10 major US carrier and lots of international ones.
Once you have the email for your mobile number (say, simply login to your Gmail account and go straight to Settings -> Filters tab. Now, there are two ways to use this.

1- Get SMS Alerts for Emails from Specific Addresses

The first way is to setup SMS alerts for emails coming from certain people or places that you consider important. These can be emails from your employer, bank, hosting provider, site uptime tracker etc.
Create new filter and enter the email address for which you want to receive SMS alert.
Gmail SMS alert setup
In the next step, setup a Forward rule to your free email-to-sms number.
Gmail SMS alert
Click on “Create Filter” and you’re done. Next time you receive email from that address you’ll also get SMS message with about first 150 characters of the email. As simple as that.

2- Get SMS For Urgent Emails If You’re Away

Say you’re on holiday and don’t want to be bugged with regular work related emails. However at the same time you want to make sure that when it’s something really urgent people can reach you.
Here is what you can do. First create an auto-responder message (see in Setting -> General) that looks something like the one below.
Gmail SMS alert
Then go to ‘Filters’ tab and setup a forward filter for it. As you can see, in the above auto-responder message I provided sender with option to reach me by simply emailing me again using “urgent” in the subject line.
gmail sms notification
As soon as email hits my inbox I get texted to my mobile.
Are you using anything similar to that right now? Share with us in comments.

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