How to Text from Landline in 2024: Setup Steps & Best Practices

December 5, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
Cartoon representation of someone sending a text message to a landline phone and the text message ending up on a computer screen

Texting is in. And landlines are out.

Want proof? By one report, 73% of American adults live in households without a landline phone. Contrast that to the year 2004, in which over 90% of adults lived in households with a landline.

So by and large it’s true that landlines are going the way of the dinosaur.

But it’s not true for everyone, and it’s certainly not true for every business.

Many businesses still have landline phone numbers, and they may have had these phone numbers for years or even decades. These landline numbers are not going to go away anytime soon.

But now your business may be in a bit of a quandary. You have your landline number(s) but you also want to be able to text people and allow them to text you.

How can you do that without losing your landline phone number?

This article will walk you through how you can text from your current landline phone numbers.

Can You Text from Landline?

Yes, you can text from landline phone numbers if those phone numbers are text-enabled, or if you can transfer those phone numbers to a service that allows them to be text-enabled.

If you’re unsure whether your current landline phone number is text-enabled, you can check with your service provider for clarification. If you know your current landline number is not text-enabled and you’d like to make it text-enable, you can use a service such as Mobile Text Alerts.

With Mobile Text Alerts and similar services, you’re able to add texting capabilities to your landline number, so that you can send text messages from your landline number by way of an online portal or mobile app.

Why Text from Landline?

We touched on this a little above, but there are several benefits of texting from a landline.

1. Keep Your Current Number

Let’s say you want to incorporate texting into your business’s communication plan, but you don’t want to set up an entire new phone number line for doing that. You want people to be able to use the same phone number they’ve always used and the same phone number that you probably advertise in various places.

Being able to text from a landline phone number enables you to retain your phone number while still reaping the benefits of texting.

2. Capitalize on Missed Opportunities

It’s very possible that people are already trying to text your business landline number.

That’s because texting is one of the most common communication methods there is, so they may assume your business’s phone number is actually textable. After all, over 3 trillion business texts are sent yearly—so you could be missing out on potential customer interactions.

Even if you don’t plan on pursuing active SMS initiatives, text-enabling your landline number means that you’ll catch any of those missed opportunities.

3. Harness the Power of SMS

As mentioned, SMS is one of the most widely used communication channels in the United States, and across the globe.

Therefore, SMS presents a powerful opportunity to reach your customers, clients, and employees with promotions, updates, and important information.

And if you’re able to initiate an SMS initiative via a phone number you already own, that helps reduce confusion and increase brand cohesion.

4. Streamline Internal Communication

Enabling text from landline phone numbers helps you streamline internal communication within your own team.

You can communicate HR updates, shift needs, safety alerts, meeting reminders, and any other type of communication with your own employees by sending text messages from the phone number they are already used to.

small infographic with H1 “Why Text from a Landline?” and subpoints listed above

How the “Text from Landline” Setup Process Works

In order to text-enable your landline, you’ll need a service that allows you to process that.

With Mobile Text Alerts, the process is simple.

  • You’ll just provide a representative with the phone number that you’re hoping to text-enable.
  • You’ll also submit an LOA (letter of authorization) letting your mobile carrier know that you are OK with porting over your phone number to Mobile Text Alerts so that you can text-enable the number.
  • The representative will check if the phone number is eligible to be text-enabled. (In most cases this won’t be an issue, but some phone numbers may not be able to be text-enabled due to carrier restrictions.)
  • You’ll pay a monthly service fee to maintain the phone number.
  • The representative will then submit the number for porting and text-enabling.
  • After a few days, your phone number will be set up and ready to go.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Your mobile carrier provider will no longer be the service provider you were initially with.
  • The LOA (letter of authorization) is not always required, but it is good to have on hand in case the mobile carriers request additional authorization.
  • A paid subscription is required in order to move forward with text-enabling your landline number.

The bottom line is there are just 2 things you need to do in order to text-enable your landline number:

  • Give a representative your phone number and (perhaps) a filled-out LOA form
  • Pay a regular fee

(Note that the LOA form will be provided for you upon request.)

small infographic with H1 “Landline Texting Setup Process” and flowchart-style points

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How to Text from Landline

So once you have your landline number text-enabled, how do you actually text from that landline?

In the case of Mobile Text Alerts, the actual texting back and forth will be handled totally via the online Mobile Text Alerts platform and/or the mobile app.

From the online platform/app, you’ll have the option to (1) send a mass text to a group of people, or (2) text individual people or respond back individually.

Here’s an example of how it works.

Sending a Mass Text

To send a mass text using the Mobile Text Alerts platform, the flow would look like this:

  1. Log in to the platform.
  2. Navigate to the “Send a Message” tab.
  3. Select the message recipients—you can select “all” people in your contact list, select particular groups or segments you’ve set up, or select particular individuals.
  4. Type out the content for your message.
  5. Select to send the message immediately or schedule it for a different time.

Presto! Message sent/scheduled.

Sending an Individual Message

To send an individual message using the Mobile Text Alerts platform, you could follow the steps above, or you can go through this flow instead:

  1. Log in to the platform.
  2. Navigate to the “Inbox” tab.
  3. Select the “+” button.
  4. Type in the contact’s information.
  5. Type out the content for your message.
  6. Select to send the message.

The benefit of doing it this way is that you can add your contact’s information to the database while simultaneously sending them a message.

Replying to a Message

To reply to a message that has been sent to your landline using the Mobile Text Alerts platform, you would do the following:

  1. Log in to the platform.
  2. Navigate to the “Inbox” tab.
  3. Click on the conversation belonging to the person you’re trying to reply to.
  4. Type out the content for your response back.
  5. Select to send the message.

With all of these methods, you’re able to easily send text messages and manage conversations using your landline phone number.

What Kinds of Businesses Can Benefit from Texting from Landline?

Landline texting can benefit businesses of all sizes and industries that already have a landline phone number. Opening up your landline number to texting capabilities gives you a convenient and accessible way to communicate with customers and employees, streamline internal operations, and enhance customer engagement.

Here are some specific examples of businesses that can benefit from texting from a landline:

  • Retail: Retailers can open up landline texting to send promotional messages, offer discounts and coupons, and provide customer support. EXAMPLE: a clothing store could send text messages to customers about new arrivals, sales, and special events.
  • Restaurants: Restaurants can open up landline texting to take reservations, confirm orders, and send delivery updates. EXAMPLE: a restaurant could send a text message to a customer to confirm their reservation or to let them know that their order is ready for pickup.
  • Medical offices: Medical offices can open up landline texting to remind patients about appointments, send prescription refill notifications, and provide test results. EXAMPLE: a doctor's office could send a text message to a patient to remind them about their upcoming appointment or to let them know that their lab results are available.
  • Real estate: Realtors and real estate agents can open up landline texting to send property listings, schedule showings, and communicate with clients throughout the buying or selling process. EXAMPLE: a realtor could send a text message to a client with a link to a new property listing or to schedule a showing time.
  • Salons and spas: Salons and spas can open up landline texting to confirm appointments, send reminder notifications, and offer promotions. EXAMPLE: a salon could send a text message to a client to confirm their hair appointment or to offer a discount on their next visit.

These types of use cases could apply to nearly every industry across the board:

  • Construction companies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Non-profits, such as churches, government entities, political organizations, YMCAs, labor unions, and any others
  • Online coaching services
  • Transportation services
  • Any others

In addition to these specific examples, landline texting can also benefit businesses of all sizes by:

  • Improving customer service: Landline texting provides a convenient way for customers to interact with businesses. This can lead to faster resolution of inquiries and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Streamlining internal communication: Landline texting can help businesses streamline internal communication. Employees can quickly exchange messages, coordinate tasks, and share updates without the need for constant phone calls or emails.
  • Enhancing customer engagement: Landline texting allows businesses to engage with customers in a more personalized and meaningful way. By sending targeted messages and responding to customer inquiries promptly, businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers and encourage brand loyalty.

Best Practices for Getting Started with Texting from Landline

If you’re just getting started with texting for your business, it may be helpful to have a few “best practice” guidelines to help you get off on the right foot.

Here are a few general tips.

1. Get Permission

You generally want to avoid sending unsolicited text messages, particularly if your content is going to be on the promotional side.

Not only will sending unsolicited messages reflect poorly on your business, it could cause your phone number to get flagged by mobile carriers if people report the messages as spam. And if your phone number gets flagged, you may have a hard time getting any of your messages to actually deliver.

Getting permission can be as simple as asking people to sign a form. There are also various automated opt-in methods available to you, such as texting in a keyword, that help give you a way to allow people to opt in.

2. Make It Obvious and Easy

Make it obvious that your landline number is textable when you display it.

Wherever you show customers and clients your business phone number, make sure to mention that they can “call or text.”

Encourage people to “call or text” if they have any problems, questions, or concerns and that will give them the option to contact via the method that works best for them. And then once they text in, make sure an auto-response is set up to go out immediately so that they know what to expect and aren’t confused about how long it will take to get a response.

3. Respond Promptly

If you’re offering support via text message, make sure you have a system in place to respond to those text inquiries promptly.

After all, one reason that people text is because it’s typically easier to get a quick response than via email, for example—and it can even be quicker than phone calls, because phone calls often result in going through a series of menu items and/or a voicemail inbox.

Make sure you’re organized enough so that customer conversations don’t get lost in the shuffle. To help with this, in the Mobile Text Alerts dashboard you’re able to assign specific conversations to different users, so that you can keep track of who is in charge of responding to each conversation.

4. Remember That Texting Is a Different Medium

Texting is not the same medium as phone calls or email, so you can’t treat it the same way as you do those other channels.

Texting is by nature typically more brief and to-the-point, but at the same time being too blunt can come across as rude. You’ll need to strike a balance between professionalism and friendliness.

Try to communicate a friendly tone without being overly wordy. If it’s appropriate for your brand tone, you can even use an occasional emoji to help communicate the “body language” of what you’re trying to convey.

5. Analyze Data

Use the reporting within your SMS platform to analyze and evaluate the data from your SMS initiatives. You’ll be able to see data such as delivery rates and link clicks to help you determine the success or failure of your efforts and to figure out ways to improve.

In your Mobile Text Alerts account, you’re able to view data on delivery rates and statuses for each message you send, as well as click rates, opt-out rates, and response rates both for individual messages and for entire campaigns. This kind of data can help you in the refining process.

small infographic with H1 “Best Practices for Getting Started” and subpoints above

“Text from Landline” FAQ

Here are some other miscellaneous questions that people ask regarding texting from a landline.

Can You Text from a Landline Phone?

Some landline phones allow you to text. However, if your service provider does not allow texting to/from your landline, then you will not be able to do it unless you enable it with your service provider, or transfer the phone number to a different service. You may also need to get a new phone if you want to text from the actual device itself.

With Mobile Text Alerts, you can port over your landline phone number and use the phone number to send/receive text messages via an online portal and mobile app, so you won’t need to get a new device.

What Happens If You Send a Text to a Landline?

Some landlines are set up to receive text messages, so the message will be processed as a normal text.

With other landlines, sending a text message will trigger a call on the phone, and a text-to-speech rendition of the text message will play back.

Other landlines don’t have any sort of text to landline option. In this case, text messages will simply fail to be delivered.

If you have a landline number set up for texting via Mobile Text Alerts, then text messages sent to that landline will be viewable in your online portal and mobile app.

Text to Landline App?

Mobile Text Alerts offers a text to landline option that’s able to be accessed via both an online platform and a mobile app.

So you’ll be able to receive and send landline texts by whichever method works best for you.

How Much Does Text from a Landline Cost?

With Mobile Text Alerts, porting over your landline phone number so that you can text from your landline costs $15 per month and requires a subscription to one of the listed plans starting at $20 per month.

Get Started with Landline Texting

To get started with texting from a landline, the first step would be to get an account with an SMS platform such as Mobile Text Alerts. You can get a free trial account for 14 days, which will give you 50 messaging credits so that you can try it out for yourself and see how it works.

Once you’re comfortable with the platform, you can contact us to move forward with porting your landline phone number over and initiating the text-enabling process.

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