Get an SMS Text From Your Contact Form

Get a text from a contact form

Get an SMS Text From Your Contact Form

I had a client who just wanted to get a text notification when someone filled out a contact form on their website.  I started researching and thought I was having a brain fart or losing my mind.  I couldn’t find an easy way of just getting a text when a form was submitted!  My search results were turning up plugins, PHP, Zapier and Twilio zaps, and other paid services. Nothing against Zapier, but I knew there was an easier way!

Because I had to dig (dig = conducting more than 1 Google search and maybe even 2nd page results LOL), I decided I needed to write a post about this solution.

If you just want to get a text when some submits a form on your website, you just need your cell phone number and your service provider (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc).  You don’t need to pay for any service.  You do not need Zapier or Twillio or any kind of PHP.  You don’t even need a plugin.

This works with every WordPress form plugin I know of (Gravity Forms, WP Forms, Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms).  If you’re using something else, or even if you’re not using WordPress, just give it a try and see if it works!  It takes 10 seconds and it’s free (you know my cheap ass is allllll about free!).  If you try it on a non-WordPress site (Wix, Squarespace), let me know how it goes!


In the notifications settings for your contact form, where you have your email address, you’ll add your cell number, @, and your cell provider’s SMS gateway.  That’s it.

I finally found this answer from some obscure website that I can’t even find now, but Gravity Forms does mention it too, granted as “The Somewhat Harder (But Free) Way” (not sure how it’s harder because it takes 10 seconds and you don’t have to sign up for a service, add a credit card, etc., but whatevs).

All cell phone providers have a “SMS Gateway” that allows you to send an email to your mobile number.  Most have a separate address for SMS (text-only) and MMS (media – photos, videos); for this purpose, you should only need the SMS/text message.

The Gravity Forms article lists out each cell phone company’s email extension to add to the phone number, but here’s a more complete list of both SMS and MMS from Wikipedia:

Mobile carrierSMS gateway domainMMS gateway domain

So take your 10-digit number, put the @ symbol, then the SMS gateway at the end, and that’s the “email address” for your phone!  So if your number is (330) 555-4444 and you use Verizon, it’s [email protected].

Now add that email address to the “Notifications” settings of your contact form where your regular email address is and do a test!  I was having issues at first then tried adding a comma after the 2nd email address and Voila!

screen shot of WP Forms notification settings where you add your cell phone number to text the contact form through SMS

Here’s how it came through on my phone; the text came “from” my website hosting server and the contact form info was an HTML attachment that I just clicked and viewed.

Easy, right!?

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know!

Photo of Abby Lehman Buzon, owner of The Helpful Marketer

About the Author

Abby Buzon

I'm Abby (Armstrong-Lehman) Buzon, Lead Designer & Owner of The Helpful Marketer, based in Medina County, Ohio. I got my start in marketing and website administration in 2010, became a mom in 2015, and left my day job in 2017 to begin The Helpful Marketer. I'm happier than I've ever been and I truly love what I do, so I'm here to share my story and give some marketing tips along the way!



  1. Gilberto on May 7, 2019 at 5:36 pm


    I noticed today early in the morning that I lost 2 caterings (worth around $2K), because the emails were sent to the spam folder, I felt depressed …

    But you saved my life! I have just put the text message notification into my Ninja Forms, and it works phenomenal!

    Thank you!


    • Abby Buzon on May 7, 2019 at 7:12 pm

      Oh Gilberto! As a small business owner, that makes my stomach turn that that happened to you, but also as a SBO, I am elated that I could help ensure it never happens again. I literally went into this blog feeling like as long as I helped one person, it was all worth it. You’ve fulfilled my purpose!
      I never even thought about what a great fail-safe a text notification could be when a simple little Spam filter could wreak such havoc and be so destructive to a small business.
      Thank you so much for writing in!

  2. Jodi Burgess on May 9, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I have been researching all day for an answer as well but it doesn’t work on Contact Form 7. Do you have any thoughts?

  3. Jodi Burgess on May 9, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    I missed the add a comma at the end….it now works!

    • Abby Buzon on May 9, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      I’m so glad! I was just about to reply “try adding a comma at the end. otherwise, double check the mobile carrier’s gateway”. Glad it worked for you Jodi!

  4. Brett Schaefer on July 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    I got an unmanaged VPS on Digital Ocean up and running. No WordPress, no Cpanel or anything. Just simple html and php pages. Tried this just now with a test contact form, worked like a charm. Simplist thing I did all day. You are AWESOME! It probably took me an hour to find your post a few weeks ago. Just now got around to implementing it. Thank you very much for saving me from any more searching. 🙂

    • Abby Buzon on July 12, 2019 at 10:55 pm

      That’s awesome Brett! Thank you so much for writing to tell me! It’s that kind of reassurance that keeps me writing these “I couldn’t find this easily on Google, so here’s what to do” articles.

  5. William Alton on August 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you so much for this helpful article! I was able to forward the contact info to a phone as you described, but the entire contact form was not sent, only the subject line. No HTML file was sent. Do you per chance have any advice as how I can change this???

    • Abby Buzon on August 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Hi William! To start, when you receive the email notification, does everything come through in the email? And if so, do you receive it as plain text or as HTML? Next, which form builder are you using?

  6. Melissa on October 18, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I followed the instructions and the text came through. However, it is all special characters. Any ideas? I am using ninja forms.

    • Abby Buzon on October 18, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Aw man, that stinks! I’ve never done it with ninja forms, and actually I’ve never really used ninja, but I can’t imagine what would be different. Just out of curiosity, are you an iPhone user? Oh, and is there an option in ninja to “send as plain text”? If so, that might help.

  7. Giulia on October 24, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Hi! I tried with contact form 7 and it doesn’t work… but I am not sure if I am inserting it in the wrong field as I cannot see any notifications setting? Thank you so much for your help!

    • Abby Buzon on October 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Giulia!
      I don’t have any sites with CF7, but I just Googled “Contact Form 7 notification settings” and there was a YouTube video that came up – looks like there are tabs up top for settings, where you edit the actual form. You should see tabs “Form”, “Mail”, “Messages”, and “Additional Settings”.
      The tab for “Mail” is where the email notification settings are.
      In the “To:” field (where your email address is) put a comma and then your phone’s “email address”. Test it. If it doesn’t work, sometimes you have to put another comma after the 2nd email address – not sure if that’s true in CF7 or not.

  8. Brett Poe on December 26, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    On behalf of Granite Plus in Spokane WA, THANK YOU!

    This worked exactly like you explained and saved me a ton of time!!!!

    (Director of Business Development & Marketing)

  9. Barbara on January 19, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Hi Abby! This sounds really useful. But I have one question:

    Is this a legit way to get notifications? I mean can I use this method on a clients website? I wouldn’t want to get them into trouble with their phone company.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Abby Buzon on January 23, 2020 at 9:51 am

      This certainly would not get anyone in trouble. This is public information, published in multiple places. The only issue would be if your client changed cell phone providers, so you’d want to be open with them about the method if their business is truly relying on it.

  10. Davidt on February 4, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Does this work if I wanna make a simple inputform where you put in your phone number and gets a sms with directions send to your phone? Also, which provider to use if one is located in Denmark?

    • Abby Buzon on February 4, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Hi David,
      This is best to use in scenarios for you/the admin to get a text message, and primarily as a backup to email notification (someone placed an order on your site, answered a survey, filled out a contact form). Probably not ideal to rely on for an end-user because you need to know their cell phone provider and combine that with their mobile number.
      And regarding cell phone providers in Denmark, sorry, you’ll have to GTS. 🙂
      Best regards,

  11. Davidt on February 5, 2020 at 4:49 am

    Dear Abby,
    I thank you for your answer, nice of you.

    Do you have any directions for me regarding to what I want to achieve?

    Best regards

  12. Davidt Herreborg on February 6, 2020 at 2:51 am

    Hi Abby, that is exactly what needs to be done, same address yes.

    Thanks a lot Abby, i will check it out and see if that is the right one for me to use.

    Wish you a happy day
    Best regards


  13. Todd on July 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Hi, has anyone had luck with this using and Elementor Form?

    • Abby Buzon on July 2, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      I have not, but I can’t imagine it would be any different. Might as well try – can’t hurt anything. Let me know how it goes!

  14. Anna on February 2, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Abby, this is amazing! I have a client who was wanting text notifications, and I have spent the last two evenings trying to figure out a way to do it with out signing up for 3 services or purchasing 2 plugins. This did the trick, my client will be happy.

    Also if anyone is needing it, I found quite a list of SMS Gateway’s here:

    • Abby Buzon on February 2, 2021 at 10:57 pm

      Awesome! I’m so glad! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know this helped, Anna!

  15. Brenda on March 28, 2021 at 9:55 am

    First, thank you for the article. I used this some time ago. But recently on sprint we started getting the notification but the content was missing. Just <> instead of the PDF we used to get. Wondering if something has changed with Sprint going under T-Mobile. Curious if anyone has seen the same.

Leave a Comment