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This is an abbreviated version of the corresponding content from our popular Advanced Online Recruiting Techniques course, explaining methods and resources applicable to recruiting in any industry, function, geography or level. Learn more about or register for our live seminar or online course! Or return to free sample content.
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Email to SMS via Mobile Phone Number

SMS (Short Message Service) is becoming ubiquitous. It's the ability to send text messages to people's mobile telephones. While this often incurs a small extra charge on top of the normal voice service one normally pays for, it is increasingly popular in the US, and long the rage in Europe and Asia.

Shally Steckerl described in a 2006 blog post how it could be used for recruiting purposes, upon which I added some efficiencies. In short, you can use regular email to send a message to anyone's cellphone. The trick was how to figure out which mobile carrier the person used, and their email format to receive text messages.

As I said in my follow-up blog post, you can use Teleflip to send the message in one quick move. If they ever go under or you have trouble with them, Shally and I showed how to work around the problem by sending bcc's (blind copy email messages) to the desired mobile phone number on all the carriers. The message would go through on the one correct carrier, and all the remaining incorrect carriers would result in message bouncebacks. Here's how:

  1. Uncompress the two bookmarklets in the zip file here (don't worry if you get an alert message, they're tested and safe) to your browser's Favorites -> Links folder. For step-by-step instructions with screenshots, see this Word doc. (We recommend you right mouse-click each link, select Save As, and save them to your desktop first, rather than trying to open them online, as pop-up blockers may interfere.)
  2. Go to www.notepage.net/smtp.htm then select the SMS part 1 bookmarklet. It takes a couple of seconds to run--you'll see a lot of email addresses on your screen.
  3. Then select the SMS part 2 bookmarklet. It will prompt you for the mobile phone number of the person to whom you want to email an SMS text message. Then it will automatically generate a list of about 100 email addresses corresponding to that number for each mobile carrier that supports this format.
  4. Press select all (Ctrl+A), then copy (Ctrl+C) to save this list to your buffer.
  5. Launch your email program and in a new message, click in the bcc: field (in Outlook, you may have to select View -> Bcc if it doesn't show by default) and paste (Ctrl+V). Now all the possible recipient addresses are populated.
  6. Finish the rest of your message (body, subject line, etc.) and send!
  7. As stated above, the right one will go through, the rest will bounce back (just delete those), and no one will see all those mistaken bcc'd addresses.

Some folks debated as to whether this constitutes spamming, but I think they were sufficiently refuted (see comments thread following Shally's aforementioned blog post) to make this worth keeping in your sourcing toolbag.


This is an abbreviated version of the corresponding content from our popular Advanced Online Recruiting Techniques course, explaining methods and resources applicable to recruiting in any industry, function, geography or level. Learn more about or register for our live seminar or online course! Or return to free sample content.

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