How To Receive An SMS Alert For Selective Mails Received In Gmail

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Email is one of the most popular communication channels on the internet. Whether it's a personal mail or a business mail, some mails are extremely important for the recipient. Timely processing of these selective emails is vital for both the ends. Sometimes, we're busy with other commitments and may not read these critical mails in time. This can create several unpleasant circumstances for the recipient. There should be some mechanism that instantly alerts us whenever we receive an important email in our Gmail account. Fortunately, there's an easy mechanism to do that. We can easily set up SMS alerts for selective emails we receive in our Gmail account. Let's see how to implement this simple yet extremely powerful alert system for our important emails.

ifttt is a powerful service to create custom triggers and actions for accomplishing various online tasks. This useful service offers dozens of trigger channels (conditions) combined with various action channels (tasks) to create complex automated tasks. For example, you can post a message on your Facebook page every time you get a new follower on Twitter. This is just an example. With ifttt, you can create different combinations of tasks to automate lot of your online activities. In ifttt lingo, these tasks are termed as 'Recipes'.

We are going to create a recipe (automated task) to receive SMS alerts as soon as we receive an email in our Gmail account that meets certain conditions. This SMS alert will not be for every single mail received in our Gmail account, but only for those which meets the criteria specified in the trigger conditions. So here we go!

Activate and configure the Gmail trigger channel - The first step involves activation and configuration of your Gmail trigger channel. During the activation process, you'll be diverted to the Gmail website for OAuth authentication to allow access to your Gmail account. This is read-only access and doesn't compromise your account security in any way.

ifttt Gmail channel activation

Once the authentication process is completed, you can proceed to the next important step of specifying the triggering condition. This triggering condition will dictate the sending of SMS whenever conditions are met. These conditions can be configured in three different ways.
  • Email received from a single address - The first option that can be configured is very simple. You can specify one email address such that whenever a new email is received from that address, trigger is fired automatically.
  • Email with specific label on arrival - We often create filters in our Gmail account and apply custom labels to different incoming mails based on certain conditions. The second option lets you monitor these labels on new unread emails and can fire the trigger whenever a specific label is applied to any new email.
  • Email matching a simple search query - The third option lets you specify simple search query for a keyword or phrase in the subject or body of the email. If that search query finds the keyword in the email, trigger is fired immediately.

Activate and configure the SMS action channel - The next obvious step is to activate the sending of SMS to your mobile phone whenever the conditions are met and trigger is fired. For that, simply provide your phone number to ifttt and it will send a unique IPIN number to verify the ownership of the mobile number. Once the ownership has been verified, you can proceed to the next step of configuring the SMS content or format.

ifttt SMS channel activation

You can customize the SMS content in different ways with the help of Add-ins provided by ifttt. These add-ins are nothing but pieces of data fetched from your Gmail account from the current email under process. These are like dynamic data tags embedded in the SMS template that are populated with actual data during actual SMS delivery. In this case, these add-ins (data tags) are subject, received date, label, email body and address of recipient. You can use these tags to format the SMS template as per your requirement.


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