Can You Text A Landline? Text to Landline Guide for Business
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Jun 26, 2022
Text to Landline phones on white background

Learn What Happens When You Text a Landline and How to Text Enable Landline Phones

Landlines have long been the standard for business communication. But, some 39% of businesses and organizations are now texting their contacts, customers, and clients.

So what happens when you text a landline phone number?

Nothing…

Unless you text-enable your landline phone or set up a text-to-landline service.

In this article, I cover:

  1. What happens when you text a landline
  2. Why businesses and organizations should text enable their landlines
  3. How to text enable landlines for business
  4. Text to landline frequently asked questions (FAQ)

By the end, you’ll know how to text-enable an existing business number and implement a text-to-landline service.

Read on for more.

Text-enable your landline for free. No payment required.
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What is a Landline?

Landlines are phone lines that transmit signals through a physical cable. These lines are either buried or strung on telephone poles. A landline telephone also refers to traditional phones with handsets, cradles, and cords. Landlines still rely on hard-wired connections.

Landlines used to be the only way a home phone or office could send and receive voice calls. But this was before cellphones and satellite communications existed. When someone says they’re “cutting the cord” they mean they’re ditching their landline for a mobile phone.

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What is a Landline Number?

A landline number is a traditional 10-digit local phone number that relies on physical wires to enable voice calls. Mobile cellphone numbers aren’t considered landline numbers. This is because they transmit radio waves and have internet connectivity for voice calls.

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What Happens When You Send a Text to a Landline

When you text a landline, the phone service or carrier checks the number to see if it's eligible for text-to-landline service. Your text message then gets recorded and the telephone service calls the recipient's landline phone.

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How Does a Text to Landline Service Work?

Text-to-landline services only manage the transcription of text messages into voice recordings. Here’s the step-by-step for how a text-to-landline service works:

  1. A text message gets sent from a cell phone or text messaging service.
  2. The carrier checks the landline recipient’s address to confirm the landline text service.
  3. Your landline text message gets recorded in a female voice.
  4. The text-to-landline service rings the recipient’s phone.
  5. Your text message gets “read” aloud as a voice message.
  6. Emojis and texting acronyms like LOL are read out as “happy face” and “laughing out loud”.

Note: Text-to-landline services are different from text-enabling your business landline. When you text-enable your business landline, you’re using business texting software to send and receive text messages.

Why You Need to Text Enable Your Landline Phone

Here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of sending and receiving text messages on landlines.

Advantages of landline phones

  • You Can Rely on Call Quality: Landlines are generally reliable and the call quality can be clearer than a mobile phone.
  • Landlines Work Without Power: Traditional copper phone lines have their own power supply, so they can function even during a blackout.
  • No Dropped Calls: Carrier networks still drop calls from time to time if you’re on a cell phone. This is typically a non-issue with landlines.

Disadvantages of landline phones

  • You Get Automatic Directory Listings in Phone Books: All landline numbers get automatically listed in phone books and directories. This can lead to spam and unwanted calls.
  • You’re Connected to a Phone Jack: Even with a cordless phone, landlines are still limited to physical locations. You’ll always need a phone jack.
  • You Can’t Respond to Texts: There’s no SMS inbox or interface for responding to an inbound text.
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6 Reasons Why You Should Text Enable Your Landline with a Business Texting Service:

  1. You can text on your existing business phone number.
  2. People are already texting landlines.
  3. People prefer texting with businesses and organizations.
  4. Textable landlines help with call management, customer engagement, and reducing call volume.
  5. Text-enabling your landline leads to automation that helps save time and increase efficiency.
  6. You can centralize your messaging and business phone lines.

1. You can add texting to your existing business phone number

You probably advertise your phone number everywhere. Windows, truck decals, billboards, and all kinds of other advertising - everywhere.

And if you’re an older, established business or organization in your community, then everyone will know your phone number.

But text-enabling your business number allows you to keep the same number.

You don’t need to install software or hardware. And there’s no need to change your voice service to text-enable your business landline.

A business texting software can even make it possible to text phone number extensions.

All you have to do is choose a business texting service and ask them to host or port your phone number.

Suggested Article: Porting Phone Number vs. Hosted Number | How to Port Numbers

2. People are already texting landlines

There’s a shift in business communication towards text messaging. People want more convenient, immediate, personalized messaging experiences.

And someone could even be trying to text your landline right now, but you’d never know it.

In fact, some 58% of customers have tried to try to text back after missing a call from a business.

So…

If your landline isn’t text-enabled, then you’re probably missing customer service and sales messages.

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3. People prefer texting with businesses and organizations

If you’re not already texting with your contacts or customers, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

SMS text messages are one of the top four most adopted mobile marketing tactics to date.

Why?

Because texts get read, and 90% of customers would rather text than chat on the phone with your business.

Need further proof? Text messages have high delivery rates, a 98% open rate, and 45% click rates. Compare that to email and voice. Neither have the same level of engagement as texting.

Bottom line: text messaging has clear advantages and benefits.

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4. Textable landlines help with call management, customer engagement, and reducing call volume

You’re behind the curve if you don’t already have a text number for business purposes.

When you make it easy for people to start text conversations, you can even reduce your call volume.

People want to text and a business text messaging service that makes it easy to text-enable your landline can help.

Being more available can even increase your reach and improve customer engagement levels. Plus, you’ll never miss a question. No more frustration with missed replies.

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5. Text-enabling your landline leads to automation that helps save time and increase efficiency

Text-enabling your landline and plugging it into a business texting service unlocks automation and additional time-saving features.

These include things like:

You can even set up keyword autoresponders to send automated text responses. If a customer texts “OFFICE HOURS”, then they could automatically get a text with your office hours.

Features like these are perfect for providing immediate support and responding to frequently asked questions. They can also work well for promotional “text-to” campaigns.

Suggested Article: Guide to Automated Text Messages

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6. You can centralize your messaging and business phone lines

With a text-enabled landline and a texting service, you can centralize your text messaging and voice calls into one platform.

And you retain the standard phone call features you get on a desk phone. This includes caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding.

In fact, some 61% of customers think organizations should use the same phone number for calling and texting.

But the main benefit of centralizing all of your business communications is preventing missed messages. Your landline won’t become a virtual black hole for text messages.

You can also use many text messaging systems’ call forwarding features to route incoming voice calls. If someone calls a separate phone number, you can route the call to another number of your choosing.

This works great for businesses and organizations that prefer having separate numbers just for texting customers and contacts.

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How to Get a Text Enabled Landline Phone

Every business texting service has a slightly different process for text-enabling a landline phone.

Below is what MessageDesk’s text-to-landline process looks like.

1. Choose a number provider

The first step to setting up text to landline for your phone number is choosing an SMS phone number provider.

There are many great business texting services (including MessageDesk) that make it easy to choose a number for SMS or text-enable your business.

But you’ll want to find one that has the SMS and call management tools that suit your needs.

MessageDesk offers a specific range of phone number and texting features designed to suit your communications needs.

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2. Create a free account

The next step is to create a free account. You can do this with MessageDesk by starting a free trial.

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3. Submit a number port request or select a new phone number

Next, you’ll need to port or select a number or existing business phone line.

To text from your existing business number or landline, you’ll need to submit a number porting request.

Below is an example of what a number porting request looks like in MessageDesk.

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Note: It takes 1-7 days to successfully text-enable your business number once you submit your request. Sometimes, this process is referred to as number hosting (not to be confused with number porting).

4. Complete and sign your letter of authorization (LOA)

Once you’ve submitted your number porting request, a representative from the MessageDesk team will reach out.

They’ll confirm that your landline number is eligible for porting. Then they’ll work with you to submit and sign a letter of authorization to approve the hosting or porting process.

Below is an example of what MessageDesk’s LOA looks like.

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5. Set up call forwarding

Call forwarding is another landline texting feature. It allows you to route incoming voice calls through your business text messaging service to your landline.

If someone calls a separate phone number, you can route the call to another landline of your choosing.

Plus, you get to retain all of the standard phone call features like caller ID and call waiting. This feature works great for businesses and organizations that prefer having separate numbers for texting and calling.

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Text to Landline Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below is a list of frequently asked questions related to text-enabling business landlines.

Can I use my existing landline for business texting?

Yes, you can text-enable any existing business phone. You can use your current 10-digit number, even if it’s a landline or VoIP to receive and send text messages. If your organization needs an additional number, MessageDesk provisions new local and toll-free numbers.

Will text-enabling my landline affect my existing voice service?

No, in most cases, text-enabling your existing landline or business phone number doesn’t affect your voice service. You’ll still receive calls as usual, but texts can be sent and received from your business texting service.

Can I text large groups with landline texting for business?

You can text groups and send text message broadcasts with a 10-digit landline number. Having the right software and text-to-landline service also makes it possible to handle 1-on-1 conversations.

Can you text-enable 1-800 toll-free numbers?

Yes, you can text-enable 1-800 toll-free numbers.

What is the difference between a landline vs. VoIP service?

VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. VoIP phones don’t transmit via twisted-pair copper wire like landlines. They transmit voice calls over the internet using a normal broadband internet connection.

VoIP phones don't rely on physical exchanges. They convert calls into digital signals within the phone itself.

Which telephone service providers support text-to-landline?

Carrier Text to Landline Support
Verizon Yes
AT&T Yes
Sprint Yes
T-Mobile Yes

What’s the difference between a text-to-landline service vs. a business text messaging service?

A text-to-landline service converts texts sent to a landline into voice messages. It doesn’t have an interface for reading or responding to text messages. These services call the recipient’s landline phone number and deliver a text message via voice.

A business text messaging platform provides an interface and SMS inbox for reading and responding to text messages and even automating responses.

Do I need additional hardware to text-enable a landline?

You don’t need additional hardware to text-enable a business landline. All text messaging gets managed with software using a business texting service like MessageDesk. You don’t need a special handset or landline phone with texting capabilities.

How much does a text to landline service cost?

Many text to landline and business texting services don’t charge fees for text-enabling your landline. The part that costs is having the ability to send and receive text messages. MessageDesk’s business texting plans start at just $14 per month.

Text-enable your landline for free. No payment required.

Ready to start texting?

Ready to text-enable your business landline? MessageDesk is here to help.

Feel free to start a free MessageDesk trial or meet with a messaging expert to learn more about your phone number and texting options.