I can start a conversation in Google Messages to an e-mail address. When I send the message, it appears to go through an SMS to e-mail gateway, and I (or whoever owns that e-mail address) can in fact reply to the e-mail and it gets routed back through the gateway and I receive an SMS.
This all works well and good, but the e-mail address is random letters and numbers and I want a nice description instead of that. So I created a contact for the address. However, now I can't send a message because Messages doesn't find the name when I search for it. Oddly enough, if I happen to remember the entire e-mail address and type it in up to the "@" character, suddenly it "happens" to remember that there is a contact with that name and lets me select it. However, this is pretty much useless when I have to remember a 12+ character string of random numbers and letters to get an auto-complete!
How do I get the contact to show up to send an SMS when it is only an e-mail address? I have tried editing the contact and pasting the e-mail address as a phone number, but it strips out all the non-numeric characters this way.