Real Time Communications Featured Article

The Benefits of Integrated Communication - Email, SMS and OTT

July 27, 2015
By RealTimeCommunicationsWorld Special Guest
Laurie Samper, Technical Writer, iMiller Public Relations

In today’s fast-paced world, we are constantly being bombarded with information at any given moment, making it all too easy to miss critical messages.  In fact, researchers estimate we see approximately 5,000 marketing messages per day.  Because of this, it’s no longer only important that you send the right information, but that you choose the proper platform to increase recipient engagement in a way that’s cost-effective and convenient for both parties, whether it is a business/consumer relationship, or internal communication amongst employees.  Today’s most popular methods of communication include SMS (text message), OTT (messaging app) and email. 

As mobile usage continues to permeate society with a staggering 85 percent penetration rate amongst Generation Y alone, according to Nielsen, these platforms can provide serious value when communicating with the world.  Below, we will take an opportunity to explore the different features of these individual communicative tools to discover just what makes them tick.


Email – the tried and true method of electronic communications dating back to the early Internet, a simpler time.  Email may be traditional, but it is still a key component in correspondence across the board.  In comparison to instant forms of messaging, email is by far the most effective way to store information for later use with superior search functions and organized storage.  However, email shouldn’t be used for any urgent, actionable items, as there is a good chance it won’t be received or read in time.  Researchers report that the average email can take as long as 6.4 hours between when it is sent and viewed.  So, before you choose between mobile message and email, ask yourself two questions: “Will this person need to view this information again at some point?” and “How urgent is this information?” to select the right sending platform.

via Shutterstock


SMS, an acronym that stands for “Short Message Service”, is the modern-day text message. Completely ubiquitous, performing on feature phones and smartphones alike, SMS has experienced unprecedented growth in the last fifteen years, reaching a peak of 8.3 trillion messages sent in 2014 alone.  SMS is an excellent way to send urgent messages and alerts straight to the recipient’s phone virtually instantly without the need for Wi-Fi or mobile data.  It’s a pretty straightforward service, sending 160 characters to any mobile user for mere cents, but it lacks the oh-so-attractive bells and whistles of OTT messaging.


OTT messaging, also known as “Over-The-Top” or “messaging apps”, is growing in popularity at a staggering rate.  Odds are you’ve seen this form of messaging at some point in applications such as iMessage, Facebook Chat, WhatsApp and countless others.  OTT offers instantaneous delivery similar to SMS over a feature-rich platform.  However, it also provides the added values of customizable features, larger message sizes and diverse content.  But there is a catch – OTT messaging requires an Internet connection as well as both the sender and recipient to install the same app on their smart devices in order to send and receive messages.

It is clear that email, SMS and OTT messaging all have their advantages and drawbacks to effectively delivering messages to the intended user.  So, for organizations seeking the best choice for their communications strategies, the question isn’t which option to use, it’s how to find a single, all-inclusive service that will provide you with both flexibility and organization of all of these methods combined so that you can focus on the big picture.

Messaging is getting smarter, providing organizations with the highest level of communications convenience and reliability available.  Smart messaging is the integration of email, SMS and OTT into one seamless application, creating a fast, reliable and feature-rich way to stay in constant contact with a wider audience. 

Forward-thinking providers such as Bulletin have taken all of the aforementioned messaging platforms into consideration when developing smarter messaging platform for enterprises.  With today’s “smart messaging” mobile apps, organizations can leverage all three of these functions to effectively deliver their messages via one platform.  These unique communications solutions can automatically deliver messages through the most appropriate channels when necessary.  Utilizing the latest in messaging technology, companies can ensure messages are received by customers and internal staff anytime, anywhere, on any device. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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