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How did New York & Co. build its database of 180,000 loyalists?

Since rolling out an SMS program in June 2009, retailer New York & Co. has grown its mobile database to 180,000 opted-in consumers.

New York & Co. is using unique calls-to-action across multiple channels to promote its SMS program via in-store displays, email marketing, social media and direct mail to promote the company’s alerts program. The retailer also rolled out a mobile-optimized Web site this summer.

“SMS enables New York & Co. to broaden the way our customers can reach us to find out about new promotions and exclusive offers and events,” said Marielle Gelber, director of public relations at New York & Co., New York.

“It is the new way to share information with her whenever and wherever she may be,” she said.

New York & Co. is a retailer that specializes in women’s clothing with more than 550 stores in 43 states.

Spread the mobile word
New York & Co., is using statement inserts, email and point-of-sale terminals to promote the company’s loyalty SMS program.

Each type of marketing channel has a unique keyword with the short code to NYSTYL that consumers can use to opt-in to the program.

By using unique keywords, New York & Co., is able to track  how consumers are signing up for the alerts program.

For example, the keyword displayed on the email messages is CELL. In stores, the keyword is NOW, and in statement inserts the keyword is either REWARDS or VIP.

“Using different keywords through different channels allows us to better serve our customers’ needs and provide her the information she is seeking,” Ms. Gelber said.

Here is in in-store call-to-action that New York & Co., is using

Once consumers sign up for the SMS program, they are sent an email welcoming them to the program with a coupon that can be used either in-store or online.

In the company’s email messages, a call to action is placed at the bottom of the email and reads, “Want to get offers like this sent directly to your phone? Text the word CELL to NYSTYL.”

Unique codes
By using multiple platforms to promote the SMS program, New York & Co., is proving that its alerts program is an important part of its marketing mix.

Most recently, online grocer FreshDirect used email marketing to promote its line of mobile applications (see story).

“New York & Co. started to experiment with our SMS program in June of 2009, but began to really ramp up the program towards the end of 2010 in an effort to grow our mobile database,” Ms. Gelber said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York