SMS Marketing Examples

Old Navy Personalizes SMS Marketing Experience for Customers

Old Navy Logo - Tatango

Are you a brand that has amassed a considerable amount of SMS subscribers, but unfortunately don’t know much about them, except for their mobile phone numbers? Old Navy had the same issue with their SMS subscribers, which is why recently they devised a plan to fix that.

This plan allowed Old Navy to connect an already collected phone number, with a whole host of subscriber data, including the subscriber’s first name, email address, zip code, birthday, and even what type of SMS alerts they prefer. Interested in learning how Old Navy was able to do this? Find out below.

While many brands like Redbox use SMS responses to capture subscriber data, Old Navy wanted to collect more than just one piece of subscriber data. To do this, they decided that collecting the subscriber data through a form hosted on a mobile website would provide the best customer experience.

To get current SMS subscribers to the mobile form, they sent out the following text message from their dedicated short code 653689. In the text message, they asked current SMS subscribers to tell Old Navy a little about themselves, in order to help Old Navy send only the SMS messages subscribers wanted.

If you’ll notice in the Old Navy text message, the hyperlink they sent is using a unique subpage for each SMS subscriber. For example, the hyperlink I received in my text message had the following subpage: /u00ZnWw. This subpage is a reference ID for a specific SMS subscriber in the Old Navy database. This allows Old Navy to not only track which of their SMS subscribers clicked on the hyperlink, but also allows them to connect a subscriber’s mobile phone number, with the information filled out on the mobile form, without having to actually ask for the subscriber’s mobile phone number. Pretty cool huh?

Old Navy Text Message

When an SMS subscriber clicks on the hyperlink, they’re taken to the following mobile form, where Old Navy asks for the SMS subscriber’s first name, email address, zip code, birthday, and even what type of SMS alerts they prefer. It’s not pictured, but the URL of the mobile form contains the subscriber’s reference ID, which for myself is “u00ZnWw”. This allows Old Navy to associate the information collected in the mobile form, with a specific mobile subscriber in their database. After a subscriber enters their information into the mobile form, that information is then stored with that specific subscriber in Old Navy’s SMS subscriber database.

Old Navy Mobile Form

The rest of the mobile form is below.

Old Navy Mobile Form 2

Once the mobile form is filled out, the subscriber then clicks the “NEXT” button, and is shown a mobile thank you page, which is below.

Old Navy Mobile Page - Thank You

Remember how we told you that by using a unique reference ID for each SMS subscriber, and including that in the URL, Old Navy would be able to tell which subscribers clicked on the link? By using a unique reference ID for each Old Navy SMS subscriber, and including it in the URL of the mobile form, Old Navy is then able to tell which SMS subscribers filled out the form. If Old Navy knows which SMS subscribers fills out the mobile form, they then are able to send a thank you text message to those specific mobile subscribers. You can see their thank you text message from their dedicated short code 653689 below.

Old Navy Text Message Confirmation


Why is Old Navy interested in collecting a subscriber’s first name, email address, zip code, birthday, and even what type of alerts they prefer? Below I’ve listed out the various reasons why Old Navy would want to collect this information.

  • First Name: Having a subscriber’s first name allows Old Navy to customize SMS marketing messages, by including a subscriber’s first name in the content of the message.
  • Email Address: A subscriber’s email address is valuable to Old Navy, as they can use that email address to send email marketing offers to that subscriber. In addition, with an email address associated with a mobile subscriber, and vice-versa, Old Navy will have a better holistic understanding of their customers, and how they react to certain communication channels.
  • Zip Code: Old Navy can use a subscriber’s zip code to not only target subscribers in specific locations, but they can also use a subscriber’s zip code to send time appropriate messages based on their timezone.
  • Birthday: A subscriber’s birthday is used not only to send age appropriate SMS promotions, but it’s also very common for a brand like Old Navy to use a subscriber’s birthday to send a birthday SMS message.
  • Alert Preferences: This is an easy one! By asking Old Navy customers what type of SMS promotions they want to receive, the brand knows for sure that what they’re sending customers is exactly what they want.


Want another example of how Old Navy is customizing the SMS marketing experience for their SMS subscribers? Click here to read how Old Navy is using unique SMS keywords for each of their retail locations, to localize their SMS messaging.

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