Vanity they can remember

02Oct08

I understand why companies use “vanity” web addresses in their advertising. Typically, the goal is to provide an easy-to-remember URL, and then track exactly how many visitors responded to that campaign. But sometimes marketers forget that people actually have to remember the address before they can type it into their browser.

To be successful, I believe the vanity URL either needs to be a separate domain, such as samplepromotion.com, or a well-known domain with a single entry added on the end, like mysite.com/promoname. When you start breaking these rules, the address is more likely to be forgotten.

I saw a great example of this on Fox, where they were running a campaign for the Dodge Ram as part of the Terminator series. The address shown on the screen was fox.com/terminator/ram. I doubt many people will remember this two-part addition to the fox.com site. To fix this, they could just use fox.com/ram and then let the visitor choose which show they heard about the product on. With this revised approach, more customers will remember the vanity URL, and the marketer will get more accurate tracking of campaign responses.



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