Do you get the feeling that vanity URLs are everywhere? I’m seeing at least two or three a day, maybe more. According to Verisign, over 105 million domain names were registered at the end of 2Q06, a 27% increase over the past year.
But I have a problem with vanity URLs…I usually can’t remember the addresses. Vanity URLs are supposed to be clever and creatively relevant ways to drive site traffic – for people with good memories. For example, while traveling between the US, UK and Ireland last week, I saw new executions for the HSBC local campaign – brilliant. However, every time I got online and wanted to check out the full campaign, all I could remember was that HSBC did them, but not the URL. (So finally I snapped a pic before my flight back to Boston and being tormented by trying to remember an address for seven hours.)
According to recent Forrester research, more consumers report visiting sites after seeing an address in something they can take with them – like on a product package or in a print ad. Those "takeaway" media have about +20% effectiveness over outdoor and radio – more "atmosphere" media. And for those of us who are forgetful, the cameraphone helps archive images and bridge the gap!
What do you think – do vanity URLs work for you? [both as a consumer and for driving marketing ROI!]
P.S. I created the short Wikipedia article on vanity URLs in about 5 minutes early on Sunday morning – your help to expand the entry would be great!