There was a lot of interest in the articles I wrote last week on setting up a special use domain name. It seems like many marketing managers said: “We should have been doing this a long time ago”. To recap, I suggested that if you’re running a print advert, you set up a special domain name to use in the advert, which will send people directly to the right page and allow you to measure how many do so at the same time. Never again will you wonder if anyone actually saw your advert and responded to it – you’ll have the numbers to tell you.
It appears from the correspondence I’ve had that many readers will be setting up special use domain names from now on, whether they needed my instructions or not. However, I was approached by a couple of marketing managers after publication of the articles last week, asking if we could help with the exercise. Two reasons were given. The first was the normal one – time. I was told: “If the magazines offered this service for, say, £100 on top of the cost of the advertisement, then I’d willingly pay it. But I don’t have time to register domain names myself, redirect them and get all the tagging right for Google Analytics”. Fair enough. The second reason was interesting. To paraphrase: “There’s no way my IT department would allow me to register a domain name like that, even though I realise it’s just a marketing tool like setting up a special phone number, and won’t affect them. That’s just the way things are. But someone else could do it for us, there’d be no problem with that.”
That’s equally reasonable. So the obvious answer to that is to say we’ll do it for anyone who needs it. If you’re planning a new print advertising campaign, don’t just slap your usual company website address on the bottom. Give us a call, and we’ll find a new domain name just for this product, which looks good and is simple for people to type in. Once you’re happy with it, give us 48 hours, and we’ll register the domain, redirect it so that it sends people directly to the relevant page on your website, and add the relevant tagging so that you’ll see clearly in your website analytics how many people responded to the advert. Nothing for you to do at all. The domain name will be valid for two years, so you can use it on other ads in the future and measure the response from them too. There’ll be a small charge, but if it helps you discover which publications actually produce worthwhile response, it could save you a lot of money in the future. Email us directly if we can be of help.