I need your help. I am trying to locate some articles that outline
arguments for and against using .com domains as part of university and
colleges Web presence. I remember reading an article that argued
against using a .com for Future students or Admissions.
Here is the situation from what I understand, we have a new president
that has used .com domains for marketing campaigns as a way to help
track the success of the campaign. What I have not found out yet is
where did the .com take the users, was it a microsite or to a page in
the university domain such as college.colstate.edu/program/major.htm. I
understand the .com domain to basically be another door into the .edu
domain so that it is a short, and easier URL and associated with a
marketing campaign so you can track how many users saw the marketing
material. Are there other IHE that are doing something like this? I'm
interested in hearing your pros and cons for this approach.
Manager of Web Services
Columbus State University
O - 706-507-8116
* C - 706-593-1655 * (new)
[hidden email] www.colstate.edu
> Here is the situation from what I understand, we have a new
> president that has used .com domains for marketing campaigns as a
> way to help track the success of the campaign.
> What I have not found out yet is where did the .com take the users,
> was it a microsite or to a page in the university domain such as
As you know, it's not *necessary* to use a separate domain name, and
especially a .com, to track and measure success. Using an analytics
tool like Google Analytics you could instrument any URL, even within
a deep directory.
That said, there are good reasons to offer a marketable URL,
especially for use in integrated campaigns that include print and
direct mail in addition to web marketing and advertising. Dartmouth
uses a vanity URL for our undergrad annual fund, the Dartmouth
College Fund, using the memorable marketing-friendly URL
dartmouthcollegefund.org. (Note we use .org, not .com, to avoid a
strong odor of commercialism.)
This domain simply redirects to dartmouth.edu/~alfund (although the e-
commerce pieces are actually hosted elsewhere, and retain the
dartmouthcollegefund domain. Long story.) We also use this domain to
create campaign-based redirects for marketing purposes, e.g.
dartmouthcollegefund.org/homecoming, which often redirects to a
subdir within the site. Creating a custom URL for print, and
instrumenting it for GA tracking, lets us know the success of our
print pieces in driving people to the web.
Hope that helps,
Meg Houston Maker '87
Director, External Information Services
Dartmouth College Development