From the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur

You're promoting your business URL on your marketing materials, right? That's a start. However, you might be ready to expand your brand. Vanity URLs can help.

A vanity URL (or vanity domain name) is an easy-to-remember URL often used to promote a particular product or service. For example, your company URL may be www.company.com, and your vanity URL for a product called ABC could be www.abc.com. Often, a vanity URL redirects to a page on your site. For example, www.abc.com could redirect to www.company.com/abc.html.

What does this accomplish? First, you'll send prospects to the most appropriate landing page. Dumping them off on your home page and making them search for what they want could cost you the sale.

Second, you'll likely avoid additional site hosting fees because a redirect is not a separate site. It just allows people to type in one URL and then be sent to another. Your ISP can set this up for you. Although you could pay a small hosting fee for the redirect, it shouldn't be much.

You don't need to use vanity URLs, but they make great low-cost web marketing tools.