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Your Domain Name Should Sell Itself

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I am of the opinion that if you have to explain what your domain name means or why the domain name means something, you probably should not use outbound marketing to sell the domain name.

It seems like every day, I receive at least one email from someone trying to sell me their domain name(s). As a domain investor, I understand why these people are reaching out to me, but I feel badly when I receive a large list of domain names that make no sense to me and don’t really seem to be worth anything unless someone wants to use one as a brand.

Some people seem to believe that if they explain to me what their domain name means, I will be more apt to buy it. Unfortunately, the opposite is more likely to happen. If someone has to explain the meaning of a domain name to me, I will have less interest because I don’t really want to acquire a domain name that is inherently confusing.

There are plenty of brands that use confusing domain names, so that means there is hope for some of these people who own domain names that need to be explained. However, it’s very difficult to convince someone that they should buy a particular domain name for a brand. In these cases, inbound inquiries are the best way to profitably sell a confusing (perhaps “brandable”) domain name. If a company has decided that they want to use a particular domain name for its brand, as the owner of the domain name, you have the leverage if they inquire about it.

The next time you decide to use outbound methods to sell me or someone else a domain name, please realize that if you feel the need to explain what the domain name means or why it would have value, you probably should refrain from sending the email. The domain name(s) may have value to someone or a company, but it won’t it’s very challenging to convince someone to buy a confusing domain name if they don’t already have plans to use it.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (16)

    Jay

    The fact is 50 percent of the population has no common sense. Go jump in your car and go for a planned peaceful drive and you will see this in action. Same holds true in the domain game, people wasting money on domains making registrars rich with no thought before the registration as to who the end user would be. Big sale reported then they will buy an alternate version with 2 hyphens included and spam away. Spam Assassin/Box Trapper combo works well for me, they can send 1000 garbage pitches and I never see them. Common sense leads to quality registrations and quality registrations leads to sales without having to spam. I haven’t sent an email to anyone in 11 years as the domain quality brings in the leads on their own for maximum ROI. Soliciting someone shows your desire to sell/weakness so maximum ROI generally not there. Go on any popular domain forum and ask for a certain type of domain and I guarantee your inbox will contain at least 50 percent garbage/wrong category as very few have the common sense to hold quality. Ask for brandables you get keyword submissions, ask for keyword you get brandable submissions as they don’t even understand the terminology. If it was as easy as spending $8 and spamming to get $1000 everyone would be doing it.

    August 10th, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Paul McMenamy

      Very well put Jay. It never cease to amaze me. And also the number of accidentally mispelt words (get a dictionary!).

      In reply to Jay | August 11th, 2014 at 9:24 am

    BullS

    Isn’t that what I have been preaching all the time at “BullS”

    “The fact is 50 percent of the population has no common sense”

    Correction: it is 80% and mostly resides in USA

    August 10th, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Snoopy

    Same holds true in the domain game, people wasting money on domains making registrars rich with no thought before the registration as to who the end user would be.

    ///////////////

    Agree. Most people have to spend thousands and do it for years before they realise they are no good at domaining and drop the lot (even then they probably blame some other external factor for the lack of sales). Even for the people who have been doing it for years reg fee domaining is very hard.

    August 11th, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Jane

    My favorite is when someone wants to buy a domain name and then tells you the extensive research they have done, informing you of how much you must have paid for it, doubling that price and telling you how grateful you should be that they have opted to make such a generous offer.

    August 11th, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Memorable Company

    Agreed. I’d like to ad that a lot of people don’t realize that not all brandables are created equal. A brandable that is a play on an actual word that represents a billion dollar industry *may* be more valuable than a completely made up word. For example, BytCoin.com would have a million times more chances of being sold over something random like Skidazzly.com. There are different kinds of brandables.

    For example, I own CookieAds.com, which I would consider a brandable, because it’s not exactly something that people are searching for, because it’s not a industry term, but it makes complete sense from a targeted advertising standpoint – instantly recognizable by end users in that industry and recognizable by their clientele.

    August 11th, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Snoopy

    In what way does cookieads.com make sense froma “targeted advertising” standpoint?

    I think that is exactly the type of name this thread is about.

    August 11th, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Memorable Company

      No, you’re right. From the standpoint that you are unfamiliar with the role that browser cookies play in the targeted display advertising industry, CookieAds.com obviously DOESN’T sell it’s self. But I would never pitch sucha domain someone outside of that industry in the first place. Drones.com is an EMD that doesn’t sell it’s self when pitched to a local church or a organization for autism. A domain that “sells it’s self” is a relative term Snoopy.

      In reply to Snoopy | August 11th, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Raider

    I don’t think there was ever a time that I explained a domain name or was even asked, but then again I stopped selling to resellers a long time ago, and users know what they want and need no explanation.

    As for the 50%, I think it more like 70% who have no common sense, Just look at how many uninformed voters we have in the US that cast their vote purely on emotion rather than substance and common sense.. Domains are not that different, if it “feels” good, Register it.

    August 11th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Steevie

    I know what Elliot and most of you domain investors are saying and I would go as far as to agree, but the way you guys sound is pretty snobbish. Only a veteran or someone with a strong portfolio would agree to the tone of this article and comments. No wonder there aren’t more domainers out there. No one would feel welcome when the “inner circle” of veteran domainers are looking down on them and calling them stupid.

    August 11th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I don’t and wouldn’t speak for anyone else, so I don’t know how others would feel about this.

      You should keep in mind that end user prospects also receive these emails, and the volume of them might make them ignore all of these domain name sale emails, even those with really good domain names, perhaps yours or mine.

      August 11th, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Adam

      Regardless of the industry/niche, there will be new entrants that whine about how tough it is and how easy the veterans had it. Any vet who dares to help someone down the correct path and tell it like it is, faces the title of snobbish. Andrew Rosener entered the space late in the game and listened and worked hard. He’s a shining example of how to listen, pay your dues and win.

      In reply to Steevie | August 11th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Raider

    I know a lot of veterans who fall into the same category, registering crap with the intent of selling to noobs, then noobs in turn try to sell them to us… It a dirty industry were in where everyone is out for them self, and with profits comes snobbish attitudes, not with everyone but some who let it go to their heads, giving themselves titles like “King” and “God”.

    August 11th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Jay

    @Steevie

    “I know what Elliot and most of you domain investors are saying and I would go as far as to agree, but the way you guys sound is pretty snobbish. Only a veteran or someone with a strong portfolio would agree to the tone of this article and comments. No wonder there aren’t more domainers out there. No one would feel welcome when the “inner circle” of veteran domainers are looking down on them and calling them stupid.”

    Personally I’d rather have someone give me harsh advice that helps me over someone sugar coating a pipe dream. Just an observation from watching forums and email offers in my inbox over the last 11 years where I scratch my head at some of the submissions trying to figure out the thought process that signaled the hand to register. Wouldn’t call it calling anyone stupid just a wake up and increase your odds of success as holding 500 undesirable lotto tickets generally doesn’t pay off except for the registrar.

    1)Does the domain make business sense?
    2)Who is the end user for the domain?
    3)Are there multiple end users for the domain?
    4)Are there many similar alternate domains available at reg fee?
    5)What’s the profit margin/sales volume of the product the domain covers which helps in determining pricing points.

    etc…

    Basically holding a portfolio of educated purchases with no shortage of end user prospects increases your odds of success.

    @Elliot Silver

    “I don’t and wouldn’t speak for anyone else, so I don’t know how others would feel about this.

    You should keep in mind that end user prospects also receive these emails, and the volume of them might make them ignore all of these domain name sale emails, even those with really good domain names, perhaps yours or mine.”

    Agreed, partially fueled by domain sales reports which are good for the industry to establish some form of a pricing guide although it will never be a KBB.com where ya just look up a car and get your price as domains are a unique asset where domainer A will ring the register at $500 and domainer B could ring the register at $7500 so having the right buyer on the line combined with negotiation skill level can yield very different results. Sales reports also fuel the spammers hoping to spend $8 and strike the lotto.

    I prefer the make educated purchases and end user leads tend to flow naturally over lower quality purchases where ya need to spam to make someone aware the domain name even exists as ROI is always higher when they knock on your door first. Domaining is a game of chess not checkers, quality inventory & patience for the right buyer with a touch of negotiation skill are the key to success.

    August 12th, 2014 at 1:21 am

    tahir ejaz

    hi, i got more then 300 domains , example adult enhancement adultenhancement.com adultenhance.com female cure femalcure.com public trade center publictradecenter.com crockery.co skilful.asia adorn.asia and adorn.club and many more then 300 domains .,,,, all showing direction to a business very recognisable and dictionary words ,,, most of then com and net and some single word .co asia and club domains,,,, i want to sell all 300 plus domain for only $20000

    any one interested? whois contact details

    August 19th, 2014 at 6:49 am

    dheeru

    I would put it in a different way.

    Its not about common sense. Its about education and awareness. I bet if anyone does an analysis about the opportunities present now and compare it to 10 years ago, the results will be self explanatory.

    People like Mike Mann, Kevin Ham, these guys saw the opportunity and made most out of it.

    Domain buying/selling is small industry..with not more than Billion$ turnover annually.

    So lot of people are running for a small pie.

    For Search Engine Optimization, we have big companies like Google, Bing and yahoo…doing lot of new stuff and educating users.

    For Domain buying/selling, we don’t have such organization who educated people, make them aware.

    People have made/shown domain buying and selling as quickest way to make big bucks. This is the real reason for everyone rushing for it.

    September 5th, 2014 at 11:38 am

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