This is a popular request, so I will share an “end user” sales email that I’ve been sending lately. Keep in mind that I target potential buyers very carefully, and I strongly urge you to do the same. Sending mass emails may annoy people, and it could probably get you in trouble with your hosting company, email provider, or potentially worse, depending on your emails, targeting, and volume.
I would hope you are smart enough to make changes to this email to make it unique. I make changes often, depending on response rate. I recommend that you come up with your own pitch, and again, only send out emails if they are well targeted and the domain name is actually good enough that it doesn’t need to be explained.
There are a few things to notice:
- My email is succinct. I am not sending out emails regarding second tier or alternative extension domain names. The names I am pitching, in my opinion, don’t need any type of extra sales pitch.
- I include my business address and let the recipient know that it’s a one time email. I honor that promise by only emailing the recipient once.
- I do not list the price, as I would prefer to discuss once I have received replies in order to gauge the interest.
- I have a link to my website so people can learn more about my company. This is a way of showing that I am legitimate, and if they agree to a deal with me, I won’t flake. You might also add your phone number if you wish.
- I do my absolute best to find out the name of the recipient, so I address it “Hi Jim” or something like that to make it more personal.
- The subject is the keyword of the domain name, but not the .com. If you are targeting buyers as you should, the subject will be meaningful. If you are using some automated software to pick potential buyers, obviously that won’t work so well.
Here’s the email I’ve been using lately:
My company owns (Domain Name). While seeking out potential buyers for this domain name, your company came up as a potential suitor for it.
I am reaching out to a number of companies (in the X) who might have an interest in buying (Domain Name), and I would appreciate it if you would let me know if you’d like to discuss it further.
I use Escrow.com to transact, and I am happy to guide you through the transfer process to ensure the domain name is in your possession.
Elliot J. Silver
Top Notch Domains, LLC
This is a one time email.
Reason for this? “I use Escrow.com to transact, and I am happy to guide you through the transfer process to ensure the domain name is in your possession.”
1) Why give them more to think about (“what’s this escrow.com thing about?”)
2) “domain name is in your possession”. A negative because it brings up an issue that they may not even be thinking about.
I am only sending out emails for deals in the 4, 5, and 6 figure range, so an escrow service is something that would be necessary and a consideration we’d have to make. I want them to know if we transact, it will be with a reputable company and I am familiar with the process.
You might have a good point with the second issue. That’s something that was recently recommended to me, and I am seeing if it helps any.
Your points have merit if the enduser is not knowledge about the internet. However, if they have reached this level in the corporate world, they would already be thinking about those points.
(I’ve been doing this since the mid 90’s and have been in business much longer than that. That said these are my thoughts – yours could be different).
I talk to people every day that are in both small business and the corporate world. From my vantage point there are more clueless people vs. not knowledgeable. Also anyone knowledgeable (as you suggest) is quite capable of protecting themselves against unscrupulous sellers. They assume there is a method of transacting these sales that is “standard”.
As an aside, being affiliated with a registrar, we’ve had people wire money to us even when we actually own the domain for sale. They assume “ok that is how it’s done you send the money to the registrar” (really). People in corporations. Small business people. In between. We never bring up details like this until appropriate so as not to give someone more to think of then they have to.
Once again, strictly my opinion from my experience not a right or wrong.
Thanks a lot.
Now, all of the emails I receive (daily) for the next 2 months will have this exact wording.
Would suggest that you also try “priming” prior to sending your sales email. This can be done by pre-contacting (from another company name or you own) the sales targets with news of a domain that was sold (w/o price) to a competitor or company in a similar business. Better yet bury the similar domain with other domain sales (which can be static for all mailings). Social proof is one of the things lacking in selling domain names. And yes this is extra work to do.
Great strategy. Never though of this. Like an auction technique to create interest. We often see that people would rather buy something in demand. Cloud domains are currently selling to end-users.
I believe your sales tactic of sending out these types of e-mails to people ahead of pitching a domain may spark a sale. Great advice! Extra work is worth making a sale. Thanks.
Thanks for the tip Elliot! I just gave your email a whirl and within 20 minutes or so, I had a buyer email me saying he wanted the name. Solid Advice. Thanks again.
I am assuming that prior versions of your e-mail to end-users were successful.
My question is benign, just curious, if it worked well enough, why tinker with it? Or do you think the prior ones you posted about six-eight months ago could be improved? If that is the case, what are the major differences, what are the improvements?
Always testing things unscientifically.
The biggest change is I don’t mention the SEO value any longer. I think there’s so much SEO spam that if they see the SEO term, they might automatically group it with those people without really reading the email. In addition, there’s been lots of talk that domain names aren’t as valuable for SEO as they once were, and that has become more of a hinderance and start of a discussion on the merits of a keyword domain name for SEO purposes.
Name quality trumps everything though.
Thank you, that is why it’s always a good idea to ask some of these penetrating questions. A reader can discern from the series without actually reading prior posts. This type of testing do qualify as scientific if it’s controlled.
I have no problem answering questions like that. I think it’s good to discuss because I am learning new things all the time, and the more people share, the more we all learn.
If you look at the entirety of my comments on blogs, there is one theme running like a thread through them. That is busting the myth that domain names, and their valuations, and indeed, their marketability is somehow unique from other human endeavors. There’s an aura that only a special few are capable of determining the value of a domain. In fact, the expectation is that domain names could not be sold in huge market places such as eBay and other places where the consumers are.
This is destructive. Formation of an elite group that has managed for forge a relationship with Registrars, and special market places, to sell trendy, aged, or pseudo-class domain names to themselves, and low-information domainers is what’s holding domaining back.
In my opinion, domain names should be sold based on their value, not based on who owns it. Consequently, a domain value should hold on eBay what it holds on Sedo, or CAX, or here, on Elliots blog.
We often compare domains to stocks. As you know, stock market places fill an order, when it comes to stocks, according to placement, first come, first served bases, that way, if you have a stock to sell, the order is filled by the next person who placed an order to buy some; regardless of who you are. It is not the personality of the seller, but the stock and price that determines this consumption. It is not so in the domain industry, and that is why it has not matured. I, therefore, comment on blogs to shed light on this. I am anti-elite on this. There are no sacred cows. Everything is determined by true or false. I digressed a bit to put us back on track. I hope much band-width wasn’t wasted making this clarification.
I don’t think the person matters nearly as much as the domain name. Frank Schilling’s domain names aren’t individually valuable because they are owned by Frank, but rather Frank selected them because they hold value in accordance with his metrics.
If he had the figurative “Midas touch” he wouldn’t have spent millions of dollars in the aftermarket to acquire the cream of the crop drops as he wouldn’t have had the need.
I think that determining the value of a domain name is unscientific, and it is totally based on one’s experience buying and selling domain names of similar quality.
Very well, following in that path, as I find very little to quarrel with those statements, do you agree that:
A. Names that sell, for example, on Sedo on a daily basis are not particularly different from those held by most professional domainers, in fact most of the names sold by the likes of Schilling are names dropped by other domainers who couldn’t sell them?
The top five sales this week on that list are:
bigbeauty.com 22,500 USD
heateddriveway.com 11,400 USD
cafebank.com 10,000 USD
bmail.com 10,000 USD
whistleblowerprotectionact.com 10,000 USD
B. Submitting names for the monthly auction, or submitting names for the TRAFFIC auction is eventually selected based on pure subjective metrics, such as who you are?
I agree with A. It’s somewhat of a crapshoot or lottery, which is why it’s beneficial to have names listed for sale on various aftermarket platforms. You never know when a serious buyer will come around. It also takes some guts to turn down a $10k offer on an average name hoping to get $20k.
There are many companies with multi million dollar marketing budgets, and a domain name is a small marketing cost for them. Compared to a billboard of roughly the same cost depending on location, a domain name is far longer lasting.
Regarding B… For conference auctions, the commission has been a big part of revenue, so they would rather choose names that they think will sell rather than doing a friend a favor and including a name that is overpriced or bad.
I think it’s important to price a good name at a level that the auctioneer thinks it will sell. Alternatively, a fantastic domain name can have a high reserve because that might draw some eyeballs. It depends who the auctioneer is.
The problem (and also good thing for experts) is that almost everyone thinks they have spectacular, unique, and valuable domain names, and most don’t.
“The problem (and also good thing for experts) is that almost everyone thinks they have spectacular, unique, and valuable domain names, and most don’t”.
Thank you for indulging in this conversation, and I realize it could be capped in one or two more comments, you’ve been generous with your time.
Regarding the above quote, and I’ve seen that used before, but we are not dealing in the abstract. We see the names that are sold. So we can compare the names to those that are not. We see the names that are accepted for TRAFFIC auction, and we also see how they did. The TRAFFIC names runs the gamut, from “No Reserve”, to hundreds of thousands. No category is left out. Therefore, we can rule out commissions as a basis, because the no-reserve ones could sell for $1. We can also rule out Category killers on many of them. For example in the 2013 TRAFFIC auction, here are Lot 137 to 140:
Lot# 137…iloveCali.com and iloveNevada.com and iloveUtah.com (one lot)
So, my conclusion is that many good people get into domaining, they are only able to buy, but NOT able to sale. They are branded as stupid, or can’t get domaining right, when in fact, they are artificially precluded from the market. Therefore, the pool keeps getting smaller and smaller. In order for domaining to progress, people should be given equal chance to take a whack at it. Thanks for the discourse.
I don’t think they are precluded. Do a Whois search of all the reported names that sold at Sedo and Afternic last week and see how many people had sales. My guess is there were many, and that only includes sales of $2k+.
I don’t think people are necessarily stupid for buying worthless (IMO) domain names. I think they are gambling in some ways.
Obviously you don’t need to be a genius to buy a great domain name – or domain names that will sell. However, it takes some level of expertise, gained from observing and participating in the markets. It also takes some luck, as witnessed by some of the names that are selling week after week.
BTW, I am signing off for a while, so I won’t be able to respond to other comments until later.
My letters are fairly long in comparison. Six short paragraphs. My thinking – and experience (albeit limited) – is that most of the recipients have only a limited understanding of Domain Name marketing. I like to think I’m educating many of these folks. Someone more knowledgeable can skip to the last paragraph if the name sparks any interest.
Thanks for the many useful posts. Have a nice holiday.
That’s a fair point, but I figure if I need to educate a buyer, there’s no way he’s going to go from zero knowledge to spending $10k+/- on a domain name.
I also think if a busy business person receives a long email, it will get deleted. That’s sort of what I do (hint to those people asking me for advice via email).
I could be wrong of course, but that is my thought.
I generally put “This is one time email for this ‘domain name’. So that, next time if you send them an email by mistake your previous email may help you protect.
The more emails you send them, the more likely you are going to get into hot water.
I Agree with you. My point is send them one email only for one particular domain and mark that email address as ‘over’. But, after some period you may have another domain name to target end users, and in that process you may by mistake send an email to that same company to whom you had earlier sent an email for a different domain name. That’s why I think it makes sense to put “This is a one time email for this particular domain name ____”.
Well the question is ‘Can we send two different emails to a same company for two different domain names at two different particular periods of times?
Or we should not send an email again to them by mistake or intentionally if we not get any response for an email which we had earlier send to them for a particular domain name.
Can you give us an example of the subject line you use?
Is it something like,
“Hi Jim, Keyword Keyword”
To me the subject line is by far the most important thing about the email, if you cant get them to open your email then it doesn’t matter whats inside.
When I am selling CollegeApartments.com, the subject is College Apartments.
Ok so is it,
“Hi Jim, College Apartments”