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Charlie Gilbert Undergoing Double Organ Transplant

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Charlotte (Charlie) and Brian Gilbert are two of the most fun people I have met through the domain industry. They are hilarious, kind, and pretty much the type of people you want to be around if you want to ensure that you are going to have a fun time.

For quite some time, Charlie has been battling Pulmonary Hypertension, which has been worsening. Brian wrote an extensive article about Charlie and her fight on his blog, BrianGilbert.com. You can have a look at that to see what Charlie and Brian have been going through.

For several months, Charlie has been at Duke University working hard to become eligible for a heart and lung transplant. Charlie qualified for the list and has been awaiting the double transplant. In order for this to work, Charlie needs the heart and lungs to come from the same donor. There have been a couple of false starts where Charlie’s doctors thought she was going to get her double transplant, but those did not work out.

This afternoon, Brian announced “It’s a Go!” Charlie is currently undergoing a double organ transplant. I don’t know how long Charlie will be in surgery, but I know that she and Brian can use all of the positive thoughts and prayers we can muster. Once Charlie’s surgery is successful, she is going to have a long recovery. Charlie is strong and strong willed, and I know she is going to overcome this and thrive.

In addition to positive thoughts and prayers, one thing we can all think about doing is becoming an organ donor to help people like Charlie. Without the organ donor who made the ultimate gift, we wouldn’t have Charlie in our lives. Let’s keep that person and their family in our thoughts, too.

Here’s to a swift and full recovery for Charlie. Please keep her and Brian in your thoughts and prayers now and in the coming days.

Same Approach Won’t Always Work

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I made a mistake a few weeks ago. I had a couple of domain name sales, and I made some changes to my portfolio based almost solely on these two sales. In retrospect, I don’t think I should have made those changes. I relied on a couple of outlier sales to change my pricing strategy, and it was a bad idea.

For nearly all of my domain names that utilize my Embrace.com landing page, there is an offer form rather than a price. My opinion has been that I can collect leads and offers, and I can always try and come back to those leads to close a deal in the future should a deal not be finalized at the time of the initial inquiry.

On a handful of names in my portfolio, I have a buy it now landing page created with the asking price listed. People can choose to click the buy button or submit an offer. I don’t use this landing page on many of my domain names because my gut says the asking price will either scare most people away, or the “make offer” link will ensure they submit a lower offer rather than agree to the BIN price.

A few weeks ago, I received a fair counteroffer to one of the few names that has the buy it now landing page. I ended up working out a deal with the prospective buyer and the deal closed shortly thereafter.

Domain Investing Things I Am Doing Before the Year Ends

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The last week before the year ends is always a mad dash for me. I typically do some traveling, and that means I need to stay on top of my business needs more than usual so I don’t forget to tie up loose ends before the calendar year changes.

I thought I would put together a list of some things I am doing before the year comes to an end. If there is anything I missed that you think is important, I invite you to share in the comment section:

  • Pay for domain name renewals into the new year.
  • Evaluate my technology and office equipment to see what needs to be upgraded while companies typically offer their best deals of the year after the Christmas rush.
  • Go through my domain name portfolio and decide what domains should have auto-renew turned “off.” Also check to make sure domain names I want to keep have auto-renew enabled.
  • Look through my credit card statements to ensure I did not miss any expenses in my accounting software.
  • Look through my GoDaddy Auctions and NameJet auctions reports to ensure I received all of the domain names I won or had a refund for them. Ensure these domain names are all correctly parked or forwarding correctly.
  • File corporate annual reports that can be filed in advance – and/or make sure everything is up to date.
  • Re-visit old offers and inbound inquiries to see if any counterparties are interested in working out a deal. Some companies have money to spend before the end of the year and some people would love to close out the year with a nice sale.
  • Set up my files for the new year.

I have found that the end of the year is typically slow in terms of inbound offers and deals. This gives me time to focus on closing out my books and ensuring that my business is ready to start the new year on good footing.

Advantages of Third Party Landing Pages

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I saw a thread on NamePros asking about using (and paying a commission) for third party sales landing pages vs. your own landing page. As someone who uses his own landing pages (via Embrace.com), I want to suggest some of the advantages of using a third party.

For starters, I had to spend time and money creating my own landing page. Much of the design that went into it was based on observing other landing pages operated by other investors and companies. I tried my best to envision what was working and what I liked to add those elements to my landing page, but it was based on my own intuition. Setting this up and keeping it going probably cost low 4 figures including the website design that was needed.

With my smaller portfolio, I don’t really have the ability to do a statistically significant A/B test. I could theoretically test the design, colors, and other elements of the landing page, but unless there is an absolute clear winner, the test would likely not yield statistically significant results. In short, outside factors could totally screw up my testing and I could choose the wrong design. I would assume third party landing page companies do lots of testing and have much more experience seeing what works to induce offers and inquiries based on their inbound leads.

Before taking this a step further, I should also add that setting up this type of testing would take technical expertise beyond my own capabilities. I would need to hire someone to set this up for me, and I would most likely need to hire someone to make changes to the test. It could end up being a cost suck on an ongoing basis while I continue to make tweaks.

After getting the technical aspect set up, I would need to hire a freelancer to help design the landing page tests. If I hire

Create a Business Continuity Plan

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I think it is important for domain investors should create some sort of business continuity plan for their domain investments, even if they do not technically operate a business. If something unexpected happens that prevents one of us from operating our business or directing someone else to operate it, some sort of continuity plan would be helpful.

I created what amounts to a business continuity plan in the event something happens to me while I am still operating my businesses. It might not be 100% complete, but I think it would provide some guidance to the people who would be managing my business.

I thought I would share some of the topics that I felt were important for my business continuity plan. Keep in mind this plan is a work in progress – I regularly make revisions and additions as things come up. Importantly, I do not keep confidential or sensitive information in the continuity plan. Things like passwords and private account numbers are kept separate and secured elsewhere.

You are welcome to share some things I may have missed:

Update Nameservers After a Transfer

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I’ve been consolidating my domain names at one registrar. It makes management of the domain names easier, and I have less work tracking down renewals, sales listings, and parked pages.

On some of my domain names, I have forwarding enabled. Instead of parking some of my domain names that don’t earn much revenue, I forward them directly to a “for sale” landing page to help drive sales. Typically, I use the registrar’s default nameservers and add a forward / redirect because that is the easiest way to set up forwarding.

When a domain name is transferred, it should retain its nameservers. Parked domain names set up using the parking company’s nameservers should continue to resolve to the parked page after a domain name transfer.

For domain names that use a registrar’s nameservers and forward elsewhere, the forwarding

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