Internet Companies

Video Explains How Escrow Process Works

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Escrow.com posted a video on its Facebook page that explains how the escrow process works. Surprisingly, I’ve had to explain the process to a number of buyers and sellers, so this might be a good video to use as a reference if are working with someone that hasn’t used an escrow service before.

I previously posted some links to articles about the strong reputation of Escrow.com, which can be used to allay any fears someone has about doing a high dollar transaction. I think this video and other educational material from the company could be beneficial for you to read and send to buyers or sellers.

One thing I immediately noticed when viewing the video is that a new Escrow.com logo and color scheme are used, and you can also see the Escrow.com this on the company’s YouTube page. I like the colors, and I look forward to seeing an updated Escrow.com website.

Digimedia Launches “The Div” to Promote Web Innovation and Creativity

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I read some good news from Scott Day and Jay Chapman of Digimedia that I want to share with you. The company has launched a non-profit foundation called The Div, which will help to promote web innovation and creativity online in its home state of Oklahoma.

According to the news release on the newly formed non-profit’s website,

“The brainchild of Oklahoma’s most innovative and passionate entrepreneurs, Cory Miller, of iThemes Media LLC; Scott Day and Jay Chapman at Digimedia.com L.P., have launched The Div, Inc. to offer a tech community hub dedicated to web-based innovation, creativity and training for a better Oklahoma.

The name “Div” comes from the web programming term “<[div]>” which is the starting point for a container of elements. The Div is one of the trio’s initial efforts to build a startup technology culture in Oklahoma that brings jobs and revenue to their native state.”

The Div will host workshops, special events, and classes, have a library full of resources for tech innovators, and be a great source of information for people in the tech space in the state of Oklahoma.

It’s always nice to see successful people giving back.

Domain Market / Domain Asset Holdings Changes Landing Pages: No More PPC Links

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I happened to come across a domain name owned by Mike Mann’s Domain Asset Holdings, and I noticed the company recently changed its landing pages. A cross check with some other DAH landing pages confirmed this. The changes between the new landers and old landers are pretty distinct, and because Mann is often on the leading edge when it comes to domain acquisitions and sales, I think it’s something others should note.

As you can see in the embedded image above (and by visiting an example like PublicEmployees.com), gone are the PPC links that were usually shown. In its place are links to Mann’s businesses like SEO.com, Phone.com,  DomainMarket.com, and many others. In addition, links to Mann’s charitable causes are also prominent.

According to Mann, this was a business decision because it is more profitable to upsell and cross-sell his products and services than to earn revenue from the PPC links that were previously on the landing pages. “If we merely sell a few accounts at our other companies with all that traffic its much more valuable,” said Mann.

It’s no surprise that there are brightly colored for sale links and contact information for people looking to purchase one of the domain names. I’ve heard from a couple of people that offers on domain names parked at Frank Schilling’s Internet Traffic are considerably greater than before, likely because of the bright orange strip at the top announcing a name is for sale, and I would imagine the bright green call to action on Mann’s domain names will ensure offers continue to come in to his sales team.

It will be interesting to see how long this change lasts, and it will also be interesting to see if other tests are in the works. It seems like a bold move from Mann though.

As I mentioned a week ago, I am on vacation until the end of July and comments may take a bit of time to be published.

Novelties.com Acquired by Bobbleheads.com, LLC

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A couple months ago, I learned that the huge category defining domain name Novelties.com was acquired by Bobbleheads.com LLC, which was founded by Warren Royal, the owner and operator of Bobbleheads.com. Although the acquisition  was finalized two months ago, the news was not released as the company was negotiating on a few other domain names.

The purchase price is unable to be disclosed due to a non-disclosure agreement.

Warren has been featured on this blog numerous times from turning a $29,112 investment (acquisition of Bobbleheads.com) into a highly successful company that is now funded by venture capital. The company also recently re-launched CustomBobbleheads.com.

Plans for Novelties.com were not disclosed, but I imagine it will be similar to Bobbleheads.com, although it will likely offer a much larger selection of novelty items. As I’ve said in the past, once you figure out a business model that works, you can afford to spend more money on great domain name assets knowing that you can expand your business model to other areas.

Congrats to Warren on this acquisition.

The Challenge for Larger Companies

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One thing that has happened in the domain space in the last few years is that many companies have grown quite a bit from their roots. I’ve only been in this business since 2003 and serious about it for just the last 4-5, but I’ve already seen significant changes at some of the larger companies.

I don’t have the experience working within one of these companies, so this perspective is an outsider’s point of view rather than from someone on the inside.

Sustaining growth is a big challenge that every company faces as it grows. Some companies need to take outside investment, and oftentimes the investors’ goals don’t align with the needs of the company’s clients. Companies need to drive a positive ROI, and that can cause it to stray from its roots in order to achieve its financial objectives. In a small industry like the domain space, that can pose challenges.

As domain companies grow, they should continue to reach out to its clients to ensure their needs are being met, just as they always have been met. Hiring people who have experience in the domain industry is one way to do this. Surveying customers is another great way to make sure needs are being met. I think the best way is to have customer service representatives and account managers who know their clients and can make sure client needs are being met at all times.

With growth comes certain expectations from those who have ownership stakes. Companies need to constantly evaluate whether customer needs are being met, and if they aren’t, they should re-think how business is done. Companies grow for a reason, and they need to realize it’s the loyalty of their core customers that have enabled this growth and will sustain it in the future.

Network Solutions Certified Offers: Do People Use Them Often?

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Certified Offers

I’ve had a few people ask me about the Network Solutions Certified Offers program. This programs allows domain buyers to use the services of NetSol to acquire domain names stealthily, where the company negotiates on behalf of the buyer.

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