Newsletter Now Requires Membership

I just received an email from Francois Carrillo, owner of the popular domain news aggregator, announcing that the daily newsletter will no longer be available for free to everyone. The email is below:

From now only members having minimum a “Trader” membership could receive the daily newsletter.
A lot of our members already meet this requirement, it’s time for you to upgrade your membership.
And this way can participate in the 24H “no reserve” daily auctions website we are about to launch. It should be crazy!

I intend to sign up for the $10 lifetime “Trader” membership because I value the morning newsletter. I am not sure if there are other ways to achieve “Trader” membership status, but it’s not expensive for the value I receive.

I don’t love this idea from a business perspective because I believe that many people will not pay for this service and the newsletter readership may suffer. As a result, when I advertise articles and/or domain names for sale, the newsletter may reach less people than when it was free, decreasing my marketing cost effectiveness.

As discussed many times before, Carrillo has every right to make any business decision necessary to keep his business viable. However, I think it would be far more effective to actively promote a free newsletter to domain investors and simply make up for any lost revenue on sponsored advertisements, which will be more valuable if there are more readers.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Did not realize there would now be a fee for this email when I got similar today, I will opt out of paying the $10 fee for simply an automated rss feed email system…

    not really the money as its the whole concept, just like newspapers charging for their premium content…pass

  2. yeap – I just got this email as well..

    O well looks like I will just have to go to the main website and not get an email in the morning. I could just pay the $10 and call it a day – but that’s just me being lazy and I can find better use for the $10.

    I agree – charging people a fee will decrease visability and won’t reach as many readers as before.

  3. I won’t be paying the $10 fee. I can just visit the site everyday. I think traffic my suffer a bit. But I’ll still be a domaining fan.

  4. You said “However, I think it would be far more effective to actively promote a free newsletter to domain investors and simply make up for any lost revenue on sponsored advertisements, which will be more valuable if there are more readers.”

    I agree 100% !

  5. Elliot
    Not sure i get it.But you know i am not the brightest bulb in the bunch.So is it 10 for a lifetime for the news?
    The part they aggregate from blogs like yours?
    If so bad move.It is not a issue of money although
    You know me at that is a big amount from a newbie
    Anyway if you can clarify for me and maybe other readers
    It would help

    • @ ds

      “You know me at that is a big amount from a newbie”


      If you want to keep receiving the previously free newsletter, you need to make a one time (lifetime) payment of $10.

  6. When I read the email this morning, I thought the
    exact same thing as Elliot and the above posters.

    Well, that means I will receive 2 less emails every morning.

    Furthermore, he is now opening himself up for more
    competition. If he thinks he has an exclusive on the
    information, he might be shocked when a competitor
    offers a better service. And, at no cost.

  7. Say what you will about Francois, but the guy is an innovation MACHINE. He has been creating and implementing new ideas for 2 solid years now.

    You’ve got to admire the guy’s drive and persistence in creating new offerings.

    I know I’m a junkie, and I’m sure many of us are. $10 is peanuts, so quit whining and sign up, if for no other reason than to support the madman of innovation that is Francois.

    He deserves Domainer of the Year or Domainer Hall of Hame (or both) IMHO.

  8. @Pat you are so right….
    That’s why at we will be honoring Francois among Domaining’s Most Fascinating People of 2010 for all the reasons mentioned.

    I have already paid for some kind of membership that was more than $10 and have password access and control admin. Not sure how this is different.

    Given what one spends p pigeon shit domain purchases, I’d think $10 even for a newbie, would be a small investment easily returned by knowledge and tips on how to buy smarter and sell higher.

  9. Why pay a membership to read a newsletter? isn’t the newsletter the perfect way to keep in touch with potential customers and convert them to existing ones? unless you are getting exclusive offers and promotional codes, i don’t think that’s a good way to make money nor to promote a business: “Hi, please pay $10 so i can advertise for my business” it will actually more hurt than help.

  10. I think I will be opting out also. A lot of the things they send in their newsletter I can view at other aggregators. I also receive free newsletters from other domainers who offer domains for sale.

    So why pay the $10 when you can get it for free elsewhere?

  11. No, I won’t be paying. It’s a neat service which I enjoy. But to pay for it…. just turns me off.

    This new policy will be the cause of much bad blood relative to the return.

    Everything can’t be a million dollar idea, Francois. Nor should it be.

  12. I don’t care about $10 but I don’t like getting anything in the email anyway, I go to each site and do not like the email. Elliot you are right and touched on the bigger topic, less people getting newsletter makes your sponsorship less effective.

    People build newsletter circulation numbers up, so they can have higher ad rates. Why would anyone pay more to advertise when the circulation numbers are going down ?

    And to those that think aggregation or specific niche marketplaces is “Innovation” I see the word defined differently, no offense to Francois but this is not innovation, its entrepreneurial and that is good enough, let’s just go with that, words have meaning.

  13. Agree, the newsletter loss is no big deal. works fine and does the exact same thing as since they’re both just simple aggregators.


    you need to make a one time (lifetime) payment of $10.


    Looks like there lifetime will be up soon!


    HALL OF SHAME nominee

    Pass …

  15. Thank you for reminding me about namebee.

    I haven’t visited the site in a long time but just did.

    Nice, clean presentation.
    Unfortunately, he is covering most of the bloggers I
    visit daily. So, he giving me ‘old news’.
    Maybe, he should expand the coverage.

  16. I can upset when I got the second email from them telling me that I haven’t paid. I replied to tell them to cancel my account and NEVER email me again.

    fee for a newsletter? what a joke. This will kill their business alltogether.

    their news was like a day old anyway. For all those want a better way, checkout Google Reader, create folder for just domain blogs, add you’re favorite blogs and that’s it. You get instant feeds, all in one place.

  17. I do miss his daiy email. I would read through the different blogs with my coffee in the morning right before I fired up for the day.

    But I won’t be making a $10 donation/fee so you can send me your ads.

    I still have my favorite blogs bookmarked


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