I operate my own “for sale” inquiry pages for my domain names via Embrace.com. I like that I can control my own landing page designs and have total, private control over my leads (I trust platforms like Efty and Dan.com have privacy features, but I also assume if someone acquires either business, they would also acquire data). There are several downsides to managing your own landing pages, and I want to share them with readers.
One of the hallmarks of direct marketing is testing everything. This was one of my biggest takeaways from graduate school. With my own landing pages, I have the ability to test everything. However, to actually do this, I either need to have a designer on staff to make changes regularly, or I need to spend quite a bit on freelance designers. This can get expensive for a smaller business.
Assuming I am willing to spend this money on landing page design changes, I also need to commit to tracking the tests. I need to understand if color changes, language changes, or other call to action changes make a difference, so I need to be able to understand how these changes impact my leads. This, in and of itself, is not super difficult. The biggest issue (for me) is with just about 1,000 domain names, there are not enough leads generated to know if the changes make any bit of difference. Making wholesale changes because I received a couple of extra leads one day is not the best idea.
Aside from the design perspective, there are technical details I need to manage, and those can get tricky. It is important to keep the website and plugins (depending on the CMS) updated as necessary. Once in a while, a plugin update breaks something on the website, and that requires attention from a developer who knows how to fix or address.
Finally, there are hosting issues, which is what made me think about this article. Yesterday, I went to check and ensure a domain name was forwarding correctly. The page did not load. A test of a couple of other domain names showed those were not loading either. Was this a temporary issue or something more serious? Was this impacting every visitor or just a subset? These questions are not super easy to answer and they may be impossible to know. Bottom line is that I need to figure that our or I won’t generate any leads.
While it’s nice to not have to pay a third party to manage landing pages and it’s nice to not have to pay a commission for sales, there is more responsibility for self-managed landing pages. Small issues can become bigger issues, and undetected downtime or a broken website can cause lost leads. There are advantages to managing my own landing pages, but there are some big disadvantages as well.