Email is the Domain Name X Factor

When it comes to domain names, I think email is the x factor that is not always considered. For companies that don’t have their exact match .com domain names, I think email can be a big problem. For those who are fortunate, the email issue will be understood, although it can go undetected.

On one of my domain deals, the buyer may have been a bit too honest with me. His company was using a domain name, and he told me they were having email deliverability issues. Apparently, some of the emails that his employees were sending to partners, contractors, and others were not being received. This was a big reason he reignited a conversation that died on the vine. We were able to work out a deal, but if it weren’t for the email troubles, I think their team was content using their non .com domain name until a later date.

Last week, Alan Dunn shared this tweet:

People regularly assume a company uses the exact match .com domain name. When it comes to searching for the company, Google and Bing make it super simple for a company to be found. Email, on the other hand, can complicate things (as evidenced by Alan’s tweet). People tend to assume the email address is @ the exact match .com. If the owner of the domain name is using that email (info@domain for example) or if a catch-all email is in use, an undelivered email message may not be received by the sender to notify him of the error.

On a couple of my developed websites, I receive emails intended for others. On one email address, I occasionally receive purchase orders and customer service inquiries intended for a company that has a similar spelling to my domain name. On another, I receive bank payment confirmation emails from a bank possibly intended for another website that uses a ccTLD domain name.

When I pitch a domain name to buyers, I regularly mention email as a benefit of an exact match .com domain name. I typically mention it in the vanity sense – ie upgrading to the EMD will look good on business cards with email addresses. Having undelivered emails should be something every business cares about though. Not only could a business lose confidential information or miss out on sales, but if the sender thinks the intended recipient received an email but did not respond, it could also cause customer service issues.

Email is a critical factor related to domain names that is not considered as much as it should be considered.

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. I could provide literally 10’s of thousands of examples of this happening, daily.

    One I had seen this morning, a fortune 50 company is requesting services from a company that has an “add-on” word to its domain name, that is different than what they brand as. This resulted from a “department to department” communication. One department provided the exact email address to the other department to use this other companies services on a project.

    Even though they had the exact email address to use, displayed right in the email, they used the make sense version (exact match domain to the companies brand, leaving off the add-on word)to a domain they do not own. 4 emails have taken place since first sending, with “ramping up” clarity that the project deadline is approaching. Crickets from the other side…

    Even though this domain name was expressed of its importance to this company, they stated they are “well established under the current domain” they are using. Not the case and I provided plenty of proof, yet they continue to ignore this clear problem. Crazy!

    • Loved one of your articles on the value and power of EMD and I tend to use it in private sales negotiations including recently.

  2. Definitely I see this happening. Can also be a problem with hyphenated domains. If a company uses emails on that domains, there’s definitely leakage there.

    Also makes a case, though, for using .EMAIL for your company emails, though, no?

  3. I have to agree that emails are important and definitely should be considered when acquiring a domain name, however, on the flip side of that coin, most the emails going to the wrong place were due to a typo, which could happen with any domain or extension. Before new gTLD’s came into the mix people were sending emails supposed to go to a 12 character .com to a 8 character .com or sending emails to instead of

    Emails remind us that the domain should be as short, pronounceable, and memorable as possible (Regardless of extension).

    • No, they don’t need to be “short.” Pronounceable and memorable yes, and pass the radio test for spelling. And I would add compelling, authoritative, top of mind, and sometimes even kind of beautiful because of all that. Or maybe even lose the “kind of,” as I suspect others feel similarly at times.

      So for instance: is short and memorable, but sucks big time.

      Example@SmallBusinessLoans(dot) com is all of the above except short, and is worth a big fortune. Or Example@InsuranceQuotes (dot) com. And so on…

  4. I echo the experiences of others. I have had many major security breach type emails with contracts coming to me, terms, specs, financial information, analysis of financial clients, etc. One company that was a large company in Chicago has dropped off the planet, and I can’t help to think that it might be because their email snags were upsetting clients, providing distrust, etc. A second company was a bank inspector of banking systems. Same problem. And unfortunately, the same result. If a company is legit and wants to be perceived as legit and doesn’t want huge email gaffes, they pretty much need a .com from what I have witnessed. ~ Tasha Kidd

  5. When HPE and CSC formed, also acquiring saves the complications.

    Then again using hyperlinks and address books helps to only have to key in an email address once or never.

  6. > “People regularly assume a company uses the exact match .com domain name.”

    I love this whole topic. Oh, and I guess no one got the memo from a few years ago that email is both dying and dead already. (Not!)

    This actually ties in nicely and completely to what I’ve been mentioning about the best top-of-mind long domains as well, including three and four words.

    The bottom line is what we already know: “.com” is completely ingrained in people’s minds and is essentially synonymous with the Internet and World Wide Web.

    I’ve related before how I was in Staples trying to get a smartphone on display to visit a site I had on a new gTLD, and I needed to ask a floor rep for help. Despite how beautifully short and sweet the site domain was, nonetheless he had to pause in confusion and ask, “what, no ‘.com’ or anything?”

    And as I have related from traffic stats when the SE’s used to let you see all the searches:

    Even when a multi- or multi-multi-word phrase the size of Moby Dick is the authoritative top-of-mind phrase for something, or one of them, the public has .com so firmly ingrained within that they not only search for the phrase itself, but more than that they actually search for the .com itself including numerous slight variations in which they merely add spaces.

    It’s as if the “.com” phenomenon itself merely needs to be appended to the phrase. In fact – not “as if,” but simply that’s how it is, period.

    So whether it’s:

    or or more,

    That’s how it goes. Really quite remarkable.

    • What problem are you referencing?

      If you’re referring to my article, the “solution” is to get the .com domain name that exactly matches the brand. This might not be feasible for many companies, but that would help.

  7. *Critical factor? far fetch really…

    Email services and systems are getting smarter and smarter (Contextual Intelligence) …, auto-fill – Gmail drop down suggestions but in steroids
    A.I (same reason the need for SEO will die eventually)

    *to me, that is more of a BUll SxxT selling point…

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