One tool I recently rediscovered is the Dropping.com Lead Generator tool. I primarily use Dropping.com to find domain names coming up for expiry or pending delete auction, but I noticed its Lead Generator tool a few weeks ago and have been using it on and off since finding it. I thought I would share how I have been using it. I believe there are similar tools like it, so if readers don’t use this particular tool, I am sure some of what I do will work on other, similar tools.
The first thing I do is find a name in my portfolio I think would be worth selling via outbound marketing. Typically, I pick a name that I think would have a wide enough appeal, will not be super risky from a TM perspective, and I select a name I am willing to sell for a fair / reasonable price rather than the optimal value.
Once I choose a domain name to sell, I enter it into the Lead Generator tool. The tool returns anywhere from zero to hundreds of leads depending on the domain name. The leads that are provided range from other domain names with the same keyword in a different extension, to similar domain names, to domain names that are advertising for the particular keyword search. The tool provides the Whois contact information for these domain names, and those leads are considered sales targets. This is helpful, but it is just a starting point for me.
I visit the domain name leads that were generated to get a better idea of what is on those domain names. I do my best to not email other investors and not email registrants that are not using their domain name unless I see a reason to email them. There is no sense in bothering people that have a small chance of being interested. On leads I think might have an interest, I try to find a more relevant email address than the Whois email. I try to personalize each email by finding the person I think would be the right contact. Depending on the size and scope of the business, the President, CMO, digital marketing director, or General Counsel might be good contacts.
It may be easier to take all of the email addresses from the lead generator tool and send a mass email, but that is probably going to cause deliverability issues and will likely violate T&C for email providers (and quite possibly break the law). I have not done this before, and I don’t think this is a good idea at all.
I pick and choose the most likely prospective buyers from the lead generation list, and I send them a brief but customized email telling them about the domain name. I keep it short because if they don’t understand the value proposition of my domain name, a long email won’t get them to yes. My philosophy has been if I need to explain what a domain name means or why it has value, it’s probably not worth owning or selling. I don’t mention the price in the opening email because I would rather have a discussion with them than lose them from the outset.
Obviously with outbound marketing, I am bound to get lower prices for domain names. My email will likely land in the inbox of someone who was not expecting to be offered a valuable domain name for their business, and they may not have have the funds in the budget to close a high dollar deal right away. I understand that I will need to be more flexible on my pricing on names I sell this way, so that is why I make this consideration from the outset.
It is also very important for people to be aware of spam-email laws in their jurisdiction. I am neither a lawyer nor an expert, so you will need to do your own research on that.
I don’t sell a ton of names via outbound, but it’s enough to move the needle for my business.