Yesterday I wrote a post with some advice on addressing end users. I think a personal email goes a long way, and it’s far superior to a bulk email or an email that has a generic greeting. Someone asked me how I find the name and email address of a potential buyer, and it’s a good question. Here are some suggestions, and I welcome your additional suggestions as well.
- Management page on a website. For small to medium sized businesses, contacting the president or CEO of a company is a good way to open discussion about a domain sale. You may also want to email or cc the person in charge of marketing or business development. For large or very large companies, I don’t recommend emailing the CEO since it will likely get filtered by an administrative assistant and not make it through. Management pages often have the email addresses of the executives, so that’s a bonus.
- Contacts page. This is probably the most obvious way to get in touch with someone at a company. Use the contact form or contact email address on the website. For added effectiveness, address the email “Dear John” or “Hi Jim” to the President of the company or someone in marketing. If it’s a larger company, something like “Dear Mr. Smith” would probably be best since there will likely be more than one person with the name, and a more formal greeting may be appropriate in getting your email forwarded to the right party.
- Whois look up. The technology decision maker or executive is often the contact on the Whois. If you are unsure of whether the Whois contact is the correct person to contact, do a Google search for that person’s name to see where he or she ranks at the company. This will also tell you whether the person works for the company or is a web developer who will likely delete your email.
- LinkedIn. You can use a site like LinkedIn to find the name of the contact at a company. If you have connections in common, you can try to get an introduction, or you might be able to contact the person using other means, like Facebook. You can also guess the person’s email address, trying something like firstname.lastname@example.org or a variety of other options. I like to try and find a random person’s email address in a press release or something else to see how the company uses email addresses and try to send an email to the owner or marketing contact that way.
- Press release archive contact. Look at a company’s old press releases to see if the president’s contact information is listed. Sometimes it’s a press agent, which doesn’t usually result in good leads for me. However, if the person is labeled as a marketing manager, you might have luck with the domain name decision maker.
I am sure there are many other ways to get in touch with the right person at a company. Please share your ideas on ways to contact a decision maker.
If you pay for the Business Plus upgrade to your LinkedIn account, you’ll be able to send “InMail” directly to many users. Not all have opted into the system, but enough that it’s a handy way to get hold of people on occasion. Keep an eye on the categories of InMail messages they’ve stated they’re willing to receive – if they’ve included “Business deals” then a genuinely ON TOPIC domain name sales enquiry seems like a legitimate communication.
Also, if you find the full name of the person you want to contact and it’s an “unusual” name, then Googling them (with a location modifier if you have some knowledge of where they live) may turn up other routes to get in touch with them, for instance info about clubs or societies they belong to. You may even be able to “connect the dots” with something from your own experience and make your approach that much more personal (e.g. you realise you’re both keen runners) though you have to word things carefully to avoid coming over as creepy.
All points are valid, I tried to contact a domain owner cause a client of a client wanted to acquire the domain. I emailed the owner in the whois with no response, I asked a domain friend of mine and he got a response 2 out of 3 domains that was at interest.
It won’t take long for your Linkedin account to be suspended, no matter how good your domains are.
As an extension of what Elliot said re email@example.com:
Put your guesses in brackets in google when searching “firstname.lastname@example.org”
I find that this yields a hit even with the CEOs of massive multinational companies about 1 in 3 times. This is especially true if the CEO was promoted from within as they are usully either the ex CFO or CMO.
Although Elliot has a lot of experience in sales of domains I sell another product to CEOs on a regular basis and I would say that even though you can go to the marketing first its easy to go down from the CEOs office to someone who can make a decision however if you start at the marketing dept you will never see the CEOs office.
I recently used LinkedIn to contact the company parking the .com of a major brand behind a proxy. Hard to believe but I had the domain transferred in 2 weeks. I did not even have to make an offer (it had been parked for years). These guys were open to simplify the process and not go through a UDRP. We just proceeded with ownership o fthe brand and that was it.
Good idea. But if there any many managers in the company, which manager do we address to? HR Manager?
Anyway, do you think SkiLLC.com can be sold to Nac Ski LLC or Dyna Ski LLC (just searched “Ski LLC” on the google search)?
You can also supplement these techniques with Jigsaw.com. Although particular contact data isn’t free, you can still look through the staff and find out the positions of the employees. Also, you can approximately evaluate the size and financial status of the company.
I’ve found pipl.com to be a helpful tool to find more information about a person.
Sometimes when a website with hidden whois has a contact form as the only means of contacting them may have the email address sit in the source code. (in Firefox that would be ctrl+U, then find ‘@’).
Good information here. But how do we find the press release contact?
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