LeadRefs.com Works

A few days ago, I received an Instant Message from an acquaintance who told me about a new (free) service his company, First Beat Media, recently launched – LeadRefs.com. The site aims to help domain investors find buyers for domain names.

Essentially, the service does Whois searches for similar domain names and provides contact information for those domain owners. I assume the company uses a proprietary algorithm to determine which domain names are similar enough to the domain name for sale that it might be worthwhile contacting the owner.

I didn’t reply immediately to the IM because I was in the middle of a couple things, but I visited LeadRefs.com after dinner. I did searches for several domain names I hadn’t been able to sell during the last year, and I sent several emails to potential buyers.

One domain name was a real estate domain name I bought in the aftermarket last year. I sent 5 emails to prospective buyers for this domain name, including one at 8:36. Two minutes later, I had an offer for the domain name, just under my asking price, and I agreed to do the deal. Within an hour, the deal was finalized using Escrow.com.

I don’t recall closing a deal so quickly in the past. Additionally, I received replies from other potential buyers asking for prices. The domain name I sold was priced, and I used a fairly simple email to sell the domain name.

With great domain names, you don’t really need much effort to sell it if you have a targeted audience. This tool helped me close a deal, and I am absolutely going to use it again.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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’m so glad you mentioned this Elliot. After reading about leadrefs on your site I did the same thing for about 5 of my domains. My reply rate was the highest it has ever been and I saved so much time instead of doing the research myself. I have not closed on a sale yet probably because my names were not priced but I will definitely be using this service again.

  2. Elliot, This looks awesome – thanks for the heads up!

    It would be great to see the updated template email that you use, as I’m sure you’re always refining it. I found some that you used in the past:

    1 year ago:

    1.5 years ago:

    2.5 years ago:

    How has your template morphed?

    • @ Patrick

      Yes, it has… it’s very short and to the point and included the price. I’ve lately found the shorter ones have been successful and a good domain name needs little explanation about why it’s valuable. IMO, if a lead doesn’t know why a specific name is worth $5,000, I am not going to try and convince him why it has value.

  3. Congratulations on the sale.

    Something I find very interesting on LeadsRef.com is that it shows you the Whois emails next to the names and you are able to determine that the same owner has a variety of domain names on the same subject.

    I recently used it for a domain name with the word MARRIAGE and found end-users (mostly non-profits) that own dozens of names similar to the name I own.

    ZFbot is good, but you have to search Whois email one by one. At least that is how I have been able to use it.

  4. Thanks for sharing Elliot.

    What I noticed when looking at it the other day is that the lead amounts can be overwhelming on the better domains. I found one with almost 900 leads. Granted, not all will be like that.

    What occurred to me when looking at this is would it not be cheaper to hire a college person at say $10 and hour to send out a domain sale template to these end users then spend your own time doing it. That way you can keep looking for more domains.

    Also, a $10 hr. worker, or even structure it as contract labor per 100 domains done, or something similar, would still be cheaper than paying a broker 15-20K for a $100,000 sale. You’d still have to do the lead follow-up work, but at those broker rates it’s worth it.

  5. It’s a truly beautiful thing when their lead generator shows Twitter Lead as the Email Address. That happened to me with a Geo-lawyer .com I owned. Someone was using it as their Twitter profile name and they jumped at the chance to own the actual .com domain. It was fairly priced, probably lower than it should have been…

  6. I’m using zfbot and AtomicWhois already but my first impression on LeadRefs.com: awesome! Working with it right now.

    Thanks for sharing Elliot.

  7. Tom,

    How did you get in touch with the guy who had a twitter feed?
    Did you send him a message on there? I don’t use Twitter so I’m not familiar with the process.


  8. @Garry

    You can:

    1. Go to the person’s Twitter account, follow them, when (if) they follow you back send a private message.

    2. Also, if the individual or company already has a web site listed in their Twitter profile (the person I contacted had one, it just did not match his Twitter handle) you can get the contact info from the whois for the domain that they do own.

  9. Thanks for sharing Elliot, this is an excellent tool! I have found a bunch of very targeted potential buyers for one of my names within a minute! It might be also helpful for a quick valuation of a domain from the perspective of further flipping.

  10. This is a great tool to use!

    I noticed there is a 15 lead limit – I wonder if there is a way to increase that if people sign up.

    One thing I wish was added (it may or may not be helpful) is if the algorithm also targeted people who use a free domain hosting – just blogger, or wordpress

    It might be a good idea to contact those people and tell then its better to have the .com version of their .blogger website

  11. Thank you for the article you wrote Elliot. I am so glad so many of you have found leads for your domains with the service. With the way the domain market seems to be heading at times, we always need something to put a smile on our face.

    @ Chris

    The Blogspot/Wordpress lead generator is in it’s last stages of development. It should be up by end of the day today or sometime tomorrow. Just finishing testing.

  12. @elliotsblog What a great fresh perspective, “if a lead doesn’t know why a specific name is worth $5,000, I am not going to try and convince him why it has value” – I read that and had one of those, “Ya duh” moments.
    LeadRefs followed me on twitter and I went to check them out and saw you posted this about them. As always, you’re a plethora of information. Thanks for posting this.

    • @ Ricc

      Some feel that it’s better to educate a potential buyer, but I don’t have the time or energy to do that. If someone doesn’t get it, it’s very likely they still won’t have interest in spending thousands of dollars on a domain name, even if I show them why. In this day and age, it should be pretty clear why a descriptive domain name has value.

  13. I’m using it, alot of leads to be honest and responses are quick.. Love this lil tool guys, keep it FREE forever supported with advertisement and your good to go!!

    Cheers Leadrefs team!!

  14. @ Elliot

    Sorry for my delayed reply, I didn’t check the notification box, so I missed your one.

    As to quick valuation usage, I mean that it might be easy to enter a domain being a purchasing candidate in this tool and learn within a few minutes, if there are many potential sales leads or not. So you can take that in account when deciding whether to buy the name for the resale purpose or not.

  15. “valuation” might be not a very suitable word on its own, better to say “valuation of flipping probability” 🙂
    Of course, I wouldn’t make a decision based on this tool only, but it can add up to other factors.

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