Michele Neylon Shares .HOST Marketing Tactic

Dot Host

Yesterday morning, I shared some thoughts on new gTLD registries doing tradeshow marketing to let their targeted audience know about the new domain names that are (coming) on the market. I want to share how Radix did some great tradeshow marketing at the recent Parallels Summit in New Orleans.

According to Michele Neylon, founder and director of Blacknight Internet Solutions, an Ireland-based hosting company and domain registrar, Radix used an excellent marketing tactic to let hosting companies know about the upcoming launch of the company’s .HOST domain name registry. Here’s what Michele posted on his Michele.ME blog a short time ago:

Last week I was in New Orleans for Parallels Summit, which is all about hosting, hosting automation and related services. (Yeah, it’s kind of like “the” industry event for someone like me!)

The guys in Radix will be launching .host later this year but rather than spend thousands on a stand, staff etc., etc., they took a slightly alternative approach.

Everyone attending the conference was sent a gift basket by Radix which was delivered to their hotel room with this card” (see above).

Radix spent a sizeable sum of money to give conference attendees a memorable gift they could enjoy while at the event. I am not a big fan of conference trinkets and giveaways, but a nice gift basket sent to my room would be appreciated by me at any conference. The cost was probably less than a booth and exhibit space, and it enabled the company to connect with most attendees.

I don’t think this tactic would work for all registries. Many target audiences in specialty niche verticals need to learn about domain names before they are given a pitch about specialty domain names like the new gTLDs. The market for .HOST domain names is likely more educated than the average Internet user, and most of the recipients likely know about the new domain names already.

A gift basket certainly won’t be a key influencing factor when it comes to buying .HOST domain names, but I think it was a smart marketing tactic that was strategically delivered.

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. The team from Radix has always been innovative in their marketing. This bodes well for raising awareness of their portfolio of TLDs.

  2. who are their target customers?

    Rackspace.com and their likes ?
    2 to 300 already established BRANDS already using DOT COM?

    What am I missing?

  3. @Elliot:
    What you propose is that IF One of this long established Hosting companies starts using .host that… in turn will prompt the other ones (lemming effect) to do the same?
    Forsaking their long established dot com brands?

    eg: rackspace.host ?

    Who else could it be a target customer for this New gTLD?

    • There are thousands of existing domain names with the word “host” in them, and I assume .HOST is hopeful that some or many will use .HOST instead of a longer .com or alternative extension.

      I am not saying that .HOST is or isn’t going to be good, useful, or a good domain investment, but there seem to be lots of prospects who have “host” in their domain names, and targeting some of these prospects individually at a hosting conference seems like a wise idea.

  4. Ok, I see your point they targeted the right audience.

    Just having a hard time seeing a large potential market for this one,
    prompting companies to abandoned their current .com …or even using it as an alternative/supplement
    why confuse your customers?

    They will be lucky if they get to convince a few hundred of them and even though they will have to charge an arm a leg and an eye…
    In addition: is it .host .hosts .hosting or .hostin?

    2 words to remember, what’s to the left and what’s to the right, and for those using already the word ‘hos’t in their url…it’s going to sound redundant:

    Just my 2 un-invited cents.

    • I am of the opinion that they specifically targeted this extension, so they must know the market and have done their research on it. The marketing tactic they used was creative and was probably appreciated by the recipients. Not sure if it will work or drive revenue, but I think it was well done.

  5. Wow, don’t even know where to start on this comment but let’s try this . Ellliot, as I understand it you have a marketing background, as do I BTW.
    Think about these last posts related to GTLD marketing. All this proves is two things
    A) very little, if any market research was done in order to determine if anyone besides the applicant actually liked to dot extension as a brand or business asset.
    B) even if we assume that the answer (which in many new GTLD cases i doubt) was yes there was a market, then registries from what I can see had no long established marketing plan and so the registries are innovating like having students design .buzz marketing plan and these sudden trades how (seemingly out of nowhere) on the fly.

    I think you will agree that the efforts of all launched GTLDS thus far do not meet acceptable standard marketing plan and process procedure for new product launches. And that marketing on the fly is seldom a recipe for success and not at all a substitute for a solid marketing plan combined with solid execution.

    If this wing and prayer launch and marketng strategy including but not limited to tweets of the day mentioning. Anyone and everyone that “hey by the way my great fill in the blank extension is in sunrise or is launching today” prevails the ICANN GTLD registry failure fund will be tested sooner than later IMO.

    So here is a litmus test to prove the lack of market impact due to poorly orchestrated and or implemented marketing plans thus far.

    Name 10 of the GTLDS that launched more than a week ago I can’t! And I am 20 years dedicated to the domain industry. The reason I can’t name 10 is quite simple. I am a busy person and GTLD marketing ads activity and overall noise are so far but a faint whisper in my day full of noise.

    So they are going to SWSX? Domainfest? And? What internal industry or startup conference attendance announcement will be next blog focus.

    I ask you what would be better for the GTLD program and for the domain industry. Notices of event attendance or successful collaboration with companies that grab build and succeed on dot whatever.

    Activity is news which quickly fades … Results are proof and resonate for a long time.

    • Without knowing their P&L, sales targets, and other likely proprietary information, I wouldn’t speculate on any of that.

      The one thing I know is that the registry wanted to let people know about .HOST, and I think they did a good job of that. Frankly, if they were choosing between spending $x on a booth or $x on a gift basket, they probably touched more of their target audience with this.

      I should add that I don’t know whether or not they had a booth in addition.

  6. Fair points and well said Elliot
    Not to single out any one registry BTW but as has been mentioned before “GTLD registry pioneers are under a microscope and any and all activities they perform will and should be scrutinized to maximize the benefits and impact and minimize costly mistakes for all their competitive registry owners and those yet to come.
    Like yourself I do not know all the P&L and business production goals for all currwntly launched GTLDs. Lack of transparency makes debate difficult no matter which side you are on.
    For my money however and even if they might not say or admit I publicly, my gut tells me that the 200,000 registration mark set today is no what registry owners were expecting at this juncture. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable or with inside information can set the record straight?

    • I don’t know enough about that to speculate. I am much more of an observer than participant at this point and am comfortable from the sidelines. The launch of new TLDs has provided quite a bit of fodder for my blog.

  7. What an interesting choice for a new gTLD extension…yet another example of folks who have alot more money than smarts.

    • The founders did just sell their company for 9 figures (they kept this one), so I can only assume there was data to back up their applications.

      I have no idea what analysis went into choosing extensions that would be viable, so I can’t comment.

      From a marketing perspective, I think this was a well targeted tactic.

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