Outbound Marketing Doesn’t Always Work

When I am bidding on some domain names at auction, I typically take a quick gander at what companies could have an interest in purchasing the domain name. The two tools I typically use are Google to search the keyword(s) and DomainTools to see what other domain names with the keyword(s) are already registered and by who. This intel helps me determine how much I am willing to spend for a domain name.

I don’t do a ton of outbound sales anymore, but I have found it to be an effective way to sell a domain name. A good domain name I own may not be on anyone’s radar, and putting it on their radar is one way to get a deal done. For instance, a domain name that I picked up in an expiry auction may be 20 years old, and prospective buyers may have assumed the domain name is still owned by the former owner and not for sale. An outbound email to make them aware the name is for sale is a great way to start a conversation.

Unfortunately, outbound marketing doesn’t always work. The domain name may be great, the contact information may be valid, the asking price may be reasonable, but sometimes companies just don’t recognize a good opportunity. There are many factors that go into a company’s decision to buy a domain name, and there are many reasons why companies do not wish to spend money on domain names.

Outbound marketing can work to sell domain names. It’s usually not the best way to achieve the highest sale price for a domain name, but it can be a good way to generate revenue and turn over inventory. No matter how well written your marketing email is – and no matter how perfect the domain name and targeting is – sometimes outbound marketing to sell a domain name doesn’t work.

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. You’re right, sometimes the domain might be in an industry where the potential buyers don’t understand domains or the value of them. But if there are a lot of PPC ads for that keyword there’s a better chance that you can sell the domain via outbound marketing than if there aren’t any PPC ads for that keyword.

    Do outbound emails work, or do you find that you have to also follow up with a phone call?

    • I don’t ever do cold calls unless I am making a big offer to buy a domain name not sell one.

      I might follow up to an email I receive with a phone call, but I hate receiving unsolicited phone calls, and I am not going to do that to someone else unless I have good news for them (ie making a $50k offer to buy a domain name when I can’t get in touch via email). Even then, it is not something I do with any regularity.

  2. So true! Unfortunately.

    By the way, related to your post a few weeks ago about using LinkedIn, I have had very good luck reaching CEO’s of top multi-billion dollar companies. I can see through the indicators on LI that they are reading my messages. However, despite offering a great 1 word .com domain name in their primary industry, I have not been able to continue the conversation and make a sale.
    Outbound does not always work is correct.

  3. Yeah, it’s called “sales” and sales is hard, especially where a good majority of the population doesn’t know the value of the thing you’re selling. But for people that want to pursue this method of selling domains, there are tons of great books on the topic (selling in general) like “Secrets of Closing the Sale” by Zig Ziglar

  4. I have rarely done outbound sales myself but do recall a couple sales many years back. Likely that is a mistake. However – I indeed have bought a couple .com names when sellers contacted me because I owned the .net versions.

  5. I’ve had some decent sales via outbound, but you really need to do your research on the company. Also you better have something that the Company could really use — an upgrade, etc?

    It’s not easy. You need rhino skin, which I have.

  6. One other point that had not been mentioned.

    You have to be very careful about who you contact.

    If you own what you think is a generic domain, I will guarantee there is a TM somewhere worldwide for the word left of the dot.

    If you contact a TM holder that action can be used as ‘bad faith’in a UDRP.
    There have been UDRPs started because a domain broker contacted a TM holder.
    Even though, the word is generic.

    You have to do your research before you contact a potential buyer.

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