Replying to an Offer with a Text Message

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When I receive an offer to buy a domain name through one of my landing page inquiry forms, I reply to the offer with a stock email that changes depending on the specific domain name. Shortly after I send this email, I follow up with a text message to the prospective buyer. I have found this effective, and it looks like Efty co-founder Doron Vermaat does the same:

There are a few reasons for why I send a text message after sending an email:

  • Email deliverability – I want to be sure my response to their offer did not get marked as “spam” or “junk.” Since I include a handful of comparable sales in my reply that some email providers consider links, I want to make sure the prospective buyer has either seen the email or knows to look in the spam folder for it.
  • Immediate discussion – The nature my business means that I am almost always monitoring my email throughout the day. Many people have different email habits and don’t check their email as much. Sending a text message let’s the prospect know I responded via email, and it opens the door for more communication. I closed more than one deal last year via text. Sidenote, I sold one domain name to a buyer in Alaska late last year via text message. Shortly after the earthquake, I checked in to see how he and his family were doing and he texted me some crazy photos of the damage.
  • Confirm receipt – When I send my standard email, I would guesstimate that more than 50% of the prospects do not respond to my email. Some of those people were probably confused about the form and some simply felt the price was too high and not worth engaging. Sending a text message allows me to have a second contact without being annoying, and with read receipts, I can at least ensure they received the text so there is less concern about my email not being read.
  • Show availability – I think sending a text message shows that I am available to discuss the sale of a domain name at the prospect’s convenience without looking desperate. A phone number also gives an additional level of comfort with the seller, and I think that can be helpful in closing a deal on a domain name.

I’ve probably been texting prospective buyers in response to their offers for the last couple of years. I did it more regularly last year, and it definitely helped me close at least 2 or 3 deals. I don’t love speaking on the phone, but texting provides a similar instant connection with a bit of time to parse my replies.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great topic. For years I missed on opportunities and sales because I felt that texting or calling people is annoying, bothersome and makes me look “desperate”. The fact that English is my second language didn’t help. I wish I had a mentor 10 years ago…but I didn’t and had the “save money” mentality and don’t “bother people” etc.
    I will skip right to the subject and punch line: Strangers have everything you want in life, and the next money comes from the next person you get in contact with.
    IMO it is critical to make calls, send texts, emails, put a face to a name via FaceTime, Skype, or whatever it takes to make the deal.

    This past December I closed multiple deals and a had a fantastic end of year. The last deal was a two word .com name.This took about a month of back and forth “hostile negotiations” with the prospect. I remember the morning after Christmas my girlfriend says “Oh no, you gonna call back X today? How can you put up with that? he’s a complete xxxx” I replied saying, “If I don’t transact with this guy I have NOT helped him, and then you are right it would all have been for nothing.” (at this point the prospect informed me never to contact him again multiple times and that my price was ridiculous)

    Made the 32nd contact with the prospect and closed the deal that morning.

  2. I am finding that many clients at Uniregistry or Uni landing pages are having their inquiry submission, or correspondence land in spam. Text is great, but when the client calls, and calls, and you don’t answer they will think someone this fishy. If I have to talk to every random inquiry, there is just not enough hours in the day, especially given all the low ball offers received daily.

  3. I would suggest using a pay as you go phone for texting. Giving out your main cell number in a text is just opening yourself up for harassment at all hours of the night.

  4. Thanks for the mention Elliot. I believe a big part of why this works so well is because you can quickly establish trust. When a buyer knows you’re easily accessible for questions it helps speed up negotiations and working out some of the details such as how to transact and deal with the transfer.

    Since many people these days shy away from actual calls I also recommend starting out with a text message. Personally, I am not too worried about sharing out my phone number (it’s in my email signature for years and I never had someone harass me) but I want to mention here that I only resolve to sending a text or getting on the phone when the inquiry comes from a qualified lead with a decent opening offer. Low ball offers often come in without a phone number anyway.

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