Updated End User Sales Email

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I am always tweaking the emails I individually send to end users, and I want to share the latest iteration. Please keep in mind that I individually send these emails to hand selected recipients who I think would be good prospects for the acquisition. It’s similar to what I do when I want to buy a domain name.

There are a few things to note:

  • I try to address the email to the person receiving it (no “Hi,” but “Hi John”).
  • I include a link to my website so they can see who I am and that it’s not a scam.
  • I add some urgency with the mention of the auction  possibility.
  • I don’t list the price so I can receive offers and open a dialog
  • Subject is usually [DomainName – Opportunity] or along those lines.

Let me know what you think of the email and if you would change anything.

Update: For the sake of this post, I am discussing the marketing side of selling a domain name rather than the legal aspect of sending emails. I am not an attorney and can’t advise you on legal issues, like the CAN SPAM ACT in the US, or any other legal issue related to sending email in any jurisdiction.

52 COMMENTS

  1. Solid email, mine is very similar actually. You are a much more experienced domain name investor, Elliot, and Im sure this works well.

    Two suggestions if I may….
    “MAY be good for SEO” “WHICH should help bring you business”
    Take out the word “may” and “should”, leave nothing to chance or maybes?? OR maybe those are pre meditated words, I wouldnt know

    “Please let me know when you have a chance”
    maybe, “Should there be any interest, please contact me as soon as you can as there are other offers being presented as we near auctioning this name off”
    Create some more urgency, but dont overdo it?

    I’m fairly new to the game (2.5 yrs), but have had measurable success with end user emails/sales as I twaeak and adjust my own sales emails. The perfect end user email needs to be potent, short, consise, and convey a sense of urgency. Yours is. It’s truly an art, sales and negotiation.

  2. Elliot,

    This looks like the dozen or so emails I receive daily that end up in my spam folder, or I delete them as such.

    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Use the proper ‘formal’ addressing, e.g. “Dear Mr. Joe Doe”

    2. Begin by acknowledging who they are, e.g. “Your company has produced a remarkable amount of content on BuyersCurrentDomain.com”

    3. Introduce yourself: “Our company, Top Notch Domains, specializes in domain investment and development, possessing a valuable domain portfolio.”

    4. Continue extending the offer, making it clear that your asset has been yours for a while: “We would like to offer you the opportunity to acquire the domain, MyDomain.com, a strong asset of our investment portfolio since 2004.”

    5. Continue by explaining why the domain is important to own: “Do not miss on this unique opportunity to match your great content with the ruling domain extension, the dot com. Search engines tend to favor aged, matching keyword domains such as MyDomain.com”

    6. Close with your range: “We are currently entertaining offers in the $10,000 range. It’s a small investment that will give you the opportunity to dominate the search engines and your communication to the world.”

    7. Sign off formally: “Looking forward to discussing with you the availability of MyDomain.com. Sincerely, Elliot Silver – General Manager, Top Notch Domains, New York City, phone number etc.”

    Avoid mentioning other companies that you might be discussing this concurrently, it’s too intimidating.

    • Some good suggestions there, Theo – thanks.

      One thing to note is that I send these on domain names that should be of interest to the recipients and shouldn’t need too much selling to close a deal.

      IMO, if someone is going to spend $15,000 on a domain name, it’s unlikely that I need to provide a lot of information about why the domain name is great. The buyer doesn’t need to be convinced why the name is good but the key is negotiating a fair price for both parties.

    • I really like these suggestions. I’m sticking to my guns on not writing a book or making it too long, as that also appears spammy. However, with these personal touches Acro is suggesting, that could balance it out.

      Nice thread here. This is how we help each other prosper, on a small scale. I’d like to see this on a bigger scale.

    • Elliot, when you reach out to end users, the sales pitch matters. It’s not so much what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it 😉 Being more eloquent pays off handsomely.

      Sometimes – even better – you pick up the phone; if the domain is a must-have to them, they will display their interest on the spot.

    • Agree w/ Elliot here. Acro has some good suggestions, but I think overall it comes across as too sales-pitchy IMO. I have whittled my emails down to about 2-3 very short sentences and have had the most success w/ that format. Typically, I simply notify them I am the owner of the name, the name is for sale and how much I’m asking.

      Like Elliot said, most end-users that we’re targeting don’t need to be sold. They either know it’s a good name or not or will forward it on to someone that does.

      I’ve always had the price in the email though, so I think I’ll try the approach Elliot suggested of trying to open them up to some dialogue first.

  3. good post elliot

    i had some luck in saying something like

    “we decided not to develop this domain name and would like the domain name to be developed out. Price is flexible but we also want the domain name in good hands.”

    Then I try to make it feel the prospect has the upper hand and no name calling or cyber squatting on a generic domain. I also hate dealing with these seo punks and who are clueless on the generic domains and morons.

  4. I have a feeling that I’m going to start getting a lot of emails with the exact wording you posted.

    If it’s just a 3 figure or low 4 figure name, consider adding something about being willing to sell the name for a “very reasonable price”.

  5. *

    I would use the more formal “Dear Mr. Smith”; “Hi” is much too familiar and may offend a more formal business person.

    I don’t know if you do this, but I would also include my full Whois info (footer); that way, a potential buyer can do a check on you and your domain before getting back to you.

    Theo has really made some fine suggestions.

    If you can keep your text to one page, then that’s ideal.

    *

  6. Nice e-mail, Elliot. Simple, clear and I especially like the part about ‘…reaching out to a number of companies…’

    Nuanced, not hard-sell and effective.

  7. I like it Elliot, short and sweet. The first paragraph of the offer is very similar to mine. The only difference is I give them my asking price if I’m approaching them.

  8. Elliot your email is spot on. Yeah you can tweak it here or there but short and sweet gets you in the door and once they respond and you send email number 2 you can hit them with a lengthy combination of data and sales pitch. Also having the link to your website is crucial because it shows that you are a viable company and not some scam artist.

    Acro is correct in most things here but absolutely positively never ever call them unless you have the gift of gab and are a seasoned salesman. You must remember you are not dealing with Joe Schmo but possibly the owner of a multi-million dollar company.

    Todd

  9. Great suggestions, and although I’ve only ever emailed people to try to stir up interest in an auction, my approach is similar. I do personalize everything as much as possible, which seems to help.

    Theo’s suggestions are great, but I also like the fact that Elliot’s pitch is short. How do you strike the right balance? Most of the replies that seem to come back are two words: “How much?”

    It seems like business people like to keep things short. And as the saying goes, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

    I’d love to know how investors like Luc B. are able to get a half dozen sales a week with REALLY terse emails. He posted his sales email a few years ago, and it was literally 2-3 sentences.

    • “How do you strike the right balance? Most of the replies that seem to come back are two words: “How much?”

      It’s such an art/skill- noegotiation and approaching someone, it really is. Its a fine line one must walk to get the sale at an agreeable price for both parties.

      Just last week someone responded to me with “How much?”, and that was it. Not going to lie, it threw me off and almost made me question my normal second round response. Working in corporate america, I understand all too well that business men are “short” by nature and have a lot going on.

      My answer to “how much?” was simply my asking price and that was it. Adjust and adapt to whomever you’re engaging or lose the sale, quite simple. I lost that one it seems, for now.

  10. I typically try to educate the reader by explaining why the domain would help their company, I place the domain in the title and end off by saying, “we are reasonable on pricing”. As someone who worked at a public company “reasonable price” could mean $30k 😉 These marketing departments have budgets, if they don’t spend them they run the risk of having their budget brought down. Smaller companies of course also need a good tax write off which is a perk.

    Like Elliot said though, most willing to spend big bucks know right off they want the name. Don’t be shy, to me sales in a numbers game not a “how do I word it” game. They’re either interested or they’re not, after doing corporate sales for 8 years I’ve realized semantics make a minimal difference.

    I like your email though Elliot, straight and to the point! 🙂

  11. If mentioning SEO is a must, I’d spell it out as search engine optimization and put SEO in ().

    I would personally prefer the phrase “could be an extremely valuable addition to your online marketing efforts” or “could bolster your rankings in the search engines.”

  12. After Penguin and Panda I wonder if “may be good for SEO” might even be misleading. A domain either has type-in traffic or would make for a good brand name because it is short but also describes their business.

  13. I would not include the word “Opportunity” in the subject line, this along with words like “Free” are highly associated with spam.

    Therefore your email might not even reach the end user’s email inbox.

    Some good info in the post and in the comments.

  14. I think the most important aspect is the domain name. If the domain name is not good, no matter how exceptional your email is, you are going to sell it. Similarly, if you don’t target the right potential buyers, you aren’t going to sell your domain name either.

  15. Great short domain sales email I’ve used it today as an Experiment and got my first reply in about 10 mins of sending it. So either the e-mail is good, the domain is decent enough or both probably.

    The reply was…’How much is the domain?’ with ‘I look forward to your reply’

    So I’m hopeful, but I never know how to reply to this as I don’t really want to give away a price and undersell the domain. Any advice?

    Thanks
    Gary

  16. Hi Elliot and All,

    The words “may” or “will” should be replaced by the word “can”.

    In most cases, “Spam” is usually considered as identical boilerplate copy sent in bulk to over 100 people at one time. Hand typed emails rarely if ever, are prosecuted as “spam”.

    I’d like to see one legal case representing a single email sent to someone for an “offer” to buy a domain name that is relevant to the receiver of the email’s prodservs. It’s never happened.

    Isn’t it funny that mailers by snail mail, sent to tens or hundreds of thousands, aren’t considered “illegal”, but we’re all writing here about nervously contacting a possible business relationship with someone online, where our email is hand-typed and original for that person and their prodservs?

    I’m no attorney, so seek legal advice if this worries you. If personally contacting several companies by email that fit your domain’s generic prodserv marketing position gives you pause, you probably shouldn’t be in this business.

    As long as you don’t pound them with more than one offer, I think you should be okay.

    My experience is that email doesn’t work. Phone calls that have chopped their way through receptionists, secretaries, and assistants to reach a low-level marketing supervisor, might work.

    The real solution is a massive domain educational campaign by domainers. It should be a thorough website covering all areas of domain benefits. It should be sponsored by successful corporate domain auction sites, registrars, parking service and other companies owning over 100k domains…. mmmuuuuuhahahahahahahahaah!

    Oh, sorry. I let logic and a normal expectation of evolution for the domain industry take control of my head for a moment. Then I remembered that companies already positioned to reach corporated New Media execs aren’t going to help the little domainer guy sell their longtail domain to even a small company for $300. Why would they open their secrets to competition (the rest of us). Think about it and keep working.

    I apologize for the nutty suggestions. Send your complaints to Bob Parsons.

  17. I’m curious if there is any physiological benefit to sending the sales emails using the domain in question as your sender email address (sale@qualityautoparts.com, for example when trying to sell qualityautoparts.com). Has anyone tested this? I know it seems cheesy but could help show immediate value and some envy if it’s the perfect domain for the company.

    Might not make any difference at all but was wondering if someone has tested it and seen any obvious results.

  18. @elliot
    I have twisted and crafted mail from suggestion above and we are talking about $ xx,xxx . Well, I have got a response from the owner of the site with 6million active paid service users.
    His reply was simpley :
    Thanks xxxxxxx,
    we will keep in mind.
    Cheers

    What does it mean now?

  19. Some CEOs, particularl in larger firms may be quite conservative (whether small ‘c’ or capital “C”).

    They may still be using the verb ‘to contact’, rather than the hip, smartphone generation verb ‘to reach out’, which is very ‘in’ at the moment.

    Of course, marketing guys would be hip to that, particularly marketing guys who wear sunglasses indoors.

    However, I prefer to use standard business English for important emails, rather than zippy Net English.

    i.e. I will be contacting, or I have contacted – whatever.

    However, there are several useful ideas in your presentation so thank you.

    regards

    Carl

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