Domain selling points

I just got back from the latest Traffic conference. ‘Seems time for another article in the “Domain names” category.

I’ve been pecking away on the problem of selling one (or a few) of my remaining domain names to an end user for the last year or so. Last year I decided to issue an RFP for domain brokerage that went precisely nowhere. I have various theories about that, ranging from me being a dope, to me being ahead of the market, but the upshot was that I decided to make a background hobby out of figuring out how to sell domains to end-users rather than domain investors. I’m not exactly cut of the right cloth to do that kind of thing, but it’s a great hobby.

To that end, I decided to collect all the good reasons that an end-customer might want to buy a domain for their business. I’m a pretty good listener and some of the bestest domainers are now out there with blogs, so I had some awful smart people to listen to while I was building the first-draft of my case.

As my little draft came together, it seemed like a good list to share with the folks at TRAFFIC and Rick Schwartz was kind enough to give me a slot as a member of the Madison Avenue panel. I sure wish I’d been healthy when I was standing in front of the gang, although enough people asked for the slides to make me think it went ok.

Here’s a link to the presentation in PowerPoint format and here’s the same thing in outline format;


  • Beat competitors to prospects
  • Obtain more qualified leads
  • Increase closing ratio


  • Expand into a new market
  • Enhance position in current market
  • Consolidate a fragmented market
  • Reinforce brand (or “reverse brand”)
  • Capture mind-share


  • Improve revenue and profit
  • Reduce or avoid recurring costs
    • Customer acquisition
    • Branding
    • Advertising
  • Own an asset that will continue to appreciate


  • Provide a memorable, unchanging address
  • Reach a world-wide audience
  • Improve web traffic, search ranking and ad-placement
  • Leverage online advertising expenditures


  • Web audience ““ up
  • Online advertising ““ up
  • Importance of web identity ““ up
  • Domain valuations ““ up
  • One-word name availability ““ nil


  • Capture a category ““ broadly or narrowly
  • Stand shoulder to shoulder with much larger companies
  • Use social media to selectively enhance brand
  • “Own a word” in the mind of the prospect ““ and prime your site

As you can see, I’m trying to clump the “solutions to problems” by the type of person in the company. My notion is to write a little something about each of these and use the resulting paragraphs in a book that I would build for each domain. Then, figure out who the 200 best prospects are for the domain, mail them a copy of the book, follow up with phone calls and try to trigger a bidding war between 3-5 interested prospects. I don’t know where the spare time to do all this is going to come from, but that’s the plan.