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.