This tutorial walks you through a six-step domain name sales process to find, organize and contact the right decision maker at prospective companies.
Interviewee David Kelly used it on AccessiblityTesting.com and in less than a year had this $69 purchased domain name sold for $3,500.
Watch the full video at:
Today’s show is a tutorial on how to find the right decision maker for selling your domain names. And we use an example of a domain purchased for $69 and sold for $3,500, so the show is geared to newer domain name investors. It’s definitely one you need to take notes on and bookmark for future reference. Stay tuned.
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Michael Cyger: Hey everyone. My name is Michael Cyger, and I’m the Publisher of DomainSherpa.com – the website where you come to learn how to become a successful domain name entrepreneur and investor directly from the experts. I bring on experts, people we call Sherpas to teach you things through interviews, panel discussions, and tutorials. When you learn and advance your experience and skills and make sales, I hope you come back here to do an interview like today’s guest is going to do with us.
I would like to welcome to the show, David Kelly, Founder of OyDomains.com. Welcome, David.
David Kelly: Hi Michael, thank you very much for your time. And on a personal note, your recent rewards and your successes at the domain conference attribute to yourself. It is an honor to be on your show more than anything else.
Michael: Thank you, David. So, in addition to being Founder of OyDomains.com, you also have a background in web design. Not a lot of entrepreneurs have that background. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?
David: Yeah. So, I studied web design at University. I have always had an interest in web design, probably since the early 2002s, when I was in high school and I first got a project, an IT project, and one of the sections was about designing a website, like a few web pages, and from then, I just got a bit hooked in it and it was something that I constantly wanted to do. I had a couple of little sites that I did with friends what I was towards the last few years of my high school and I got newer ones to do at University, so went in and did that.
And from then onwards, I have always used it as a basis from everything I have done since then. I think it gives you a solid sort of foundation, particularly in the web because it not only allowed me to obviously design and make websites beautiful, but also it opened you up to using different types of media. So, for example, audio production, video production, obviously coding, graphic design, etc., so it really does open up and gives you a bit of flavor in different areas of the business and web design, etc.
Michael: Yeah, great. Now, here is a really important question for you, David? What does “OY” mean to the English?
David: It is just like a statement. Say like oy, come here or oy, you there. When I was thinking about the name of my business, I wanted something that just was easy to remember, but was also like a statement because I pride my business around it is about getting the name, an impactful name that you remember and you are able to brand. Oy just met that criteria and it was available to hand register, and I just ran with it and I just built my brand around that. It just makes a statement and it is just easy to remember more than anything else.
Michael: Yeah, definitely.
David: I quite like brandables, but I knew that I wanted to make my own brand as opposed to using something that is prepackaged like a keyword domain because obviously a lot of those have already gone, particularly with the domain space.
Michael: Yeah, definitely, and I did look it up on Wikipedia. Of course I have heard English ‘oy’, but I could not put my finger on it and it is an expression of surprise or to get people’s attention. So, I think it is a great name. And are you a full-time domain name investor right now, David?
David: I just recently became that. About three months ago, I left my full-time work because I always wanted to own my own business and run my own business, so I always tried lots of different things, whether it was Ebay selling or different bits like that. So, I always knew I wanted to work for myself, but it was about 2009 when I first looked into the domain name industry, but it did not actually take off at that time. It was just something that I initially researched and looked into. It was only a couple years ago that I actually really got into it and started doing it as like a part-time thing, so something outside work to help build my brand, build my portfolio, and make a few sales here and there.
But obviously when you are in a full-time job, you cannot be so active doing the outreach stuff, but it just reached that point when I was away in Thailand and I just thought to myself you know what. Life is too short and I will regret not doing this, so I bit the bullet and I just went for it. I handed in my notice and the rest hopefully is history.
Michael: All right. Well, we will find out. So, David, you reached out to me for this interview. I want to ask you off the bat. Why did you suggest coming on Domain Sherpa and sharing your tips for doing end user research today?
David: Well, your shows brought a lot to me in terms of how I got to understand the industry, how I got to understand what the value of domain names, which domain names are key to look at, learning from experts, and it is just something that has really helped me in terms of getting started within the industry and developing my skills. And I like to think that the topic we are talking about today I have been able to develop and tweak based upon the advice of others and hopefully, more than anything, I want to give back because I think everyone should.
You should acknowledge the people that are trying to help you get there, and if I can help anyone that is new to the industry or even more established people, if I can offer them any tips today, then it is only helping the industry by helping each other, because ultimately you only have one domain name that is a stepping stone. We are not necessarily competing against each other. We have got to help each other and make this business sort of grow because, like many of your Sherpas in the past, we are in the infancy of what is going on still, because not everything is online yet.
We are getting there, but if anything, it is becoming more competitive and that is where your show in particular helps find the good stuff instead of the bad stuff.
Michael: Well, I appreciate that. I thank you for coming on here and suggesting this topic. I think it is going to be a great topic today, and thanks for giving back. So, today we are going to teach others how to find the relevant end user, decision maker’s contact information when you have a domain name for sale so that they can go find prospects and contact them. We are going to use a specific domain name that you recently purchased and sold using the methodology that you are going to walk us through today. What is the domain name, David?
David: So, it is AccessibilityTesting.com.
Michael: Okay, and if anybody does not know what accessibility testing is, what is that in a nutshell?
David: So, people with disabilities or any type of disability. It applies to websites, but also documents, etc., and about making them accessible for people that do not necessarily have the required tools to be able to view them, see them, etc., but also it can apply to if, for example, device accessibility, etc. It is about effectively that testing element that could be offered as a service from companies.
Michael: Great. Yeah, that is exactly it, and I remember. I know when we were talking in the pre-interview. I used to work at GE back in the ’90s and it was big business. Especially with a fortune five hundred company, you needed to make sure that every single website web page was fully accessible to people with color blindness, hearing problems, older age, and any other disadvantaged group because there are actually laws in most countries, like the Americans with Disability Act in the United States, that require companies to have their information accessible to people.
So, AccessibilityTesting.com. Two words. That is a long domain name. Eight syllables. I believe it expired in November 2014. Is that when you picked it up, David?
David: Roughly about that time, yes.
Michael: Okay. And then how did you first discover it?
David: So, I used ExpiredDomains.net. I think a few of your Sherpas have mentioned it before, but I find that a great tool for being able to apply filters. It is particularly good with keyword domains as well I find, and I just found that, and I believe I actually acquired it through NameJet. It was like a 69-dollar acquisition of mine.
Michael: Yeah, and so this domain name is not really anything special besides the fact that it is associated with this really big sort of movement, requirement around web content. Do you remember the filter that you used on ExpiredDomains.net that allowed you to find it?
David: So, for example, I like to search for domains that are a lease like nine or ten years old, and so that was one of the filters. So, I did up to maybe 2005 or 2006 registration date. I also search sometimes for minimum search volume, so I think, in this case, I did a minimum of one thousand searches. I always search for the .COM primarily because let’s face it. That is still number one. And obviously I wanted to remove any hyphens or numbers out of it as well. So, they are a few of the filters that I applied.
Michael: Yeah. And so, when you do your searches, is this a daily basis or a weekly basis? How often do you do these kinds of searches?
Michael: Daily, because the drops are happening daily. There are hundreds of thousands of domains dropping. You run these filters and it gives you a list. How long per day does it take you to go through this list and look at the domains and see if they appeal to you?
David: It is not too long to be honest because that site does a lot of the work. So, it might take me about an hour to go through and look at all the different marketplaces as well, because I do not just look at one marketplace. I look at GoDaddy Auctions. I look at the NameJet Auctions. Sedo. SnapNames. Etc. So, I have a look across all the marketplaces and just see whether I find something that I like. Once I have found a name that I kind of like, I do my research and see whether, one, could that be made into a business or, two, would that benefit a business. If it meets that criteria, then great.
I also look at what trends are out there as well, so keep an eye in regards to what is selling at the minute where it is through NameBio or DNJournal, etc. So, for example, the four-letter .COMs right now are really hot, so you always keep an eye out on those as well.
Michael: Definitely. So, according to EstiBot.com, the retail value of AccessibilityTesting.com is 21 hundred dollars, so it is a lower-level valued domain name. It is not one that is coming in at ten thousand. It is not one that is coming in at nine dollars, 69 dollars, the registration fee. Besides the .COM, none of these other top-level domains are registered, so AccessibilityTesting.org is not register. AccessibilityTesting.net is not registered. It has an exact match search volume of 16 hundred per month, which is not very high, but the ad competition is listed as high and the average cost per click is listed at $8.65. Does this sound about right to you when you were doing your research from what you recall?
David: Yeah, that is right.
Michael: Okay, so you paid 69 dollars for this domain on drop at NameJet. I assume that nobody else was bidding against you.
David: No, thankfully. I got it for a steal.
Michael: Were you surprised?
David: No, not necessarily because this type of name I think is quite niche, so it was only through my applying my filters, doing research, etc., that it stood out as something that I could acquire and get and hopefully resell.
Michael: Yeah, okay, and you just recently resold it if WhoIS records are correct.
David: Yeah, so September I sold it.
Michael: Okay. In September 2015, you sold it. And how much did you sell it for? Do you remember?
David: So, it was about 3,500 U.S. dollars. I sold it in Australian dollars initially, and then bought the conversion, so roughly about 3,500 dollars.
Michael: 3,500 dollars. So, after your 69-dollar investment, you have got 3,431 dollars gross profit. How long do you think it took you to do your research, to create your list of domains, and everything that we are going to talk about in this tutorial before you actually sold it? How many hours would you estimate?
David: You mean in terms of the prospects.
Michael: In terms of the number of hours it took you to go through the entire process that we are going to go through today in order to sell the domain name.
David: So, I think in this case, I split it into two batches in terms of emailing prospects. So, the initial research and finding out the right contact information of people probably took between one and three hours on each occasion, just to make sure it is proper and accurate, etc. Then you obviously do an outreach, which might take about 15 to 20 minutes to do, and then it is a case of waiting game and following up. In some cases, some of the prospects, even for AccessibilityTesting, that I did not actually sell to, I followed up and had Skype calls and did bits and pieces like that really.
So, if you are looking for a timeframe, it could be as little as ten hours to 20 to 25 hours. It really depends on how much interaction you get back more than anything else because that is what increases. That said, if you do not get any inquiries off that, then you have to go back to the drawing board and find some more, and obviously that process then repeats again. So, I think in this case, it probably took me about maybe 20 to 30 hours possibly.
Michael: So, even if you spent a full 40-hour workweek, which did not just take one work week – it stretches out. Clearly you had the domain name for almost a full year. But if you lumped in 40 full hours at 34 hundred dollars and change, that is like 90 dollars per hour that you are making on that investment of time and the 69 dollars, so a great return on investment in this case.
So, at this point in the interview, David, I want to ask you to, in Skype, share your screen and we are going to start the tutorial walkthrough of your process that you went through for AccessibilityTesting.com to try and figure out how you found your contacts, how you organize them, and everything that went into that process.
David: Okay, great.
Michael: So, what is the first step?
David: Yeah, sure. So, first off, what you need to do is you need to have a spreadsheet where you can start building your list of prospects. So, it could be as simple as the one I am about to show you. So, this is the list of the contacts that I targeted as part of the campaign. There are a few duplicates in there, but that is part of the outreach sort of scale. In the first step, what you want to do is obviously have a list where you have the website name, the URL, relevant contact person and contact email, so you can just have four columns. I put position here, but I have not filled it out in this case, but it could kind of come in handy in terms of having what position they are in the company so that if you do a follow-up, then at least you have that relevant information at hand without having to research it again.
So, first off, you want to start building a prospects list, where you have the website name and the URL, so you have got those two reference points. So, as part of the pre-show, I just simply typed in Accessibility Testing into Google. My results will probably vary to yours, Mike, because I am coming from London here, so there are obviously different advertisers based upon the local searches, etc., but I tend to look at the advertisers initially. So, there are a few on the first few pages. A few at the bottom here.
Michael: Yeah, and in the U.S., there are a ton of them, so those are great ones to start with because they are the ones actually paying money to receive leads for that keyword phrase, Accessibility Testing.
David: Exactly. Exactly. They are the first ones you should be looking at, and then you would look at the other ones. When you are sort of validating how relevant a prospect is, you want to look at how your domain name will be used for that business and whether there is a match there. So, there are a few that I see on here that are a match, but I have pulled up one example. It was not the actual one that I actually sold it to, but it is a good sort of way to start our tutorial through, is this SSB Bar Group that I found here.
So, I have just loaded up their website just over here.
Michael: Okay, so the first step is to go through the list of ads, click through to the website, and then look at the organic listings within Google, just the regular index. Come up with this full list. And then, when you have the list of company names and URLs in your spreadsheet, then you can go to each of them, like you are for the SSB Bar Group right now. And you want to look for what on their website?
David: So, you need to make sure that this company is a right fit for what you do. So, in the case of this SSB Bar Group, their services are all around about the assistive technology, accessibility, relevant development, marketing services, auditing services, etc. I can see the AccessibiltyTesting domain being a great example for adding to their sort of portfolio and their offering as a business. So, if you found something that was just based around about website usability, for example, because that can sometimes get mixed with accessibility searches, it might not necessarily be the right fit in that case, but it would be something that you would have to work out based upon what domain you are sort of pushing at the time.
David: So, our first step in this. Our first objective more than anything else is that we want to find the name of the relevant decision-maker. One thing that I have found more common than anything else, particularly with slightly bigger businesses, is that they always have an About Us page and sometimes a Management page. Those pages make it a lot easier to find the relevant person and to then further find the email address of that person. So, in their About Us section, you have the company overview, executive team, etc. It is the executive team that you would want to go to first.
Within here, you will find all the lists of the names of the executive team that are here. The person that I mainly target for most businesses is the CEO or the managing director, depending on where they are based. For example, if they are based in the UK. I try and go for the main decision-maker. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, if I have a multi-national company, it is more relevant to target their CMO, for example, because they are specifically focused on the marketing of that business, whereas the CEO might well just pass it on to the CMO or ignore it altogether because they have got other priorities.
Michael: Right. Yeah, buying a domain name is not really a high priority for large company CEOs, right?
David: Yeah, because more than likely, they have already established the brand and they just do not necessarily see the value, whereas a marketing professional would probably be more in tune in terms of what advantages that domain name could bring them in terms of growing their brand and their online presence.
Michael: So, in this case, we can see the executive team listed right there. The CEO’s name is Timothy Springer.
Michael: Might you actually find an email address right here on this page in some cases?
David: Sometimes you do, but do not be surprised with slightly bigger companies that they list the executive team just out of acknowledgement. Whether they are listed on the stock market, etc., they have to list who is part of their management team, but sometimes you do, particularly with some service providers. So, for example, I was emailing some prospects within the real estate space and they tend to list their contact information more prominently on their sites, but it is not surprised in this case that we have not got an email address on here.
But the great thing is we have got a name. That is our first step. Sometimes you do not get that, and so it is a great thing to start with.
Michael: All right, so we have a name. What do we do next?
David: So, take note of that name. So, it is Timothy Springer. So, what we want to do is go to Google again. I always put the URL of the business that we have got here, so I just copy the URL. Put that in between quotation marks because that means that we do an exact search within Google for that. We add the at sign for just before it, so effectively we are looking for everything that is after the name. So, we are looking for the second part of that email address in particular.
So, we are looking for Timothy Springer in this case, and I always put email because a lot of the times, particularly within searching, they usually put email: TimothySpringer@ and whatever address. So, we do the search now. So, in this case, we have not got a specific email for Timothy Springer right here on the first page, but what I have found is right here, at the bottom, on a PDF document is a Kim Philips at the same company. Do take note that this is an email format that is probably going to be used for the CEO as well.
Michael: Right, but in some cases, you may actually see Timothy.Springer@SSBGroup right there on the screen, and that is a confirmation for you.
David: Yeah, definitely.
David: So, for example, I have gone on the second page and we have got a Tim.Springer@SSBBartGroup.com. Just be careful when it comes to this email formatting or these one-on-one websites because sometimes they just look at generic email formats as opposed to validating what is correct.
David: But based upon what I have seen on the first page with that Kim Philips and what we have got here with Jill Michellie (Unclear 26:53.2), the email format looks right. So, what I am going to do is I am just going to remove Timothy Springer’s name here, leave the email, and then put Tim.Springer into the website, and as we can see, we have got multiple confirmations here that the email address exists and is valid. We have got multiple sources across PDF and PowerPoint documents, and we have pretty much 99.9 percent.
Michael: Verified that that is correct.
David: Yeah, with 99.9 percent certainty, I believe that that is a valid name. And in that case, what I do is I put Tim Springer back into my spreadsheet as I have done here, and the email address.
Michael: Yeah, all right. And before we move on from this step, if people cannot find in Google searches like you have just shown right now, a couple of other options that you have. One that you have used in the past is called CEOEmail.com.
David: Yeah, so you can use a website called CEOEmail.com for searching for the actual CEOs. It is particularly useful for bigger companies. It is not always necessary so for slightly smaller companies. So, let me just quickly just check. Let’s perform a search. So, this tool only has a certain number of searches before you have to sort of pay for it, but it is quite good if you use it on a rare occasion to find it. So, in this case, it has not found it. Like I mentioned before, it is not completely reliable for some smaller companies, but it does come in handy with slightly bigger ones, like multi-national companies. I particularly find it useful for some UK companies, particularly within the real estate space as I mentioned before because it tends to pick up those a lot more.
Michael: Good. Well, people can try that one and that is good to know. In preparation for our pre-interview, I threw out a domain name that I have used, a website that I have used called VoilaNorbert.com, where you type in any person’s name and then the domain name and it will go out and do a lot of the things that David has just done manually. I think they go and they search the Google archives or maybe other search engines as well, and they look for hits for that person’s name and then they might actually do some guessing based on what we have seen being used. It will come back and make a suggestion to you about the email address of the person you are trying to reach.
David: It might help if I actually type it in right.
Michael: Yeah, no worries. It is just a beautifully simple website, and again, just like you mentioned, David, on the prior one, it gives you a certain number per day and then it starts charging you. But if you just want to look up somebody or verify somebody’s name, it is a great website.
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All right, so back to your steps here. Now that you have got the CEO’s name and email address and they are on your spreadsheet, what is the next step?
David: Well, I think more than anything else, your users, your viewers that are watching it. They do not always get this lucky in terms of finding a person’s name within the website. We got lucky in this case because most people sometimes just notice the generic email address that is at the top of the web page or on the Contact page.
Michael: Is that a good email address to use: Info@Whatever or Contact@Whatever?
David: No. Sure of it. It will go to a customer service person whose job is primarily to avoid pushing emails up the chain unless they are completely relevant. Do not get me wrong. There have been a couple of occasions when I have had to resort with that because I have literally exhausted all my steps I am going to go through today, but in one case in particular, it actually got pushed up to the right person. I ended up making a sell in the end.
Michael: So, you might be successful going that way, but you are swimming upstream, hoping that people are going to do the right thing in the company. Not be too busy. Not just delete it. Things like that.
David: Just think of it in terms of percentages. You have literally exhausted all your options and then you are down to your last like five percent chance of being able to get success. And do not get me wrong. If you exhaust all the options and that is your only option, it is better to email that one if you can find the relevant person that you want to target as well. At least you can address it to a relevant person; so then it can get passed on to that specific person.
Michael: Yeah. All right, so we have got lucky with SBBBartGroup.com. If you cannot find the CEO’s name or contact information, what is your next step, David?
David: So, I use a WhoIS engine. You can use any one that is out there, but I use Who.Is. So, in this case, let me just take the URL again. So, I just copied that. Paste it in here. It is a really simple website to use, and what it does is it would bring back the contact information of who has got that domain registered. In this case, we can see that actually Tim Springer, who we know is the CEO, is actually the main registrant here. However, the email address that is used is IT@SSBBartGroup.com. IT@SSBBartGroup.com is not a right name because you will just go to the IT department, who are just focused on making sure that domain gets renewed.
That is not a specific person, but in some small to medium businesses, the owner of the domain is usually the head of that company as well and it is a good way to sort of search and find at least the name, if not the email address as well of that key decision-maker. But I would make sure that whatever name you find in here, that you do your research in Google just to validate what position they are within the company as well.
David: Another note is that, in some cases, the digital agencies or design agencies sometimes manage the website on their client’s behalf or a company’s behalf, so you do need to watch out that sometimes that is the case and you might end up emailing the head of the design company or whoever looked after that project or looks after the domain name on behalf of them.
Michael: Right, and the concern is that you are just wasting your time, reaching the wrong decision-maker in that case.
David: Yeah, you just need to use a bit of due diligence. I know that is one of your previous topics on Domain Sherpa. You just use a bit of due diligence just to make sure that it is a valid email address and contact person that you want to target with. The next step that you would want to look at is always have a look at what is in the footer of a website. So, in this case, it says, “2015 SSB Bart Group,” because sometimes you have websites that are part of a wider group as in they have a parent company and they may well have an infrastructure whereby they have a CEO of that particular operating company within the group.
However, sometimes you find that the wider group, the parent company group has a set marketing department that looks after these specific different websites. So, in that case, you want to repeat sort of the process that we went through and look at the actual parent company website and the management that is there or find the CEO that is there. If, supposing, you do not have the person’s name at the company, you could try a few things within Google. So, for example, if we type in the name of the company in this case and CEO, it comes back with Tim Springer, so it tells you the name.
David: You might not get it as easy as that right there, but you can go through some of the other search results and find the name of the person. So, for example, you have got multiple ones within that same website. Timothy Springer. Tim Springer. So, you can check with some relativity that you can find him this way.
David: Some other key steps are that if, supposing, you still do not have a name, but you want to just see what email addresses are out there that potentially you could contact, someone who is doing like a reverse methodology. You are searching for potential email addresses and then finding the person, and then checking whether they are a relevant contact. So, in this case, you would put the website address in there, put email at the end, and what it does is it comes and lists all of the sometimes generic and sometimes very specific email address. So, a lot of these are returning the info@, but you could also see that the email format that we know is valid, in this case, for Cindy. You could look for that Cindy Crush using LinkedIn, etc., and just find out what their position is.
The cool thing about LinkedIn as well is that if you find the company page, it sometimes links the employees of that company together and you could find the CEO through that as well.
Michael: Right. Yeah, that is a great trick as well to do. Are you concerned at all that those people are going to be able to see on LinkedIn that you looked at their profile?
David: I do not worry about it too much because ultimately. I am looking to position them with something that hopefully benefits their business, so it is not like I am Facebook stalking them or anything like that.
David: Checking their pictures or anything. It is ultimately we are all in the business of wanting to better the companies that we work for. And if we have got something that is the case, even if they say no, thank you, at least you have done that and you just do not target them again or wait a bit of time until you target them again.
David: Another little key feature that I found is that I showed you both putting the company name in and CEO. Sometimes you do not want to target the CEO, or if it is another area. For example, if it is a lawyer, they do not refer to themselves as CEOs. They refer to themselves as like managing partners or presidents or owners or managing directors if they are in the UK, etc. So, you might want to try a few different job titles just to find the right one.
Because I am based in the UK and I do target a number of UK businesses, I found this website, this Company Check website really useful because particularly if they are a limited company, so a registered company within the UK, you can search for that actual company name or their actual company code, the company limited number, and it actually returns what the directors of that company are. So, you will not necessarily get the email address from that, but you will get the names of the directors through that.
Michael: Yeah, and there is an exact analogy in the United States. If you are looking for a company, you go to their website. You look to see which state they are located in. So, maybe they say California or maybe they say Maryland, and you might have to go to the WhoIS information to look at it if they do not have the contact information on their website. Then you just go to Google and you type in business license lookup Maryland, and there will be some state agency that allows you to look up the licenses of businesses in that state. I think every state has them accessible, and you type in the exact company name and it will tell you who the directors are on record for that company.
So, exactly what you are saying here, David, is available in the United States. You do not get email addresses, but then that gives you a little bit more data on who the partners are.
David: The number one objective more than anything else is get the name. If you get the name, you are more than halfway there in terms of finding your prospect. It is when you cannot get the name that you can struggle sometimes. So, in that case, you are pulling that with less few straws really. But what you can do is as we have gone through in terms of looking and looking at finding the actual email format of other people that we know are not the CEO.
If we find out their name, there is nothing wrong if we want to try and ring them up and just say to them. We found you on LinkedIn, because we are looking at this name, or you could even email them if you wanted to because, at the end of the day, you have found their email address and literally say we are looking to position this name to you because it will bring a lot of benefits to your company, etc., but I appreciate that you might not necessarily be the right person to speak to about this, or do you know who might be the right person to speak to about this, and they might give you a name of a person.
That is amazing news. If they give you a name, you can use the power of that suggestion as a tool to make that introduction to that relevant person. They might not necessarily give you their phone number, but they might give you their email address and you might be able to then use that and say well, I spoke to Cindy or Jill or Kim about this and they suggested that it would be relevant to speak to you about this name. That is a way in to start up that conversation. It is a powerful tool to be able to use.
Michael: Definitely. In some of the information that you provided to me, David, if you cannot find the email address, you can just throw a Hail Mary pass and say I know it is DomainSherpa.com. I know Michael Cyger is the name of the person I want to reach. You can just try every single variation, like Michael.Cyger@DomainSherpa.com and Michael@DomainSherpa.com. Is that something you will do at some time?
David: Yeah, definitely. So, you have jumped on a step that I should have came across previously.
Michael: No worries.
David: So, if that is the case, if you know the person’s name, then you could try a few different types of email formats. So, for example, if we did John Smith, John.Smith@WhatURL.com. You could try searching for things like that. Other relevant formats, particularly within tech startups, where they use their first name. My email address is David@OyDomains.com. So, you can perform searches on that as well. Another common email format is to use the first initial and the surname, so just make sure you put it in the quotation marks and it does an exact match search. Oh, look, we found some.
Michael: All right. So, you can do a search and if nothing comes up on it, I have actually sent an email to like David@OyDomains, and then, in the blind carbon copy (BCC), I will put David.Kelly@OyDomains and DKelly@OyDomains. So, if one of those actually reaches the user, it does not look like I am trying to send it to every single email address that I could think of. It is just going to one and, often times, they do not even look if it is the right one that it came to because if two of them do not work and one of them does and it shows up in their email box, it just looks like they got an email. So, sometimes you can try and get it to the right person. A Hail Mary pass and not make it look like you are desperate.
Michael: So, you have their contact information now, David. You are going to send them an email. What do you say in your first email? What did you say for AccessibilityTesting.com to this number, ten, 20 companies that you identified contacts for?
David: Yeah, so I keep it quite simple. So, I say hi, and then obviously what their first name is. I hope you are well. Just a nice little gesture to open things up. I am currently representing whatever domain, so in this case, it was AccessibilityTesting.com, who are thinking about putting it to market. I always ask a question then. So, have you ever considered acquiring a domain name to help further grow your online presence in the accessibility testing space? It is definitely worth considering. By owning this domain, your competition does not, but the benefits do not stop there. If you want to discuss this opportunity further, let’s have a conversation. Regards.
I keep it quite short and to the point. Simple. People do not necessarily want to have like all the figures about the CPC and the search volume. They usually either like the name or they do not. They find it relevant. If you end up talking to a marketing person that is interested in various sort of statistics, by all means, feel free to share them, but ultimately, the key decision-maker is going to be the one that is just looking at this and going do I like this name. Is it the right fit for our business? And if they like the look of it, I will go back to them and see what price they are wanting for it.
Michael: So, it has to be relevant. Here is a company that does accessibility testing. You are offering them the exact match domain for a service they provide. AccessibilityTesting.com, so it is going to be relevant. Out of all the emails that you sent, David, do you have any idea what your hit rate was? How many people responded back to you, saying interesting, tell me more, or how much is it, or anything?
David: Yeah. So, I spread a lot of these emails out over a bit of time. I initially sort of sent out emails when I was still part-time, but it was maybe about seven or so that probably came back to us, and then there was probably only about two that were really interested and had further, proper conversations beyond asking what the price was.
So, it is all about having a specific and relevant person that you are targeting. If you are just going for very Hail Mary sort of possibilities, prospects, then a lot of chances you are going to miss. But if you have got a relevant name that is specific for that business and can help grow their offering or what they are offering or their branding, etc., then you have got a greater chance of someone coming back to you. And by not spamming them with too much content in your initial email, you are keeping it polite, short and sweet. It helps open up that conversation, because it is all about building relationships within this industry.
Michael: Yeah, so it has to be. I think a lot of domain investors look at the drop. They will see a domain name that is interesting. They will pick it up and then they try and do something like this and reach out to some CEOs, but it is not a directly relevant offering to a company like is the case here. AccessibilityTesting.com. Companies that are doing accessibility testing as a service, charging money. Tens of thousands of dollars per year for that service to help companies make sure that their websites are accessible by all individuals.
So, when you send out your emails and you sent out some over time, how do you track those emails, because we know people may or may not be looking at the emails? But if you want to keep track of where people are in the process, how do you track them?
David: There is this great tool called Sidekick, and it is something that you can get for free. So, if you go to GetSidekick.com, I have just loaded up the site quickly and it is a great little tool that I use on all my emails. So, I send my emails primarily from Outlook, but you can install this and apply it to your Gmail if you wanted to as well, if you wanted to use your Gmail instead. And the great little thing about this is that it not only tracks all the emails that you send out. It tracks who opens it, how many times they have opened it, where they open it from, and if they clicked on a link within that email as well.
So, for example, I sent you an email the other day and you clicked on my website address. It told me that Michael opened the email and he also clicked on the URL, OyDomains, as well. So, it is a great little tool that I use. There are a few other benefits that you can do as well. So, you can see onscreen the example of using your Gmail account, but you can also schedule emails. So, for example, if you are doing it part-time, you want to be sending it during the working day as opposed to and evening send out, so you could use it to schedule emails.
Michael: Yeah, that is great. I use a similar program that allows me to schedule my emails inside of Gmail, and it does allow me to look and see when people have opened the email – get a read receipt it is called -, but not to the extent that this does. And if you bring up your Outlook, David, I would love to show the users how you can look at it where people are coming in. I can see that people open it and how many times they open it, but I cannot see the IP addresses in the system, and that could provide some pretty valuable information to people. What would you learn by seeing that multiple IP addresses have opened a prospect letter that you sent out to a company for a domain name for sale?
David: Well, in that case, you know that it is being passed around the company or it has been opened in multiple locations. So, usually within multi-national companies, if you see that, you know it is getting bounced around between team. And the fact that it gets opened multiple times means that there is usually some interest in terms of that because it is relevant and specific to them. If they were not interested in it, the first person, the key decision-maker would have just opened it once and said I have already emailed you back and said no, thank you or they would have just opened it once, closed it, possibly deleted it, and that is the end of it.
Usually more opens mean more interest and it is great to be able to see who has opened it more because you know who you want to follow-up more with, either by giving them a ring or sending them a third email, even if it just says along the lines of I would love to hear your thoughts about this domain name. If you have any questions, please let me know. And it just keeps it nice and friendly. Nice and open, and we go from there really.
Michael: Yeah. So, inside your Outlook, you can pull down and see when somebody has opened an email.
David: Yeah. So, within my Outlook, there is a plugin that you download from that GetSidekick, and it installs this little plugin that is on the right-hand side here. And you just select this option here that effectively tracks all the emails that you send out from your email address that you got registered with that account. There is a notifications section, but also, within the Chrome as well, there is a little button you can download as well, which has your notifications that you can access. So, by simply clicking on it, if we give it a few seconds, it should open. Here we go.
So, you can see some of my recent people that I have targeted and how many times they have opened it. So, for example, this person here has opened it six times. All from the same location, but it shows that that person is potentially interested in that domain and it would be someone that we would look to follow-up with. Oh, there is you. So, it shows not only who has opened it, how many times they have opened it, whether they have clicked on it, and also, as I showed you here, it also shows you in what location they opened it and on what device they opened it.
Michael: That is great.
David: If I just pull up, I am just going to try and find one example of someone that has opened it multiple times. Just bear with me one second. It might take a while. There is sometimes a few people, but there was one example where I was targeting a multi-national company and it was getting opened in California. It was getting opened in Switzerland. And it was not only on just desktop-based machines, but also mobile or tablet devices. And in those cases, I just find it really useful for being able to track who has opened up what when, how many times they viewed it, whether they clicked on certain links to look into it, and obviously if it has been passed around as well.
Michael: Yeah, good information.
Michael: So, David, I did something similar on a real estate domain name. A geo domain name for a specific city. I thought it would be a perfect domain name for a realtor to be able to sale my name is David@ThisCity.com. I went through a similar type of process to this identified ten to 15 realtors that are specific to that city. I sent them each personalized emails. I tracked who was opening the email. I got responses from some people, saying no, thank you. The ones that did not respond that I saw that they opened it or the ones that did not even open it, I would send it again with a different subject and a different email, just to make sure that they received it. In some cases, they said oh, I never received the email. Yeah, send it to me.
But if they say no, thank you or you do not hear back from them, how long do you hold a domain name and contact them some period of time later?
David: So, I usually do a follow-up with every prospect that I target usually one week later, unless they come back to me and say no, thank you because obviously they are not interested at that point. There are very few occasions that I then further target them afterwards, unless they have shown initial interest and then gone quiet on me. So, it is all about working out exactly what you want to do. Who is a person that you want to follow up with, but I usually do it one week afterwards as standard usually.
Michael: So, if you received responses back from everybody on your AccessibilityTesting.com list saying no, thank you or not responding or not responding to your follow-up email, what would you do in that case?
David: So, if they were not responding.
Michael: So, nobody responded to you or the ones that did respond said no, thank you.
David: You repeat the process. So, you go through and identify new prospects, and then do your research and get through. Maybe, in that case, if you have got no one responding, you might want to look at one, is the domain name right. Two, have you got the right fit? Have you got the relevant contacts or you have been trying to do a few Hail Mary sort of passes and try and get them that way? You need to just do an analysis and evaluation, and then go again.
But there are a lot of times where you might have a few people come back to you and still nothing happens as a result whereby they cannot afford it or they do not understand the value of domain names, and then it just does not work out. In that case, you just go and look at other prospects.
David: So, for example, when we spoke about before, how my searches in Google are going to vary to yours, Michael. I use, for example, MyGoogleHomepage.com, and that allows you to perform searches not only in the U.K., but U.S., Australia, and Canada. You can get different search results from there as well. So, you might get results that are very U.K.-centered if it was coming from the U.K., but you might have someone that is based in America, or in the case where I sold it was an Australian company. So, I did try a few different countries.
Michael: Yeah, great point. So, that website is MyGoogleHomepage.com.
Michael: Where you can see what the Google homepage looks like in other countries so that you can try and get past that geographic positioning that Google always tries to do. Hey, let me ask you, David. So, if they say no, thank you, you have gone through this process. You probably have a few hours in of researching and emailing. Would you actually then continue with another country or would you take a break and say well, I am going to wait six months and then repeat the process?
David: It really depends what you have exhausted so far really. If you have only done an initial sort of list of people that you targeted from the advertisers, for example, and it is very much your local search results, then you might want to try a few different countries. You want to exhaust all your options that you have got at that time. But if you are still not getting any luck, that is the whole point about having a portfolio. You market different domains, so you just try a different domain. If you have got them listed on different marketplaces, someone might come back. The right user come back through that way and then you start up the conversation that way. So, it does happen.
Everyone that watches your show I am sure is either building a portfolio or about to start building a portfolio, and they need to market them. All their domains. Not just necessarily one.
Michael: Yeah. Hey David, somebody watching this show is thinking AccessibilityTesting.com. That is a fine domain name. David made a great sale. 3,431 dollars gross profit, not counting his time. But I am going to go out and I am going to register AccessibilityTesting.xyz, because Google just registered everything in .XYZ and it is going to be the next hottest domain name top-level domain or better yet, I am going to get AccessibilityTesting.Online or AccessibilityTesting.Website, or people want information on it. I am going to go get AccessibilityTesting.Info. Are those good investments in your opinion?
David: In my opinion, no. Not right now. It is still sort of too early to work out what those new gTLDs are doing and how they establish themselves as brands, because I think a lot more of the registrars in those cases need to do a bit more investment in terms of growing them as brands. .COM is still number one and will be for a while, until another domain extension can compete on a marketing perspective. But my advice for anyone that is new to this: try and stick with .COMs and build your portfolio out from there. Once you have got the feel in terms of what is working and where the trends are going in terms of sales and the markets, look into investing.
Michael: Yeah, all right. I received a nice email from a newer domain name investor named Gary that had some questions that I think could be well answered by this tutorial. He does not have hundreds of dollars to invest in domain names. He does not want to buy domain names for five hundred dollars or one thousand dollars and try and sell them for more. He wants to do exactly what you are talking about, either hand register or buy domain names on the drop for 69 dollars, under one hundred dollars. How do you personally know if a domain name is worth investing in, David?
David: So, as I mentioned before, when you find a name that sort of makes sense, so whether it is a two-word or three-word domain name, just search it in Google. Is there any businesses that are advertising against them? Is this is a term that is regularly used within a certain industry? Have a look at what the search results are. Does it come up against certain companies that are proposing a product or service around this? Obviously watch out for those trademarks as well, but you just need to just do your research and also think about could this be made into a business or could this benefit a business.
David: And if it meets those criteria and you have got advertisers or you have got potential prospects that you could target, then go for it.
Michael: And so, what was your thinking about AccessibilityTesting.com? Could it be made into a business or could it benefit a business? One or both; in which ways?
David: So, my thinking was that it could benefit a business because there are businesses already out there, but it also could help businesses expand their offering by offering specific services around the testing of accessibility documents or accessible products or services, etc.
Michael: Yeah. For new investors, if they do not have a lot of capital to invest, would you recommend they buy a single domain name like AccessibilityTesting.com, then go out and try and sell it and get the sale, or if they do not get the sale, but they still feel strongly about it, hold it and then buy another one and move on? Is that a good process or is that like a really slow process to make money in investment?
David: To be honest, I think you should do things slow and steady anyway, particularly if you are new to the industry, because use resources like your show and blogs that are out there to just understand what the industry is all about and what makes names valuable. My suggestion would be to obviously look possibly at two-word and three-word domains. Try and not make them too long or too wordy because they will not be relevant for businesses. They are hard to market. So, just have a look what is out there.
Maybe consider looking at a certain niche as well. So, if you have got a background in a certain area, maybe look at domain names that are around a certain niche as well. Just try and utilize your strengths and build understanding within the industry, and then just go from there. And as I spoke about before, you could use like ExpiredDomains.net to utilize filters to help make your search a bit easier, and then just see how it goes. Maybe try and buy one to ten initially, and then try and market them, and then go from there. And then, if you make money, then reinvest a bit of that money back in and then you can buy slightly better or more quality names as well. So, slow and steady I always suggest for any new people.
Michael: Hey David, you pretty much walked us through your first email. If you get a response back from somebody, saying interesting, tell me more, when do you throw out a price?
David: I usually throw out a price straightaway. I usually say that we value this domain name at this price, because you want to just set the scene with them straight off the bat. There is no point in saying well, make me an offer because they will be like no, you approached us. If someone approached me about interest in a domain name, I would probably be more in my right to be able to say well, I might be looking to develop this domain name. What would be your offer for this?
But the fact that you are doing outreach, I think it is in your best interest to literally just be straight and just go right, this is the price that I value it at. Maybe have a look at like NameBio and look at what the market prices are. Do not try and price yourself too far out of the market, and then go from there. Sometimes they might go back and say oh, it is too much for me and you might want to say well, there are potential payment options that you could do. You could setup through escrow, etc., or you might want to say well, what sort of price did you have in mind, and you can sort of work out how far away you are out of the things and see where you can carry on negotiation from there.
Michael: Yeah, great points. And what prices do you usually ask for domain names that you have just hand registered or picked up on the drop for the lowest amount possible, 69 dollars let’s say?
David: It does vary depending on obviously how many prospects, how many leads I have sort of got, but on anything that is hand registered or on drop, you are probably looking for maybe one thousand dollars plus. For my better names, you are looking for like five thousand, ten thousand. I have got a couple that I value at five figures plus.
Michael: Yeah, but on this one, AccessibilityTesting.com. You picked it up for 69 dollars. You sold it for 35 hundred dollars U.S. Is that what you asked and they just gave it to you, or did you ask for more and you negotiated?
David: So, I asked for 3,500 in that case. What I found by doing research is that even though there are a lot of services out there that do charge top money for it, a lot of them do not tend to have a lot of budget for the marketing sort of side of things because they pretty much work with companies or charities directly, so they do not necessarily need to enhance their marketing so much. So, I have found that their budgets were a bit lower, and based upon some research from NameBio, etc., it would be stupid of me more than anything else just to try and ask for top money.
David: And the fact that I managed to achieve my asking price was a great result for me.
Michael: Yeah, that is great. How do you make sure that you are not asking too much? I am thinking about the new investor that does not have a lot of money. If they pick something up for hand registration or they picked it up for 69 dollars, do you recommend that they just try and move the inventory, price it at a couple thousand dollars, and move on?
David: I think initially, at the start, you want to try and always flip your names because obviously you want to try and get the ball rolling and start building your portfolio. But what I would recommend is obviously look at like NameBio. Look at what things are selling at. What similar names have sold at. It is like house prices. You look at the houses down your street to get a rough indication in regards to what they are selling at. So, if everything is selling for one million dollars down the road, then you do not want to position yourself as five million unless you have got a real good house. So, you want to make sure you are in the ballpark of what you are offering.
David: But also, it depends on the company you are targeting. If they are a multi-national company, they probably have a bit of a higher budget, so you might want to be a bit more cheeky, but I would definitely say try and find a few friends within the industry and see what they value it at. And as you become more knowledgeable of the industry, then you will be able to price your names a lot more accurately.
Michael: Yeah, I want to ask you. You have mentioned multi-national companies a couple of times, David. AccessibilityTesting.com. Those look like small to medium-sized businesses that you were targeting. I would never think to hand register a domain name or register a domain name for 69 dollars or a couple hundred dollars and target the fortune five hundred companies, Walmart, Exxon, GE. I am not going to approach with Oil.xyz or OnlineSales.Online or something like that. That is just a waste of time. Everybody’s time. Lightbulbs.Info for GE because they have GE lighting. Right? You need to target the domain names at the right price to the right companies. Wouldn’t you say?
David: Exactly, yeah. So, the bigger companies are going to be looking for the generic, one-word, real sharp, short, snappy names, but there are a few names that I have got within mine that I think would be good for some multi-national companies. So, for example, I own BabySamples.com, and I targeted a number of companies that provide baby products and offered samples of their products, and thought it would be a right fit to go in. And I have got a few others that still would be a right fit.
So, it really depends on what domain name you have got more than anything else, but if you have got something that is not specific enough for a bigger company, then target the more smaller, relative, niche sort of companies that will benefit from that domain directly.
Michael: Yeah, sounds great. I think we covered everything that we wanted to cover here, David. Anything on your list that we did not hit that you remember?
David: Not that I can see, but what I would suggest is that if anyone wants to reach out to me for any advice, guidance, any questions that follow up, then I would be happy to do so. I am sure you can share my details, or people can contact me directly at David@OyDomains.com, or they can contact me on Skype. If they go to OyDomains.com, they can get all my contact information from the top banner. It has all my social media channels and even the Skype link as well.
Michael: Sounds great. And if you have watched this show and you have a question about something David said or an area that we went over, please post those questions and comments below this video on Domain Sherpa and I will ask David to come back and answer as many as he can. If we can clarify anything that was mentioned on the show that will help future readers as well.
If you have watched this tutorial and are thinking I know how to do something like David just suggested and I would love to be a Sherpa, then come on over to DomainSherpa.com. In the upper left-hand corner, there is a small link with the text that says be interviewed on Domain Sherpa. It leads to Domain Sherpa.com/Be-Interviewed. Click it. Tell me about yourself, what you think you can share with others, help give back, and let’s chat.
I also encourage you to take a moment, even if you have no questions. Just post a comment of thank you to David or click the button below and thank David on Twitter. I am going to be the first to do so right now.
David Kelly, Founder of OyDomains.com. Thanks for coming on the Domain Sherpa Show, educating us on how to find the right decision-makers for domain names and contact them, what your success criteria is, and thanks for being a Domain Sherpa for others, David.
David: Thank you very much, Michael.
Michael: Thank you for watching. We will see you next time.
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