New TLD registry sends spam to people who have registered other new TLDs.
[Update: See statement from the .Top registry below.]
How do you get attention for your new top level domain name in a crowded field? One new top level domain name company has apparently resorted to sending lots of unsolicited email — and likely scraping Whois to do it.
.Top is currently ranked #9 in terms of registrations, surely helped by a 99 cent price tag at some registrars. The company behind it, Jiangsu Bangning Science & Technology Co., Ltd., is also raising awareness by sending spam to people who own other domain names.
Check your spam folder, and you might see what I mean.
I’ve received multiple emails from the registry, pitching .top domain names and referring me to registrars that carry .top (such as 1&1) to register the domain names. At first I figured I was on a list because of this blog, but the address one of the emails was sent to is mostly used in whois.
After posing the question on Twitter yesterday, it indeed appears that the .Top registry is getting email address from whois in order to send spam about .top domain names. It also appears the targeted whois records are for .XYZ domain names.
I’ve confirmed that at least one email from .top went to an email address only used in whois, and the email below shows that .Top was specifically targeting .XYZ registrants with its spam:
Hope this mail finds you well.
We see that you registered some .xyz domain names. Would you be interested in another attractive and popular new gTLD, .top? Though only two months old, .top has had the 2nd biggest world wide daily registrations so far.
You can register your desired .top domains on either one of our registrar partners like 101domain, onlinenic, key-systems and one week later 1&1.
If you find your desired domains are reserved or you would like to purchase premium domains, including one/two/three-character, word and all sorted cool ones, please feel free to contact us.
The above email was sent from a representative of the registry’s “Overseas Channel Division”. The .Top registry is based in China.
Update: The .Top registry issued this statement in response to this article:
Thank you for all your attention and support for .top and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience or offence we might have caused to you. The email content quoted and behavior reported in below article by Mr. Allemann was actually just a one-day thing on 30th January 2015 (give or take a day for time zone difference), in the hope to help our registrar partners have more registrations. But we realized that this was not a proper way once we were kindly reminded by some friends. So, to all registrars, please rest assured that we won’t contact your customers directly in bad faith against you. Such email sending has long stopped and will not happen again. Thanks.
Mar. 9, 2015