Displaying posts under "Domain Registrars"
Marketing programs help .com get top billing, but other registrars can play this game too.
New top level domain names represent a growth opportunity for domain name registrars, many of which have seen domain registrations plateauing over the past year.
That’s why 1&1 spent $50 million promoting new top level domain pre-registrations and other registrars have prominently featured new TLDs on their home pages.
Over the past week or two I’ve noticed something interesting, though. Verisign’s .com and .net domains have been pushed heavily on registrar websites, often usurping promotions for new TLDs.
Consider 1&1, which has gone all in on new TLDs:
99 cents .com and .net domains are front and center. There’s a promotion for .email, but there’s no longer a general promotion for new TLD pre-registrations anywhere near the top of the page (not even on the slider).
And here’s GoDaddy’s home page today:
.Com, .net, .org, and .co are all featured. .Club is also on there a little bit below.
This sort of promotion isn’t free.
Sure, .com is typically going to be featured high up on a registrar page. But Verisign also kicks in bonuses for registrars to market .com domain names.
This is nothing new — it’s been going on for years prior to the launch of new TLDs, and it’s not limited to Verisign. Yet it sure seems like Verisign’s placement is improving lately.
A common program will offer rebates to registrars if they grow their .com/.net registration numbers. They can also earn marketing dollars for marketing campaigns targeting new and existing customers, which is what a lot of the on-site promotion is about.
Registrars get additional bonuses if they include “Powered by Verisign” when they show .com and .net (notice the inclusion on the 1&1 home page). At least one of the marketing programs requires .com and .net to be within the top three in the search results or drop down box, at least for people visiting the site from the campaign Verisign is backing.
Verisign will also chip in to broader marketing initiatives. That’s why I saw this ad during a Major League Baseball broadcast last year:
Whereas before that ad would have just said GoDaddy.com, this time the .Com is separated and includes a “Powered by Verisign” logo.
Verisign’s fat wallet and the popularity of its TLDs give it a leg up on getting its domains pushed at registrars. But this sort of opportunity is open to all.
.Co has been heavily featured on GoDaddy.com for years, and famously appeared in three of GoDaddy’s Super Bowl commercials.
.Club apparently understands the value of this, too.
Registrars will promote whatever makes them the most money. These promotion
kickbacksrebates and marketing programs merely change the equation for what makes a registrar the most money.
This idea isn’t an invention of the domain industry. Registrars are retailers and retailers have long played this game. How do you think those Cheetos got selected for the end cap at the grocery store?
Today is the last day domains listed on DomainNameSales.com will show up for searches on GoDaddy.
It turns out it’s also the last day for DomainNameSales.com listings on the site. [Update: while March 31 was supposed to be the last day for DNS syndication on GoDaddy, GoDaddy has kept the listings up while it finishes a transition for Afternic listings in the registration path.]
That means that after today, the only way for the typical domain owner to get domain names in the registration path at GoDaddy is to list them on Afternic or directly through GoDaddy.
Until now customers searching on GoDaddy.com could fill out a lead form if they were interested in a domain that was on DomainNameSales.com. DNS charged a 20% commission to clients if it resulted in a sale. The average sales price for a DNS domain sold through GoDaddy was over $15,000.
After slow start, company is grabbing share in recent TLD launches.
United Internet, a group of companies that includes 1&1, Sedo, InterNetX, and United Domains, appears to be taking a good chunk of the new TLDs market share away from GoDaddy.
United spent about $50 million advertising pre-registrations for new top level domain names. Yet GoDaddy was kicking its butt in registrations for the first batches of new TLDs that hit the market.
That has shifted in recent weeks.
nTLDstats.com has released updated numbers for the latest batch of Donuts domain names released today, and United led the way on each one.
*Only includes registrations under 1&1 and United-Domains.
These numbers don’t include all of United’s brands, just the ones advertised most heavily for pre-registrations.
You’ll note that 1&1 beat GoDaddy on
threetwo of the five, and when you add United-Domains it won each match up except .builders.
I’ve noticed similar numbers from other launches in recent weeks.
A number of things could be going on here.
1. United has improved its technology for getting domain names when there’s competition. Pre-registrations are essentially like drop catching.
2. 1&1′s cut rate pricing is attracting customers from GoDaddy. 1&1 is offering the first year at about half of GoDaddy’s prices.
3. United is promoting new TLDs more heavily on its home page and email marketing channels than GoDaddy.
When you look at overall market share of new TLDs, GoDaddy is down to about 30%. 1&1 and United-Domains each have about 10%.
GoDaddy’s overall numbers weren’t helped by sitting on the sidelines for .Berlin, which is the second most registered new TLD so far. (1&1, on the other hand, gave .berlin registrations for free for a year to local customers.)
Of course, we’re also really early in the new TLD rollout process.
What do you think has caused this shift?
[Editor's note: this story has been updated with a new chart and comparison based on nTLDstats' revised numbers for the first day.]
Answer this question on the 9th annual Domain Name Wire survey.
This year’s Domain Name Wire Survey has additional questions about top level domain names now that new ones are finally rolling off the assembly line.
By taking the survey, you’ll answer questions such as:
* How many second level domains in these new extensions do you plan to register for yourself or on behalf of your company in 2014?
* What will the release of new top level domain names do to the value of existing .com domain names?
* What impact will the introduction of new top level domain names have on existing TLDs other than .com
* Of all of the new top level domain names you’ve heard about, which is your favorite?
* Of all the new TLDs you’ve heard about, which do you think will get the most registrations?
* On average, how many second level registrations do you expect each new TLD to have one year after general availability for the domain starts?
By taking the survey you’ll also get a chance to win great prizes such as a free escrow at Agreed and a copy of David Kesmodel’s book The Domain Game.
Here’s a link to the survey.
Donuts next six domains launch and 1&1 is picking up steam thanks to cut rate pricing.
fivesix of Donuts domain names reverted to “regular” pricing today and they picked up about 20,000 registrations in the first hours, according to updated stats on nTLDStats.com.
The six domain names and their net adds are:
.Academy and .Computer appear to be in Donuts’ middle price tier and the other four are in its lowest price tier.
Also interesting is that it appears 1&1 and its affiliated registrars might be picking up a bit on GoDaddy from a market share perspective. Many of these domains show that 1&1 got more registrations than GoDaddy.
Not only did 1&1 spend about $50 million promoting pre-registrations, but it is also offering low first year registration prices.
For example, right now you can register a .computer domain at GoDaddy for $39.99. At 1&1 it’s $19.99 for the first year and then $39.99 thereafter.
This first year pricing would be very appealing to a domain investor. They can register domains for half the price and then see where the TLD (and new TLDs as a whole) are in a year to determine if it’s worth paying full price for another year.
[Editor's note: the original version of this post did not include numbers for .company, which also reverted to regular pricing today.]