Are you surprised by Donuts’ renewal rates?

Latest day was 61%, but it might be too early to draw conclusions.

New top level domain name mega-registry Donuts has been blogging daily renewal rate data for its first domain names released nearly 14 months ago.

The most recent data show a 71% renewal rate for the 37,857 Donuts domain names that have exited the renewal grace period. This includes 14 top level domains, and the majority of these names were registered in general availability.

Comparing day 4 to day 3, the renewal rate dropped to about 61% for the latest additions.

Donuts has predicted an overall 80% renewal rate for its domain names. The early data suggest this might be difficult, but there are two things to keep in mind:

1. Two of the earliest domains, .guru and .photography, are its two most-registered. TLDs with lots of registrations probably have lower quality ones (the 50,000th domain is not as good as the 5,000th).

2. There was also a lot of speculation early on, and much of this has waned as people realize the profit potential is a long way off.

I think it’s reasonable to assume that renewal rates for smaller TLDs that were launched later will be higher. Still, 61% for “day four” seems a bit discouraging. (We discussed this a bit on this week’s Domain Sherpa show, before the latest numbers came out). What do you think?

17 End User Domain Name Sales

ccTLD owners, a bank and plastic company all make purchases at Sedo.

Sedo handled 674 domain name transactions last week for $1.2 million in sales. 56% of sales were buy-now prices, which is a bit higher than usual.

There were a number of good sales, including a handful of ccTLD owners that bought the matching .com domain name. A real estate investor who also invests in domain names was responsible for the top purchase of BuyMyHouse.com. Click to see the list…

Heritage Auctions accepting submissions for summer domain name auction

Auction house will hold another exclusive auction this summer.

Heritage AuctionsHeritage Auctions is planning another live domain name auction for early this summer.

The format will be similar to one it held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in February. It will be limited to about 30 high value domain names, primarily .com. It will take place in June in either Dallas (where Heritage Auctions is based) or New York.

The February auction brought in over $1.3 million in sales, with many of them coming post-auction. NL.com highlighted the auction at $575,000.

People who wish to sell domain names in the auction should contact Aron Meystedt. His contact information is on this HA.com page. Given the exclusivity, I’d recommend limiting submissions to one or two of your best domain names.

Survey says .Com performs better than new TLDs

Survey says that people more likely to click and recall .com domain names.

Interbrand, ostensibly on behalf of Verisign, has released an infographic showing results from a 1,000 person survey about the power of .com.

The survey shows that people click on domain names ending in .com more than those in new TLDs. Consumers were shown search results pages with similar web addresses but different domain extensions. When the new TLD was displayed first, 61% still clicked on the .com web address listed below it. The infographic didn’t say which alternative TLDs were displayed.

While this is just one survey, a previous study by GlobeRunner showed that people are about twice as likely to click on a .com domain name in an Adwords ad than on a new TLD.

Some deeper analysis could be done, comparing click rates of topical domains vs. generic ones.

The Interbrand survey also said that, after seeing a recommended website with a new TLD, 81% later assumed it was a .com address. The survey notes that a business risks losing web traffic if they use something other than .com.

There’s definitely confusion when people use the non-dominant TLD in their area. The big question for me is if this changes over time.

The state of local domain names…based on a coupon book

Almost all local businesses advertising in a coupon book included a website on their ad.

Coupons

Most coupons in this mailer had a website address on them.

How many local companies promote their websites in ads, and what kind of domain names do they use?

A coupon book I received in the mail recently gives insight, even though it’s a fairly small sample size.

I opened up a coupon mailer the other day from RSVP. It bills itself as “Upscale Offers for Life & Home” and most of the coupons are for the same companies you’ll find in other coupon mailers like ValPak. Almost all are local service providers and franchisees, although there are a couple national ads for services like security alarm monitoring.

Here’s what I found: Click here to continue reading…