Finally, well-targeted new top level domain name marketing

Network Solutions’ pitches .republican domain names to owners of political domain names.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how Sedo did a new TLD promotion that registrars should be doing.

Sedo looked at its existing customer base for people interested in buying and selling domain names with “club” in them and marketed .club to them.

I finally have an example of a domain name registrar doing a similar thing:


This goes a step further. Rather than just look for domains with “republican” in them (which probably also triggered the promotion), Network Solutions looked for other political domain names.

.Republican is one of Rightside’s domain names. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rightside furnished some of the matching data that Network Solutions used for this promotion. Registries need to work with registrars to make this type of targeted promotion as easy as possible. After all, they’re competing with hundreds of other domain names for registrar marketing.

I got my first free .XYZ domain name offer today

Network Solutions finally got around to offering me a free .xyz domain name.

The .XYZ top level domain name continues to grow by thousands of registrations each day due to a Network Solutions giveaway.

I got my first such free domain offer today. It’s interesting to see how the company handles the promotion.

As you probably know by now, Network Solutions’ program is “opt out”, meaning the domain name is put in your account unless you specifically decline.

Interestingly, the subject line of the email telling me I am getting a free .xyz domain was merely “Thank You for being a loyal customer”.

Anyone who has domains in a Network Solutions or account knows that companies send a promotional email every day. Most of mine land in spam, so I suspect most people don’t even open this email.

The email, which has been widely published already, says that I’ll get a free .xyz domain to match one of my .com’s. There’s no autorenew on the domain and I don’t have to pay anything for it.

If you wish to decline, you click through to a page that looks like this:


After reading the details of the promotion again, you have to click on a button to decline the offer. (I’ve already clicked that button in the screenshot above.)

Network Solutions patents domain purchasing system

Patent for domain purchasing system granted ten years after application was filed.

Network Solutions, now part of, has received a patent for its Certified Offer service…ten years after applying for it.

Network Solutions applied for the patent titled “Certified Offer Service for Domain Names” back in 2004. It was rejected multiple times, but the company successfully amended and appealed.

The service lets customers make an offer on a domain name that is already registered. The patent explains that the first step of the service is providing an automated appraisal to the customer to give them an idea of how much the domain is worth. The customer then makes an offer and Network Solutions tries to verify that the buyer has enough funds to pay for the domain if the offer is accepted. (As I’ve found, this isn’t always the case). Network Solutions then emails the domain owner (presumably using contact information in WHOIS) to present the offer to them.

The company charges an initial offer fee as well as a commission on the purchase price.

The patent (pdf) covers many aspects of the Certified Offer service as it’s currently run today. I tried to verify all of the steps, but they seem to be having technical difficulties right now as the service keeps hanging up when I submit a domain.


Some SnapNames-caught domains to be managed at NetworkSolutions

Domains caught by SnapName’s own registrars will be managed through Network Solutions.

SnapNamesHere’s the first notable change as a result of acquiring expired domain marketplace SnapNames.

SnapNames announced today that domain names acquired through a SnapNames credential (i.e. registrar) will now be managed via registrar Network Solutions. Previously these names were managed by Moniker.

I can already hear the collective groan from domainers not wanting domains at Network Solutions given the labor of transferring domains out.

The good news is that domainers will get discounted pricing on domains kept at Network Solutions that were acquired through SnapNames. .Com domains will renew at $9.59 per year. Although a bit pricier than some rivals, at least you won’t feel forced to transfer the domain out after one year to avoid a hefty renewal fee.

Domain search progressing, but still not ready for new top level domain names

Registrars are slowly improving their search results to show new top level domain name options, but the experience is far from ideal.

Earlier this month I wrote about how domain name search at major registrars wasn’t ready for new top level domain names.

I admitted it was early, as Donuts’ domain names had just come on to the market. It represented the first batch of English-language domains to become available.

Now a few weeks later and over 100,000 new TLD registrations made, is search any better? Let’s take a look.


GoDaddy has made strides in search. On February 5th it didn’t show any suggestions related to the terms used in the search. Nor did it list any new TLDs in its suggestions.

Now the registrar is showing relevant domain names. Today I searched for “PlumbingGuru”. was taken, but here are the first four suggested alternatives:


I couldn’t replicate these types of suggestions with .photography and .lighting.

GoDaddy also isn’t “spanning the dot” with its suggestions. When I searched for “Fun Holdings”, one suggestion was, but not (which is available).

The search also has some difficulty parsing words to suggest new domain options. This is an age-old challenge that’s not unique to new domain names.


eNom appears to be more on top of things than other registrars.

Last time around it was showing decent suggested alternatives, although its highlighted options at the top of the page seemed to be hardcoded. Today I got the impression that these top results were somewhat based on the search term.


If I had spent $50 million on ads promoting new TLDs before they even launched, I’d sure as heck make it easy for customers to place orders on the day they launched.

Amazingly, 1&1 made it difficult to do so. If you searched for one of the new TLDs in the search box, you were told they were unsupported:


Now you can search for the domains on the main search box rather than going to a special new TLD page.

The user experience is a bit mixed. When I searched for “”, 1&1 returned this:


It acknowledged the domain I was searching for. I’m searching from Texas, but I’m a bit confused as to why I’m being pitched .mx domain names for Mexico.

1&1 doesn’t appear to be considering search terms in suggested domains yet. When I did the PlumbingGuru and FunHoldings search, neither .plumbing nor .guru domains were offered.

Another interesting thing about their domain search: you can have any spaces. I see domain search moving from a string such as PlumbingGuru to terms such as “Plumbing Guru”. 1&1 returns an error message when you search like this.


Hover only appears to return new TLD options if you search for them, e.g. “Fun holdings” did not suggest .holdings domain names.

Network Solutions/’s registrars fall in to the bucket of “yeah, we aren’t ready for new domain names yet.” Much like 1&1 on the first day, the only way to register a new domain at NetSol or is to do it through a special new TLD page.

It’s as if some registrars had no idea new TLDs were coming.