GoDaddy is sending snail mail domain renewal notices
Over the weekend I received a snail mail from GoDaddy. Yeah, one of those things you get in the metal box with a flag on it. Big bright orange letters on the outside read “RENEWAL NOTICE!”:
This is the first time I recall receiving snail mail from GoDaddy. At first I assumed GoDaddy was trying paper mailers to improve domain renewal rates. But all of the domain names listed in the renewal letter are set to auto-renew. The letter even pointed that out:
“The domain names listed below will be renewed automatically on the date provided”
The letter also offered a 15% off code for the renewals and listed “regular renewal pricing”. Snail mail is too slow to keep up with recent GoDaddy price changes. For example, the letter listed .ws domain names at $9.99 (yes, I own some .ws domains). The current price is $14.99 and bulk renewal rate is $13.99. Also, I renewed the domains last week so I missed out on the coupon code.
There’s a disclaimer on the letter stating that prices may change at any time.
It makes sense for GoDaddy to send paper notices for domain names that aren’t set to automatically renew and if e-mail renewal notices aren’t resulting in a renewal for a domain. For example, the company could send out a few renewal notices by e-mail. If the domains aren’t renewed, GoDaddy would send a letter to remind the domain owner.
But in my case I’m a bit baffled given the circumstances. Although I’ve never received a letter before, the envelope had a small code “RENEW07” on the lower left corner, which makes me wonder if this is something GoDaddy started in 2007.
I called GoDaddy to inquire about the price differences. I talked with the perhaps the nicest and best customer service representative I’ve ever talked to, who was able to do a price match.
Has anyone else received paper renewal notices like this?
Andrew, yes. I have been getting them for over a year.
Yeah, I’ve been receiving them sporadically for a couple years now.
They aren’t at all consistent as I just get them every now and then.
There’s an option in the GoDaddy account about whether or not you want to receive mail from GoDaddy.
Never had one. Now I’m comparing some registrar prices, services etc. on my blog. 🙂
It’s not talked about much but they’ve been doing this for 2-3 years. GoDaddy is not the first though. New.net sent out mailers 5+ years ago, and I know some web hosts do the same. I’d be surprised that more registrars aren’t doing this, but on the margins many of them run on every penny counts.
I remember the days when Network Solutions sent you a paper mailer every time you registered a domain. That was a waste of paper.
I too have been getting them for over a year. For a while I used to get a weekly mailing from them with a coupon code for a new registration (not good for bulk registrations though)
Let us call it like the ABC Program Nightline says, “It is the sign of the times.” In the past 10 years, Godaddy has depended on below cost domain registration, renewal and transfer. When you offer $6.95 for domain transfer including renewal, you have a margin of profit, on the .com domains, of 19 cents, which represents the majority of domains that Godaddy has acquired through the years. This coupled with domain registration for $8.95 until last year, does not take a genius to know that those people are not making much profit if any, considering the cost of managing $30 million domain names or more and advertising expense for the SuperBowl, Nascar, radio, and paying to be at the top of all search engines. Since they are not a public company, no one knows, even ICANN, what their financial strength is. Faced with millions of domain names under management, and with the down cycle of the economy, coupled with a very low return coming from domain traffic, the only solution to their problem is to find ways to make people renew their domain names, even through snail mail like Network Solutions used to do a few years back. I must admit I am not a fan of Godaddy, since our websites have lost 20-25,000 domain names to them through transfer over the past 10 years, even though we are a very small company. I can only imagine how many hundreds of thousands of domain names were transferred to them from Network Solutions and Register.com. But I can without reservation say that they are the most loved by customers looking for a bargain and hated by all of the other ICANN registrars. The question is – are we looking today to a solid company or another disaster like Fanny Mae/Lehman Brothers/Merrill Lynch and the likes? This should be looked at and answered by ICANN, and it should not be left until after the fact, like looking back at what happened to RegisterFly. If this ever happens, it will be the biggest technology blender affecting the entire world.
Mansour – all we have for financials are the ones they filed when they planned to go public a couple years ago. They had a net loss when you considered GAAP.
Susan Howe says
Hey Andrew. Interesting. I have not received paper notices for my renewals. I will be on the lookout for it though and do what I can to keep using my coupons!
Currently, … I’ve used these repeatedly for savings and I love godaddy for the ease of use.
rrtv1 – Saves 10% on whole order
rrtv2 – $5 savings on orders of $30 or more
rrtv3 – .com registration for one year for $6.95
These keep working for me. I hope the next time you have to renew you can use these or some other coupons!!!
re: network solutions… I remember getting those notices too. Yeah, I even remember paying $12 a year for a domain name! Not anymore. Hope godaddy keeps their rates low for us techies who like to register multiple domains.