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FYI – DomainAnimal.com has been removed from the Domaining.com feed due to being sold. The owner of Domaining.com demands repayment of the “setup fee” once a site included on the feed changes hands (even if no settings change).

As we will not be repaying for “setup,” please add us on your favorite RSS reader :).

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I would like to share one of the main things I’ve been working on lately in case anyone here could possibly benefit:

 

I’ve been in search of an alternative to the domain marketplaces. And after lots of trial and error with many different pieces of tech, my current system is somewhat optimized.

 

Note: this post is not a step-by-step guide to setting up your own system, but more of a report of my own experiences. The actual setup would be far too much to explain here. Also, while I will try to answer questions here, any tech questions will be better aimed at a developer.

 

The basic system is made up of:
  • Help desk software (HelpScout.net)

  • Landing pages (WordPress + Gravity forms). Example: http://namerep.com/name/?domain=Example.com (please do no submit false inquiries)
  • Sales banners on parked pages (Uni Market)
  • Forwarding traffic directly to landers (using Bodis)
Who might benefit from a similar system:
  • Domainers who get a lot of inquiries and want an email/messaging system that makes it easier to manage/track leads
  • Domainers who want to customize things more vs. a solution like Uni Market, which is great but doesn’t allow for your own development
  • Domainers who want to work their own leads
  • Domainers who want to keep their lead data private
Who might NOT benefit from a similar system:
  • Domainers who utilize brokers instead of working their own leads
  • Domainers who are not interested in solving tech problems themselves or don’t have a developer handy
  • Domainers who get less than 5 inquiries per day. The # will vary from person to person, but using email alone is a perfectly fine option up to a certain point.
Benefits:
  • Lead tracking
  • Email open tracking
  • Bulk actions – you can reply/follow up with multiple leads at once.
  • Automated responses to inquiries
  • Automated follow-ups – something I’m testing but not doing well yet
  • Custom sales pages
  • Easy to test various things and see results with analytics
  • Organization of your help desk (messaging dashboard) is custom (also a downside)
  • Reply templates
Downsides:
  • HelpScout isn’t made for sales, but because of the nature of dealing with a lot domain leads over email, a ticketing system works better for me than any of the CRM’s I’ve tried (Salesforce, Hubspot, + many more).
  • Organization of your help desk folders (messaging dashboard) is mostly custom, and it’s a complicated process to get everything just right. I’m still not there yet, but it’s much better for me than email.
  • Costs:
  • Helpscout has a free option that is really nice, but I’m using the $40/mo option for added features.
  • Gravity Forms – $199/yr for a developer’s license.
Free option:
  • Use the free version of HelpScout (or another CRM/helpdesk)
  • Use another option for your contact forms and submit to the helpdesk programmatically or through Zapier (cost $ after a certain # of actions).

Whether selling a domain or launching a website, a nice logo can give a boost. If on a steak and taters budget with time to spare, check out 99Designs. If not, check out these free options (with paid options available on most):

1. Stencil

 

Stencil is mostly a Canva.com clone, but IMO it works better than Canva.com and provides a huge selection of royalty free stock photos and icons at no cost (with a paid plan, you can basically use it for unlimited stock photo downloads). I’ve been on the unlimited plan for over 2 years, but their free option is great if you need 10 or fewer graphics per month (far fewer icons and graphics available on the free plan but still very nice). On top of logos, you can make amazing looking Facebook ads, site banners, etc. in less than a minute.

Here are 3 examples of logos for one brand and my favorite dog breed (FYI, it took less than 1 minute to make all 3 together):

2. Logomakr

 

Logomakr may not be a great brand/domain itself (where that “e” get off to?), but it’s a completely serviceable logo maker and free (unless you need the logo in very high resolution).

3 examples of 1-minute Logomakr logos:

3. Hipster Logo Generator

 

While far from my favorite overall, Hipster Logo Generator is easy and fast, and if you have no design talent at all (not saying that I do BTW), it can provide something interesting looking that the youths might like.

3 examples of 1-minute HLG logos: 

4. Inkscape

 

There is a learning curve to Inkscape, but it’s the most advanced free option I’ve found.

When things were flying at Flippa, it was my go-to option for making logos for featured auctions. My process was simple:

  1. Buy a stock logo like you can find on Adobe Stock or find one for free on the web.
  2. Convert from Adobe file type to a generic vector graphic (there should be better options available now but my conversion method involved PhotoPlus)
  3. Edit

Of course, you can design logos from scratch using Inkscape too, but that would involve actual design talent, which I am lacking.

Anyway, here are 3 examples of designs I made a few years ago (these weren’t really free since I had to pay for the original stock graphic, and most took much longer than a minute):

NameSilo Marketplace Launches Domain Payment Plans

February 6, 2017

NameSilo, a domain name registrar, has just launched the ability to offer Payment Plans for premium domain names to customers. The announcement by NameSilo came via an email which can be read below. This means that customers can pay for a premium domain in the NameSilo Marketplace utilizing NameSilo’s shopping cart and payment options. If […]

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.KIWI Gains 170,000 Domain Registrations In Two Weeks (Yeah, Right!)

December 5, 2016

.KIWI, a new domain extension aimed at the New Zealand market, has experienced tremendous registration growth the past two weeks. .KIWI has gained 170,000+ domain registrations according to NtldStats and NameStat, websites that track new domains. As of this writing there are 187,225 .KIWI domains registered. This now puts the .KIWI domain 22nd in terms […]

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New-Tech Domains and When To Cut Losses

May 26, 2016

Occasionally I become interested in a new technology that is just beginning to bud, and if it sounds promising, like others I may take a gamble on registering some domains within that field in the hope the technology eventually goes mainstream. Each year as the domains come up for renewal I spend some time reviewing […]

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Are Capital Controls Behind China’s Move Into the Domain Market?

January 5, 2016

It is an undisputed fact to anyone involved in the domain name aftermarket that a significant upswing in overall pricing trends of certain categories of domain, namely short 2 and 3 character .com as well as strong one-word .com, have been realized over the past year due to a strong influx of Chinese buyers into […]

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Throwback Thursday – One Commenter’s Cogent Corrective To A Blogger’s ‘Cybersquatter’ Rant

May 14, 2015

While cleaning out an inbox the other day I somehow came across a link to a blog post from four years ago, titled, Domain-squatter parasites not interested in haggling, apparently. As you might have guessed already, the author relates the story of how he woke up one day deciding he’d like to own a particular […]

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The Yin to the Yang of Domain Sales

January 18, 2015

Although it isn’t a regular column to this blog, consider this my weekend musings, if you will.  The following are some thoughts I was having a moment ago while giving my head and beard a quick trim for the coming week. Several days ago I caught a post on Abdul Basit’s blog, New Year Starts […]

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