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Manage Your Own Domain Leads with HelpScout and WordPress

August 17, 2017

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).

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