Driving Domain Buyers to Your Auction, Part III: Outreach


[This is the final segment of a three part series addressing how to effectively promote your domain auction via cold emailing. Check out parts 1 and 2.]

In the previous articles I outlined the proper research and tracking tactics you should follow and the strategies your email structure should mimic. Now it’s time for the coup de grâce: contact.

  1. Email Templates – I’ll preface these instructions with a warning to not mass mail any persons who did not opt-in by their own choosing.
  2. Proofread – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a typo in the subject line or body of an email that I immediately close. Here are some good habits to pick up to prevent typos, grammar, and peculiar language:
    1. Have another person or persons read it for you, by posting it on a domain forum.
    2. Read it to yourself, out-loud.
    3. This may sound odd, but reading your message backwards, word by word, forces you to focus on your writing.
    4. Reading the email on another device and in another location puts you in a different frame of mind and allows you to discover more errors.
  3. Emailing – Here are some tips to optimize the chances of your email being read by your recipient, not trapped in their spam folder:
    1. Quantity – Individually send out a few emails at a time to refrain from being blocked by your email service provider.
    2. Timing – Send out your emails at the best times of the week. This will vary depending on your target market, but I’ve seen substantial engagement times between 8AM – 11AM from Tuesday through Thursday in their native time zones. This is not a universal truth, but a good jumping off point.
    3. Tracking – You can track open and click through rates by using various email marketing services. Some of the major ones are Mandrill, MailChimp, and  Constant Contact. Remember that some often have strict definitions on what they consider to be spam.
    4. Schedule – To make things easier, there are several services that enable you to schedule emails to be sent out later like Boomerang or Inbox by Google. Email marketing services also have this added benefit.
    5. Reply – Respond to emails in a timely manner that warrant a response. If someone shows interest by asking questions or wants to call you, be professional and respond in kind. Don’t overwhelm someone with a five paragraph essay to answer a single sentence question. If someone emails you back saying “no thanks” or “get bent”, you can skip these or just log the funniest ones to read at cocktail parties.
  4. Spam vs Offer – Federer, who is an avid successful seller on Flippa, had some very useful input on the subject of cold emailing in a NamePros thread on End User Email Samples and Email Templates. Remember to check your email provider’s policies on spam. Emails are often in the clear as long as there is a low quantity of them, they’re not simultaneously sent out, and they’re not identical. This aligns with the position of not using uniform templates and automating the entire process.
  5. Registrar’s Agreement – Remember that 50 page document you agree to and you’re supposed to read every time you register a domain? Some of them have specific “No Spam” regulations that will result in the deletion of your domain if you violate them. Take the time to review them before proceeding.
  6. Testing – It’s highly advised to not use email templates, but this doesn’t apply to streamlining the prospecting process with basic formulas for structuring your emails. Constantly improve and test these emails with different versions.
    1. A/B – Try testing two versions of your email on the same or different domain. Don’t get carried away and test more than two types at one time. Make sure to give the recipients enough time to respond and potentially produce a substantial sample size before making decisions. If you only emailed ten people with each version, that’s not statistically significant data.
    2. Send it to Yourself – If you have several other email accounts, try sending it to all of them and see which ones make it to your inbox, or the desired part of your inbox if you have tabs like promotions and offers enabled in Gmail.
    3. Spam Checkers – There’s a plethora of these around the internet, but I personally use isnotspam.com to check my messages.
    4. Blacklisted – If none of your emails have gotten through, you may want to check if your email server’s IP address is on a spam or blacklist. One way to check is by using Senderscore.org.
  7. Respect – Cold emailing walks a fine line between spammer and a legitimate sales offer. Value the potential buyer’s time by:
    1. Curation – Only choose potential prospects that might be interested with related keywords, names and services.
    2. Brevity – Keep your messages brief.
    3. Double Messaging – Track who you’re contacting so you don’t waste their time by pinging them more than once.
    4. No Response – If someone isn’t interested, you don’t need to reply or justify your communication.

I hope this guide will serve as sufficient advice to draw more attention to your auctions. Emailing prospects and leads will play a large hand in users finding auctions and buying domains, but your choices don’t have to end there. Utilize all of your marketing options by promoting your auction with free or paid advertising such as requesting to place an ad on DomainShane.com and Domaining.com. Above all, staying active in the largest domain community will place you ahead of the curve.

If you’re interested in conducting research of your own, MailChimp’s Email Genome Project is a useful start. If you have any additional tips regarding advertising an auction, please share them!

Edward Zeiden

Edward Zeiden

Domain enthusiast and entrepreneur, Edward Zeiden, has been in the tech industry for several years. After co-founding the startup, NameLayer (subsequently acquired by Techstars) he pursued a career in