Gobble up as many domain names as you.

People who buy and hold domain names for the purpose of eventually reselling them for a profit are called “domainers.” It’s now big business, particularly given the Internet trend of “going local” and the rush to own local Internet real estate. Think “AtlantaDoctors.com” or “MidtownChineseFood.com” as two hypothetical possibilities. Minneapolis-based investment bank Piper Jaffray & Co. estimates Internet local ad spending will grow from $5 billion to $25 billion in the next decade.

Each B-to-B cataloger should be a domain-name acquirer in its own market niche for three reasons.

1. Make sure you own the domain-name real estate related to your brand, product or offer, particularly as the Web moves local.

2. When searching, it’s estimated your potential customers actually enter what they’re looking for (say, “personalloan.com”) as a URL into the search engine 25 percent of the time. Also, 15 percent of the time they bypass the search engine entirely and enter the expected URL right into their Web browser.

3. You can actually “park” your currently dormant domain names at a static advertising page with help from Yahoo! or Google (with your own ads at the top of the listing of course) to generate clicks and cash. At the very least this will cover the cost of holding and managing the domain names.

How to Take Action

So here are some suggestions on how you can act on this.

1. Get your marketing team together and brainstorm possible new domain names. Examine your business from multiple viewpoints — the customer, application, product and local perspective, among others.

2. Pay careful attention to your best-selling products and brands.

3. Think local. If you sell drywall supplies and compete with The Home Depot, do you want to own a URL such as “AtlantaDryWall.com” or “AtlantaDryWallSupplies.com?” (You can see how thinking local multiplies your URLs in a hurry!)

4. Consider writing a software program to create and register new domain names in bulk rather than one at a time.

Too Many Domain Names?

Given the above, is it possible you could end up with 10,000, 50,000 or 100,000 domain names? Yes, but this isn’t something to fear. Rather, think of it as a new business. You have costs (URL creation and maintenance), revenues (ad revenues, lead generation/new revenues from the domains you use) and assets (domain names).

And as you build your domain inventory, you’ll find some of the domains you want already are owned by someone else. If the domain is good for your business, don’t let that stop you. Try and buy it anyway. Chances are it’s held by a domainer who’ll gladly part with it for a reasonable sum.

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence Inc., a strategic consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at www.b2bdmi.com or (954) 566-4451.
Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221

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