While there are many domain name lander options, how are we to know which lander will work best? It is possible to set up a randomized A/B trial, and with enough domain names and time, it might provide statistically significant results. That does not give us an answer today, however. Also, with so many lander options, it would take many trials. The marketplaces must possess data relevant to this, and they have shared bits of it. Sedo suggest that sales are optimized with buy-it-now prices, as well as fast transfer enabled. The latter, though, is probably due to the wider visibility from their premium registrar network. DAN have suggested that payment plans help sales, and that their new payment option, allowing longer periods and dropping the make offer choice, converts better. SquadHelp shared some results from their marketplace, indicating that landers with a buy-it-now price and payment plan convert better than only a buy-it-now price. Their results suggest that adding make offer as another choice may reduce sales conversions. SquadHelp found that assigning categories to domain names, and adding descriptions, promote sales. For a long time Afternic have suggested that having the potential client make contact with an agent to get a price resulted in more conversions. Now Afternic offers a choice, includng landers with buy-it-now prices and instant purchase button. They have tested the new style on their own portfolio, supposedly with positive results. This article is the result of a request from @spikedo While perhaps in the future we will have some actual data on different lander effectiveness, for now, I think the best we can do is to ask questions and logically see how each factor relates to different landers. Questions To Ask As a thought exercise, I suggest that as you read through the following questions you consider a few specific domain names from your portfolio. Try to answer each question for your selected domain names. What is the financial position of the type of business most likely to purchase this domain name? Are they a single person startup with limited resources and financing, a well funded startup, or a major company making an upgrade purchase? Perhaps the name is suited to an author, musician or artist site, or to a nonprofit organization. If funding is tight, a payment plan with a generous time period may be important, but for a well-established business a payment plan is probably of little or no importance. How much traffic does this domain name get? If it is a new name, and you don’t know about traffic, it might be worthwhile, for at least a few months, to use a lander that will track visits and interactions. That can be with or without monetized links. Knowing traffic will help you in pricing the domain name, and also give data, if needed, for later negotiations. Depending on results, you might even decide it is better to park for an extended time and have the name earn ongoing revenue. Will the potential purchaser be scared away by a high, from their perspective, buy-it-now price? If so, then a make offer or price on request may be more likely to get the conversation going. Many businesses expect aftermarket domain names to be priced lower than they are, and some time to adjust to the final price may help. Is it likely that a single person is making the purchasing decision on this domain name? If it is a group purchase, providing answers to some key questions about the name and transfer process, either through contact with an agent or in a written description, may be helpful as they present the name to the group. The group may also want to know some comparator sales to help support that the price being paid is reasonable. Where geographically are the most likely purchasers located? Does your lander provide information in multiple languages? Is it set to local currency? There are cultural differences between preferred communication modes as well. Is saving money important to the potential purchaser? The price may be critical to some sellers, and of little importance to others. Features like the ‘reduced price’ option at SquadHelp standard listings site may be that little carrot to help a potential buyer decide. It automatically reduces by a certain percentage the price on a selection of your domain names for a week. The lander shows both the regular and reduced price, and the duration of the sale price. Make offer options on landers, along with buy-it-now pricing, can also be important with buyers who want to make a good deal by getting the name for a bit less than the listed price. Some people just like to get a deal, even if they could afford full price. Is the name long with multiple words? For long multi-word domain names it is critical to have camel casing for legibility, in my opinion. The graphical presentation of some landers don’t present well with long names. Make sure to check the appearance of your landers with both desktop and mobile, and in horizontal and vertical formats. How do potential purchasers feel about buying from a domain reseller? Some potential purchasers may prefer to buy from someone who is not necessarily in the domain business. I am not saying be deceptive about who you are, but, especially if you do your own landers, you can not mention your overall portfolio. On the other hand, some businesses prefer to deal with a well-established domain seller, and things like the number of years that shows on Sedo landers, or information about yourself you can set at DAN, may be helpful. Note that with DAN you can select the information that shows in your settings. What type of person does this name appeal to? Is it a corporate brand type name, or a slightly offbeat creative name more likely to be obtained by a single person creative agency or an artist or write? That has implications for the most effective presentation. Graphical elements perhaps better fit the creative name, and a possible logo the corporate name. The ‘white label’ standard listings at SquadHelp allow you to choose from many provided images, as well as upload other royalty free images. Epik also allow you to set the image, and it fills the first look of the lander. It is a good idea to get feedback from someone outside the domain industry on whether the graphical image you have chosen fits the domain name. Does the domain name evoke an emotion? Some names are bland, but others, especially when spoken, may hint at emotional feelings. The name may feel lively, or solid, or friendly, or elegant. Is there a way to build on those feelings with the type of lander, and the graphic that you select? Is this the kind of name that is likely to be an impulse purchase? Depending on pricing, and the domain name, some names are more apt to sell shortly after first viewed. Having a buy-it-now price, in the price range that might be charged to a credit card, and a simple purchase process will help. Also, even though the buyer may not really need the name rapidly, it is natural for purchasers to want assurance that the transfer will happen quickly. Is the buyer for the name likely a small or large business, an organization or an individual? That has implications for how the name is presented, the price, payment options and the availability of a payment plan. Too low a price could actually be negative for a domain name you expect to sell to a large, well-funded business. Is the domain name under ICANN 60 day lock? While some purchasers are willing to wait, or accept a push, you might want to consider using a registrar marketplace lander during this period, since then the transfer can take place instantly. How important are commissions? Commission levels vary extensively from marketplace to marketplace. Also, in a few cases, the percentage is different if you use the lander pointed at that marketplace. Is there an effective tagline for this domain name? Efty landers allow you to have multiple bullet points, while Epik give you two lines in the graphical display. Some landers don’t give you this choice at all. Is there something you can say in one or two lines that will help convince someone to take a second look at this name? What potential concerns will the buyer likely have? Think about this particular domain name, and ask what might be common concerns. Might they be unclear on renewal rates? About using an alternative extension? If your lander provides for a description, or linked information possible with Epik landers, this gives an avenue for sharing answers to these concerns. Instant chat offered by multiple landers, or phone numbers to discuss the purchase with agents offered by Afternic, SquadHelp and others, provide a way to get any questions instantly answered. See the section later for an expansion of client concerns. One Lander Probably Does Not Fit All Names It is probably true that one lander type is not optimal for all domain names. Setting up any of the main landers is relatively straightforward. I think that there is a strong case to match your domain name to a lander that is well-suited to that domain name. Also, if you have used one lander for an extended time for a domain name, without any serious offers, maybe it makes sense to try another lander to see if it will convert better. Too much information, or too many choices, can in some cases be negative. I discussed this on the NamePros Blog some months ago in the article Too Many or Too Few Choices. Many options may actually result in fewer sales conversions, since the potential purchaser is frozen by choice indecision. There is research evidence that attitudes to choices vary around the globe, so a lander that may work well in one country may struggle in another. The Domain Lander Style May Not Really Matter Much While there are many ways people might discover your domain name, I think having an operational lander is important. That said, we should keep its importance in perspective. In many cases the details of the lander probably don’t matter much. The domain name will sell, or not, mainly on the virtues of the name, not its presentation. Also, aspects like listing on a major marketplace or across the registration stream may be more important than the lander features. Potential Purchaser Concerns Some potential purchasers have hesitation due to not fully understanding aspects of the domain name process. While we know answers to the following, many buyers do not. Is the price that I pay for this domain name the same as the renewal rate each year? Do I need to keep the domain name at the current registrar? Can registration and web hosting be at different companies? What assurance do I have that the domain name is not stolen and the seller truly has legitimate ownership? How can the same domain name be listed for sale different places at different prices? Why is the price so different from an automated appraisal? How fast is the transfer process? A lander which makes it possible for the purchaser to get answers to some of these, or other, questions can help sales complete. That could be accomplished with online chat or a telephone number, or a provision of a frequently asked questions section. The value of known brands as part of the transaction process, as well as high customer ratings on standard review sites, or transfer guarantees, can help. Final Thoughts The previous article provides a visual look at different domain name choices. For those with large portfolios, clearly one can only invest so much time in selecting and optimizing domain name landers. Various elements are possible in a domain lander. The article Too Many or Too Few Choices discusses whether too many options may actually result in fewer sales conversions, since the potential purchaser is frozen by choice indecision. For some names, a simple listing of the name and the price may be the best lander. I look forward to hearing your comments in the discussion. Please share both what elements you think are most important in domain landers, and how you optimize which lander is a good fit for which domain name. Also, if you have not already, please vote in the associated poll on how many different types of landers you use. If you want to share in the comments the specific landers you currently use, feel free to do that.