In the first of our four-part series on outbound domain sales, we learned about some of the basic steps that you should consider taking before sending any outbound emails. With the help of @Mike Robertson, Director of Business Development at Fabulous.com, our sales expert for this series, we learned about CRM’s, email signatures and custom email domains. In part two, Mike will be giving advice on the techniques you can use to find potential buyers, outlining several discovery methods that go further than a simple Google search. Pre-Checks Before finding going about finding your buyers, it’s advisable to perform some checks on the domain name you’re selling first. The most important factor to verify is whether you still own the domain name. If you have a large portfolio, it may be difficult to track all your names, so a quick check to ensure you own the name will save some potential embarrassment down the road. Your Landing Page You may also want to check where the domain name points. Should it point to a landing page where any potential buyer can verify your identity? Here’s Mike’s take on this: “More often than not, the domain I am brokering will be using a PPC lander with a For Sale banner. Any leads generated from the sale banner will come to me directly.” We asked Mike, whether he recommends using a dedicated landing page for your domain names. Here’s what he says: “I have used a dedicated For Sale lander once in the past. It was a simple lander that promoted the domain being for sale and prompting any interested parties to reach out to me via email. It was a simple design/template that was purchased and easily customized. I ended up selling that domain for $1 million. That said, I believe the domain sold due to the extensive research and direct marketing I did to all active companies in that field. If using a dedicated landing page, the most important thing is to make it clear and simple for potential buyers to get in contact with you; an email, phone number or a contact form. I would keep the landing page clear and concise and not include too much marketing, stats or data as I prefer to use that information as a way to engage with the buyer during negotiations.” Trademark Infringement Your domain name may be parked and displaying adverts. Do these ad links infringe on any trademarks? Mike Robertson recommends addressing this issue before sending any end-user emails: “If the domain is using PPC results, it’s important that there are no links that potentially infringe on trademarks." "Often parking companies will allow you to submit 10-15 keywords to hard code on the lander, which I would strongly encourage doing for all valuable domains. I would also suggest contacting the parking provider and ensuring the zero-click feed is turned off. By doing so, you avoid potential buyers being confused or discouraged should they be redirected to an irrelevant or potentially harmful site.” Marketplace Listings Updating or removing marketplace listings may also be advisable. Mike Robertson says: “it’s imperative to check all marketplaces to see if the domain has been listed and ensure uniform pricing across all platforms. If the domain is listed on the various marketplaces, I would suggest a “Make Offer” listing rather than a fixed price. This puts you in a stronger position when negotiating." "I usually prefer that a domain isn’t listed via sales channels as buyers may try to use those platforms to negotiate, which often hinders efforts as the marketplaces don’t disclose the buyer's details. You also have to factor in the commission the platform charges.” Finding Potential Buyers Fortunately, there is a plethora of resources available online to help you discover potential buyers for your domain name. This method encourages highly targeted contacts rather than unfocused mass contact attempts. Mike’s own outbound sales process identifies five methods that allow him to compile a complete list of potential buyers: Search Google to see what advertisers are bidding on that keyword/phrase. If they are buying traffic on the keyword, pitching the exact match domain to them makes sense. Also, check to see what companies are ranking on the first 3 pages of results. The argument could be made, solidify or increase your ranking by owning the exact match. Check LinkedIn and Crunchbase for relevant companies who might have the keyword in their brand. Sites that contain the keyword/phrase. DomainTools offers a great search tool found here. A lot of startups use key term with either a prefix and suffix (eg GetKeyword and KeywordApp), these make perfect potential buyers. Domains in other extensions, including ccTLDs. The pitch could be for the .net owner to upgrade to the .com. Or the .com.au owner to capture the International market” Using these five methods, Mike is able to capture information about the majority of potential buyers for a domain name. This is likely to work for exact match, keyword, generic or brandable names in .COM. Mike also recommends using Google alerts to your advantage: “I like to create a Google alert for the search term/phrase. That way I’m notified immediately to any newsworthy happening in that field.” If you are selling a four-, five- or six-figure domain name, you’ll need to have a fairly good idea that the company your pitching to can afford the purchase. On this subject, Mike says: “I try to prioritize potential buyers by the size of the company, their yearly earnings and if they’ve received funding.” Information on yearly earnings and funding can be easily found online. Crunchbase, for example, will often list a company's funding round data. Who To Contact Emailing the right person within an organization is paramount. Sending an email to a generic “[email protected]” address, for example, is unlikely to produce any results. Mike says: “Once I have my list of companies, I’ll identify between 1-3 key staff that I can approach. Typically I try to find a C (chief) or E (executive) level person, preferably someone in the marketing department or brand awareness. You can usually find a list of staff on the corporate About Us page or by using LinkedIn. “ -- Thanks to Mike for his insights into this section of our Outbound Sales guide. In part three, we'll be looking at the type of emails you should be sending to your targeted contacts, as well as debating the subject of following up on your initial contact attempt.