James Iles

Outbound Sales: Who Should You Contact to Sell a Domain?

By James Iles, Apr 7, 2016
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Conducting outbound domain name sales can be a difficult practice that requires a high level of repetition to find the right techniques in order to improve. There are many resources available to find out about how to send outbound sales messages and there are even templates out there that give you an idea of what to say. Today however, I want to talk about who to send that domain sales message to.

    I want to start off by saying that in my experience, contacting generic “[email protected]” email addresses rarely produces a response. I would recommend taking a little extra time to find out more about the company and who to contact, rather than sending any sales email to a generic address. That’s all very well, but who do you send messages to?

    Small Businesses & Small Startups

    I’ve found that to get the best response to domain name sales amongst small business and startups, the owner/CEO is always the one to approach first. In my experience, the owners of small companies take on several roles; marketing and business development to name just two. If the name is a suitable fit for their company, the owner will usually endeavour to reply to you to enquire about the price of your domain.

    Bear in mind that a small business or startup will usually lack the budget for a big domain purchase, although there are always exceptions to this rule. Three to four figure domain acquisitions are usually within the realms of possibility for a small business, especially if they can be convinced that an acquisition will be beneficial for their company moving forward.

    Contacting the owner of a small company should be fairly easy. Their name may appear on their current website; dentists and realtors are prime examples of professions in which their name will be listed on their website. If the owner's name doesn’t appear on their website, you might try searching for reviews or web listings that may mention their name. If that fails, then perhaps phoning the company’s number could be a possibility.

    Medium/Large Companies

    Businesses with a structured staffing setup mean that it’s often more difficult to find out who to contact within the company. Typically, a medium to large business has a management team consisting of a Founder/CEO, COO (Chief Operating Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). This can change depending on the company and their field. There are also often other leaders within the business, but these four positions are the four that will usually yield a result.

    However, out of the four positions mentioned above, the CMO (or VP of Marketing) is usually the best source of contact. Domain name purchases often come under the banner of marketing, and a good CMO tends to have a good grasp as to how domain names can be used. I’m sure that CMOs are bombarded with hundreds of sales pitches every month, so any domain name you’re looking to sell must be of value to that company; either a direct upgrade from their current name, or a valuable exact match .COM for a product that they sell.

    Depending on the price of a domain name pitched to a CMO, they might be able to offer a certain amount without the approval of the CEO or the company’s board. High value purchases tend to need the approval of senior figures before proceeding, which could take weeks to complete.

    Medium to large companies often have structured email protocols, meaning that if you have the CMOs first and last name, you’re likely to be able to guess their email address if it isn’t listed on their website already. The most common email addresses are:
    You can check whether an email address is valid by using or a similar service.

    Due to the amount of sales pitches that CMOs receive, you may not get an answer. This is where calling rather than emailing could be successful.

    Ali Zandi (@Zandibot), Founder of, often advocates calling other members of staff rather than emailing CMOs directly: "Sometimes, you can call the "lower-level" assistants as they are very eager to please their bosses. You can ask who is in charge of domain acquisitions. And if they freeze to that question, you can ask "Who's in charge of approving big purchases?". If the assistant has worked there long enough, they should know the answer to that question. It is important to call, as they can't ignore the question that way, and if you have a pleasant phone demeanor you can usually pry out a lot of information quite easily."

    Large Companies

    Companies that have thousands of employees across the globe can be the most difficult to sell to directly. Firstly, they may use a service such as MarkMonitor or CSC Global to manage their domain names, meaning that any acquisitions may be handled by those external companies. Secondly, if you do attempt to contact a member of the large company directly, who do you email? Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google have thousands of employees across the globe, with many employees taking on similar positions in different companies.

    Rather than contacting a representative of a multi-national company directly, you could consider using an established broker with existing connections to those particular organizations. Domain brokers often have key contacts within large companies and can maximize these connections to help sell your name.

    Ryan Colby, CEO of Outcome Brokerage told us: “It all comes down to one word: relationships.” These existing relationships can help to get decisions on domain name acquisitions from key people in multi-national companies.

    Do you have any suggestions for who to contact within a company? Write a comment below.
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 177th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (28)

  6. elevator

    elevator VIP

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    Thanks for sharing of this valuable experience. cheers.
  7. AEProgram

    AEProgram Upgraded Member Blue Account VIP

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    Several years ago a name was dropping that I felt would be a perfect fit for a specific fortune 500 company. I decided to risk the money and go after the domain. I knew if they don't buy it selling it to others is possible, however it would have to be for a really low price.

    The domain got caught by a catcher that sends domains to auction that has multi bidders, it ended up costing me over 500 bucks, way more than I planned.

    Now I start what I thought will be a very simple process of contacting that company and getting them to buy the name for a high 5 figure price I set for it. I use phone, email, fedex to contact all the main players in that company. I write and print custom letters to the CEO, COO, Marketing manager, VP, VP of Sales etc. I tried all kinds of letters, I spelled out the benefits for them I showed them how they can use it to test TV or Radio ads, I showed them how their competition uses different domains sometimes in their programs, I really went all out. I go no response, even worse, I called in one day and asked to speak to the guy in marketing I sent a fedex too and the secretary knew who I was and said they are not interested and I should not call again please, so I stopped.

    I was at a complete loss. They are a publicly traded company, so I looked up the major shareholders, it was all these big giant mutual funds, I realized I am dreaming if I think I can start bothering them to bother the company to buy my domain.

    Some time went by, I forgot about this madness a bit, and I get a call about another domain name I have. The call is from an Advertising Agency that represents a client and they are looking to buy my domain, their offer was nonsense and nothing ever came of it, although I ended up selling that domain.

    That call thou gave me the idea to locate the Advertising agency that represents the company I was trying to get to buy my domain. I go to the companies site, I plan on calling them to get the name of the advertising agency that represents them and as it turns on right on their contact page it was right there, they had a PR company and an Advertising agency (different companies) one not even in their state that represented them.

    I fix up my letter, I call the advertising agency and they give me the name of the person who heads the team that manages the advertising account for the company I am targeting.

    I redo my letter a bit and contact them via fedex. The same day he got it, he contacts me. I remember thinking that I am dreaming, after all I obsessed over this so much that I didn't trust myself anymore.

    I explain to him that the price of the domain is a fraction of the amount of additional money they will spend on marketing to get people to their current domain, not to mention their current domain is too generic and not targeted to one of the major sectors that cater too.

    He agreed and told me he will get back to me and let me know. I played as if I don't care if he buys it or not when in fact I was really desperate for them to buy this name.

    Within a week of that call the entire transaction was complete, no escrow, I have no clue how in the world they would just wire someone high 5 figures without checking anything at all. They sent me a non disclosure and a legal agreement that really made no sense, the guy who wrote it up had no clue what a domain is, it has pages in this thing that talk about rights and ownership and claims that really have nothing to do with anything, the guy must be getting paid by the word.

    It was weeks after they paid me that some tech guy was introduced to me by the marketing company, he was in charge of transferring the domain to their account. It was first pushed to another account at the registrar I had it at and he took over from there, today it is at Mark Monitor and they have used it and continue to use it in ads.

    The takeaway is: When it comes to big companies consider their advertising agencies, some have more than one. Agencies like delivering new ideas to their clients and what we think is lots of money for a domain is a complete joke compared to what they spend a day on advertising.
  8. Joe Styler

    Joe Styler Aftermarket Product Manager GoDaddy Staff Afternic Staff PRO VIP

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    Good article and comments. Thanks for sharing this.
  9. Doron Vermaat

    Doron Vermaat Email [email protected] for the fastest Efty support. Efty Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Love that story!
  10. Sumit Agrawal

    Sumit Agrawal Established Member

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  11. AuctionBio

    AuctionBio Active Member VIP

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    Really good share. Your experience is worthy.
  12. domainpizza

    domainpizza Tasty Pricing Gold Account

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    James Iles article and AEProgram's comment, both excellent. Very tasty.
  13. AGAME

    AGAME Active Member VIP

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    Excellent information James! Thank you!!
  14. Candace

    Candace Broker at Starfire Holdings Starfire Holdings PRO Blue Account VIP

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    Thank you for the article James, and thank you @AEProgram for the story.
  15. john_karr

    john_karr Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for the tip.

  16. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer Active Member PRO VIP

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    Good info, James!
  17. Michael Ehrhardt

    Michael Ehrhardt Active Member VIP

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  18. Samujjal

    Samujjal Established Member

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    Thank you for these wonderful industry insights... :)
  19. theleoA

    theleoA Account Closed

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    We need people like you here sir. Thank you for the information.
  20. DomainPluto

    DomainPluto Dashawn R.

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    Nice article! I like the breakdown of small / mid-size, and large cap companies... The article will indeed come in handy.. thanks for sharing
  21. DomainPluto

    DomainPluto Dashawn R.

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  22. GangDoan

    GangDoan Established Member

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  23. WatchDogue

    WatchDogue Active Member VIP

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    A top notch article followed by high quality salient comments!

    Grade A all around, thanks James!
  24. john_karr

    john_karr Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Do you guys ever contact MarkMonitor or CSC Global?
  25. peace800

    peace800 Established Member

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    I would like to ask that for a large company would it be worthwhile contacting the CMO or Markmonitor?

    And how would you know which domain broker would have contacts with a particular company?
  26. Bram C.

    Bram C. + VIP

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  27. CakeCode

    CakeCode Active Member VIP

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    Very Valuable and Informative buddy, thanks a million
  28. CakeCode

    CakeCode Active Member VIP

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    The Best article I have read on NP,

    Kudos guys for the excellent efforts, I rarely read an article that is bigger the 2 paragraphs, but this one just made me glued to the writing,

    Very informative and inspiring.

    TERADOMAIN Active Member VIP

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    Good One.

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