IT.COM

discuss Education Gap...How many non domainers know about nTLD's?

Spaceship Spaceship
Watch

ThatNameGuy

Top Member
Impact
3,243
An educated guess might be 5% based on polling.

It's just been nine months since I reg'd my first nTLD. Since then I've reg'd literally hundreds more while polling hundreds of non domainers who have never heard of the new domain extensions.

I don't just ask someone if they ever heard of new domain extensions like; .golf, .loans, .app, .live, .boats etc., but I also make it my business to educate them on how they work just like .com's, and how easy they are to buy, use and develop. Most of the reactions I get are, Wow!, I didn't know that.

I knew within the first 45 days I got into this, the onus would be on me to educate end users if I were to be successful. Collectively registries, registrars and domainers like you and me need to work together educate end users and the public.

Finally, I've acknowledged all along that .com is, and "may" always be "king", but there's a lot of room to close the huge gap that exists between the two:)
 
1
•••
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Bulloney,
While the general public is not as familiar with alternative extensions as domain investors, the biggest gap IMO in selling any domain to an end user is showing them why they should pay a premium price for a domain when they can theoretically find something for under $50. As a financial professional I have seen how much companies spend on all sorts of normal business expenses - lawyers at $250-$400/hour, IT consultants at $100-$150/hour, temporary financial professionals at $60-$125/hour, offsite executive meetings where the company flies dozens of individuals to a remote location for a week (plus hotel, rental car and dining expenses), corporate jets where the fuel bill is five figures and a maintenance bill might be six figures, companies spending five figures or more monthly on Google Adwords, etc. Yet a domain used to brand a business line for the next decade is deemed to be a $50 item??? It doesn't make sense. That is the battle that has to be won.
 
10
•••
I am seeing a number of places using www with these to show they are valid URLs.

Honestly though, I think the way they are being marketed is what's causing them to not hit home with people. You cannot just plonk a simple word.word link on your promotional material and expect people to know it's a web address. Best example of why this doesn't work, is Sony adverts and the "make.believe" text that shows in their marketing.
 
3
•••
Bulloney
I am currently doing some analysis on historical sales - pricing, TLD, language, etc. One thing I decided to check was how often sold domains (regardless or price) had any meaningful development. At least for my sales, only about one in five sold domains resulted in a developed website. So that means that slightly over 80% of the domains I have sold over the last twelve years were either bought by investors or by unmotivated end users who did nothing with them. Note I did find quite a few which resolved to HugeDomains.com which means the buyer later dropped the domain.
 
2
•••
I don't think we disagree at all in that "education" is key to selling "most" domains. I don't buy into the "blanket" philosophy that domains sell themselves. Ever hear the expression, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression"? Well, it's true for business domain names. Your name on the internet is similar to your name being displayed on a billboard, and it's not "cheap" to have your name on a billboard.

Of course it doesn't make sense?....we need to do a much better job of "education" before it will change:xf.wink:
 
1
•••
'Educating' end users is fighting an uphill battle. Believe me, domainers have tried (and failed) for the last two decades :xf.smile:
Like @garptrader said, it's not just a problem with new extensions. End users are reluctant to pay a premium in general, for any domain.

But awareness does not suffice and does not automatically lead to acceptance. When you've told somebody that .whatever exists, well well it doesn't mean they really want one, or that they would run a critical business on it. The demand for all those zany strings was never there in the first place.

Trying to 'educate' end users is doomed to fail. Even established outlets like Sedo have never been able to move the needle. As far as I know they gave up on the idea a very long time ago. Again, why swim against the tide.

Also, the intended purpose of nTLDs is to increase the supply of available keywords, so that end users could avoid buying names on the aftermarket. That's the theory, the reality is quite different thanks to Icann and registries.
But a nTLD domain is seldom a first choice, somebody is more likely to buy one for regfee when the better alternatives are already taken, and/or for sale, or for some low-key project. If you have to pay a premium for an alternative extension, then you are back to square one, and if you have a budget then you could as well buy the best .com within your budget.

Problem with nTLDs:
  1. There are too many in the face of limited demand, most are not appealing and not relevant
  2. They were introduced too late. Had they been there in 1996, today's landscape could be quite different. But now it's much too late when the Internet is mature and settled.
  3. In America, if your business is not in .com then it's perceived to be at a competitive disadvantage. This is not just perception, this is a fact. In the rest of the world, at least in mature markets, ccTLDs tend to be dominant or at least strong alongside .com. Again, using a nTLD domain puts you at a competitive disadvantage.
Conclusion ?
Domainers are not trend setters, but trend riders.
 
8
•••
I am seeing a number of places using www with these to show they are valid URLs.

Honestly though, I think the way they are being marketed is what's causing them to not hit home with people. You cannot just plonk a simple word.word link on your promotional material and expect people to know it's a web address. Best example of why this doesn't work, is Sony adverts and the "make.believe" text that shows in their marketing.

I think the www. will help, or even a small print tagline with an arrow pointing to the nTLD can help. It's all about the marketing which it always is. Plenty of great ideas have failed due to poor or non existent marketing. I'm confident we'll figure it out because Tonys.pizza makes a hell of a lot more sense than TonysPizza.com.
 
0
•••
I'm confident we'll figure it out because Tonys.pizza makes a hell of a lot more sense than TonysPizza.com.

And this is where you fail. It doesn't make more sense, people know .com, not .pizza.
 
5
•••
<<I also make it my business to educate them on how they work>>

How/why does any particular extension "work" any differently from another? At the end of the day they all function the same as far as hosting a website.
 
Last edited:
3
•••
Kate said,

"Domainers are not trend setters, but trend riders."

That's exactly why I don't claim to be a domainer...I've said dozens of times, I'm a business guy first, a marketing guy second, and a domainer a distant third.

I'm a trend setter, always have been, and always be until the day i die:xf.wink:

Sedo is a domainer:xf.frown:
 
Last edited:
0
•••
And this is where you fail. It doesn't make more sense, people know .com, not .pizza.
Wrong again...are you JB Lions.com or are you JB.Lions:xf.grin:
 
0
•••
<<I also make it my business to educate them on how they work>>

How/why does any particular extension "work" any differently from another? At the end of the day they all function the same as far as hosting a website.
My point EXACTLY....thanks!
 
0
•••
Bulloney
When I was a newbie I registered quite a few .BIZ domains as keyword availability was there vs .Com. I quickly realized .BIZ was the wrong extension to be invested in so I dropped most of them. However, as Google and Yahoo were giving a ranking advantage to exact match domains I did search for available or expiring .Net domains. So from 2007-2009 i had more .Net domains than any other extension. In latter 2008 I discovered .TV which I still believe makes sense for video-oriented websites. There were a lot of nice keyword .TV Expiring domains to be found through mid-2010 when the competition to acquire them picked up. By 2010 I had more .TV domains than any other extension. Keyword availability is always easier in alternative extensions. However selling alternative extension domains at premium prices has always been a challenge. So as I look back at twelve years of sales where most of the time I have held more non-.Com domains where have most of my sales occurred? I have sold .Net, .TV, .Biz, .Org and even one .Info but over half the sales were .Com.

I have seen end users in some South Florida small businesses using new TLDs. But someone experienced in domain names can tell they were not premiums as they are the type of domains that an investor would not register - keyword combinations that are not even logical (but available), two-word .New TLD domains, etc. In other words the new extension was chosen because the business ( in some cases website development bhsinesses) did not want to spend more than reg fee on a domain. New extensions make reg fee registrations easier but investing in New extensions with premium renewals is likely going to be challenging (from my experience with .TV renewals at ~$30.)
 
2
•••
Bulloney
When I was a newbie I registered quite a few .BIZ domains as keyword availability was there vs .Com. I quickly realized .BIZ was the wrong extension to be invested in so I dropped most of them. However, as Google and Yahoo were giving a ranking advantage to exact match domains I did search for available or expiring .Net domains. So from 2007-2009 i had more .Net domains than any other extension. In latter 2008 I discovered .TV which I still believe makes sense for video-oriented websites. There were a lot of nice keyword .TV Expiring domains to be found through mid-2010 when the competition to acquire them picked up. By 2010 I had more .TV domains than any other extension. Keyword availability is always easier in alternative extensions. However selling alternative extension domains at premium prices has always been a challenge. So as I look back at twelve years of sales where most of the time I have held more non-.Com domains where have most of my sales occurred? I have sold .Net, .TV, .Biz, .Org and even one .Info but over half the sales were .Com.

I have seen end users in some South Florida small businesses using new TLDs. But someone experienced in domain names can tell they were not premiums as they are the type of domains that an investor would not register - keyword combinations that are not even logical (but available), two-word .New TLD domains, etc. In other words the new extension was chosen because the business ( in some cases website development bhsinesses) did not want to spend more than reg fee on a domain. New extensions make reg fee registrations easier but investing in New extensions with premium renewals is likely going to be challenging (from my experience with .TV renewals at ~$30.)

Thanks for the comprehensive recap of your experience with buying and selling a variety of extensions over the years. I do have a key question with regards to how you attempted to market the names? Did you simply attempt to market the names via traditional methods? By that I mean, listing them on sites like Sedo that was founded in 2001? The reason I ask is even though I'd been actively starting and naming businesses over the last 50 years, I hadn't heard of Sedo until just nine months ago when I started buying domains to sell. Still today, potential end users and non domainers haven't ever heard of Sedo. Take the name Donuts for example....they're the largest registry of nTLD's in the world, and no one that I know has ever heard of them either:xf.frown: Anyone besides domainers ever hear of Epik?, Uniregistry? Undeveloped?(what kind of name is this), Afternic? Domain Sherpa? Namecheaps?

At least Go Daddy has some name recognition, but they're doing a poor job in my opinion. Just look at the snafu with their first Super Bowl commercial back in 2005....it was a disaster. Anyone ever see GoDaddy.Domains? with a tagline?

My point here Garptrader is, Kate is right, the industry itself is simply riding on it's .com laurels.Sad:xf.frown:
 
0
•••
Bulloney
Up until 2014 Godaddy Premium Listings was a solid distribution channel. It was nice to get those Congratulations Your Name has just sold emails. Godaddy does a lot of advertising and attracts many visitors to its website. So if someone were looking for a domain with the phrase "Golf lessons" Godaddy would boldly show GolfLessons.com and it's price (assuming some domain investor had listed it for sale) but they would also present a list of other aftermarket domains with the keyword Golf. When the new extensions were launched Go daddy started presenting dozens of alternative extensions rather than aftermarket .Com or .Net domains. So Godaddy Premium Listings took a nosedive as a distribution channel.

Promoting domain names at trade shows and conventions probably does not happen much as it is cost prohibitive for the average investor.
 
1
•••
Education and public awareness and trust is the name of the game if the ngTLDs are to really take off. It is of course easier said than done, however. A few of my thoughts...
  1. Every two (I think) years ICANN do a survey on acceptance of ngTLDs. Here is a link to the 2016 report. It showed that there was a slight improvement but numbers were still pretty low compared to com/org and their own country code.
  2. In a recent DWN podcast Andrew asked three small businesses that had branded with a ngTLD if it was an issue, and perhaps surprisingly, all three responded not at all. Here is link to the podcast.
  3. A question to those who teach in schools of business. To what degree are domain names covered, and if so, are the new extensions covered?
  4. I think that the big sales of ngTLDs, particularly when the sellers are clear and eloquent why they went that route, like the person who bought home.loans, help a lot with both recognition and particularly acceptance.
  5. I think that ngTLD acceptance is a long term game, and the registries should have a program that specifically earmarks young startup owners (like those in university and graduating) by promotions and especially by giving them exposure if they brand with a ngTLD.
  6. There is lots of anecdotal evidence that even significant companies are resistant, often but obviously not always, in paying high prices for a domain name. As a result, many find the best name they can hand register. I know the majority here, correctly, think that is false economy, and often those companies rebrand later in development. However, maybe we should offer people what they want, and offer names at prices that are above registration cost but what a one or two person startup considers within their budget. This is much more possible with ngTLDs.
  7. I continue to feel that the domain name industry is too focussed on businesses, and I see a significant market for the ngTLDs in personal branding/sites, individual professionals, clubs (and not just .club), NGOs, charitable organizations, movements, etc.
Thanks for starting the thread, @Bulloney !
 
1
•••
It's one thing to try to convince a user to take an ersatz extension because he cannot afford the dot com or it is not available, it's another to try to get him to pay much for it.

In most cases with some research the user will find that there is yet another non dot com extension available for hand reg. and there goes most of your argument for why he should pay you much for yours.
 
Last edited:
1
•••
I agree for the most part with your argument, @xynames . I think at this point you have to have the best (in some sense) available extension for a given name in order to get a price that is much above hand reg fee.

In ngTLD, as in .com/.net, quality will win. A name which spans the dot in a powerful way will be the ones that sell for large amounts - hence the home.loans, the.club, vacation.rentals, casino.online, video.games, wine.club, net.work, etc. sold for $100,000 plus.

There will also be value in super short names in extensions where allowed.

I think at a different level but there will be sale for ngTLD names where the first word is in the category of the second in some sense. Words like history.club, quantum.energy, and rose.garden sold for good amounts for this reason.

Random combinations will never sell, unless there is some creative way the disconnect makes 'sense'. I see a bit of this happening lately.

I remain unsure if a few extensions will take off so that a large number of words in that extension will sell, so it becomes almost a general purpose extension.

But I think I am getting off topic. Returning to topic, there needs to be both quality and education/awareness. The latter for ngTLD should stress unique ways they can span the dot with nothing else added, and should be directed not at the domain community (mainly) but at young (mainly) startup owners, imho.
 
0
•••
Wrong again...are you JB Lions.com or are you JB.Lions:xf.grin:

What I meant and just one of the reasons why tonyspizza.com is more valuable than tonys.pizza is the title of your thread alone:

Education Gap...How many non domainers know about nTLD's?

Not an issue with .com.

or this:

"I think the www. will help, or even a small print tagline with an arrow pointing to the nTLD can help"

Don't need to do that with .com.

or this:

"Your name on the internet is similar to your name being displayed on a billboard, and it's not "cheap" to have your name on a billboard."

Easier with a .com. This will always be a challenge with new gtlds, offline advertising.

Just where some of the value comes in. Being easy to remember, pass around, no education gap, what the world already knows etc.
 
1
•••
I agree for the most part with your argument, @xynames . I think at this point you have to have the best (in some sense) available extension for a given name in order to get a price that is much above hand reg fee.

In ngTLD, as in .com/.net, quality will win. A name which spans the dot in a powerful way will be the ones that sell for large amounts - hence the home.loans, the.club, vacation.rentals, casino.online, video.games, wine.club, net.work, etc. sold for $100,000 plus.

There will also be value in super short names in extensions where allowed.

I think at a different level but there will be sale for ngTLD names where the first word is in the category of the second in some sense. Words like history.club, quantum.energy, and rose.garden sold for good amounts for this reason.

Random combinations will never sell, unless there is some creative way the disconnect makes 'sense'. I see a bit of this happening lately.

I remain unsure if a few extensions will take off so that a large number of words in that extension will sell, so it becomes almost a general purpose extension.

But I think I am getting off topic. Returning to topic, there needs to be both quality and education/awareness. The latter for ngTLD should stress unique ways they can span the dot with nothing else added, and should be directed not at the domain community (mainly) but at young (mainly) startup owners, imho.
Thanks Bob for participating in this thread. I probably own from 10 to 20 ngTLD's that "span the dot in a powerful way" as you put it. For instance, just recently I shared on "Your Reg. of the Day" the domain Shipping.Tips that I believe is a pretty good fit, especially when you see that Shipping.com appraises for 377K at Estibot. Then just a few hours ago I received an email from the President/CEO of Everlasting Capital. Normally I would have deleted it or sent it to spam, but I decided to look at it because I liked the name, and guess what? The name Everlasting.Capital is available to buy at GD for 9.99. I've since shared this info with the Pres/CEO of the company, and told him if he doesn't buy it, I will, and maybe even gift it to him....that's if he's interested in backing me.

My point is, even pretty good domains like these won't sell for a reasonable price if not marketed, promoted and targeted at industries that might have a need for them. Who in the world wouldn't want "Everlasting Capital" for their business, or "Shipping Tips" that might save both time and money?

Finally, like I heard the "Domain King" (not my favorite guy) say, he'd give some of his domains away to those who would use them, and he would trust them to pay him later.....I'd do the same thing considering that fewer than 20% of Garptraders sales over the last 10-15 years were ever developed. There's a lesson to be learned there:xf.wink:
 
1
•••
Bulloney
Please keep in mind that domain portfolio returns are a function of average selling price ( most sales are $1500 or less), portfolio turnover (industry average in the low single digits but typically lower for non-.Com extensions), average renewal costs (quite often higher for alternative extensions) and of course acquisition costs. Marketing can improve turnover but resources devoted to marketing are a cost which one cannot overlook (if you were to spend three days of your time on a consulting engagement, what hourly rate would you charge?). You can put together a spreadsheet and map out potential scenarios but those new to domaining typically overestimate the price at which they can sell their domains and the ease of doing so.
 
1
•••
The main fallacy with thinking that these oddball / new extensions are worth something, is thinking that...because no one has yet picked up these given domains, that no one has thought of picking them up...in other words, thinking that the normal rules of supply and demand somehow do not apply to these extensions.

The fact is, that anything that is available today for picking up off the ground is there for a reason...it is simply not valuable. At least not yet, and maybe not ever.
 
2
•••
What the traditional "domainer" doesn't understand is that the average "end user" doesn't have a clue about these new extensions, or even that they work just like the .com. Assuming otherwise is a fools folly:xf.confused: The title of this thread pointed out how few "end users" even know what "TLD" even stands for much less that TonysPizza.com and Tonys.Pizza with a single click will take you to the exact same website.

This really isn't very hard to understand, but "education is key"

This dialogue is great....thanks:xf.grin:
 
1
•••
What the traditional "domainer" doesn't understand is that the average "end user" doesn't have a clue about these new extensions, or even that they work just like the .com. Assuming otherwise is a fools folly:xf.confused: The title of this thread pointed out how few "end users" even know what "TLD" even stands for much less that TonysPizza.com and Tonys.Pizza with a single click will take you to the exact same website.

This really isn't very hard to understand, but "education is key"

This dialogue is great....thanks:xf.grin:

But advertising Tonys.Pizza offline is more likely to take you to TonysPizza.com instead of the actual website. If they can even figure out that's a url in the first place.
 
Last edited:
1
•••
Bulloney
Please keep in mind that domain portfolio returns are a function of average selling price ( most sales are $1500 or less), portfolio turnover (industry average in the low single digits but typically lower for non-.Com extensions), average renewal costs (quite often higher for alternative extensions) and of course acquisition costs. Marketing can improve turnover but resources devoted to marketing are a cost which one cannot overlook (if you were to spend three days of your time on a consulting engagement, what hourly rate would you charge?). You can put together a spreadsheet and map out potential scenarios but those new to domaining typically overestimate the price at which they can sell their domains and the ease of doing so.

Garptrader...the "average selling price" in the domain industry is no different than the "average" selling price in any other industry. The real estate industry is no different...the "average" selling price combined with "average" carrying/renewal cost, combined with "average" acquisition cost yield the same result. And this isn't to say these "averages" don't vary depending on input or lack thereof.

As far as "marketing" costs are concerned, that works the same in other industries as well. Marketing in every industry I've ever had the pleasure to work in varies within the industry. Take for example my theory with regards to domains. Initially, "education" will add to my marketing expense, but If I really believe "education is key" to success, than I need to budget for it, and be patient.

The final thing I'll say is that in all the years I've started new businesses, NO ONE, not even Go Daddy ever approached me about business names. I also know a few lawyers who specialize in "start ups", and they too have never been approached about business names for their clients. Like I said, there's a lesson to be learned here IMHO. Cheers!
 
1
•••
  • The sidebar remains visible by scrolling at a speed relative to the page’s height.
Back