Master of My Domain Names

Domain names for businessesI just got done reading a classic post on Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger site on how to write magnetic headlines and thought I’d try my hand at magnetism here.  Now I’m not sure how magnetic this headline is, but I’ll bet any self-respecting Seinfeld fan would at least have to read at least this much before deciding what to do next.

Anyway I recently bought a few domain names for a project I plan on doing sometime in the future.  I may use it in 2008, or possibly in 2018, but I thought I better try to grab something now instead of waiting and potentially miss out on a name that may prove to be a valuable Web property that could drive traffic to my future site.  So as I bought my latest domain name I realized that I had purchased over 30 domain names over the years.  I still own many of the ones I originally bought.  And some of them haven’t been used as of yet, but at about $10 a pop it’s worth it to grab a few good ones even if I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll use them.  Because a good domain name is still one of the cheapest and most effective ways to market your self or company on the Web.  So here is the good, bad and ugly of my experiences with the Domain Name Game:

Domain: crm-essentials.com

Why: My company’s name is CRM Essentials

The Good:  It had “crm” in it, it’s straightforward, and it’s pretty easy to remember

The Bad: crmessentials.com was available and I didn’t get it.  That was dumb.  First mistake was thinking it looked better having a hyphen.  Next mistake was not spending the extra $10 to get the domain anyway.  Later the domain was acquired by a company in Redmond located on One Microsoft Way.  Any ideas on who this is?

The Ugly: I should have fought my cheap instincts and spent the extra couple of bucks and got a few extra domains that were close to the one I bought.  You should too. And still try to get a “.com” domain if at all possible … without hyphens.

Domain: BrentLeary.com

Why: Well, my name is Brent Leary.  :)

The Good:  I never have any trouble spelling it.  Besides that, it’s great for blogging purposes.  Or if you’re intending to bill yourself as a subject matter expert in your field it’s always cool to have a site with your name. And if you meet someone at a networking event, it’s a good chance that when (not if) they search Google for your name they will find at least one link in the results list.  Plus if people know how to spell your name they’ll always be able to get to your site.

The Bad: Nothing bad on this one

The Ugly: Ditto

Domain Name: FindCatchKeep.com

Why:  I use this term a lot when explaining that CRM is all about finding, catching and keeping good customers.

The Good: It’s catchy and pretty easy to remember, and type.  And since I use it quite a bit in presentations and speaking engagements, it seems to hit home with folks.  And I just like it!

The Bad: It doesn’t stand on its own, meaning these words don’t make up a phrase or term usually searched for, so no one would really stumble upon this.  It would take some real branding for it to really catch on.  And it’s not active yet.

The Ugly:  I am planning on giving an award recognizing a crm vendor who demonstrates a strong commitment to small businesses.  I was going to call it the Find, Catch and Keep ‘Em award and use this domain as the award site.  But on further contemplation, and knowing how people like to use acronyms for things, I decided I should probably go with another name … think about it a bit and you’ll know why.  So instead I’m going with the CRM Catch And Keep ‘Em – no problems with the CRM CAKE award – at least not yet.  So just be careful and really think about the names before you buy it  But I’ll still find a way to use FindCatchKeep.com some way because I like it!

Domain Name: IntrovertedMarketer.com (not activated yet)

Why: It’s the theme and partial name of the book I’m writing

The Good:  It’s another easy to remember, two word name that’s straightforward.  And it explains the main character of the book – a guy with an accounting degree, a coding background and terrible face-to-face networking skills, who uses social media to go from total obscurity to slightly-less-than total obscurity, all from the confines of my … I mean his home office.

The Ugly: I’ve still got a lot of writing to do.  But as far as the domain goes, there’s really nothing ugly to report.

I could go on with this but I won’t bore you.  Although, I do own one domain name that someone offered me $500 for, but I turned them down because I may need to use CRM2.org at some point.  Anyway I think it’s important to consider buying domain names even if you’re not sure when or if you’ll use them.  With websites being ridiculously easy to put together, it’s making more and more sense to grab up domain names for marketing purposes.  In fact some people have made millions buying and trading domain names.  

So if you have a new product or service, buy a domain and build a special site for it.  Thinking about writing a book, buy a domain for it for promotional purposes.  Doing a contest, buy a domain for it.  It just makes sense to spend some time picking out domains every now and again to have handy just in case.  It could be the best $10 you invest in your business.

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Brent Leary explains CRMAbout the Author: Brent Leary is a Partner of CRM Essentials.  Brent also hosts Technology For Business $ake, a radio show in the Altanta, Georgia, USA area about using technology in business. 

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Brent Leary


Brent Leary Brent Leary is a Partner at CRM Essentials and organizer of the Social Business Atlanta conference. Brent serves on the advisory board of The University of Toronto CRM Center of Excellence, writes the Social CRM column for Inc.com's technology site, and blogs at Brent's Social CRM Blog.

10 Reactions

  1. Those are some good tips there Brent, especially the one about registering one’s name as a domain name. After all, every business person should think of her/himself as a brand.

    On a related subject: have you heard of the .ws domain extension? If yes, please give your opinion.

    Thx.

  2. Very interesting article. Buying domain names that are a phrase is important since its practically impossible to get single words. Also .com still rules the web. I’m not sure .net or .org makes the cut.

  3. I believe that domain names should be purchased for branding purposes and not for search engine optimization purposes. Most people start businesses to prosper and grow, they should look for long term results when buying a domain name. Domain names with hyphens might make sense from a SEO perspective but don’t look professional and are difficult to remember. A domain name should be short, easy to remember and should be in line with the business strategy.

  4. Omar,

    Did you listen to the radio show yesterday? Doug Shuman, Senior Vice President, of Register.com attended the show.

  5. Great post Brent,

    I am like you and have purchased many domains over the years. I think I am up to 60 right now. I can’t seem to resist doing a domain name search at http://www.proemailaddress.com a domain name I created for the purpose of convincing small business that they should all have a professional email address and not one from the f-r-e-e pool ex johndoe@yahoo.com janedoe@gmail.com My latest purchase was actually inspired by another article you wrote on small business and Web 2.0.
    http://www.web2point0guy.com not sure what I am going to do with it yet but again I just had to get it.

  6. I’d love to see more on why you believe these names to be good. Is there something you can objectively measure?

  7. Hmm, interesting points. I have so many domains now, and I rarely ever let them lapse. Even if I am not using them, I keep renewing for old times sake lol.

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