Thursday, June 8, 2017

Registries: the crossroads of an industry

Registries sell domain names through the network of accredited Registrars: that is how domain names are sold to end users, the "Registrants". The registry - sole legal entity authorized to create domain names - sits on top of the pyramid with an already existing distribution channel which takes care of reaching out to customers...and do the job. I personally love the idea that puts the registry in a monopolistic situation but is this enough to sell domain names?

The crossroads of an industry
In the past, registries used a "nic.extension" domain name to point to their website. Some now use this as a redirection to another website (www.nic.bzh) and some have not activated it. Such domain names were a good way to recognize the official website of a registry ("nic" means "network information center").

If a registry is in a monopolistic situation, why isn't this taken as an advantage to do the promotion of an extension: isn't the role of the registry to participate actively in selling its own domain names and contribute to showing how to use them?
  • Give free added value to end-users;
  • Explain how to proceed with a domain name:
    • How to created a simple website and where to go to;
    • How to create an email: step-by-step and where to go to.
  • Explain industries concerned by the extension how to benefit from it:
    • What are the deals they can have with registries;
    • How it can make sense to offer domain names;
  • Explain what affiliation is: some businesses want to offer domain names without having to go through the registrar accreditation process;
  • Explain how to earn money from a domain name;
  • ...
Registries have the opportunity to do more than offer their clients to become registrars or buy Premium domain names. Isn't it time to have ideas and create content?

Some registries do more: the .BZH example
I am not concerned by .BZH domain names because I was born in Toulouse (south of France) - where there is sun and no rain most of the time ;-) - but I noticed this great initiative from the Registry.

The .BZH Registry is offering its future and existing 6,690 owners of a ".bzh" domain name to register in a directory dedicated to them. Web.bzh offers:
  • Added value to ".bzh" domain name owners for their SEO: this means one quality link back to their website;
  • Exclusivity: only members of the ".bzh" community are granted access (".com" owners: go away);
  • A new selling point for accredited Registrars: you don't just buy a descriptive domain name: you receive something more with your purchase.
Oh, and I forgot: it is free to register.

Dedicated directories to the extensions they promote are the typical added value that registries have the capacity to offer:
  • They're easy to set up;
  • They contribute greatly to promoting a domain name extension:
    • registrants like free added value;
    • it is exclusive to owners of their domain names.
  • Its neutral since the service offered comes from a registry: Registrars are not in competition;
  • It is an advantage Registrars can use in their communication to their customers.
The role of the Registry is changing and can become a serious tool...to sell more.

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