Monday, August 6, 2018

Solutions for failing niche new gTLDs

A niche TLD is a domain name extension created specifically for a certain market or subject. Let's imagine that you were a leader in a specific financial subject and that you decided to operate the domain name extension representing this subject: THIS WOULD JUST BE A VERY BRIGHT IDEA because once the slot is taken, no one else can take it. A new gTLD is unique and there can be one registry worldwide.

"Yep: but no one buys our domains"
What if, after a certain number of years, you realized that your domain names just "did not sell" and no one bought them in the industry in which you are a leader? This is a problem that some registries are facing but in the case of niche TLDs, not generic ones, there are solutions to change this.

It does not sell? Change the method!
Some Multiple Registries, who operate five and more domain name extensions, have targeted niche terms because they are leaders in their industry. Again, this is a very good idea to demonstrate leadership in a business but if no one buy domains, the approach and method should be changed.

"Yeah right: then what?"
In some case, it cost a lot to maintain a registry and I noticed that some multiple registries just "dropped it" and their domain name registration volumes are...decreasing. I also noticed that some multiple niche registries have all the tools to develop their domain names again. So, here are suggestions on what to do:
  1. Lower the price: change the price at the backend registry. If you already "don't sell", one of the reasons (not the only one) is probably because the price is too high at the registrar and if you don't lower that price at the source (your backend registry), it won't lower at the registrar.
  2. If you are stuck with a bad contract (at the backend), hire a specialized lawyer to find a way out of this because if you can't find a deal with your backend registry (which I doubt), your registration volumes won't increase and you will have to change your backend just because of this. You need volumes of domain names installed and if you don't have that: no one knows that you exist. When you meet with your lawyer, ask him if selling your TLDs to another legal entity, or changing hands (to a subsidiary of yours or a complete different company) wouldn't be a solution to get rid of your contract to another backend registry solution provider.
  3. Announce the change of price when it is validated with your backend registry: registrars should follow you on this and announce it to their clients.
  4. Some have the tools: did you check your own tools? Some industry leaders are online and offline marketing specialists but neither use their own TLDs for their websites nor use their own tools to promote their extensions! Use your own tools: it is your teams' daily job to promote things on internet to your niche industry! If I had SEO specialists, and/or web designers within my company, I would put them in the same room for a brainstorming with that question: "it cost me "X" per website and domain created": "what can you suggest to help me sell the services of my company using our own domain names?". Give domain names and content to a SEO specialist, he should know what to do with it.
  5. Acquisition costs: "$1000 for a client introduced" is something that I read at a new gTLD niche TLD. When killing the cost of a domain name at the backend registry, such an amount of money allows to put a lot of domain names on the market with a basic introduction to a service. Some will call this spam (unless each content is different), some will see back-links, some will want redirections. But is also means:
    1. Visibility: a lot more websites and domain names on the market;
    2. A lot more chances to acquire consumers for a service;
    3. A reduced cost for the niche registry to use his own domains since part of the price paid to the registrar gets back in his pockets.
  6. Innovation: we've seen that some registries domain name registration volumes stagnate and a reason for this is "not" that registrars don't do their job, registrars have too many strings to offer and potential consumers (registrants) don't buy anymore the way they did when we launched the .EU registry back in 2005. The solution is in innovation and some registries are quite creative at the moment. As a leader in your niche industry, who better than you, knows how to innovate? As the operator of the string representing your niche, you stay one step ahead so why not innovate using your string?

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