What are Outbound Sales?
Outbound sales refers to selling a product or service by contacting potential buyers directly instead of waiting for them to come to you. It starts with targeted research to find likely buyers. The contact is then done over an email or phone call. In the domain industry, these buyers are typically businesses that are relevant to the word(s) in the domain.
Research Potential Buyers
The first step is to find companies who could benefit from buying your domain name. This includes SEO keyword research, looking up people on LinkedIn, and browsing similar domains.
A great first place to research is Googling the keywords in the domain name. Use quotation marks so you’ll get the exact results without any variations. Comb through the results for companies that use the keywords in their domain name and/or in their homepage title. Companies that use the keyword with a less valuable TLD are especially solid leads. Once you’re done with Google, check Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Bing as well to make sure you don’t miss any good leads.
Out of all the social media platforms, LinkedIn is the best suited for outbound sales research. In the company search, you can filter by factors like industry, location, and company size to find your ideal buyers. Search for companies and users using the keyword(s) in your domain.
Owners of Similar Domains
If other people are using variations on your domain name, they’re likely to be interested in yours as well. Domain investors often get matching sets of domain names and business owners often buy similar domain names to redirect the traffic to their website. The most well-known example of this is Google. They own gooogle.com, gogle.com, google.net, and others. If yours is a .com domain, you especially have some leverage. There are a variety of search tools you can use to find domains similar to yours and their owners.
Finding the Right Contact
Once you’ve made a list of companies, you have to decide who at those companies to contact. For startups, and other small to medium companies, that will be the CEO or the founder. For big companies, try to find a lower level employee who works directly with the decision makers.
The first place to look for this person’s contact information is the company website. If there aren’t any email addresses for specific employees there, try LinkedIn or googling “[Company Name] CEO.” If you find a name but no email address, MailTester can help you guess based on common professional email address protocols.
Before You Reach Out
Set Your Landing Page
When you’re selling a domain, it should point to a landing page to let visitors know that it’s for sale. You can either use a for sale parked page from your domain marketplace(s) or create a custom landing page. If you’re using a custom landing page, the most important thing is to make it easy for potential buyers to contact you. This could mean listing a phone number and email address or including a contact form.
Update Your Marketplace Listings
If you’re listing your domain on marketplaces as well, update your listings before you start sending cold emails. Check all of the marketplaces where your domain is listed to make sure the pricing is the same across platforms. Be sure to also factor in commission rates.
Keep Track of Your Prospects
Whether it’s with a spreadsheet or a CRM software, keeping track of who you’ve contacted, when, and whether or not they’ve replied is important for managing your outbound domain name sales. With this information, you can more effectively send follow-up emails and see who your most likely prospects are.
In the domain industry, outbound emails make more sense than phone calls. Sending them from a business email address gains credibility over a personal free email address because it sets the tone for a business transaction. If you’re creating a new business email address, you can take warm-up steps by sending 10-20 manual emails to people you know. If they respond and mark your emails as “not spam”, they will be less likely to go to your prospective buyers’ spam folders.
Using an email template is a great way to make sending cold emails easier and smoother, but use one that allows for personalization so you don’t come across as spam. This can be as easy as opening with their name and mentioning the industry and company in the body text.
Choose the Right Subject Line
Subject lines can make or break sales emails. The right one is the first step to making a sale, but the wrong one could lead it straight to the spam folder. Be sure to include the domain name and the words “available” or “for sale.” Always use title case and use the prospect’s first name if you can. Subject lines that address the recipient by name are 30% more likely to be opened than ones without it.
Keep Your Body Text Simple
Focus your body text on how the domain you’re selling can benefit them. It’s also a good idea to briefly let them know how you identified them as a potential buyer so your email doesn’t seem like it’s coming out of nowhere and demonstrates that you understand their business. Keep any talking about yourself or your company to a minimum. If you link to your website and LinkedIn profile in your email signature, they can check those out if they want to know more about you.
A good way to end the email is with a question that moves the process along like “Can I send you more information about the sale?” “Would you like to schedule a time to discuss further?” or “Would you like to make an offer?” This encourages a positive response and keeps the conversation going.
A/B Test Everything
A/B Testing is crucial to outbound and inbound email marketing. Run one test where everything is the same except the subject line to see which one will perform better. Then run a test with two different versions of the body text.
Send at the Right Time
Email may be asynchronous, but when you send your outbound emails matters. Studies have concluded that emails sent on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are most likely to get opened. The best times to send emails are 6:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 8:00 PM in the recipient’s time zone.
Craft Your Email Signature
Your email signature is part of your business online presence. Be sure to include the following details:
- Job title
- Phone number
- Linkedin profile link
If you don’t get a response right away, don’t give up hope! Wait 2-4 days, then send a follow-up email. In this email, tease some new perks about your domain to further pique their interest.
Receiving an Offer
In domain outbound marketing it’s always a good idea to let the buyer make the first offer as a show of good faith. You can give them a price range if they’re not sure where to start, but don’t start with an exact number as the seller. Their initial offer is the starting point for negotiations.
Negotiation can be tricky in any context. Here are a few things to keep in mind when negotiating domain name sales.
The best time to approach an end user for negotiation could be:
- At the beginning of the year when they set their marketing budgets
- At the end of the year when some companies may have unused budgets
- When the company receives funding
Know Your Buyer
Demonstrating knowledge of the company's past, their financials, their competitors, and any recent announcements makes you look good and may make them more likely to take you seriously as a seller. Also have data that can justify the asking price ready to go.
Be respectful and mindful when following up these prospective buyers. If it takes a while for them to respond during negotiations, it probably isn’t because they’re blowing you off. If you’re dealing with a big company, there could be several people your contact person has to consult with before making a counter offer.
Don't Make Concessions Too Soon
If your prospective buyer keeps making offers that are nowhere near your asking price, you don’t have to roll over. You also don’t have to walk away entirely. You could simply say something like “thank you for your time, but your offer is too low. Please reach out to us if your budget changes.”
Be Flexible and Creative
If you can't agree on a price in your sweet spot, get creative with your negotiations by asking for additional perks. You could ask for one of their products or services or negotiate to have shares/stock in their company in addition to the money.
Know When to Walk Away
Decide what your floor price is and be prepared to walk away if you can’t reach a deal. There are other potential buyers out there.
Keep Your Cool
No matter what happens at the negotiation table, be respectful and professional. Keep your emotions and ego in check so you don’t burn any bridges.
Closing the Deal
Use a standard domain sales agreement to close the sale and outline the terms. You can find sample agreements on Namepros and other domain investing forums. From there, you can always modify it for future sales.
Always use an escrow service for the payment and transfer of ownership. We recommend Sedo’s since we partner with them. Involving a neutral third party protects both you and your buyer by ensuring that the process goes smoothly and everyone does what they’re supposed to.
At the closing of the transaction, it’s always nice to reach out to the buyer with a thank you note and send them a LinkedIn request if you haven’t already. This will help continue a business relationship with them if you sell any other domains they might be interested in in the future.
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