What are the benefits of buying a domain name that has been recently expiring from the market?


There are several potential benefits to buying a domain name that has recently expired from the market:

  1. Established history: An expired domain may have already had an established history, which can include backlinks, indexed pages, and even search engine rankings. This can provide a head start in terms of SEO and give you a better chance of ranking well in search results.
  2. Brand recognition: An expired domain may already have some brand recognition, which can be beneficial if you are planning to launch a similar business or website. This could save you time and money in building brand awareness.
  3. Traffic: An expired domain may already have some traffic, which can be beneficial if you are planning to launch a similar business or website. This could save you time and money in building traffic.
  4. Age: An expired domain may be older than a newly registered one, and search engines tend to favor older domains over newer ones. This can help your website to rank better in search results.
  5. Cost: An expired domain may be cheaper than buying a new one, especially if the domain has a high value, such as a good keyword or a high search volume.

It’s worth noting that there is also a risk when buying expired domains, as some of them may have been used for spamming, black hat SEO or other illegal activities that can penalize your site. It’s recommended to check the domain history and be sure that the domain wasn’t used for any illegal activities before buying it.

What are the best tools to check the domain name history in the past if you want to buy a domain name?


Before buying a new domain name, it’s important to check its history to ensure that it has not been used for any malicious or illegal activities. Here are some of the best tools to check domain history:

  1. WHOIS Lookup: WHOIS is a publicly available database that contains information about domain ownership and registration. You can use a WHOIS lookup tool such as whois.com to see the current and past owners of a domain, as well as its registration and expiration date.
  2. Wayback Machine: The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the internet that allows you to view the history of a website. You can use the Wayback Machine to see how a website looked in the past and check for any previous content that may be inappropriate.
  3. Google Search: You can use Google Search to find information about a domain’s history. Simply search for the domain name and look for any articles, blog posts, or other content that may mention the domain.
  4. DomainTools: DomainTools is a comprehensive tool that provides information on domain names, including WHOIS data, historical data, and IP information. It allows you to check the domain’s history, such as the past ownership, DNS records, and historical DNS data.
  5. Archive.org: Similar to the Wayback Machine, Archive.org allows you to view the history of a website by taking snapshots of the website over time. You can use it to check the domain’s history and see how it has changed over time.

It’s important to note that these tools can provide useful information, but they may not have a complete history of the domain name, so it’s good to use multiple tools to check the domain history.

What is DKIM?


DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is a security measure that is used to verify the authenticity of an email and protect against spam, phishing, and other types of email fraud. In this blog post, we will explore what DKIM is, how it works, and why it is important for protecting your email system and your online reputation.

What is DKIM?

DKIM is an email authentication method that allows the person or organization sending an email to associate a digital signature with the email. The signature is created using a private key and is attached to the email in the form of a DKIM-Signature header. The signature is then verified by the recipient’s email server using a public key that is stored in a DKIM record in the domain’s DNS.

How does DKIM work?

When an email is sent, the sender’s mail server adds a DKIM-Signature header to the email that includes the digital signature. The header also includes information about the domain, the selector (a unique string that is used to identify the key pair), and the algorithm that was used to create the signature.

When the email is received, the recipient’s email server retrieves the public key from the sender’s DKIM record in the DNS and uses it to verify the signature. If the signature is valid, it means that the email has not been tampered with during transit and can be trusted. If the signature is invalid, it means that the email may have been altered or forged and may not be trustworthy.

Why is DKIM important?

DKIM is important for a few reasons:

  1. It helps protect against spam and phishing attacks: Spammers and phishers often try to send email from fake domains or domains that they don’t have permission to use. By implementing DKIM, you can ensure that only emails that have been signed with your domain’s private key are trusted, which can help to reduce the risk of spam and phishing attacks.
  2. It helps protect your online reputation: When emails sent from your domain are flagged as spam or rejected, it can harm your online reputation. This can lead to decreased deliverability rates and make it more difficult for you to reach your intended audience. By implementing DKIM, you can help to ensure that legitimate emails from your domain are not flagged as spam, which can help to protect your online reputation.
  3. It can improve email deliverability: In addition to protecting your online reputation, DKIM can also help to improve the deliverability of your emails. When you have DKIM implemented, email servers are more likely to trust emails from your domain, which can help to improve the chances that your emails will reach their intended recipients.

How do I set up DKIM?

Setting up DKIM involves the following steps:

  1. Generate a private/public key pair. This can be done using a tool such as OpenSSL.
  2. Publish the public key in your domain’s DNS as a TXT record. The record should include the following information:
  • The domain name (e.g. example.com)
  • The selector (a unique string that is used to identify the key pair)
  • The public key
  1. Configure your mail server to sign outgoing emails with the private key. This can typically be done through the server’s administrative panel or by modifying the server’s configuration files.
  2. Test the implementation to ensure that the signatures are being added to outgoing emails and that they are being verified by recipient servers.

In conclusion, DKIM is an important security measure that helps to protect against spam, phishing, and other types of email fraud.

Why SPF records are important in email security


SPF records are an important aspect of email security and are used to prevent spam and phishing attacks. In this blog post, we will explore what SPF records are, how they work, and why they are essential for protecting your email system and your online reputation.

What are SPF records?

SPF records, or Sender Policy Framework records, are DNS records that identify which mail servers are authorized to send email on behalf of a domain. These records are used by email servers to verify the authenticity of the sender’s domain and ensure that the email is not a spam or phishing attempt.

How do SPF records work?

When an email is sent, the recipient’s email server checks the sender’s SPF record to determine if the server that sent the email is authorized to do so. The SPF record includes a list of IP addresses and domain names that are allowed to send email on behalf of the domain. If the sending server’s IP address is not on the list, the email may be flagged as spam or rejected entirely.

For example, if you own the domain example.com and you have an SPF record that lists the IP address of your mail server as authorized to send email on behalf of your domain, any email sent from that server will pass the SPF check. However, if an email is sent from a server with a different IP address, the SPF check will fail and the email may be flagged as spam or rejected.

Why are SPF records important?

SPF records are important for a few reasons:

  1. They help protect against spam and phishing attacks: Spammers and phishers often try to send email from fake domains or domains that they don’t have permission to use. By implementing an SPF record, you can ensure that only authorized servers are able to send email on behalf of your domain, which can help to reduce the risk of spam and phishing attacks.
  2. They help protect your online reputation: When emails sent from your domain are flagged as spam or rejected, it can harm your online reputation. This can lead to decreased deliverability rates and make it more difficult for you to reach your intended audience. By implementing an SPF record, you can help to ensure that legitimate emails from your domain are not flagged as spam, which can help to protect your online reputation.
  3. They can improve email deliverability: In addition to protecting your online reputation, SPF records can also help to improve the deliverability of your emails. When you have an SPF record in place, email servers are more likely to trust emails from your domain, which can help to improve the chances that your emails will reach their intended recipients.

How do I set up an SPF record?

Setting up an SPF record is relatively simple and can be done in a few steps:

  1. Identify the servers that are authorized to send email on behalf of your domain. This can include your own mail servers, as well as any third-party servers that you use (such as a marketing automation platform).
  2. Create a list of the IP addresses and domains that are authorized to send email on behalf of your domain.
  3. Create an SPF record using the list of authorized servers. The record should include the following information:
  • The domain name (e.g. example.com)
  • The SPF record type (e.g. TXT)
  • The SPF record value (e.g. v=spf1 a mx ip4:1.2.3.4 include:thirdpartyserver.com -all)
  1. Publish the SPF record

Why you should have a Dmarc record in the DNS of your domainname


Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is a security protocol that helps protect email senders and recipients from spam and phishing attacks. It works by verifying that an email message is legitimate and actually sent from the domain it claims to be sent from. If an email fails DMARC evaluation, it can be flagged as suspicious or rejected outright.

As the prevalence of email phishing attacks continues to grow, it is more important than ever for businesses and organizations to implement DMARC in their domain names. Here are just a few reasons why DMARC is so important:

  1. Protect your brand reputation

Phishing attacks can damage your brand reputation in a number of ways. For example, if a customer receives a fake email claiming to be from your company and falls for the scam, they may lose trust in your business and be less likely to do business with you in the future. Additionally, if your brand is associated with phishing attacks, it can damage your reputation and lead to decreased customer trust. Implementing DMARC can help protect your brand reputation by reducing the likelihood of phishing attacks using your domain.

  1. Reduce spam and phishing in your inbox

DMARC helps to reduce spam and phishing emails in your inbox by allowing you to set policies for how to handle messages that fail DMARC evaluation. For example, you can choose to reject or quarantine these messages, helping to keep your inbox clean and free of potentially malicious content.

  1. Improve email deliverability

In addition to protecting your brand reputation and reducing spam and phishing in your inbox, implementing DMARC can also improve your email deliverability. When your emails pass DMARC evaluation, they are more likely to be delivered to the recipient’s inbox, rather than being flagged as spam or rejected altogether. This can be particularly important for businesses that rely on email marketing or use email as a primary form of communication with customers.

  1. Increase security for your customers

By implementing DMARC, you can help protect your customers from phishing attacks and other malicious activity. This can not only improve customer trust in your business, but it can also reduce the likelihood of your customers falling victim to a phishing attack.

So, how do you implement DMARC in your domain name? First, you will need to publish a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS. This record specifies the policies for handling messages that fail DMARC evaluation, as well as where to send reports on messages that pass or fail DMARC evaluation.

Next, you will need to set up SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) for your domain. SPF is a protocol that helps verify that an email was actually sent by the domain it claims to be sent from, while DKIM uses a digital signature to verify the authenticity of an email. Both of these protocols are used by DMARC to determine whether or not an email message is legitimate.

Once you have set up SPF and DKIM, you can then monitor your DMARC reports to ensure that your email messages are passing DMARC evaluation. You can use tools like Google’s DMARC Analyzer to help you monitor and analyze your DMARC reports.

In conclusion, implementing DMARC in your domain name is crucial for protecting your brand reputation, reducing spam and phishing in your inbox, improving email deliverability, and increasing security for your customers. By taking the time to set up DMARC, SPF, and DKIM, you can help ensure that your emails are legitimate and protect your business and customers from phishing attacks.

Domain Opportunities for Agencies



dot-agency

With the new gTLD program maturing after the introduction of around 1000 new possible extensions besides .com I think it is good to look at some opportunities that are especially interesting for Agencies. When I say Agencies I mean webdesigners, webdevelopers, marketing agencies, media bureaus, advertising agencies, e-commerce companies etc etc.

In the new gTLD space are so many good ideas for domain names or company names still available, especially for Agencies. What to think of these new gTLDs:

  • .design
  • .media
  • .marketing
  • .agency
  • .sale
  • .website
  • .shop
  • .site
  • .online

And these are just a few options for these specific organisations. For many vertical markets there are a lot of different other options.

With an Openprovider membership starting at € 49,00 you can buy them for registry costprice. See https://lp.openprovider.com/ntld-plan-xs-size for more details.

 

Innovation requires competition


img_9667Every company needs constant innovation to stay relevant. Even an industry needs innovation to stay relevant.

New business models, new technologies, new opportunities are all leading to better products and services for eventually the end-user.

In the domain industry this is currently not the case. ICANN has become a highly political organization that is governed by so many compliance rules that all competition is effectively killed.

Domain registrants have no idea why they get all these emails from organizations they do not know because they use hosting companies that are not registrars themselves but resellers of domain registrars. Resellers of registrars cannot move their portfolio to new and innovative companies without the consent of the registrant. I totally believe in regulation that prevents criminals to do their criminal actions. But current regulation kills all competition and locks domain portfolio’s at big players that only grow through acquisitions. In my opinion this is unacceptable.

The good news is that innovation brought Openprovider at least closer to the top of the domain world. Based on the amount of tlds implemented Openprovider is number 6 in the world. See http://domainincite.com/21171-guess-which-registrars-sell-the-most-gtlds. It is the main reason why ICANN uses Openprovider to test new gtlds.

Our innovation continues despite external obstacles.
We have built a very advanced white label solution for resellers that want their registrants to get ICANN emails from them instead of a registrar or spammer they do not know.
Another innovation we made is our SSL workflow manager that even allows end-users to understand what needs to be done in every step of the orderproces.
Our sister company Powerpanel has integrated both solutions in their billing software for hosters and it has been very successful.

Lets hope that all rules and regulations do not completely kill the competition like it does today. That is unacceptable and will eventually kill the industry. We already see that upcoming markets do not use domains and websites in the same way as more developed markets. Lack of competition will only increase prices, kill innovation and will lead to the end of the domain industry.

16 simple strategies to sell more new gTLDs


Since 2014 more than 700 new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) have gone live. In theory that opens up tons of marketing possibilities. However in practice I see that it is not so easy to sell loads of new gTLDs. Customers do not see the forest through the trees (Dutch proverb translated).

But there are some fairly simple strategies that you can implement that with a little effort should pay off.

Strategy 1.

Sell at high prices. Because higher pricing allows you to invest more in marketing and makes you more profits. Don’t be afraid that you charge too much for now. Most of your customers do not know the prices of new gTLDs yet and therefor have no insight in cost prices, prices of competitors etc etc. Most registries of the new gTLDs charge already fairly high prices compared to gTLDs like .com or many ccTLDs. It means both percentage wise as absolute wise you can charge high prices. 40% or more is what I think is absolutely fair

Strategy 2.

Give huge discounts. If you use Strategy 1 you can afford to give a big discount of like 30% for the first year of registration. Renewals can be charged at your normal price. You still make money in the first year.

Strategy 3.

Make sure one or more new gTLDs show up in the first five results of your whois. Customers buy domains that are free. In the new gTLD space most good domain-names are stil free. Your customer will buy those if you give them the choice. Also make sure your whois has the option to show all the domains you sell. Find a registrar that supports all gTLDs and ccTLDS.

Strategy 4.

Send newsletters to your customers. This sounds like a trivial strategy but I have found out that many companies say they have no demand for new gTLDs. When I ask them if they have let their customers know by sending them a special newsletter on new gTLDs many of them say “no”. Newsletters are very cheap and it is easy to create a professional newsletter with for example Mailchimp.

Strategy 5.

Personalise your newsletters. This strategy is a little more complicated but very effective. Of course your already put the first and last name of your customer in your newsletter. That is standard and simple (I hope..), but you can make your newsletters much more effective if you include a proposal for new gTLDs for the domains the customer already owns. If you are more experienced or can rent a developer to do it for you also add a “Buy Now” button in the newsletter. This is extremely powerful.
So let’s say your customer has mygreatdomain.com your offer could be to register:
mygreatdomain.bio
mygreatdomain.xyz
mygreatdomain.nyc
mygreatdomain.tips
mygreatdomain.expert
etc etc etc

You don’t have to email your whole customer base right away. If you can handle only a limited amount of questions or orders then just send as much emails as you can handle and simply repeat weekly. Combine this strategy with Strategy 2.

Strategy 6.

Make a special landing page that includes the new gTLDs and your offers for them. Advertise this page on your homepage with a banner or try out online advertising.

Strategy 7.

Use the special promotions that most registries offer to sell their new gTLDs. Your registrar should be able to help you with this. There are almost continuously new promotions available and the requirements for them are very mild. Using a specific banner and creating a landing page is normally sufficient. Most of them provide marketing materials for this.

Strategy 8.

Upsell! Use the opportunity to sell hosting, spamfiltering, whois privacy and ssl certificates etc etc with every new domain name. Research shows that churn reduces dramatically when you sell 3 or more services to a customer.

Strategy 9.

Focus. There are many new domains that have a certain target audience. Try to sell your customers from New York a .nyc, those from London a .london. But also .bio can be used to sell to organic farmers or as a biography for people. There are thousands non-governmental organisations that would qualify for a .ngo or .ong and with a .tennis domain you can focus on all tennisplayers. The options are almost unlimited.

Strategy 10.

Bundle. Create packages for certain themes like food and drinks business. For example create a special package that includesjouwtent.menu
− yourplace.restaurant
− yourplace.bar
− yourplace.bio
− yourplace.catering
− yourplace.beer
etc etc

Strategy 11.

Trademarks. Probably a few of your customers have trademarks. You can make sure they are signed up in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) and let them use the sunrise phases of a new domain launch to protect their domains. You can charge a much higher price for your services in this phase and add real value for your customers.

Strategy 12.

Premium domains. A lot of registries have a premium domain-name program where they sell generic domains at a premium price. You can make a lot of money selling those premium domains. For example hotels.amsterdam will go for over a million Euro. Imagine your margin if you sell this domain.

Strategy 13.

Early Access Program (EAP). The registries Donuts and Rightside who both will launch a few hundred new gTLDs have an EAP program. It simply means that 7 days before the launch of a new gTLD you can already buy it at a premium price. Every day up until the launch date the price will be lower and the chances you can buy it as well. If you provide this service to your customers you would be able to get more revenue and you offer them a great service.

Strategy 14.

Domain Protected Marks List (DPML). This is a service that is available for trademarkholders that have been validated by the TMCH but do not want to register all the domains yet. A few registries like Donuts, Rightside and Minds and Machines offer this service where you simply block the registration of your trademark in al their domains without the need to register the domains. This is cheaper than just registering the domains but since it is still a few thousand dollars it is a great upsell opportunity for you.

Strategy 15.

Ask money for pre-registrations. It is useful to collect pre-registrations before a domain-name goes live with domains your customers would like to register. If this is free a lot of customers will simply let the offer expire when the domain goes live. But if you ask like 1 dollar for a pre-registration you maybe have less pre-registration but you already make 100% margin and the conversion rate will be huge since you customer already paid you. Of course you have to make sure that you manage the lists very well to avoid negative feedback. So have a policy for refunds when the domain-name was take faster by somebody else and how the handle double registrations.

Strategy 16.

Focus on renewals. The easy money is made when your customer renews the domain-name forever. Make sure your renewal process is very efficient and you have done a lot of upsells. The longer the customer stays the better it is for you and the probability is higher that he will buy more from you.

All these strategies are simple to implement and they guarantee you a lot of extra business. You have no excuse to not make more money now!