Featured in the  Wall Street Journal · Forbes ·  ABC News · BBC News ·  CNN/Money · MSNBC · Newsweek · USA Today · New York Times · IBD


Domain Sales

YTD Sales Charts

The Lowdown

DNJ Newsletter

Classified Ads











An Inside Look at Sedo's Strategy for Promoting and Marketing New gTLDs and Accelerating Aftermarket Sales

Ever since new gTLDs began rolling out in January 2014, we've heard criticism that they have not been marketed vigorously enough - leaving many in the general public unaware of their existence. Some have pointed the finger at ICANN and industry trade groups, some at new registry operators and some at registrars and even the registrants who aren’t developing the names they register or promoting the ones they have built out.

Part of the problem may just be perception. Unlike, say, parking companies who market directly to domain investors, the marketing that is being done on behalf of new gTLDs has largely been aimed outward, making those efforts less visible to a lot of us than ones focused inward on the domain community. You need look no further than industry giant Sedo to see what 

I mean. Known for a decade and a half for their aftermarket and monetization platforms, Sedo has also been at the forefront of new gTLD marketing efforts. We talked with their Chief Marketing Officer, Christian Voss, about why they have taken that effort on their shoulders and their strategy for boosting new gTLD awareness.

Sedo CMO Christian Voss

Voss told us, "As an industry leader it is at the utmost of importance for Sedo to support initiatives within the domain world such as the new gTLDs who have finally started to gain more and more traction - 17 million overall registrations being an impressive number.  We are striving for users to engage the new names and for this engagement to spread to a more diverse audience. Our mainstay marketing activities and event promotions are centered around promoting Premium Domain Names, regardless of whether they’re new or already established."

"We often do this by collaborating with registries directly," Voss noted. "So far we have found success working with both small and bigger players, from registries like .top and .bar to the likes of Radix, Uniregistry and Donuts. We

believe in supporting our partners to further their existing marketing campaigns and efforts.  At the end of the day, this is beneficial for all of us."

Voss gave us an example, noting "The Sedo domain village at SXSW 2016 in Austin was a step up from previous events. More than 10,000 people visited us and learned a lot about the value of Domain Names.  Events of this scope are where larger groups of end user and multipliers representing big brands, startups, marketing and advertising agencies can be targeted. Continued and additional promotional efforts like this are something we plan to keep putting our marketing efforts toward in order to positively impact the growth of new gTLDs, existing TLDs and thus the overall domain name industry."

Some of the thousands of SXSW attendees that passed through 
Sedo's Domain Village in Austin, Texas
(March 2016).

This is an especially busy time for Voss and Sedo as, in addition to current events, they have also already started preparations for September's massive DMEXCO show in Cologne, Germany. "Yes," Voss said, "our team is in a constant full court press to keep up with all the events we attend and exhibit at, but we truly feel this is the best way to engage with end users fostering brand awareness."

"Within a 30-day period we've already been at ICANN GDD in Amsterdam and INTA in Orlando and we will be at World Hosting Days USA in Arizona , The Next Web show in Amsterdam, Domaining Europe at Den Haag, Rise 

Sedo CMO Christian Voss and .CLUB CMO Jeff Sass 
at ICANN GDD 2016 in Amsterdam.

Hong Kong, the Domain Industry Summit in Hangzhou, China and the NDD Camp in Paris!"

Voss mentioned the Hangzhou conference coming up in June and added that will be just one of many they will be attending in China this year due to the growing importance of that market. "As many media outlets such as yours have been reporting, China has seen a huge spike in market share and are producing many five, six and even seven-figure sales. Since 2013 our domain sales into China skyrocketed, up by 400%," Voss said. "That’s another reason why we'll participate at six shows and conferences in China this year."

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz with Andrea Makowski 
of Trusted Shops GmbH at the 2015 DMEXCO 
conference in Cologne, Germany.

Voss noted, "The events we choose to attend are both industry and non-industry events. As a veteran among internet service companies we want to maintain a strong presence at leading industry events so we can share our ideas and network with our partners. Events outside our industry allow us to establish ourselves with startups, end users and multipliers who can convey the importance of a quality domain name to their clientele and customers.  With both types of events we give smaller registries the opportunity to make some noise for their domain names as well.

While Sedo has obviously been doing their part, the question remains "who else should be stepping up to the plate and what should they be doing?" To that Voss replied, "Even with the success of these new names growing we are still debating what needs to be done and by who. We believe the answer is that everyone in the industry plays an integral part and needs to contribute. Sedo’s approach since the get-go has been to be

proactive instead of waiting for others to pave the way. That’s why we started very early with email marketing campaigns, special auctions, PR and event participations."

"We have been doing the promotional activities that registrars and registries should have been doing all this time but recently we are seeing more from them than previously. There are numerous challenges to overcome, especially when it comes to market perception and acceptance. With over 15 years in the industry, Sedo has a great understanding of what is essential for registries and registrars to be successful. We have utilized this knowledge to provide individualized TLD solutions as well as large scale event promotions. In the end, the whole industry will get more attention and more growth – that's what counts!  

I noted earlier that Sedo puts a big emphasis on the giant DMEXCO show that drew over 43,000 attendees last year. Even more are expected for the next one that will run September 14-15, 2016 and Sedo already has their game plan in place. "Similar to SXSW we will adapt Sedo’s domain village at DMEXCO to a domain neighborhood themed booth," Voss said. "It’ll feature a Sedo House with a huge multimedia screen, surrounded by individual hut like spaces for registries, and a speaker podium to share the latest about the value of Premium Domain Names."

Sketch of Sedo's Domain Village plans for DMEXCO September 2016 in Cologne.

"Like last year we’ll have a ticker with domain names constantly running on a screen throughout the event. The booth wouldn’t be complete without our signature free Frozen Yogurt and toppings bar of TLD-named varieties. As always, the goal is to offer a unique, energetic and engaging space for people to gather and learn the value of domain names."

Future domain investors rock out at Sedo's SXSW Domain Village in Austin (March 2016)

While we have talked mostly about new gTLDs in this article, Sedo remains synonymous with the domain aftermarket a space with many strong competitors, do before letting Voss go I wanted to get his take on what is happening in this core business the company is so well known for. Voss said, "The domain market has never been as fragmented as today, but we also see a consolidation phase within the industry. Sedo’s big strength is its portfolio of products and its seamless integration for our customers.  This system has been working now for more than 15 years and especially new clients in China or India appreciate this trustworthy and proven workflow."

"As a buyer I simply want to be sure that I get my domain after I’ve transferred the money. It sounds easy to adopt our business model, but having experienced country - and account managers, speaking 25 languages fluently, having a sales record of hundreds of thousands of done deals, and knowing how to handle 1200 different TLDs is something you cannot just copy and paste. Domain trading is an unregulated market dealing with an endless stream of unique products. Experience and know-how clearly beat hollow, flashy marketing promises."  

In closing Voss added, "When we're creating a campaign or preparing for a conference like DMEXCO, where we're facing more than 45,000 marketing and advertising professionals, we have to differentiate ourselves from the crowd and do something different. Still, we never promise something we can't deliver. If a registry wants to participate and send staff to our booth, they find an open and eager- to-learn audience. Alas, we can't force an attendee to buy a domain. Especially some registries of new gTLDs still think that the world waited for these particular extensions – when in fact, it didn't. Most of the potential customers out there haven’t heard about these domains yet. That’s why Sedo attends more than 45 conferences and shows worldwide to market Premium Domain Names and to educate audiences. Again, in the end the whole domain name industry benefits from educated users – and that’s what we’re striving for."

Teammates from Sedo and their partners at DMEXCO 2015


(Published May 23, 2016)


 Home  Domain Sales  YTD Sales Charts   Latest News  The Lowdown  Articles  
Legal Matters
  Dear Domey  Letters to Editor  Resources  Classified Ads  Archive  About Us

News Headlines

About Us
Email Us

Latest news of the domain name industry

Copyright 2016 DNJournal.com - an Internet Edge, Inc. company. 
No material may be copied from this site without expressed written consent.