Creative marketing using domain names.

January 25, 2009

Hello friends,

It is time for my first post of 2009.

Apologies for not getting back on the blog earlier, but things have been manic since I came back from holidays. Hope you’ve had a great start of the year so far!

Let’s get straight to domain names in the lime light.

if you are reading from the UK, you might be familiar with the website ‘compare the market.com’ . I’ve used them myself to get a good deal on insurance. What they do is basically compare insurance quotes from multiple car insurance companies based on the details you provide them.. It saves you from going to each individual company website and ask for a quote, and it is big business. Have a look at this bbc article.

“Price comparison sites: deal or no deal?” 

PRICE COMPARISON SITES – MONTHLY HITS*  
Moneysupermarket.com – 4.046m
Gocompare.com – 1.039m
Confused.com – 1.026m
Uswitch.com – 0.701m
Comparethemarket.com – 0.304m

*Monthly average Oct 2007-Oct 2008, Individual visitors aged 15+, Excludes traffic from public computers, mobile phones & PDAs
Source: comScore

So, to my surprise (agreeable surprise I should say) I saw an advert on tv lately showing  Alexander who owns  “compare the Meerkat.com” where they compare Meerkats – sort of a dating site for meerkats., I guess! 🙂

meerkat3

meerkat2

I was so used to seeing advertising about ‘compare the market’ that whenever I saw one on TV, I just didn’t bother. But when I heard about Alexander’s site, I had to rush online to see it.

Watch the video here!

love the accent ! It’s been a long time since a domain gave me such a big smile! Obviously it is yet another way to bring attention to “compare the Market.com” and a nice way. The smile they’ve put on people’s faces will certainly rubb off on their brand.

Compare the Market.com may be lagging behind their competitors on number of  hits per month, but that would change if they keep on delivering such creative  ad campaigns.

So be careful people if you are looking for car insurance go to  “compare the market.com”  and not “compare the meerkat.com”. And if you  are a meerkat, you know where you need to go 🙂

 
See you later,
alligatorS..

PS: for those not on my facebook  friends list, here’s a video of  a few shots I took in Dubai! 

Also, note what’s written on my shirt 😉    Ritz and Wife in Dubai


joe, you know who!

October 24, 2008

For those who have not noticed it, the website on JoeThePlumber.com has just been revamped.

new JoethePlumber.com

new JoethePlumber.com

It now sports cool rounded edges giving a feel of web 2.0.
But the contents have more or less stayed the same.

There has been a lot of talks about that domain name, made famous (worldwide, not just in the US!),
after the final debate between Obama and McCain. (video here)
Some reported the site got ‘Un-President-ed’ spike in the number of visitors ! The owner, flooded with hundred of thousands of emails and calls, and being offered 6-figures for the domain!

a week later,
It doesn’t seem like he sold..
Shame!

I would have done things differently.
If I owned that domain and I knew that ‘Joe the Plumber’ is in everyone’s mind, lips, dreams (who knows! 😀 )
I’d build a portal for Plumbers in the US. (or just a note on the website saying that we’re building the most comprehensive database of plumbers in the US! coming very soon! Plumbers Sign Up!)

Then, charge $100 to appear in a listing of plumbers by State!
I’d require 10,000 plumbing companies/plumbers to sign up (that’s about 200 plumbers for each state) to make a cool million.

And on top,
I get to keep the domain name.
think about it.. hundred of thousands (millions?!) of people know, have heard of, or have visited JoethePlumber.com recently. Where else would they go look for a plumber when they happen to need one?

at that point in time, JoethePlumber.com was worth more than plumber.com ..
He should have capitalized on this, out of the blue, traffic burst..

Strike while the iron is hot!.. oh wait.. that’s what joe the blacksmith would have done..

😉


property.com …

July 24, 2008

…just sold for a whopping figure..by Rick Schwartz, who bought the domain for $750,000 in 2005.

Rick’s asking price for the domain was $10million at some point. Did it sell for more or less,.. we will not know since the actual sales price was kept confidential.

The new owner of property.com is Brad Geisen of Foreclosure.com who promises a killer website on property.com ,sometimes in 2009. 

Would Foreclosure.com be interested in  thebest PROPERTY intheworld.com ? Hopefully, they will reply to my email…

another news,. maybe you know digg.com , well google is showing a lot of interest in it..  watch this space..


boil check !

July 4, 2008

Over the last 2 weeks, there has been a water crisis in the Northamptonshire area in the UK. Residents, businesses have been warned to boil their water before consumption.

This cryptosporidium parasite contamination in the water supply even made the national news, and in some cases caused panic when the supermarkets started running out of bottled water.

The folks at Anglian Water, the company responsible for water distribution for the area, must have been under a lot of stress. They still are since the region has not been given the all clear yet!

Their call centers must have been flooded with calls from anxious customers.
Geodesys, a division of Anglian Water, got the bright idea of setting up a cool tool to inform people if their tap water was safe by just inputing their postcodes!

I received a link from a colleague informing me of this tool. Here’s the link I was forwarded :

http://commercial.geodesys.com/boilcheck/ 

Great tool! I was able to check if I was safe.

My first thought was that I would tell all my friends about it. Easy thing to do …. by Email, but how on earth am I going to remember that big long url, and repeat it to my neighbour during our daily “hello’s, how are you’s ” or my friends over the phone?

Would it not be much simpler if I could just tell them to “go to boilcheck.com and check if your water needs boiling?”

 

That’s what I eventually did..

..and I was not the only one who liked the idea.

The northampton chronicles talked about    boilcheck.co.uk,
The daventry today too.

and the BBC as well. (related internet links- postcode check, on the right hand side)

 

If you try boilcheck.com or boilcheck.co.uk (I thought it would be nicer to have the .co.uk too!), on the loading page, if you are fast enough to scroll down before the anglia water website appears, you will have a counter of how many times people used my domains…(you’ve got 3 seconds!)

Thousands of phone calls avoided to Anglia Water’s customer support I guess…

what do I get out of this..

well…

a nice little story of how I got one of my domain names on the mighty bbc and..

 

..this is my civic action to the people affected..

 

Here’s where the visitors to boilcheck.com/co.uk came from..

 

London, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Reading, Newport Pagnell, Wellingborough, Poplar, Thames Ditton, Lincoln, Wembley, Loughborough, Manchester, Portsmouth, Rochdale, Rotherham, Sheffield, Bridgend, Watford, Lambeth, Flitwick, Leeds, Bletchley, Bedford, Kettering, Telford, Bushey, Wokingham, Olney, Ashford,  Corby, Brentford, Chelmsford, Rugby, WestBromwich, Warrington, Bristol, Huntingdon, Ampthill, Wakefield,  Coventry, Rushden, Derby, Cwmbran, Oldham, Leicester, Solihull, Biggleswade, Batley, Southport, Gloucester,  Sutton Coldfield, Port Talbot, Hertford, Beeston, Studley

and also from outside the UK: United States, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Denmark, Norway, Spain, India, Antigua and Barbuda

 

ps: thanks for your help Paul.

pps: if you meet Paul in one of the Northampton pubs, make sure you buy him a well deserved pint!


Why you have to be quick in the domain race!

June 24, 2008

 

Big Brother 9 is on air in the UK! And this year again we have been given a varied bunch of characters. From the nasty ones to the hirarious ones and the cool ones, there is one for everybody’s taste.

Big Brother’s audience is quite good.. at least similar to last year’s so far.

There’s one particular candidate that’s interesting to follow since she is a unique character! She’s from Thailand and to quote Davina McCall, is a “bundle of Joy!”. What is interesting, at least from a domainer’s point of view, is that she’s been inventing new catchy words.

Having a slight ploblem with ‘l’s. (Bless her!) She cannot say Hilarious. That’s how she says it!

Would you be surprised if I told you that Hirarious.co.uk has been snapped? I wonder how many t-shirts these guys have sold through this! The Chris Moyle’s Show (which has 7.31 million listeners as of 31st Jan 08 ) has been using her shouting ‘Hiraaaarious!’ as a doggerel on radio.

Our candidate, a cookie fanatic, has a favourite catch-phrase too! She likes to shout it time and again in the house ‘COOOOkiiie PoooWeer!’
and, well… see for yourself what CookiePower.co.uk brings you.

These 2 domain names meant nothing a week ago! But with 3 million viewers tuned in to watch Big Brother, and having Kathreya (that’s her name)  repeating these words over and over again, they became bound to attract visitors, and domainers saw the potential in them.

Oh, and according to the bookies, Kathreya is the current favourite to win Big Brother, so we should expect to hear more of these words for weeks to come, and who knows, maybe new ones.. 


one thousand six hundred and sixty four

June 13, 2008

what do you think of when you see

1 6 6 4

I want you to give it a long thought and try to come up with a few guesses, before reading further.
.
.
.
.
.
I play a game with my wife during advertising breaks on TV or before a film at the cinema. As soon as the ad starts, the first one who say which ad it is wins a point. (before they actually show their logo or brand name!)

We’ve been playing this game for quite some time now and it is strange how our minds develop with practice. I tend to look at all the tiny details quickly as they appear on the screen and make associations fast in my mind. We’ve become quite good at this game, I must say!
Today I saw a new ad for the first time on tv. The ad is creative! Chefs cutting bubbles, and I was racking my brains to find out which ad it was.

until i saw a number 1664.

boom, Kronenbourg sprang to my mind!…. and Kronenbourg it was.

I quite like Kronenbourg Blanc and I remember the distinctive 1664 on its bottle.

and of course,.. I guess I am not the only one..

try 1664.com  on your address bar.

 Good Weekend to you.


I give you HitWiser.com

May 26, 2008

 

HitWiser came to life with a purpose.          

To encourage direct navigation.

businesses, brands, great websites and not so great websites
are all easily reachable by directly navigating to their web addresses.
(better if they have an easy to remember address!)

Type in any word, product or service in your address bar,add a .com  to it and you will reach a website. if you look at the fastest US search terms on SEARCH ENGINES (click here!) for 2007, and then try them in your address bar (adding a .com),you get the same result.
 
Here is a list of the most searched brands in the UK. (NOT using direct Navigation!)

Rank     Search Term
1          ebay
2          bebo
3          youtube
4          facebook
5          myspace
6          argos
7          amazon
8          you tube
9          bbc
10        tesco

try them too on your address bar and ask yourself, why use a search engine for this kind of search
and contribute to creating a Google-opoly?

Google is great! nobody can deny it,certainly not me!
but we have to be careful. The internet is not Google,
and hopefully we will not make that happen.

Google was a project started in the days of optimism about a
free Internet not supported by ads or corporate revenues, but rather
the free exchange of ideas. Look at it today!

We now have SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies a whole new industry,
where people word hard to make sure your website appear in the top ranks on Search Engines, and
being at the top of results is not permanent. Competition to be among the top ranks in Google or any other
Search engines is very aggressive.

type CAR in google and see how many results it returns.
I got Results 1 – 10 of about 1,250,000,000 for car
(that’s from the UK, if you do a search from Mauritius or elsewhere, you will get a different number AND different results)
Crazy ! isn’t it? obviously, you would not be going to all of them, but rather
the first 10. So, what about the 1,249,999,990 other results?

Every Web browser is equipped with a search facility. Our good old address bar. Okay.. yes, I agree, it is not very user friendly. It is located, too far, high up for our eyes to reach. You have to stick all the words together which makes long URLs a pain!
 
(and could sometimes cause awkward situations,like say you want to visit a website  called
‘pen island’, where they sell great pens?, you would have to type in penisland.com !
or if you want to  know ‘who represent.com’)

HitWiser is your new address bar!

the “www.” part of a web address is obsolete. the TLD, hmm.
well, “.com” is king, and you can still choose the others!
Seth thinks We could even drop the dot com (read here)

HitWiser lets you type in words with spaces.
you can type in short sentences like “a little bit of what you fancy”
or “the world’s best shave”.

It works with the apostrophy too!

People used to frown at long domain names…
HitWiser loves them. They are more descriptive and more exciting.
Aren’t you curious to see what you would get if you
try ‘the best car in the world’ on hitwiser!

are you going to  Hit <your urls> wiser?