Build a List of Real Buyers

Build a List of Real Buyers

Build a List of Real Buyers

By Michael Cyger , Instructor of DNAcademy

Published: March 10, 2017

There’s a right way and wrong way to build a list of potential buyers for your domain name. The right way may actually get you a sale. The wrong way will piss off people, get you onto a spam list, and may get you a fine.

Do you want to spam people, or do you want to spend your time reaching people who actually want to know your domain name is for sale?

As soon as I register a domain name, I get unsolicited marketing emails from web development shops.

As soon as I register a trademark, I get emails from legal firms soliciting for their services.

As soon as I build a website, I get emails from SEO firms telling me that my search engine rankings suck.

What do all of these emails have in common?


So don’t send one of these types of emails when it comes to outbound marketing your domain name for sale.

I received an email from a domain name investor who told me he used an automated tool (probably DomainIQ.com or Estibot.com) to generate a list of 10,000 domains that were similar to his domain, along with the registrant’s whois information.

He said, “Surely one of those domain name owners might want to buy my domain name. Should I email all of them?”


If I own DomainSherpa.com, you emailing me to try to sell DomainHub.com or OnlineSherpa.com is useless.

Now imagine doing that 10,000 times. It’s guaranteed to rack up some serious negative karma points, get you on spam lists, and maybe even get you a CAN-SPAM fine.

So how do you effectively build a list of potential buyers for your outbound marketing campaign?

I’m glad you asked.

Here are 10 ways to find TARGETED buyers for your domain name.


If you own a keyword domain name like SeattleHome.com, for instance, you want to offer it to owners of inferior domain names.

Go to https://www.estibot.com/lead-research.php and do a search containing both words, eliminating certain options, and you can see the list is whittled down to roughly 1600 results.

Now you need to do the hard work of going line by line to pick only the most relevant potential buyers.

Before I go into the other 9 ways, let me make one point clear. If you own an inferior domain name, like SeattleHomesForSaleInWashington.net, you are wasting your time and money. Nobody that owns the .com will want it. Nobody that owns a shorter version will want it. Drop the domain and spend that $10 renewal fee on a better domain name.


Go to http://www.zfbot.com/ (sign up for a free account) and enter Seattle to start and home to end, and you’ll find 74 entries.

If they’re parked then they likely not a business and won’t want to pay you a fair retail price for your domain. So sort by the parked column, and visit each of the “not likely” options to see which are real websites where SeattleHome.com might be an upgrade.

Add those to the contact list.


Visit the websites of inferior TLDs to SeattleHome.com, like SeattleHome.net, SeattleHome.info, SeattleHome.biz, SeattleHome.org and even new gTLDs like Seattle.home.

If they’re developed, then they’re potential buyers — so add them to your list.


Try Google search for a pattern, using an asterisk before and after your phrase: *seattlehome*, asterisk seattle home asterisk, without any space, as detailed on Google support page I link to below (https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/71826).

Then use the search inurl:seattlehome to find the phrase in URLs of websites (not just domains), and allintitle:”seattle home” if you want to search title tags of pages and not just domains.

Find a couple more targeted leads? Add them to your contact list.


Type “Seattle home” into the Google and Bing search engines and look at the pay per click advertisements at the top and bottom of the first few pages of results.

See who has inferior domain names.

These advertisers already understand the power of advertising and are spending money online, so they’re more likely to understand how a better domain name can help their business grow.

Add only the relevant leads to your contact list. Not all of them are relevant.


If your domain name is brandable, get over to Crunchbase.com and Angel.co and search for startup companies where your domain is an upgrade for them.

Add them to your list.


If you own a killer single-word brand like “fire” or “open” in .io, .co, .me, .ai and similar TLDs, get over to Github and search for that keyword.

You can sometimes find users named with that brand that want to upgrade, or popular code bases that might want to launch a website. Click from the repository to the owner page, look for their email address, and add them to your list.


Don’t forget about getting on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — or whatever social media network is popular in the country where you live.

You can often find operating companies with a username matching your domain name.

Just type in twitter.com/SeattleHome, Instagram.com/SeattleHome and Facebook.com/SeattleHome.

And be sure to search Facebook and Linkedin too as sometimes you’ll find companies without domain names (https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=seattle%20home and https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/companies/?keywords=seattle%20home&origin=SWITCH_SEARCH_VERTICAL).

Add them to your contact list.


Look at hashtags like #seattlehome on Facbook, Instragram and Twitter (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/seattlehome/).

See if there are accounts using it over and over again. They’re already pre-disposed to the phrase, so add them to your contact list.


The last tip is for old schoolers like me.

If you’re targeting a niche, then look at printed trade magazines, listings, yellow pages, and other sources.

Go to Seattle or find a friend in the area and get some real estate magazines mailed to you if you’re selling SeattleHome.com.

Do you have a Bitcoin brandable domain, then follow Bitcoin newsletters or get on the Bitcoin channel on Reddit.com. Identify the businesses who have inferior but relevant domain names, and add them to the list.

Bonus tip: Now that you have domain names of potential buyers, you can look up their whois manually one by one, or if you want a DomainIQ.com account you can look them up in bulk at https://www.domainiq.com/whois.

Remember, you’re not trying to boil the ocean. You’re looking for targeted, relevant potential buyers. You only want people who could easily see how an upgrade would benefit their business, by giving them a shorter, easier to type on mobile phone, easier to remember, shorter email address or whatever other benefits you can think of.

Your job should be to make the smallest, most targeted contact list possible. Then email each one of them individually, not from an automated system. Track opens so you can see if they open the email once and maybe deleted it or 10 times, because 10 times shows interest. 10 times shows they maybe forwarded it around the office.

But Mike this is hard work!

Yes, it is. Welcome to domain name investing.

Comments 15

  1. Really useful list. Thanks, Michael. I have a feeling I’m going to be watching this video over and over again. 🙂

  2. Nice idea! But the hard aspect of it all is on how to get their email address. What can one do if they failed to open the mail or if they goes to spam box. Is there any sofware to know if they go to spam?

    Thanks for this topic.

    1. Post

      Finding email addresses is pretty straight forward.

      First, check their website. Look at whois.

      Should that fail, you can find and validate email addresses, try: VerifyEmailAddress.io, RocketReach, VoilaNorbert, Email Hunter, and Find Any Email.

      These options will give you their email address 90+% of the time.

  3. Yes, I’am going to have to start doing this and buying way better names for myself, instead of making the usual hundreds of dollars made and now thousands.
    Fantasic teacher per usual Mike!

    Lee M

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