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16 September 2010

Tracking Responses to End-User Emails

As I mentioned before, I sent out over 145 emails to travel companies in Germany about the name I have in auction right now. Toutapp is allowing me to track every time someone opens my email, or clicks on the auction link, so I have a pretty good sense of how the email is being received.

Here’s a screenshot of the recipient list:

(“Yes” in the first column means they opened it, the second column means they clicked the link, and the third column means I marked it as a “success”).

I created four different email campaigns—one each in English and German for companies who were actually advertising using the keywords, as well as ones for companies who weren’t spending to advertise with those terms, but were in relevant industries.

The name is related to car rentals in Australia, a popular vacation destination for Germans, and there are dozens of sites (in German) dedicated to tours, camper rentals, and car rentals in Australia. However, over half the people I contacted, have not even opened the email.

One of the groups with the highest open/click rates is, not surprisingly “German Advertisers.” As you can see, out of 41 emails that were sent, over 41% were opened, and 17.65% of those people clicked on my link.

“English Advertisers” have the highest open rate, at 58%, but an even lower click-through rate than the other group. So far only two of the emails have bounced (meaning the server didn’t accept them because it marked them as spam), which is pretty good.

Oddly enough, the group with the highest click-through rate is “German Non-Advertisers.” There is a small difference between the email they received at the others (basically I left out one sentence), so maybe that influenced things. I don’t know.

However, I think these click-through rates are alarmingly low. After all, I invested a LOT of time looking up these advertisers, paying a translator to help compose a German version of the sales pitch, and writing to each of these companies. I’m seriously wondering whether it was worth it.

A lot of these people will probably never read the email, or stumble upon it several weeks too late, after the auction has ended. It seems like such a small window of time to try to get people’s attention.

The good news is that there have been a few people (2-3 at the most) who I can see have visited the auction page multiple times, including one of the major rental car companies in Europe. That’s at least promising. There’s no guarantee it will influence the outcome of the auction, but we’ll see.

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About Nadia

Nadia is the editor of DomainSushi. Her love affair with domain names and web development dates back to 1998, and she is passionate about educating the tech community, small business owners, and laymen about domain name strategy. Follow her on Twitter: @DomainSushi.

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3 Comments

  1. Domain MarketplaceSep 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    This is very interesting Nadia, not something I've tried before but certainly will next time.

    When does/did your auction end? Can you tell us whether the visitors got involved in the bidding and whether you think it was worth the time?

  2. NadiaSep 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Hi, thank you for reading, and I'm glad you found it helpful! First off, I can't take all the credit. The initial idea of how to go about contacting end-users about the auction came from one of Acroplex's posts this summer:

    http://acro.net/blog/2010/07/20/zfbot-did-it-how-i-doubled-my-sedo-sale-money-with-a-simple-email/

    The auction ended on Sunday at 4:14am (10:14 for everyone in Germany). The bidding ended at 360 EUR, with two bidders. I have a feeling the original bidder wasn't around for the auction, which is too bad, because they lost out on the name, for a difference of 10 Euros.

    I need to write a follow-up post about this. As far as whether the time spent emailing end-users was worth it, I have mixed feelings. I spent A LOT of time compiling the information, but as you can see, in the end only one other bidder got involved, and since he didn't have any competition, the end result wasn't that different.

    However, because the final buyer was from a different country than the original bidder, I have a feeling I know who it is, and that it's one of the people I emailed (who I could see clicked on the auction link several times).

    This method worked well for Acroplex, who doubled his auction price. However, he probably had a much better name than this, so I think it depends. I think quite a few of these companies will end up checking their email weeks to late, and might have been interested in the name. Australia is a hot vacation spot for German tourists, and there are tons of companies who specialize in renting vehicles to them.

    In the end, I was surprised that more people didn't open the email, but the addresses in the WhoIs and on websites are not always updated, and people don't check their email as often as you'd think.

    If the final bidder is who I think it is, it's a representative from one of the larger auto rental companies in Europe (based in the NL), and he got a good deal on the name.

  3. WTFDec 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Probably a stupid question, but, how did you determine the companies that were spending money on certain keywords? Is there a service that provides this information? Does it cost? Etc. Sorry if its an obvious question but I just got into domain names…