Good Domain Names – How Valuable Are They?

Domain Names for Your WebsiteForbes.com recently published an interesting article by venture capitalist David Teten about domain names.

Though the focus was specifically on whether startups should spend venture capital funding on a domain name, the article was a good reminder of domain name basics (as we’ve previously posted about; see Best Website Domain Names) and provided valuable insight and domain strategies to use when the domain you want is unavailable.

The article asserts that while domain names are currently a little less important (because of mobile and apps), they are still your email identity (as we also wrote about a couple of weeks ago in Domain Email…What Are You Waiting for?) and an important part of your marketing.

A domain name can even be the difference between winning and losing companies, one of the factors that tips the competitive balance from one startup to another; for example, the stronger Mint.com domain winning out over Wesabe.com.

Why? Because a good domain name catches attention, is easy to remember, and easy to find online. It represents your company often before you have any other way to influence potential customers, investors, or even future employees.

Three main domain name factors proposed in the article are:

  1. Fit. This is perhaps obvious, so Teten doesn’t explain any more than to say the domain should match the business. There are, of course, different ways to “match” or “fit.” As we’ve previously written, a domain name that is an exact match or close match to your company name (assuming you’re not a startup with no previous company name) is often the number-one recommendation. Next would be a strong, popular keyword that’s associated with your business, like one of your core products or services. I would say that the domain doesn’t have to be immediately obvious but it should makes sense when you think about it. Like the Facebook domain. While “facebook” wasn’t a popular keyword and people first hearing the domain may have wondered what it was, a social network like this is kind of like a contact “book” with the “faces” (and other personal detail) of friends. So it fits.
  2. SEO. Here’s another push for keyword-rich domain names. If your domain name exactly matches keywords people are using to find the products or services you sell, your website will get a real boost towards the first page of search results (assuming you have a non-hyphenated .COM site). If you are lucky enough to have such a domain (or can get one), make sure you optimize the homepage for your domain name keywords. In other words, the content of the homepage should support the URL/domain.
  3. Linguistic Characteristics. Though we have written about certain aspects of these good domain name characteristics before (notably that you want a short domain, without hyphens or numerals, that’s easy to spell and therefore remember), some of Teten’s other recommendations about the internal sounds of domain names were new and intriguing.

No matter what your domain name means, data suggests that the best ones generally have these linguistic characteristics:

    • are short
    • use dictionary words
    • do no include hyphens or numerals
    • have initial sounds that are easy to articulate
    • avoid internal sounds phonemes associated with disgust (like the uh sound in yuck and the ew sound in puke)

The bad news: If you’re going to be bidding on domain names that are already owned, you’ll probably need fairly deep pockets. Average domains are said to go from $5,000 – $20,000, with the very top of the market going in the millions.

The good news: Teten advises most new businesses to start with a free or very low-cost dot-com domain name. If your ideal domain name isn’t available but there is no website yet active at that domain, you may want to purchase a similar domain to launch your business with the goal to transition to the other domain when you can purchase it. These EarthLink Web Hosting services offer a free domain name for one year.

To get more domain name advice for startups, read the full article on Forbes.com.

When you’re ready to get started, here’s a step by step guide to choosing a new domain name with EarthLink.

Domain Email … What are You Waiting For?

Domain email hosting - get a domain name to brand your email.We know that our web hosting services are super-easy to use – whether you build your own website with our site builder tool or take advantage of our professional web design service options.

We know that web hosting provides a great return on investment.

But we also know that you still may not be ready for web hosting.

So, what about domain email hosting?

For some, getting a domain name to use for email is a smart first step before moving on to creating a website.

A domain email address can be a valuable extension of your personal or business brand, providing a more consistent and professional way to communicate with customers, prospects, partners and vendors.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to be You@YourBusiness.com or CEO@YourCompany.com than something like tcs7114@yahoo.com when you are communicating about your business?

As a potential customer, I know I’d feel better about doing business with someone using a branded domain than a free email service.

Not having a company email domain suggests you don’t really take your business seriously. And if you don’t, why should others?

After all, getting started with domain email is simple and inexpensive. For just $4.95 a month, our Domain with Email service includes:

  • 50 email addresses @ your domain name
  • Email mailing lists, forwarders and auto-responders
  • 1GB of storage per email address
  • Easy Web Mail access from any online computer or device
  • Built-in spam and virus protection

To learn more, these previous domain-related blog posts may be helpful:

One final word of advice: get your domain name as soon as you can.

There’s a lot of competition for good names. And it would be a shame if you waited too long and then couldn’t get one that works well for your business.

Good luck!

How to Create Mailing Lists with Your Web Hosting Account

Whether you use EarthLink Web Hosting for regular web hosting or ecommerce web hosting, the included domain email features are a big added benefit.

Mailing Lists: How to Add them in the Web Hosting Control CenterWe’ve provided an overview of managing your domain email in a previous post but this week will dive into one of those features: mailing lists.

With a Mailing List you designate a mailing list email address and add a subscriber list, and then any email sent to that list address is forwarded to everyone on the subscriber list.

Mailing Lists are a simple and efficient way to share information with customers or other groups of people via email. You can also create a mailing list to use as an email discussion group.

Here’s how to create a mailing list with your EarthLink Web Hosting account:

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at https://control.earthlink.net with your EarthLink Web Hosting domain name, username, and password.
  2. Click the Email tab.
  3. Click the Add Mailing List icon.
  4. Enter a new email address to use for the mailing list.
  5. Enter a Subject. This will be a label [in brackets] applied to all mailing list emails in front of the individual subject lines.
  6. Enter your subscriber list in the Recipients field. You can add up to 300. Separate the addresses by commas or put one per line.
  7. Important: Make sure you include an email address that your emails will come from in your recipients list (you can’t use the mailing list address itself)
  8. Click the Save button and you should get a confirmation that your list was created properly.

 

 

 

 

Managing Your Domain Email with Your EarthLink Web Hosting Account

Domain email - manage your business email with EarthLink Web Hosting Control CenterIf you’re an EarthLink Web Hosting customer, your online Control Center is your one stop to view and modify aspects of your account, build your website, add website features, manage your email, and more.

Today we’re going to give you an overview of the Email section of your Control Center. That’s where you can go to add mailboxes or FTP dropboxes, add forwards or mailing lists, create email newsletters, and more.

To get started, simply sign in to the Control Center at https://control.earthlink.net/ and click the Email tab. From there you’ll have these 7 options:

  1. Add FTP Dropbox: An FTP dropbox is a storage space on your website that you can use to store and retrieve files. Some people use it as a way to share files that are too large to send via email. Simply click the FTP Dropbox icon and then enter a new email address and password. Or click the edit icon next to any of the email addresses you already have in the Accounts section on the left and click the Enable button to activate a dropbox using the password for that address.
  2. Add Mailbox: Click the Add Mailbox icon to create a new mailbox/email address at your domain. Depending on whether you have an EarthLink build your own website  or professional web design plan, you can create from 100 – 1,000 email addresses. See our previous post about domain email addresses.
  3. Add Forward: A forwarded email address automatically sends all email sent to that address to another email address that you have specified. The forwarded address will be a mailbox at your domain. The address (or addresses) you forward to (called Recipients here) can be any email address. If you want to forward one of the email addresses you’ve already created, click on the edit icon for that address in the Accounts section on the left. Click the Yes button where it says Forward Email to Another Address, enter the address you want to forward to, and click the Update Forwarding button.
  4. Add Mailing List: Mailing Lists are special email accounts set up to forward email to a number of other email addresses. Email sent to the mailing list address is forwarded to everyone on the subscriber list. You may want to create a mailing list to email information to a large customer list or to use as an email-based discussion group. Choose a email address for the list, write a subject line, enter up to 300 recipients (hopefully if your list is large you can cut and paste from a spreadsheet or other document), and click Save.
  5. Announcer Pro: Announcer Pro is an easy-to-use email marketing platform. It lets you create HTML email newsletter and email marketing campaigns. It also helps you manage emails and track your results. See our previous post on How to Create & Send Your First Marketing Email with Announcer Pro.
  6. Fax-to-Email: This add-on service delivers faxes to your email inbox for your convenience. If you have this service, click the Fax-to-Email icon to log in and access your main fax number.
  7. Catchall Mailbox: A catchall mailbox is one that is set up to receive all email sent to your domain that isn’t sent to a valid email address. For example, if a customer sends an email to help@yourdomain.com and you don’t have that as an active email address, the message will be forwarded to your catchall box. See our previous post about Domain Email and the Catchall Mailbox.