New domain extensions and the impact on email marketing
There are some interesting developments happening in the world of top-level domain (TLD) names. Up until recently, you had a choice of .com, .org, .net and a handful of other options. Now, things are changing with new TLDs being created that will allow you to not only have a bit more fun with your domain names but also facilitate a better engagement rate. The new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) being added to the World Wide Web include the likes of .guru, .club and .florist to name a few. Over the next couple of years new gTLDs will be continually added.
What does this mean for email marketing?
New domain name extensions mean that email addresses are going to start looking a little different. It’s vital that you keep up to date with these changes so that you don’t lose out on marketing opportunities to engage with customers that are using these new email addresses. Here is a mini checklist to keep in mind:
- Compatibility – The first thing you need to do is check if your Email Service Provider (ESP) can handle these new domain extensions in email addresses. If they can’t, you’re well within your rights to ask them to make changes in order to accommodate this growing trend.
- Web forms – If you have any newsletter subscription forms on your website, or anywhere on the Internet, it’s important to check that they are able to capture these new top level domains. Many of these forms are created with set protocols for email addresses and won’t allow people to complete them if they’re putting in information that the form doesn’t recognise. This will prevent you from capturing contact data and also potentially damage your brand by inconveniencing potential customers.
- Database management – If you have any cleaning service or script that you run on your database to get rid of contact details that aren’t valid, make sure it’s updated to acknowledge the new formats.
Should you get a personalised domain name?
With one of the new TLDs as your website URL, your business could really stand out from the crowd. For example, shopname.retail looks far more intriguing and is likely to get better engagement rates than shopname.com. This is an excellent way to differentiate your brand from competitors, as you’re creating a unique, online experience. Marketing and online experts are predicting that these new extensions could be a big trend in digital branding over the next couple of years. Essentially, businesses can use these gTLDs to bring about instant brand recognition and automatically communicate to existing and potential customers exactly what they will have access to on the website. For example, shopname.sales tells you that this site will give you sales information before you even begin with any other marketing or explaining.
What domain extensions are available?
The sky seems to be the limit with these new gTLDs. You can adapt your domain extension based on a variety of factors – the location of your business, your industry or your unique selling point. Here are some examples of what is becoming available online:
- Financial sector
- Real estate market
- Retail industry
- Location-based extensions
This is just a small fraction of the estimated 1 900 gTLDs that will become available over the next couple of years. As you can see, the possibilities for your business are seemingly endless. In order to choose one that will work for your business, think about what makes your company different. For example, a retail store might go for companyname.shop or companyname.nyc, if based in New York. Either of these options will give the shop an advantage because they will differentiate them online and ensure they stand out from the .com crowd.
Should you make the swap to the new TLDs?
There are several excellent marketing advantages to this new development. However, it is still very much in its infancy, and your target audience may not be ready for the idea. Ensure you conduct market research in order to make an informed decision about which gLTDs you’d like to map your brand to. Whether you decide to change to one of the new gTLDs or not, it’s important that you do recognise that this is a trend that is happening. These domain names mean that you will have to make adjustments to the way you interact with customers digitally – especially when making use of email marketing.
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