.CLUB Defines The Successful New gTLD Formula

As I’ve said many times before, I think .CLUB is one of the stand-out new domain names extensions to hit the market and with a year behind them I can move the “think” into the “know” category. There are more new domain extensions out there than any of us can name, but if there are five we can remember, .CLUB is without a doubt on that list.

dotClubIt’s not a fluke, and it’s also not because “club” is such an awesome keyword even though it is. Instead it’s the people behind .CLUB and the strategy that they have taken that have made it successful. So I wanted to take a minute to review the last year of .CLUB and some of the things they have done to make it one of the top new domain extensions.

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1. The founders – This is not Colin and Jeff’s first rodeo, these are veterans with an incredible amount of expertise but beyond that an incredible amount of hustle. Go to any tradeshow and it’s not just .CLUB salespeople, the founders are there, and not just there but working the booth and doing everything under the sun to get the word out. They also know how to inspire big names like 50 Cent to rally behind the brand.

2. The companies – Selling domain names is one thing, getting people to build and brand their companies on a new domain extension is the another and .CLUB has broken just about every record when it comes to developed websites.

3. Registrar support – this is really tied to great founders but is still incredibly important to mention. Every registrar knows and loves Jeff and Colin and together they have forged great partnerships. This support means that people all over the world get equal access to .CLUB domains.

While I’m not the first to say it, let me say it again, congrats to the whole team over at .CLUB for an amazing first year and what I think everyone will agree will become the blueprint for success in the new gTLD market. As someone who knows Colin and Jeff personally I can tell you they are two of the hardest-working, most inspiring people on the planet and I couldn’t be more excited for years 2, 3, 10 and 20. This is only the beginning and .CLUB is off to one heck of a start!

(Image Source – DNJournal)

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Colin Campbell June 18, 2015, 9:24 pm

    Wow! Thank you but truth is we had a great name in the first place and we also have great people like Dirk our CTO and Michele our V.P. channel and a slew of other folks who support us. So it’s fair to say your compliments overestimate Jeff and Colin and underestimate the team behind us.

    Colin

    Reply
  • Domenclature.com June 18, 2015, 10:01 pm

    I agree that the .CLUB executives are astute, shrewd, sharp, acute, adroit, quick, clever, crafty, intelligent, bright, smart, canny, intuitive, perceptive, insightful, incisive, sagacious, wise, as you stated, Linton, I however, believe that they are making a couple of mistakes:

    1. They didn’t have to retail second level names directly from the Registry; some in the hundreds of thousands, cutting off the domainer; this is wrong. They could’ve just emulated, and competed against Verisign’s dotCom. They should have released all the names at same price of registration, except for maybe 100 or so, for Registry operations.

    2. Though the average registration fee for their non premium names, read chaff, [or more aptly: mediocre names separated by winnowing or threshing out premium ones], is comparatively low at $10, it is still too high for the product, hence the precipitous drops we see lately; today alone (6/18/15) .CLUB saw 3308 dropped.

    The Registry might be making money, but that’s none of domain investors’ business. Domainers deserve some more respect from ICANN, and their Registries/Registrars.

    So, no, dotClub doesn’t make the cut above my criticisms.

    Reply
  • William June 19, 2015, 7:26 am

    I agree, the .club guys are doing a great job promoting and marketing the extension. I have about 200 from the launch, I renewed all of them and plan to add more this year.

    Those like Domenclature who are struggling to find premium names for reg fee probably should have purchased at the launch instead of waiting a year. Now the people who complained about how worthless the gtld’s were going to be are upset that the train left the station without them.

    Reply
  • Rosetta June 19, 2015, 9:16 am

    A drop of wine in a barrel of sewage is still sewage. Sadly, the gtlds are a waste of time and will all ultimately fail. Regrettfully, .club will be attached to the others at the hip. They are fighting a battle that cannot be won. I too admire them for trying and for their efforts, but realistically it is time, effort and money wasted. Thank you allowing my contrarian view to be published.

    Reply
  • Jeff Sass June 19, 2015, 9:40 am

    @Morgan, thanks, and as Colin says, we have a great TEAM that has been working really hard to support .CLUB.

    @Domenclature, first, thanks for all the accolades. 😉 As to your other comments, everyday we still see premium quality names get hand registered. We also see many successful aftermarket sales for folks who registered names at GA prices. Premium name sales for the registry help us support our marketing budget ($3.6 million this year), which in turn is supporting the whole .CLUB ecosystem.
    As for the current drops, we are at 44 days since our GA launch (when we registered over 32,000 names on day one) so this is an expected part of our renewal process. We are expecting solid renewal rates, and continue to see strong daily new registration numbers.

    @William, thanks for your support!

    Reply
  • Paul S June 19, 2015, 1:13 pm

    I imagine .CLUB exists to service the millions of clubs in the world through a sustainable business model that takes care of its customers, employees and investors. The customers are “the clubs of the world”. The ability to arbitrage registry/retail pricing and the overall future of gTLDs in general are irrelevant to those customers and therefore to the success of .CLUB.

    I personally think the pricing and sales channel strategy has been brilliant. To have 265K PAID registrations on a $3.6MM marketing budget in the first year is very impressive.

    As they go into their second year renewals and websites developed will become important metrics to manage against. If these show strength, this business has a great shot at becoming a permanent, material Internet franchise.

    Super job. Everbody belongs to a club.

    Reply
  • Domenclature June 20, 2015, 4:02 pm

    Paul S,

    The 265K “PAID” subscribers determines the “Customers”; we are not dealing in the abstract.

    Who are these Subscribers?

    If in fact a substantial percentage are domain investors, then we must recalculate.

    Besides, respect could be accorded to “Customers”, and “Domainers” simultaneously. After all, it’s an inexhaustible virtue.

    Reply
  • Ryder June 21, 2015, 12:07 am

    I see no use for any of the gtlds, .club or otherwise and do not intend to actually pay for any.

    Reply
  • Colin Campbell June 21, 2015, 8:38 am

    Domenclature,

    I understand your skeptism as we are still new and do have to prove ourselves. To address your point on domain investors; there have been many domain investors who have invested in .CLUB but we are also happy to see that we have 96000 unique registrants which have registered the 260,000 names.

    Reply
  • Domenclature.com June 21, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Colin Campbell,

    Whereas, most non-domain investors register one SLD for their business, personal, or in your case, club. It’s seldom that a non-domainer will have the need for more than one registration, there are exceptions, however, I believe it’s probably rarer in the new extensions;

    Whereas the 96,000 unique registrants include domainers, and non-domainers, we can assume that non-domainer registrants are less than 96,000;

    Whereas 96,000 is less than 37% of your “Customers”;

    Therefore, my response to Paul S is not skepticism at all, but rather factual.

    I sincerely believe that domainers make up over 95% of your “Customers”, and therefore deserve a little bit more consideration in your thoughts. As I, and others have stated, you are not the worst in terms of relations with “our” community. You have been friendly, professional, and courteous. Never the less, I don’t like the structure you’ve put in place as I stated in earlier comment. I think all names but about 100 should have been reserved for Registry operations as called for by ICANN, no name should cost more than the other on Registry level, and so on.

    Tell me, if Registries come to our space with unfair pricing, and policies, what am I supposed to do, just applaud them on? I have to scrutinize, and criticize, I can’t wait for ICANN to do their job.

    Reply

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