Be The Master Of Your Domains With Your Own Landing Pages

Be The Master Of Your Domains With Your Own Landing Pages

In 2010, when I started out with domaining, I didn’t have my own landing pages. All the domains that I purchased back then I would simply park at Sedo. The sales were slowly pouring in after my first few months of domaining but I was sure that I could do a lot better. So I decided I would build my own landing pages for my domains and I would do it for 3 important reasons:

  1. I wanted to be in control. I wanted to build a smooth user experience. To be able to use my own sales pitch and decide how my landing page would look like.
  2. I wanted to get rid of the middle man. I didn’t like that I had to pay commissions. Just like anyone I wanted to make as much profit as possible.
  3. I wanted to be able to optimize my landing pages by doing A/B split testing and I wanted to have detailed stats about my visitors. Where are they coming from, what website are they going to after they leave my landing page, are they returning to my landing page at a later date,…

The problem was that back in 2010 I didn’t have much web design experience. Luckily I was always fascinated by web design so I did know how to create my own web page and figured that my limited knowledge at the time would be enough to create a landing page template for my domains.

Throughout the years I made a total of 4 versions of my landing pages, which I will describe below.

Version 1 (Mid 2010 – End 2011)

landing page version 1

Description: My first landing page template I created around June 2010. As I said before I didn’t have much web design experience back then so I just looked for a free template on the web and customized it with the limited HTML and CSS experience that I had. I added a BIN, a lease option and a make offer option to every landing page. I tried to focus on making it user-friendly as well, explaining to the potential buyer what to expect after a purchase or a lease. And I put some relevant affiliate banners on the page for some additional revenue.

Performance: The landing pages did amazing. After a little bit of optimizing I sold almost 3 times more domains in the same period of time compared to parking them on Sedo. I’m sure that’s partly the result of other factors such as me learning the ropes and buying better domains as time went by but I feel the landing pages did have a positive impact on my sales. And more importantly, for every sale that I made through my landers I paid no commissions!

What I did wrong: I wouldn’t recommend putting “domain coupon” banners on your landing page as it distracts the potential buyer away from your primary goal, to sell your domain (but back then I thought it would be a good idea).

 

Version 2 (Beginning 2012 – Mid 2013)

domain landing page

Description: My second landing page I built from scratch. That was around February 2012. I just finished a web design course so I decided I would make a template that was a little bit more visually appealing compared to my first version. I added a description field, a BIN field and a make offer field. I also created a script in javascript that randomly showed 4 other domains from my portfolio and created links to those landing pages. Finally I also added some social media to the site. Oh and I stopped using banners.

Performance: The results were pretty good. After optimizing this template I sold 15-20% more domains compared to my previous landing page.

What I did wrong: Responsive web design (optimal viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of devices, such as iPhones and iPads) started to become more and more popular around the time I created my second version but I did not take advantage of this upcoming trend.

 

Version 3 (Mid 2013 – Mid 2015)

domain landing page

Description: This time I wanted to make sure my landing page was responsive as well. I also wanted to use more or less a similar design compared to version 2 and for the first time I started using my new website logo (the orange super hero) on my landing pages. I integrated my script, that randomly showed 4 domains from my portfolio, in this new version as well. I got rid of the make offer option as I did some A/B split testing and came to the conclusion that in my case my sales were much more frequent when using a BIN approach.

Performance: My yearly amount of domain sales went up by a whopping 35%. I also started to get a decent amount of mobile sales (people buying from their smart phones, iPads, etc..).

What I did wrong: My main website and my landing pages, despite the fact that they both used the same logo, still looked too differently, as if they were not from the same company.

 

Version 4 (Mid 2015 – Now)

domain landing page

Description: With my latest version I integrated all the functionalities from version 3 but I also added the possibility to pay through Escrow (instead of just Paypal), I added a payment plan option, a “Featured Domains” section, a sharing widget and I improved my sales pitch. Also important to mention, my landing page finally got the same kind of design as my main website. If you want you can check out this landing page live.

Performance: I’ve used my latest version for less than a year but already the landing pages are outperforming my previous version(s). At the end of the 1st year of using them I will have detailed statistics.

 So how to create your own domain landing pages?

If you’re a web designer things are easy. But I assume most of you are not. There are however 4 easy ways to get started with creating your own landing pages.

1. Buy a domain portfolio theme

Themeforest.net has a lot of domain portfolio themes which you can use to build your own domain landing page without having to know HTML or CSS.

2. Use an online landing page builder

LeadPages.net and ClickFunnels.com (free 14-day trial) are 2 popular sites that, for an affordable monthly membership, will let you build amazing landing pages for all kind of purposes. They have a drag and drop landing page builder, tons of ready to use templates which makes building landing pages a breeze and a build-in A/B split testing tool.

3. Let a web designer build one for you

Freelancer.com is a great site that you can use to find experienced coders and web designers to build a domain landing page template for you.

4. Use domain name management software

With Efty you can manage your complete domain portfolio. That also comes with the possibility to create your own domain sale landing pages.

I hope I gave you enough motivation to start making your own landing pages and start reaping the benefits. If you have additional ideas on what functionalities would be great to have on a personal landing page (which was not yet mentioned) feel free to share 🙂

About the author

Bram C.:

17 Comments

  1. Dominic Belley

    July 7, 2016
    Reply

    Your landing page really looks great.
    A little too much stuff to read in the benefits section, but its nice to provide the visitor with several payment options.
    Well done!

    • Bram C.

      July 7, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks! The benefits section can be skipped by simply pressing the "Get It Now" button. It's just there to make some buyers understand why a domain is more valuable than $10 ;-)

  2. Doron Vermaat

    July 8, 2016
    Reply

    Great post Bram. You surely were ahead of the curve, starting using your own For-Sale landing pages several years ago. Today, more and more sellers start to realize that the fast majority of sales come from direct navigation and that giving those sales "away" to commission based marketplaces such as Sedo and Afternic is a waste of money.

    The option to create your own beautiful, customizable For-Sale landing pages without paying a dollar in commission certainly has been one of the main drivers behind the success of Efty so far - thanks for the shout out and keep up the great work with the blog!

    • Bram C.

      July 8, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks!

  3. Adam

    July 9, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and design tweaks Bram. I am certainly not as a good a web designer but seeing how you evolved and improved your skills gives others like myself hope.

    Have you thought of offering a WP landing page theme on WP multisite and selling it?

    • Bram C.

      July 9, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks Adam! Back in 2011-2012 I did something similar. I was the owner of dnresult.com, a domain portfolio script that I made for domainers. Basically it allowed anyone to easily install a personal domain portfolio site where the domain owner could upload their domains for sale. In the end called it quits because it was too time-consuming (since I was doing all the support myself). You just gave me a great idea for WP landing pages though. Cheers! ;)

      • Adam

        July 9, 2016
        Reply

        Something with WP multisite would be much easier to build. Support is hard and time consuming that's why most Wordpress services have an annual fee for support

  4. Alex

    July 12, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome article. These tips are very useful. Looking forward to implementing some of the strategies explained.

    • Bram C.

      July 12, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks!

  5. David Kelly

    July 12, 2016
    Reply

    Nice article. I'm looking to re-design my site and update my landers too.

    Just out of interest, I see that your main site is a portfolio theme with re-directs to the individual landers on the various domains.

    For your lander pages, are these HTML + CSS pages that have been uploaded to each domain or do you install Wordpress on each domain and use the 1-page version of the portfolio theme that you use for your main site?

    Thanks

    David

    • Bram C.

      July 12, 2016
      Reply

      Hey David, to answer your question: my landers are static HTML/CSS pages (that I gave a similar look compared to my main site), my main site is using WordPress.
      Btw, checked out your site, looks great!

  6. Anthony

    July 13, 2016
    Reply

    For:
    1. Buy a domain portfolio theme
    and even
    2. Use an online landing page builder

    Who is a good, inexpensive hosting company that I could make several hundrew landing pages without breaking the bank? How is that done?

    • Bram C.

      July 13, 2016
      Reply

      I personally use reseller cPanel hosting from Site 5 for my landing pages. I have around 700 domains/landers on one reseller hosting. Cost for this hosting is around $24/month. You can of course also choose for a shared hosting provider instead. Just make sure it offers unlimited addon domains (Site 5 has shared hosting as well). Shared hosting is a bit cheaper compared to reseller hosting but with reseller hosting you also get your own WHM panel where you can do more stuff compared to simply cPanel (for example you can create your own nameservers for your landers, create additional cPanels, allocate server resources for each cPanel, etc...).

  7. swetha

    July 27, 2016
    Reply

    Great Post. Everything is good. How could you verify the funds, if buyer pays using paypal.
    Now a days, Paypal chargebacks are quite often.

    • Bram C.

      July 27, 2016
      Reply

      I never had someone do a chargeback on a domain that I sold.
      Having said that, I clearly document all sales and keep all the registrar emails (such as the confirmation email that the domain has been successfully transferred). I also make a screenshot of WHOIS the second it changes to the new owner. That way, if I do ever experience a chargeback, I will have as much proof as possible that I can give to Paypal.

      And if somehow Paypal would still side with the buyer I would of course try to get the domain back after a chargeback. With Godaddy for example you can email undo@godaddy.com in case a domain name gets stolen.

  8. Alan Dodd

    August 11, 2016
    Reply

    Hey Bram, we hacked your script to death for a few years on NameDream.com and I was wondering where you were!

    Glad to hear your still coding!

    Problem now we have is on the host. The host is awol :0)

    Big errors by us on the home page and also with the colors by me.

    We hacked the script to accept other namers but nothing came of that.

    Anyway hope your well!

    Alan

    • Bram C.

      August 12, 2016
      Reply

      Yeah, you did a great job with the dnresult script. I saw your website a couple of times and it looked great. Sorry about your host :(
      Thanks for stopping by Alan!

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