Yesterday, Alexa Raad, the CEO of Architelos, posted an interesting article on CircleID, which asked the question, “Does gTLD Registration Volume Measure Success?”
Alexa, for those of you who don’t know, is the former CEO of Public Interest Registry (PIR), which owns the .org domain extension. I encourage you to read her full article, but in summary, she pointed out that in order to properly measure the success of a particular gTLD, we have to go beyond just the raw registration numbers.
Alexa then posed three questions that should be considered when analyzing the success of a new gTLD. Here are my answers and thoughts as they relate to .xyz:
1. What are you doing to make people passionate about your new gTLDs? And I mean end-users and potential registrants.
My focus with .xyz has been – and will always continue to be – about the end user. I’ve been in the domain industry for a long time, and my expertise and deep knowledge allow me to strategically position .xyz as the most universal and accessible domain extension for users to build their unique online presence. My overarching strategy for .xyz has been to align everything we do to improve the experience for the user – and this is evident in our marketing, consumer support, business partnerships, and cultivating the Generation XYZ community.
Well before launching .xyz, my team and I carried out extensive market research to understand what internet users want from a new gTLD, and more broadly, what they desire from their online presence. The combination of my domain industry experience and knowing what users value allowed me to strategize and execute on innovative approaches that provide users with a domain extension that they truly care about and can make their own.
.com was on the cutting edge when it was first introduced in 1985. However, it wasn’t until 1999 that it truly become popular. Fast forward to 2014 – over 113 million .coms are taken and we – the next generation of internet users – are stuck with the leftovers. We deserve to have short, memorable, and affordable domain names the same way the generation before us did. We want a relatable brand, the freedom to express ourselves, and the ability to be a part of a thriving online community.
The people behind .xyz
To realize my vision of bringing choice, accessibility, and innovation to the domain name industry, we have put together a team of some of the most talented and equally dedicated individuals from all backgrounds and industries. We have taken a grassroots approach to developing the .xyz brand, where the passion from the team members themselves becomes contagious to everyone around them.
Why people care about .xyz
.xyz is an appealing domain extension because it’s built around three core values:
innovation, competition, and choice for any internet user, anywhere in the world. This foundation has been built by a registry that not only has experience in successfully launching the .com.de extension, but also one that puts the user experience first. An online presence is highly personal, and with .xyz, we eliminate unnecessary barriers such as the technical online jargon, unavailable domain names, high prices, and limitations of other domain extensions, so users can focus on themselves and their brand.
The specific ways we are making this happen tie into the second question Alexa raised:
2. What are you doing to ensure your gTLD is continually used? And by “used” I mean websites with relevant and compelling content, consistent and relevant traffic to said websites, and last but not least, email addresses which are set up and frequently used.
Long-term sustainability, success, and quality of .xyz websites fall directly in place as a result of passionate users who feel a connection with our brand. This is why my team and I are all-in with a multi-million dollar ad campaign to educate and ignite the passion of users, grow the Generation XYZ community, and make .xyz the most accessible domain extension to users all over the world. On an actionable level, we are executing on the below points to ensure the longevity of .xyz:
● Generating brand awareness and widespread recognition that .xyz is for every website, everywhere through marketing, social media, and press featured in major publications
● Cultivating the Generation XYZ community through marketing campaigns and end user promotions that drive consumer engagement
● Developing deep business partnerships to guarantee .xyz domain names are accessible through a wide range of channels at an affordable price point
Cultivating the Generation XYZ community
.xyz is a platform that allows people from any part of the world, regardless of their age, location, or interests, to connect with one another and share their knowledge and passion. We’ve ensured the sustainability of this platform by proactively working with industry leaders, such as Google, to support .xyz in its apps, emails, and search result rankings. Beyond this, we are developing ongoing campaigns that will continue to support and encourage the growth of the individuals and small businesses who are adopting .xyz domain names.
.xyz as a Case Study – Personal Email Accounts
An online presence isn’t always just about having a homepage – it also includes the address where people can directly connect with you. We have seen a number of customers implement this concept and now I’d like to share it with everyone else: anyone – regardless of their background or the native language – can register their LastName.xyz (like Negari.xyz), and not only build a personal site on the domain, but also use it for each of their family members’ email accounts. For example, Barack Obama can register Obama.xyz for himself, and then use [email protected] (or [email protected]), while also giving the First Lady [email protected] and his children [email protected] and [email protected]. This has become an innovative way for individuals and businesses to truly personalize their online identity.
Remember – .xyz only launched 3 weeks ago. The ways our extension is used will continue to evolve and I look forward to seeing all of the innovations that materialize from our platform.
3. What are you doing to get the right users to register your gTLD?
It was mentioned before but it is worth repeating – .xyz is for everyone, regardless of age, location, language, or interests. This includes individuals, small-to-medium businesses, enterprises, community organizations, or any other type of internet user who desires a short and memorable online presence.
In short – .xyz is positioned to be the next .com. This is the message we are sharing with the world.
To guide users to make the most of their .xyz domain name, we understand the importance of being a resource to them for everything related to domain names and the internet. From introducing the concept of gTLDs in an easily digestible way, responding to every customer message we receive, promoting our favorite sites, and providing inspiration to guide users with ways to use their .xyz domain name with XYZ101, we are constantly striving to improve the user experience. After all, .xyz is for them.
I’ve touched upon many of the public endeavors my team and I have taken to promote .xyz. However, we are also diligently working to ensure our users and visitors of .xyz websites remain safe in our namespace. With adoption from end users, there also comes abuse. It has always been our top priority to maintain the safety of internet users, and we have already set industry-leading safeguards in place to prevent fraud and spam in our namespace. Our blog post yesterday expands on this topic.
As I mentioned, my big picture strategy for .xyz is to align everything we do – from marketing, promotions, user support, and the cultivation of the Generation XYZ community – to focus on the end user. .xyz is entirely for them, and I am beyond excited to see the fresh ideas coming online everyday.