MEF Director of Programmes James Williams reports from the London Domain Name Summit 2023 to discover the intersection between the worlds of Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS and domain names.
I’ve been saying it for years: when setting up any organisation, its name is critical and one of the key checks anybody makes these days is the availability of domain names. Domain names are a powerful vehicle for any business. Personally I am a huge fan of businesses with names which tell you exactly what they do on the tin. For me the No.1 example of this globally is MTN from South Africa. MTN are a mobile telephone network group operating across Africa and guess what, that’s what MTN stands for! Can’t get simpler than that. And that is powerful stuff.
MTN just happens also to be the most trusted brand in all of Africa too. Getting the brand right will have had something to do with that but of course the level of actual service and support any organisation offers will really seal the deal with customers. Especially when things go wrong. That’s when any organisation’s true colours shine through. Or not. So you get the idea, a company’s name and associated domain name are critical things to get right when setting up. But then so it the world I come from, business messaging.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on digital advertising each year but how many of the millions of businesses out there globally using this medium actually check to see how effective they really are? When retailers use SMS text messaging strategies featuring a strong call-to-action or a time-bound offer, I have heard many members say they experienced conversion rates as high as 50% from engaged users. In comparison, the average Facebook ad conversion rate across all industries runs at less than 10%, while Instagram conversion rates hover around a lowly 2%.
Given untold numbers of startups trawl domain name registrars looking for the best domain names, it is THE perfect place to introduce these people to the power of business messaging. So messaging companies should partner with domain name providers and offer their services from their websites. And vice versa. Real nice synergy potential here …“
Sure SMS might be 30 years old but it is absolutely fantastic for conversion and inject some richer messaging into the mix as well – think chat apps such as WhatsApp and the likes of RCS Business Messaging (RBM) – and conversion rates beyond that SMS delivers become commonplace. So now imagine if you have a great company name, nice associated domain names and are optimising the use of business messaging and digital advertising to pull in the customers, build that loyalty and keep converting that interest into real sales and business. Now THAT is truly epic stuff! And last week I got to bring all of this together at one event – London Domain Name Summit 2023
Held at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel on August 22nd and 23rd, the brainchild of Helmuts Meskonis, Founder of No Stress Limited, the event brought together leading players from the world of domain names.
The London Domain Name Summit is an annual B2B convention for the Domain Name industry: Registrars, Registries, domain investors, hosting companies, domain resellers, domain auction platforms, domain brokers, escrow services, various domain name management tools, services, and more. And so were MEF and MEF members.
Showing just how much money can be made from smart investments in the domain name sector, I had a really interesting conversation with Yue Dai from China. Yue is the largest holder of two letter .com domains in the world. He owns a lot of them, 18 at the latest count. Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) member Intis Telecom (a business messaging company) invested USD 3.8 million purchasing the it.com top-level domain name back in 2021, the central pillar of their spin-off business rather aptly called – you guessed it – it.com! Only about 5% of premium domain sales deals are ever published and a good place to see many of those that are is here at DN Journal. Domain names can sell for as high as USD 50+ million.
There are certain similarities between the world of Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS and domain names too. I knew that large brands often use dozens (or even hundreds) of SMS short codes from which to originate the sending of their content via text message but did you know the same goes for domain names? It’s not uncommon for some of the brands we all know and love to own hundreds of domain names, using them to feed traffic.
One thing I am very surprised about is how the business messaging industry has not exploited what I see to be a golden opportunity by tying up with the leading domain name providers. After all, given untold numbers of startups trawl domain name registrars looking for the best domain names, it is THE perfect place to introduce these people to the power of business messaging. So messaging companies should partner with domain name providers and offer their services from their websites. And vice versa. Real nice synergy potential here and I’m pleased to write that myself along with Uku Tomikas from Messente, David Creasey-Benjamin from Cisco, Francl Zaire from Annecto and Simeon Coney from ENEA AdaptiveMobile Security were able to explain just that to all at the event.
I’d like to thank Helmuts Meskonis for putting together such an amazing event in London and MEF member it.com (led by Founder & CEO Andrey Insarov) for getting behind the event as a key sponsor. I had the pleasure too of meeting Munir Badr from the UAE who is putting together an amazing domain name related event in Dubai on November 1st and 2nd too – Domain Days and Munir, thanks for the invitation too! I’ll be there as well working on forging these lasting partnerships between the business messaging and domain name industries. Again another event where MEF member it.com is the title sponsor. MEF really is the community you have to be an active part of to get the most of things!
All this goes to show just how global MEF truly is and I look forward to working with many other companies going forward bringing them into MEF and growing the wider community too! See you at another MEF event very soon. And if you don’t want to be left in doubt about just how much we have planned for you in the next year plus, check out MEF’s events page and download our roadmap to peruse at your leisure. You might be rather surprised at just how much we have lining up for you.
Membership truly does have its benefits. And if you’re reading this and would like to know more about MEF membership, feel free to contact me directly !