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Adam Dicker: Stop Parking Domains and Build a Real Business
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Adam Dicker: Stop Parking Domains and Build a Real Business

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Watch the full show: http://domainsherpa.com/adam-dicker ...

Watch the full show: http://domainsherpa.com/adam-dicker

With domain parking revenue dying or dead, how can a domain name investor take their best asset and turn it into a lead-generation business? Listen in as Adam Dicker, a recent inductee into the Domain Hall of Fame, shares his tactics for spotting opportunities and how he purchased a portfolio of cord blood bank domain names and built a lead-generation business on top of it.

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Adam Dicker: Stop Parking Domains and Build a Real Business Adam Dicker: Stop Parking Domains and Build a Real Business Document Transcript

  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Interview with Adam Dicker, DNForum.com and DCG.comWatch the full video at:http://www.domainsherpa.com/adam-dickerBefore we get started, you know DomainTools.com, right? I can typewhois.sc/domainname really fast and I do it daily, but until recently I didntknow how powerful their other tools were. If I want a domain name, I can seta free alert to notify me when it changes status. If it goes to auction, I can usetheir sales history tool to find comps and determine my maximum bid price.After I buy it and develop the domain into a business, I can set up alerts forany domains registered that contain my trademark, and I can set up registrantalerts of all my competitors so I can keep an eye on what domains theyrebuying and know what theyre up to before they make any announcements.DomainTools.com needs to be in your toolbox, like it is in mine. Go sign upfor an account on DomainTools.com today.My second sponsor is David E. Weslow at Wiley Rein. Imagine having alegal issue, like a UDRP or cease and desist, imagine having to get anagreement put together quickly for buying or selling a domain name, andimagine going to your family lawyer who just doesnt get it, or one of theexpensive law firms in your city who are going to invoice for thousands uponthousands of dollars. Then imagine going to David E. Weslow, who willunderstand your domain name portfolio and your intellectual property assets,understand the domain name environment, and be able to help you out. DavidE. Weslow. I trust him, and I suggest you give him a call. Your initialconsultation is free. Call David E. Weslow at Wiley Rein.Finally, our newest sponsor is Protrada - The Domain Exchange. Protrada isan amazing new platform for professional domainers and new-comers alike.Protrada makes trading domain names easy. With just a few clicks, you cananalyze, bid, buy and sell domains across all major marketplaces includingNameJet, Go Daddy, SnapNames and Craigslist. You can also developstagnating domains you own into great-looking, content-rich, socially-activewebsites that will rank at Google and Bing. This tool is more comprehensivethan any other Ive seen. If you only use it for its 21 powerful buying filters,Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 1 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  youll get your moneys worth. Get your free 14-day trial now atProtrada.com.Heres your program.Michael Cyger: Hey everyone, my name is Michael Cyger. Im the publisherof DomainSherpa.com, the Domain Name Authority, and the place whereyou can learn how to become a successful domain name entrepreneur directlyfrom the expert themselves.You know what we do here. We bring on a successful domain name investor.We ask them to share how they became successful and then we motivate youto do the same in your own area of expertise. And then you can come on theshow, give back to others about what you learned and how you becamesuccessful.The big question for this show is with Pay Per Click advertising revenue,dying or dead? How can a domain name investor take their best asset andturn it into a lead generation business? Joining me to answer this question isAdam Dicker. Adam is the CEO of DNForum.com - The largest onlinedomain name discussion forum. He is also the founder and CEO of DomainConsulting Group where he manages his portfolio of domain names anddevelops businesses. Adam, welcome to the show.Adam: Thank you very much for having me.Michael: Adam first of all congratulations on being inducted into theDomain Hall of Fame by the Domain Name Industry Traffic Show last monthin Florida.Adam: Thank you. It was quite an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fameby my peers and in front of my peers.Michael: It was great to meet you there in person by the way. Before I bringanybody on the show I usually go to Ron Jackson’s DN Journal cite and Ilook for their cover story, I look for news than Ron has covered on them inthe past and of course you have a cover story from 2003. So I read that coverAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 2 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  story and I found one of your quotes very interesting. I’m going to read thequote to you and then ask you a question. You were quoted as saying on myppc landing pages I only use Google for domains. I have been with Googlefor years and have been offered double the revenue if I switched to othercompanies but I have no plans on leaving the company, the company that hasbeen great to me. Do you still feel that way Adam?Adam: Yes I do. Time is the most proven test and Google has outlastedeverybody else that has tried to come on with the ad feed and tried tocompete with Google and nobody has been able to compare in revenue atleast now to Google. And I am currently still using Google today to park mydomains and I am using Frank Shilling’s internet traffic to park them. And Iam quite happy with the results.Michael: Great, so in the show we are going to talk about how to turn adomain name into a lead generation business. What lead generation websiteof yours do you want to use as the primary example throughout this show?Adam: I think for today’s purposes we can use USAcordbank.comMichael: And for those in the audience who have never heard of the phrasecord bank. What is a cord bank and why would somebody want to use it?Adam: Basically it’s when a woman has a baby there is obviously anumbilical cord and there are benefits to storing that cord blood from theumbilical cord for future use. I believe there are about 50 to 100 differentdiseases that it can help cure, or play a part in curing if it is ever needed orcalled upon.Michael: And so somebody will take that umbilical cord blood and theywill put it in a bank and I guess they preserve it somehow in case you need itsometime in the future.Adam: Yes.Michael: So with it being a medical procedure I would assume that it has alittle bit higher Cost Per Click if one of those cord banks was trying to doAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 3 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  advertising on Google. What is a typical Cost Per Click cost on Google for acord bank that may want to advertise their services?Adam: From what I’ve seen it starts at about $16 per click. And cordbanking itself requires a doctor to oversee the whole process. So it is a costlyprocedure but it is definitely worthwhile if you ever need that cord blood.Michael: I ran a query yesterday I think on Google and I think I saw anaverage Cost Per Click in the US where I am primarily searching of $25. Soit is definitely something that has a high Cost Per Click on Google and theCost Per Leads is probably higher. How did you discover this area of cordblood and decide that you wanted to build a lead generation business in it?Adam: Just from research. Typically I research a lot of niches and I tend tolook for where since parking has gone taint a little bit, quite a bit over the lastfive years. I think my revenue is about a fifth about three to four years ago.I’ve been looking at different avenues for exploring lead generation andrealizing that there are different ways to monetize domains and hooking upwith a good partner is probably the best way to do it because you actuallyremove Google or any third party out of the equation.Michael: And I can attest to that as well. When I had my previouspublishing company I would maybe make $500 off of Google if I put AdSense across the site per month which seems like a decent amount but I couldreceive multiples of that by selling advertising directly to the companies thatwere buying advertising on Google. So I completely agree with you. Whatwas the actual business that you launched, what was the main domain namethat you launched to try and get into the cord blood bank space?Adam: It was usacordbank.com and then I also decided that there was aprofit to be made in Canada so I grabbed canadacordbank.com. And whenyou want to own a vertical and this was a vertical that luckily for me was notat all dominated or invested in by the domainers or by the domain market. Sowhat I did was I went and also checked out all the fifty states in the US and Iwas able to register 42 of the 50 cord bank names. So I registeredAlabamacordbank.com and Alaskacordbank.com and so on. I don’t know ifthose were the ones I got but basically you get the idea. I registered the 50Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 4 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  states but then I also registered variations of it. I registeredAlabamacordbanks.com, I registered Alabamacordbloodbank.com,Alabamacordbloodstorage.com. So basically I registered about 600 domainsand cornered the market on cord blood and cord bank domains and that evenincludes stem cell and stem cell storage.Michael: And this is why I love this story so much. You mentioned it to mebriefly when we were at Traffic a few weeks ago Adam. And I loved thisstory because domain investors, a lot of domain investors, a lot of newbie’slike myself think it’s too late to get into the domain game. I might be able tograb a couple of drops here and there but the early visionaries like yourselfand Frank Shilling and other people that were just grabbing the pennies fromheaven and registering as many domain names as they could between 1995and 2000. I can’t get into that so I can’t get the good domain names. Thereason why I love this story is because here is a great industry that has reallyhigh cost per click, cost per lead that was almost wide open in your ownwords. And we are going to go into specifically how you registered thedomain names, how you thought about them, how you thought about thebusiness model and all the details. But let me ask you this: You have beenlive for just a few weeks now with usacordbank.com and the other websitesthat you have developed (and I am going to ask you how many you haveactually developed of the 600 domain names) how many leads have you beenable to produce in the past few weeks?Adam: Based on being fairly good and somewhat of an expert on SEO I’vebeen able to generate about seven to ten per day.Michael: Seven to ten per day. That is fantastic. So those are peopleactually going to one of your websites, seeing information on cord bloodbanks and seeing a contact us form on the right hand side for people lookingfor more information and filling out that form.Adam: Correct.Michael: That is fantastic. And what about the sales to date? Clearly youare generating these leads and you are selling these leads to somebody else.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 5 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Are you selling them on a per lead basis or are you selling them when thatlead actually converts into a customer?Adam: I have the option to go either way. For me it was far more beneficialto go with it when the customer actually converts into a customer. Therevenue that it generates for me is quite high because the cost to store cordblood storage to be honest with you is less than $300. And companies arecharging between $1,000 to $3,000 to do it plus they charge an annual fee of$100 to $200 a year to maintain that storage. And the cost to maintain thestorage is zero.Michael: So may I ask you how much you make when a lead converts intoa customer?Adam: Usually about $700.Michael: So this is just amazing because now people can get an idea if theyput a Google Ad Sense on their cord bank site and Google is charging thatend customer, the cord bank, $16 to $25 per click through, or $25 per clickthrough you are going to make some portion of that. You are not sure howmuch. Let’s call it $15. That is the Cost Per Click. Then if you take the leadsyou can actually sell those to one or more companies that you are partneringwith and make some amount of money but then if you partner with a singlecompany you can actually make hundreds of dollars when that lead turns intoa customer.Adam: That is correct.Michael: That is phenomenal.Adam: Just for the record Ad Sense only pays you 32% of the Cost Per Clickfor that keyword.Michael: 32% that is a great number to know. And how do you know thatnumber off hand?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 6 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: I’ve done multiple contracts with Google in the past so I know that iswhat the number is. If you do a specific contract for Ad Sense for content youcan actually get a higher rate but without a contract it is 32% just if you signup as a regular publisher.Michael: So out of a $25 Cost Per Click for a core bank that is advertisingon Google let’s say, if you have a website and you are putting that Ad Sensead up there you might make $7.50 of that.Adam: Which is still good money.Michael: Which is still good money, right but going up the pipeline andselling the leads or actually partnering with something that we are going totalk about today will produce the most amount of money. It requires morework but you can generate more revenue. And so we are going to dig intohow you built that lead generation business but before we do that I want toask you a few more questions – go into a little bit of background because it isthe first time I’ve had you on the DomainSherpa show Adam. How manydomains in total do you own and generally how do they shake out by TLD?Adam: The number fluctuates like with anybody. Week to week I end upbuying 600 domains. Like with cord (Inaudible 0:12:42.0) some weeks I buy5,000 or 2,000 and some weeks I just buy 5 or 10 or nothing. So generally Itend to, as far as owning names, and a lot of them are .coms. The only thingsthat I really invest in are .coms or .cas. And I recommend that people doinvest in their own country - the ccTLDs except in the United States whereunfortunately the .us was never really backed by the United States.Michael: Adam we are having a little bit of an audio/visual issue - are youactually plugged into your network on your side?Adam: Yes I am.Michael: It could be on my side I apologize. We are just going to movethrough it and if there is anything that I can’t hear I’ll just ask you to repeatit. I’m sorry. How many domains do you think you own right now?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 7 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: About 40,000.Michael: And you own a great list of premium domain name properties likeplanets.com, download.net, acronyms.com as well as what I read 20,000generic .ca domains including limo.ca, md.ca, and girls.ca. What are yourfavorite domain names right now from your portfolio?Adam: It is a question that I am asked a lot. And to be quite honest with youI posted a thread recently on DN Forum about what domain you are mostproud of. And most for me most people would think it would be DN Forumbecause it generates the most income but the one that I am the most proud ofis downsyndrome.com and it is because I bought it for the right reasons. Abuddy of mine that works at Go Daddy his son has down syndrome. I boughtthe domain, he didn’t put any money into it and I said to him you and I arepartners on this domain, build it out in your son’s honor and we are partnersfrom here on in. And since then we have had health magazines want to doarticles on it and we have had thousands of parents with kids with downsyndrome come to the site and share their experiences and help each other.And I don’t make one cent from advertising on it. I don’t make one cent onthe site. We don’t monetize the traffic but I am proud of the fact that it is away that we can make a difference in somebody else’s life and help themcope with an awkward or a horrible situation that they have been forced todeal with.Michael: That is a fantastic philanthropic endeavor of yours and I hopeother domainers who have the expertise to acquire these fantastic domainnames and have some sort of connection to something will also reach out anddo that as well. That is a great thing that you are doing there.Adam: One more little bit to add to this story. The gentleman who Ipartnered with this site sent me an email last week and he said you know thissite is worth a lot more than you paid for it four or five years ago. Are we stillpartners? And my email back to him was one line and it said ‘My word is myword. We are partners. If this thing sells for $1,000,000 you get half’. Andhis response to me I think was something like you are a really good friend.And that is all it was. I’ve said it many times I’m not measured in life forwhat I do or how much money I make or how well I take care of my familyAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 8 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  but we are measured by how we can make a difference in other people’s livesand that is part of the reason why I did down syndrome and it has turned outbetter than I expected because we are making a difference in thousands ofpeople’s lives. And it is also why I started DNF College because if we canhelp people learn more and buy the right domains and sell at a better price itmakes our own domains worth more and it helps the industry as a whole. It isjust another way to give back.Michael: Definitely. So prior to your current businesses of DN Forum andDomain Consulting Group you joined iReit (Real Estate Investment Trust Ibelieve is what the acronym stands for) as an executive vice-president. Whatwas your role back in iReit?Adam: I was responsible for quite a few different things. Monetization,content development… that’s going back about six years. I’d almost have tolook it up on LinkedIn myself to see what some of the other responsibilitieswere but there was quite a bit and I was lucky to work with a good group ofpeople. I eventually left and then I ran into some problems after I left with theVerizon lawsuits and things like that. It was a good group of people and Ican’t really remember all the other responsibilities that I had.Michael: I read at the time that Marc Ostrofsky and a gentleman namedMartin, they actually sold their domains to iReit but when you actually joinedthe company I read at the time you had reported 200,000 domain names andyou kept all of your domain names.Adam: I actually sold a few of them. I think I sold maybe a handful or two -A handful to iReit. They wanted them and I was at a point where the cashflow was very helpful so I did sell some to them. But the biggest mistakeiReit had made probably with me was they had an option to buy DN Forum ata very reduced rate. And they didn’t exercise that option and I have beenoffered ten times that since then for it.Michael: Yes that is fantastic. I like to do research on everybody that comeson the show and I found DN Forum to be very interesting. And it was startedby a gentleman who grew it and then it was sold for a few thousand dollars toanother gentleman who you bought it from who actually added theAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 9 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  memberships to the site and was generating more revenue. And I believe hebought it for somewhere around $3,000 or $3,500. And then I believe in thedomain game (which I haven’t verified the data by another source) you paid$75,000 for it at the time and re-jiggered the membership system wherepeople only pay once. They don’t have to pay a recurring fee every singleyear. So once you buy into the community you are in for life at whateverlevel that you buy in for. And can upgrade of course. How are thosenumbers? Are they accurate Adam?Adam: I think that they are fairly accurate. I mean I don’t remember exactlyhow much I paid Greg because now we are going back nine years but it wasprobably around $75,000 mark.Michael: And since then you have been offered over $1,000,000 for thewebsite. Is that correct?Adam: Well over. Closer to $3,000,000.Michael: Fantastic. So I think that every experience in an entrepreneur’s lifeleads them along their path. What was it that you took away from iReit that itmay not have been the job that you felt the most fulfillment or that youwalked away with a ton of lessons learned but what is it that you took awayfrom that experience knowing that has made you the entrepreneur that youare today?Adam: To be quite honest I’m not sure I learned a whole lot from myexperience with iReit. I mean I learned a lot about what not to do. And I gotto work with a lot of really good people. But as far as a learning experience Ithink it was more of the networking and peer integration and becomingfriends with some of the people at the company that I still cherish thosefriendships today. I don’t believe I learned anything about domaining at iReit.Michael: After iReit you spent a few years as the vice president of DomainName Aftermarket at Go Daddy. This was when Go Daddy was really settingup their aftermarket to become the powerhouse that we know of today. Wasyour main responsibility in charge of growing that domain name aftermarketAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 10 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  or defining it? How would you characterize what you worked on at GoDaddy?Adam: That is a little fresher in my mind so it is a little easier to remember. Iwas in charge of about seven or eight different departments one of which wasthe auction site, another was the cash parking. I was also responsible for theexecutive account customers, for the resellers that we have for the domainbuy service which is their brokerage host. I was responsible for all of thedevelopers on all of my products and there were a couple others…Domaindiscount club was another thing that I was involved in. I helped reduce clickfraud on our cash parking system. I redid all the templates for all our parkingsystem and I worked with a really good group of people. I mean I have to saythat the executive team at Go Daddy is probably the best executive team thatI have had the good fortune to work with. They are all good people. I am stillin contact with most of them and it was a very good experience for me.Michael: Do you feel like you had a courtside seat to the inner workings ofhow the domain name works since you ran and were responsible for so manyof those different areas at Go Daddy?Adam: I think that I should probably write a book called Behind the GreenWall and it would get quite a bit of attention because there are quite a lot ofthings that go on behind the scenes that people really cannot appreciate andcan’t understand. And I know domainers a lot of times complain about someof the Go Daddy policies and procedures but they are there to protect theircustomers and protect them and to really protect the customers.Michael: Maybe we will have you on another show. I’ve got four showsplanned for you. Maybe that can be another show. We can go behind thegreen wall. So let’s get back to lead generation. You and I chatted. You havedone multiple lead generation businesses, usacordbank.com which we aregoing to discuss today is your most recent one but you also have limos.ca,you have others. How do you decide which of your domain names you aregoing to develop into lead generation business and which ones you are goingto leave parked with ppc income?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 11 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: To be honest with you parking is just a platform that you leavedomains at until you decide to develop them out. Most domainers, we buythousands of domain names with all good intentions that we are going tobuild them out. But for a business to be successful it has to be developed witha business plan, with a budget, with a marketing plan and with everythingelse. And to do that it can’t be done with 800 domains to do it.Michael: I’m sorry you broke up there for a moment. You were saying youneed a business plan, you need a budget and you need a marketing plan. Sowhile you have the best intentions for every domain that you buy you are notdeveloping them all, you are actually parking them until you decide what youare going to develop.Adam: Exactly.Michael: And how do you make that decision: I’m going to developlimos.ca now.Adam: First of all as a developer you make nine mistakes for every one sitethat actually turns out and turns out to be a profitable site. There are manysites that I have tried to develop up over the years that I have not been able tobe successful with and they end up back as a parking page because I getfrustrated with them. But then you get lucky and you get that tenth site and itturns out to be a highly profitable business and it just keeps driving it. Youhave to have a passion for the industry. You have to love what you do. I’vesaid this before you have to get up every morning and know that you aredoing something that you love and when you do something that you love younever actually really work a day in your life. So how to pick out sites: youtarget industries that there are potentials to earn between $1,000 and $3,000per referral. I don’t like the flower industry because even if you sell abouquet of flowers for $50 you may make $5 or $10 and that takes a lot ofwork for $5 or $10.I recently had a piece of land that I bought and I had a pool on it. We sold thelot and I had to fill in the pool. And it cost me $8,000 to fill in the pool. So Italked to the pool guy, the guy who filled it in, and he had no internetknowledge and I said what would you give me if I started sending you leadsAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 12 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  of customers where you do pool fill ins and pool removals? And he said hewould give me 20% to 30%. Well 20% to 30% on $8,000 or $4,000 even at30% at $4,000 you are looking at $1,200. So right away I thought that thatwould be a good industry to get into and I started to build a lead generatingrevenue sites for that as well and I have been forwarding him some leads. Butthere are other good industries like event planners where they get paid $2,000a pop. There are orthodontists which get paid good money. I mean my son’steeth cost me about $6,000 for each of them. I am half way done. I have donetwo out of four. Real Estate is always good for lead generation. You go aftera name like Seattlerealestate.com if you can get it or anything close. Youhook up with a good real estate agent you trust and you forward him the leadsand then if you are getting a percentage of his commission you are gettingquite a few thousand dollars. Lawyers is another good one. There are realestate lawyers, intellectual property lawyers, family lawyers, criminallawyers, they all make good money and they are always looking for newclients. Time shares. People that want to buy and sell time shares there isgood money in that. There is good money in private investigators. There areso many industries where if you sit down, some of them you will find byaccident others you will find if you just flip through the yellow pages andlook at what cost a lot of money as opposed to what cost a little bit of moneyyou can always find a good industry to set up lead generation in.Michael: So flip through the yellow pages and look for the biggest ads.Those are costing the most. Those probably have the biggest payback.Adam: Well a lot of times you can also look through the internet and you cantype in orthodontists Toronto, because that is where I am based, and you cansee if somebody is buying Ad Words they believe in advertising and theybelieve in paying for leads because that is what they are doing by buying AdWords. So they are a good person or a good company to approach in such asituation. And it works for any industry but obviously you want to stick toindustries that have a higher price tag because like even plastic surgeons aregood because they charge quite a bit.Michael: So we are going to look at the example usacordbank.com. Youbought just recently, a month or two ago?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 13 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: I don’t even know if it has been a month. Maybe five to six weeks.But it is fairly new.Michael: And the business model is pretty simple. You saw that cord bankhad gained in popularity, that the Cost Per Click was high - $25. That the costper lead or a lead turning into a customer if you are getting a commission wasthousands of dollars (a couple thousand dollars I think you said). And so youthought this could be a good business and then you went to start to look fordomain names. What was your strategy when you went to go look for yourfirst domain name related to cord banks?Adam: Well the first thing was to get a domain name that soundedprofessional, sounded legitimate and people would readily trust it and wouldwant to store their cord blood with us and trust us with it. And I thought usingUSA cord blood signified people could take it to mean the American standardfor cord blood storage. Or they could not. It is people’s perception. I have aquick story for you that is a funny one. Once I had a receptionist who I wassending a basket of goodies to Google in appreciation for how well they havetreated me and I asked her to go look and find me a company in Santa Clarato send the basket. She found a company, she came to me, she put the orderthrough and she had me sign the check. And I asked how you found out thatthese guys were the best company in Santa Clara and were the mosttrustworthy. And she said because it said so on their website. So based onthat if you build a good professional looking website customers will come toyou especially if it is optimized with SEO and it is properly done. And that iswhat we have tried to do with usacordblood.com.So I registered usecordblood.com and then I went to look at the 50 states ofthe United States and I went to register Alabamacordbank.com,Alaskacordbank.com and I found about 42 of them were available. So Iregistered all of those and snapped them up. And then built that withkeywords and then if you click on Alabamacordbank.com or any one of thosecord banks you will see that they are the top ten most populous cities inAlabama are also listed there with the term cord bank beside it and they havetheir own pages and they have their own shots of the cityscapes for each one.I just flipped to it now and I am looking at Birmingham cord bank,Montgomery cord bank and each one of these have their own pages. So theAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 14 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  domains get indexed for many terms that they need to be indexed for. I knowwe have a couple examples in Bing where they are on the front page ofGoogle and they were on the front page of Google in a week and a half.Michael: So the main domain that you are using is usacordbank.com butthen actually you just said usacordblood.com. Do you own both of them andhow do you decide whether the phrase is going to be cord bank, cord blood?Adam: Basically what I did was I took a look at the search term and whichwas the most popular search term based on searches and I decided to go withusacordbank.com. But I did register all the variations that were available ofcord bank, cord blood, cord blood storage and all the other ones that wetalked about.Michael: And when you were looking in the Google Ad Words KeywordTool do you use the global or do you use USA or do you use Canada? Whatis your thought process around which search phrase volume to use?Adam: For me I use the exact search and I use the USA one because I amlaunching a USA cord bank site. If I was using the Canadian one (which wedid do a Canadian site as well) I would use the Canadian search tool.Michael: Do you use any other search tools when you are looking at sitesfor volume to determine how the phrases are going to be?Adam: Yes to be honest with you I use a $29 program called Traffic Travis.And it allows you to pull the most related searches and it gives you a lot ofinformation on those keywords including the Cost Per Click and the exactsearch and the broad search of those keywords. So yes I do use other tools aswell.Michael: Great tool. I haven’t heard of that. I’ll have to go look at it. So youbought 600 domain names just a month or two ago, something like that, thebusiness has been up for a few weeks. What was your strategy behindusacordbank.com and then having these hundreds of other websites? Are theygoing to be separate websites unto themselves? Will they redirect to a page ofAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 15 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  the main website? How are you going to work the main site versus all theseother domain names?Adam: They will actually redirect to a page within the website. So if I doown Alabamacordbank.com it will redirect to the Alabama page and so on.And I also registered the major cities across the US like New York cord bank,Boston cord bank, Chicago cord bank and Seattle cord bank and things likethat. I was surprised that there were so many available. And it is not oftenthat you find an industry that hasn’t already been dominated by domainers.But there still are quite a few out there and going back to one of your originalpoints anybody that says it is too late to get into this game, there are no good.coms available hasn’t done enough research.Michael: That’s right. So you are just going to do a 301 redirect fromAlabama cord bank to usacordbank.com/Alabama-cord-bank.Adam: Yes.Michael: Even though the power of the domain nameAlabamacordbank.com might get that website higher in Google or Bing forthat phrase than a web page on usacordbank.com?Adam: Yes because I’m happy with the number of leads that have started toflow in. I haven’t redirected any of those pages yet so any leads that we aregetting right now are all off usacordbank.com and canadacordbank.com.Once I start to redirect those pages I think you are going to see those leads gofrom seven to ten a day to much higher.Michael: Just from the type in traffic.Adam: Well from search traffic and type in traffic. There is some type intraffic because some of those are parked pages and I am noticing that there issome type in traffic. And you get people from all over the states. I mean thelast lead we had came in from Michigan. All over the states people aregetting more educated. But the other part of this is to partner up and educateob/gyns and hospitals and get them to pass out pamphlets and things for youto get the miracle of cord blood storage. It is actually a viable service. It isAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 16 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  something that is good for the parent - it’s good for the baby. If they have themoney to do it and it is something that I know is a service. It’s not like I amselling them something that they won’t be able to use or will never use and itis just useless and I am just trying to sell something. I feel good about it.Michael: It is not like you are trying to pull one over on a customer. You aremarketing exactly what these doctors are selling and it is a viable medicalprocedure.Adam: And there are people who need that cord blood and it saves lives. So Ifeel good about being in this industry.Michael: So one more question regarding the domain names. If you putAlabamacordbank.com and you 301redirect that to the web page atusacordbank.com will Google list that website higher in the index or becauseit is a redirect they will just not list it in their organic search results?Adam: To be honest with you I’m not sure whether they will or they won’t. Ido know they are indexing all of the pages that we currently have now andwe have got over 500 pages so far just for the states. I’m banking on type intraffic as well, not so much the searches for Alabama cord bank andLouisiana cord bank because they are going there now. So that is not going tochange.Michael: So right from the beginning you decided the business model wasgoing to be that you were going to take Google out of the equation. You werenot going to build up a website for Ad Sense. That you were actually going tocollect the lead, partner with another company and distribute those leads tothem for a price.Adam: Yes.Michael: Now if I go to the sites I actually do see some Google Ad Senselisted there so you are actually getting benefit from two different perspectivesthere. You are putting up the website, you are putting some Google Ad Sensethere so you are getting some 32% of the Cost Per Clicks form those Googleads like you had mentioned. But the main emphasis of the business is youAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 17 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  want to drive people to the contact form so they fill it out so you can give thatto your partner.Adam: Yes because $750 is far better than $15. So ideally I’d rather have acustomer come and fill out my contact form than I would just have them clickon another company’s Ad Sense ads.Michael: So you had this ideal cord blood, you’ve got your spreadsheet ofall the states, you have got your spreadsheet of all the major cities and youtacked on cord bank to all of those so you have Seattlecordbank.com orAlabamacordbank.com. You registered 600 domain names let’s say, how didyou find a partner that would pay you the money? How did you connect therest of this business plan? How did you go about finding a partner? How didyou go about making sure that partner was a viable partner and that you couldtrust them?Adam: You do a lot of due diligence when you find a legend partner in abusiness that you are in and invest $5,000 up front on domain names. And Ihad many different choices. There are certainly leaders in this field that Icould have used that would have paid me $200 referral fee which seems to bea standard for customers like this or I could go direct and find one of thesmaller banks and turn them into a large bank. And it is very easy to findsomebody who is small who wants to be big and wants to be the king of theindustry and become the kingfish and with the promise of leads and the actualleads. What I tend to do is, and I did this similarly with cord blood, is I sendthem a lead first and I don’t ask for anything in return. So that they know thatI am legitimate and I am not a chain puller and I am not there to waste theirtime and I am there to give them qualified leads. And I find when you givepeople business it gets them more interested and you have their attention andthey realize that they will get more leads from you. I am asking for nothingup front for the first three to five leads that I send them. And they makemoney. And if they make money then they are going to want to continue tomake money and they are going to continue to want to work with me.Michael: Definitely. So you bought 600 domain names, you build out themain site, you put up the contact form, no partners in the equation at all. Youput it up, it’s getting indexed by Google, you are starting to see some trafficAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 18 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  by Google and Bing, you are starting to get some traffic and then bam youget your first lead, you get your second lead, you get your third lead. Thenyou go to a potential partner and you say here is what I can do for you. If youwant to be a larger company I can deliver you leads if you pay me for theleads. Is that what you did?Adam: Yes that is basically what I said. I created the relationship. I told themwhat I wanted for these leads. But you have much more bargaining poweronce you have given them five leads and it made three or four sales. I don’thave to call them back. They call you ringing your phones. And then I letthem stew a little bit and I say I’ll think about it and we will see. And I willtalk to other companies. But at the end of the day you want to hook up withsomebody who is small who has dreams of being big and you feel you cantrust. I mean in any new relationship like marriage or anything else it takestime to build up trust. And you have to build up a trust relationship with thecord bank that you select or with whatever other company and any other leadin business that you do. Bu the minute they screw you, you have full control.I have full control and I just cut off the pipe and I send the lead somewhereelse. So there is no benefit to them to screw around. All the books are public.We formed a company together. We are both on the books for it and it isgood.Michael: How did you first figure out a company that was small enough tolisten to you but big enough to be able to handle the leads that you weretaking?Adam: You find one of the big companies. And then you find out who theirlittle distributors are and then you take one or all of those little distributorsand you offer them the option to become big. And that is really what it is. Ifyou have got companies who have, maybe they have six different cord banksor eight different cord banks, you just need one to grab on and say yes I’minterested in not being a small fish anymore. And I am interested in not beinggiven $200 per lead I am interested in getting the $750 like you are.Michael: But each of these businesses is actually a geographic businessright? So a cord bank in Seattle may not be affiliated with a cord bank inPalm Beach, Florida. Do you need to find somebody that has a network?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 19 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: No ideally you need to find generally people, because it is in theUnited States, it doesn’t matter where the cord bank is. People prefer it not tobe in California because of earthquakes. They prefer it not to be on faultlines. They prefer it not to be in areas of risk. So northern states tend to bevery good. It is already cold up there anyway so it is good for storage. But ingeneral you want to find – people in Michigan have no problem sending theircord blood across the country because they know if they need it, it is just oneFed Ex away and if they are next day delivery anyway no matter where it is.Michael: So a doctor does the procedure, they pack it up in a cold pack andthey Fed Ex it over to this cord bank which is in a specific location.Adam: Correct.Michael: Okay I understand. So I understand the business model. You founda smaller player in the market by maybe looking at one of the larger playersand seeing who they are affiliated with and contacting them. Did you reachout to them by telephone, by email? How did you originally reach out to themto make that contact?Adam: I tend to do everything by telephone. I think that email is tooimpersonal. I think the first inclination by them is to say who the hell areyou? And so I have to provide some background on me. They spend probablya day or two Googling me. They find a lot of decent articles on me. Andbased on that they are interested. They know I’m not blowing smoke. Thefact that I have given them four or five leads that turned into sales usually ittakes away a lot of their possible concerns. I mean if anybody gave me fouror five leads on a business that I was running for free I would tend to be moretrustworthy to them because obviously yes they are out for the long term andthey realize I was looking for something long term and not short term.Michael: And when you reached out to them did you reach out to the CEOof the company? Did you reach out to the person in charge of businessdevelopment?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 20 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: It’s a really small company. They start out with I think two or fourpeople in the company. One is a doctor and it was a perfect size for me. Likea Mom and Pop shop. And now they are getting bigger and now they arelooking forward to the future. There are many different companies out therelike that that can be approached. Cord banking is just one of them.Michael: And so clearly they are hesitant working with someone they havenever worked before and the leads are coming in and they did their duediligence on you by searching. They wanted to figure out how you were ableto get such hot leads and give them to them but clearly you were doing duediligence as well. You want to make sure the business is big enough tosupport them. That they have clear financial so that they can keep track of theleads that are coming through that are actually turning into customers so youcan count on your regular commission check. What other due diligence itemsdid you think were important when you were considering which business topartner with?Adam: A lot of times you want to look for people you can trust. You checkon their business. You check out their website. And then you start to build arelationship like you would with any partnership whether they were local orwhether they were long distance. You start to get your checks come in.Everything is regular. Everything says it is as it is supposed to be and then itgrows from there. I mean you can do your due diligence on strangers andthere is not much else you can do and at some point you have to put sometrust in the relationship. The whole point of this is I am in control because Ihave the leads. At any point I can say okay if you guys are screwing mearound I’m going to find somebody else to work with. But as long as theykeep up their end of the bargain and the cord blood is stored properly, thecustomers are happy, and the customer service is excellent, there is really noreason for me to look elsewhere for partners.Michael: So earlier you mentioned that you actually formed a legal entitylike in a corporation or an LLC with this company on the new venture. Whygo to the trouble of forming an LLC when it might be easier to just have alegal agreement that says you get access to their books for every lead yougenerate that turns into a customer you get $750 and you get to audit all theAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 21 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  customer names against all the leads that you send them to verify that theyare paying you the proper amount?Adam: There is more legal content. Just like with any partnership…Michael: I’m sorry Adam we are breaking up here.Adam: Anything else. I wasn’t so concerned with forming a corporation withthem as long as I was getting the revenue with the leads.Michael: I heard you saying you weren’t as concerned about forming a legalentity or corporation or what have you as long as you were getting the moneyfrom the leads. Was it their idea to form a legal entity or why did you choosethat route other than just an agreement?Adam: They felt better about forming a legal entity and they wanted all thebooks to be up and up. They wanted an accountant to go over it. They wantedto basically to have an open book so that I would know that they weren’tcheating me at any point. They also wanted me to know their expensesbecause obviously their expenses needed to be deducted before any profitwas distributed.Michael: Okay I understand. So you actually doing profit sharing on theleads not necessarily a fixed fee per customer that they received as a result ofthe leads.Adam: Correct. And some customers do it for children so they get discountsand things like that and it’s a good business. I do a lot of lead generation forthe folks for DNF call postings in there for them where they can make moneyoff of the cord blood storage. I warned them, not warned them, but I exposedthem to the cord blood banking industry before I even started building thesite. And I said get some cord blood names now because this is a big industryand it is going to get bigger. Just like now is a good time to be buying clouddomains.Michael: And yet nobody snatched up all of 50 states, or the 40 states thatwere remaining and nobody snatched up all the cities that you had grabbed.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 22 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: Nope I guess not.Michael: So now that we know how the business was set up let’s talk aboutthe technology. You have one major site up, or a couple major sites that areup right now. You have got usacordbank.com and canadacordbank.com.What is the technology that you are using to run that website and thehundreds of pages that are on that website?Adam: Sure those are simply Word Press based sites with a theme that I gotfrom a company called StudioPress.com and that was about it. I am luckyenough to have a team of developers, designers and content writers (45 to beexact) that work for me under the DCG.com label and they are generatinghundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages, thousands of pages for eachone these verticals that I am entering.Michael: Wow so they are manually developing each page. So if I go to thatAlabama cord bank page of usacordbank.com that is a hand generated, handbuilt webpage.Adam: Yes and what it is - is it is keyword rich for the top five or sixkeywords that I have given them and it has also got hand placed meta tagsand page titles as well.Michael: I am looking at the website right now and it is nicely crafted. Ithink a lot of people lose track of the basics that are required like an H1 tag,and H2 tags where appropriate, using alt tags on the pictures. So if I am onthe Alabama cord bank page clearly I see it in the title, I see it as an H1 tag, ifI mouse over the picture I see a little yellow tool tip that pops up sayingAlabama cord blood bank. So you are doing all the right SEO things whicharen’t rocket science but you just need to do consistently across the hundredsof web pages that you have hand developed.Adam: Yes it is a lot of work. There is no question about it but if you find avertical that makes money it’s worth putting in the time and the effort to do itproperly.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 23 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: Are you concerned with where you host the website, this WordPress driven website so that it is not being affected by other websites on theIP address at all?Adam: Sometimes. I usually keep a close eye on the traffic and as the trafficstarts to get too high for a basic coasting account I move it to much moresecure servers where I keep DN Forum. And DN Forum is on a very fast -DN Forum is on three servers and I have an extra server on that network thatI put sites on that cannot have any lag time or things like that. But right nowthe site is on a typical Go Daddy hosting account at the moment. But it won’tstay there.Michael: So as the traffic builds you migrate it to its own server or a sharedserver that just has more power. For example where do you host DN Forum’sservers? Are they your own servers that you have like a service likeRackspace or in your own center?Adam: No actually I hooked up with a gentleman who happened to be anexpert about six to seven years ago and I have been hosting with him and hiscompany for quite a few years. He does a Veblen maintenance package forme. He does all my Veblen upgrades and he maintains those servers and hehas got firewalls and I moved to his servers. So anything serious I put there.Michael: So how do you typically make that transition point? How manyunique visitors or how many page views do you need to display onusacordbank.com before you decide that you want them migrated tosomething that has more power?Adam: to be honest with you it doesn’t really go by that. If a site is profitableand it is making money obviously it deserves its own hosting account. If asite is slow and it is not making money it could be because of the host andthen I need to move it as well. I have about 10 or 12 servers with Go Daddysome of which run quick, some run slow. They are all only about $14 or Ithink they are running a special at $9.95 a month. So you get what you payfor. If you want to get a really good high end server for a high end site it doesneed to be moved to its own server eventually.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 24 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: Okay let’s talk about budget for this project. You said that whenyou got the idea for this project you registered a bunch of domain names, 600domain names, at let’s say $8 a piece so that is going to be about $5,000, plusyou turned your team on to develop the websites. So they developedhundreds of pages for cities, for states, for basically writing the content,finding the pictures, assembling it all together. Clearly you spent a goodchunk of change on this. Do you have any idea what you have spent to dateon getting this usacordbank.com website up and running as well as thedomain names?Adam: To be honest with you it really hasn’t been all that much. I’ve beenrunning a development team out of India, Nepal and quite a few othercountries for the last 15 years. The cost of labor is quite reasonable. We didhave to add six web designers for some of these lead generation projects, butthe cost is low and anything else is profit here on in.Michael: So if you had to put a number, just a rough guess on total spent todate - $10,000, $50,000?Adam: No I would definitely say under $10,000.Michael: Under $10,000 for getting the website up and running.Adam: Up and running and like was mentioned at the Traffic Conference lastweek I think it was, I am trying to remember the numbers, 5% is getting thedomain, 15% is building a website but 80% is building (Inaudible 0:55:14.0.)That doesn’t mean that it is going to be profitable or that it is going to be asuccessful business. The key is to put the effort into making it a successfulbusiness, finding the right partners and not ever letting it go making sure thatthere is somebody on this full time all the time. Monitoring it and looking fornew partners or new clients. And it means doing other things. It means goingabove and beyond. It means going to the pregnancy forums and usingusacordbank.com as your signature and posting some relevant posts andadding to the maternity your pregnancy forms that will attract thosecustomers and bring them over to usacordbank.com.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 25 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: That is a great transition because that is what I was going to askyou about next is the marketing plan. We’ve discussed the business plan, thebudget and how you built it from a technology standpoint, let’s talk aboutmarketing. Clearly we just talked about search engine optimization. You arebuilding the site from the ground up with search engines in mind so you canget the relevant content to the top of their organic search results. But yourmarketing plan has gone beyond that. How else do you get the word outabout the site and get customers to your website?Adam: Well the first thing you do is you do a search for forums or socialnetworking sites like Facebook or Twitter that mention cord blood storage orcord banks or things like that. And you contribute and you use a signaturelink back to your site or you do what we did and we did I think five or sixarticles on the site. You get custom written articles or custom written content.You get those submitted to Ezine Articles which sends them out to about12,000 different article sites so you get back links to your site immediately.You get credibility. You go out there and you just post relevant information.And you don’t have to spend any money on Ad Words to get a client base.You can if you want to but I don’t suggest spending $25 - $26 a click to dothat. There are many other ways through social networking to do that. Andyou build a page. You build a page for USA cord bank on Facebook and youanswer questions and you go to other cord bank or cord blood storage pageson Facebook and you post and things go back and forth.Michael: I don’t necessarily think of you as a cord bank expert or a cordbank something that you are passionate about and I could be completelymisstating it. Clearly there is an opportunity here you feel good aboutconnecting people who are looking for that information but is it actually youthat is doing this marketing Adam or do you have somebody on your staffthat does it for you whose job it is to become an expert on this topic?Adam: I am definitely not a cord bank expert. I couldn’t possibly become anexpert in every area or field that I invest in domains in. so I rely on otherpeople. I rely on my team. Definitely one or two or three or four of them are.I make sure that they are expert in that area and that they can answer anyrelated questions just as you would for any other business and they go outand they look for terms. And they answer questions and they answer themAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 26 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  correctly. But if there is stuff that I don’t know I refer back to the cord bankitself and I get answers because some of this stuff my team may not knowand they will forward the question off, get the right results and then we willpost the follow up and we will have a link back to USA cord bank. And themore credible answers that you can put on either Yahoo Answers oranywhere else the more people are going to understand that you know whatyou are talking about and that you are probably a good company to deal with.Michael: I understand that you have a team in India and you will tasksomebody on that team to become an expert and they will go and postquestions and answers or look for questions and answer them on YahooAnswers and other groups and discussion forums and try and be helpful andpost a signature back to your website or a link to an article back to yourwebsite. So that is generally how you are trying to find more customers tocome to the website?Adam: It is the easiest most cost efficient way to do it. The bottom line iswomen are having babies every day. They are not being educated on whythey should store their cord blood or even that it is an option. A lot of peopledon’t even know it’s available. So even going down to the local hospital herein Toronto or wherever the cord banks are and talking to the nurses, talking tothe doctors, offering the doctors a little spiff here and there. Believe me ifthey are making money off of it they are going to hand out your brochure aswell. And it works, it works.Michael: Do you spend any time yourself on a new venture like this? Doyou actually go out and try to learn as much as you can and contribute todiscussion forums as well?Adam: Well I would have to say yes. I mean when you invest in any newindustry whether it be cord blood or swimming pool removals or eventplanners or whatever it is it perks your interest and you are investing moneyinto it so you definitely become more educated. It’s kind of like I nevernoticed diaper commercials until I had my first child. Your eyes are openmore. You notice things on TV and commercials that relate to your life. So asyou do this like cord blood banking or any other thing that is out there in thenews and keeping up with the news is essential because you want to have theAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 27 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  most up to date information and the most up to date equipment. So you dobecome interested, you create an interest for yourself.Michael: Let’s say somebody has an interest in cord blood and they come toyour website but they don’t actually fill out the form because they are notready. They are having a child a year from now or eight months from nowand they are thinking about it. Do you create any sort of stickiness on thewebsite? They can become a fan, they can follow you on Twitter and seeyour latest articles or is there an email that you send out on a regular basis?Anything else besides filling out a lead generation form?Adam: Not yet but there are a few things that we are going to be adding tothe site like live help where they can ask questions right away. That isdefinitely something that is coming. Right now we are still busy designing allthe pages.Michael: So right now you have created your social media accounts but youhaven’t necessarily integrated them yet and that is going to be one of thefuture things that you are going to do?Adam: Yes.Michael: How many fulltime people do you say you have…Let’s say youhave developed out all the pages on usacordbank.com, how many fulltimepeople do you think you will have working on it going forward?Adam: Honestly one or two. That’s about it. It is lead generation. If I wasrunning the cord bank it would be different. But really all we are doing isqualified leads and passing them through. That doesn’t require much rocketscience knowledge or any real expertise to take a lead and pass it on to thecord bank.Michael: And they are just maybe doing some extra design work or makingsure that the website is programmed or if you want to add like buttons anddoing something like that or doing the live customer service like you may addin the future.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 28 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: Yes there will be a lot of that but it is not something that…The goodthing about these sites and the one thing that I love about the internet is youcan wake up in the morning and you will find three to five leads sitting thereand you know you have made money while you slept. There are not verymany industries like the internet where you can actually make money whileyou are sleeping.Michael: What about legal implication? You are taking people’s informationas leads and passing it on to (well in this case your company) but let’s otherpeople are taking your advice and they go generate a lead generationcompany and they are going to pass it to a third party company. What are thelegal implications that they need to be aware of when collecting customerdata and sharing it with a partner?Adam: First of all once they fill in the lead generation form they arecontacted (audio skip) did you get that?Michael: No I didn’t, I’m sorry. Can you repeat that one more time Adam?Once they fill out the form…Adam: Once they fill out the form we contact them and we ask them if it isokay if we forward their information to the cord bank so that they cancommunicate with the cord bank directly and they can answer any of theirquestions.Michael: So do you physically call each person and ask them that?Adam: No we just email them back. I mean it certainly wouldn’t hurt us inthis day and age with Skype and everything to call them back and that may besomething that we do in the future. But obviously most of them onusacordbank.com are American anyway so there is not much toll charges.Michael: Why go to the extra step of emailing them back and getting aconfirmation? Why not just say at the bottom this information will be sharedwith our partner? Or somebody from usacordbank.com representative willcontact you soon and just pass it along in an automated fashion?Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 29 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Adam: People like to know that their interfacing with people rather than justpassing it on. It may take a couple of days. Most of the people thatsurprisingly enough the demographics of the people that request cord bloodstorage most of the time are women. And they leave it to the very end. Theydon’t get involved or ask about it until about the seventh, eighth or ninthmonth. The last trimester. And so by then they have decided that they want itonce they have contacted us. Most people that contact us want it so it is not ahard sell. They have seen the price on the website. It’s $14.95 I think it islisted for. And they know they want it and they fill out the contact form andnow they have to go home and convince their husband that it is worthwhile tospend the money.Michael: So in terms of the business, they come on, they fill out the form,you deliver it to your partner who then contacts them and tries to get themschedule their cord bank procedure and then mail it to them. They probablyhave paperwork that they have to fill out at the cord bank. How often do youget paid and how do you measure your effectiveness in driving the right…Letme ask you this: How often do you get paid?Adam: It could be every two weeks or every month. To me it doesn’t reallymatter because I am not looking at it as a primary income. It is extra revenue.But I would say every two weeks. It will depend, depending on the number ofcustomers. Obviously if there is a huge amount of customers in that two weekperiod or a week period it will go weekly. If it is a small amount thenobviously we can wait a month. It is not going to matter.Michael: And since you have only been live for a few weeks have you hadcustomer leads that you have delivered to the cord bank that have actuallyconverted into customers?Adam: Yes.Michael: Excellent. Is it at a number, at a pace, at a frequency that is fastenough for you to be positive about the continued growth of the business?Adam: Yes. It is one of those industries that the public is not veryknowledgeable or educated on yet and it is going to take time but it is goingAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 30 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  to grow. It is definitely a business that is going to continue to grow and thegrowth potential for cord blood storage is huge.Michael: How much time do you estimate you are going to have to spend onthis business on a weekly basis going forward?Adam: A couple of hours. Not that much. I mean I have a gentleman whomanages most of my lead gens. He has been working for me for 13 years andwe have meetings every morning and I give him the information that I needdone and I want changes on the sites and he gets them out and we get themdone. And that is the way it goes. And I move on to the next project.Michael: How do you measure the effectiveness of the leads that you aregathering? Have you noticed that on some of your other lead generationbusinesses that maybe the quality of leads has decreasing so while thequantity is still there the quality isn’t there and you somehow need to managethat quality?Adam: It really depends on the industry. For example there is much morecompetition in limo.ca because people go to six or eight sites to get a quote.Whereas with cord banking it is not that popular as say a limo company.They don’t have as many choices they only have 10 or 12 or 20 choices. Andmaybe most of them use the same cord bank storage facility. Who knows?Just the pricing is different.Michael: One more question about the form that is on your page. The formsays request more information, you have a field for your name, your address,your phone number, your email address, select a state. You have a messagehere: Did you find my site through Google? And there is a check box thatsays yes I did. Why is that important to know?Adam: It’s not as important as other things because I have Google Analyticson it so I know what they came through. What search engine and what searchterm. For me the Google Analytics is far more important than that. It is just acheck box we put on there because Google was the first one to index the siteand we want to measure it. I would guess that most of our leads are comingfrom Bing and Yahoo.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 31 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: And you find that they are coming through Bing and Yahoobecause of what reason primarily?Adam: Maybe the search terms are ranking higher for certain areas and theyare finding them.Michael: So one more question regarding the form. When somebody fillsout that form and hits the send message does that show up in somebody’semail inbox that then gets replied to? Does it go into a data base? How doyou manage that data of leads?Adam: Okay the form goes into my email box and then I set it up in a database and it is tracked. So that when we do forward the lead so we go back tothe customer a month or two months down the road. Follow up, make surethey were satisfied with the service and then maybe it was their first child andthey are going to have more and that leads to subsequent business. Plus wecan also offer them a ‘refer a friend program’ where we give them $200 forreferring a friend into us as well which they are happy to. Or we say we willstore your cord blood free for the next three years if you send us a customer.Michael: Wow and so by having that partnership now you can be muchmore creative in what you offer to that customer. It’s just not a one termpurchase. You might get multiple children out of that one customer, a leadthat you generated years ago or you could offer discounts to them if theyrefer friends.Adam: Generally from what I have seen so far if people are aware of cordblood storage and they have more than one child they store the blood formore than one child. Now I’ve got four kids and I didn’t know about that thiseven existed or when I had my kids I would have stored it as well.Michael: You and I have talked about your DNF College, so you have yourDomainNameForumCollege.com, DNF.com which you have launched acouple of months ago. And I found it very interesting and I was actually partof your initial offer and I learned a tremendous amount. We discussed thisearlier Adam that you wanted to give back to the industry. Why choose anAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 32 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  online process to educate people as opposed to putting it in a book or puttingit in a video or all the different options that you have? Why did you choose tolaunch DNFCollege.com online?Adam: Because I wasn’t looking for it to be a profit center. When I startedout in the industry there were people who helped me. They took me by thehand, they helped educate me. There were three or four of them. They did itout of good will. They didn’t do it because they were making any money andI wanted to do the same thing and I give what I got lucky enough to learnover the last 12 or 13 years. It’s a good feeling. It’s nice to get those emailsfrom people saying they sold a domain for more than they expected to or thata domain that they recently bought they have got an offer on. Most people gointo this business they spend a few thousand dollars at least that buy all thewrong domains, buy trademarks, they don’t know what they are looking forand they waste their money. I would like to be able to make sure and insurethat people are buying higher quality names because the higher the qualitythe name the more that they are going to sell for and the more sell and thehigher quality names that they have the better it is for our business in generaland the more everybody’s names are worth in the industry.Michael: Let’s leave the audience with something that they can expect tolearn by attending DNFCollege.com or when they watch a subsequent show(hopefully when I have you back on DomainSherpa) clearly domain namequality is important but what would you say separates individuals within thedomain name industry?Adam: It is the simplest tip and yet the hardest thing for a domain owner tounderstand and deal with and that is how to manage their portfolio. So thebest place to start is how to manage the domains that you already have. Sowhat I usually suggest is they make a list of all the domains in Excel. I tellthem to go through any emails that they have had or inquires on domains thatthey have had but haven’t sold and I tell them that for every domain theyreceived an offer on make those purple in the Excel spreadsheet even if it is alow ball offer. These are keepers even if they make no money becausesomebody has a need or want for that domain so it is a potential customer.Adam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 33 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Then I tell them to gather all their parking revenue over the last 365 days andhighlight in green any that made more than their registry. Those are alsokeepers. Then I tell them to go through the list one more time and pick outdomains that they feel have development potential, regardless of revenue, andmore those in blue. And those are also keepers. And then I tell them to gothrough the list a final time and look for domains that you just have a hunchor a good feeling about but have no development potential and earn nomoney. Some of those they will keep but some of those they will drop. Andthen once they have done all of that they are usually left with a list ofdomains and I tell them to take a close look at what is left without a color andask yourself why you are keeping them. And if you don’t know why, it istime to drop them.And that is the hardest thing the domainers will ever face because for somereason domainers feel that if they drop the domain somebody else is going topick it up and turn it into a multi-million dollar business. And that is notalways the case. I mean I drop names I’d say every day. I mean we learnfrom our experiences and we learn that some of the things that we thoughtwere good domains five or ten years ago today just are not.And then the last bit of advice that I will give is the most important thing thatI can tell domainers is that you don’t set the prices. I don’t set the prices onmy domain names. Buyers set the price. It’s not what I think it is worth, it’snot what my wife thinks it is worth, it’s not what you think it is worth, it iswhat the buyer is willing to pay for the domain name. (audio skip 1:15:59.8)and I got $60,000 for it. Other times I thought it was worth a lot more and Iwas offered a lot less. I had to take a loss on it because I bought it stupidly.So it is all about what the buyer is willing to pay for the domain name. It hasnothing to do with appraisals or anything like that at all.Michael: Right but if you own download.net (which I think you do) and Ioffer you $40,000 you are either going to accept that or reject that based onwhat you value the domain name to be. Or what other offers you havereceived in the past.Adam: Yes but a lot determines on whether I am a motivated seller orwhether I am a non-motivated seller. So if I don’t need your $40,000 I’m notAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 34 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa
  • DomainSherpa.com:  The  Domain  Name  Authority  going to sell it to you. If I am in a situation where I do need your $40,000 Imay consider selling it for a reduced amount other than what I wouldconsider selling it for normally.Michael: If you have a follow up question please post it in the commentsbelow. We will ask Adam to come back and answer as many of them as youcan. And if you want to follow Adam on Twitter he is onTwitter@adamdicker and his DN Forum has an account on TwitterDNForum. His websites are dnforum.com, adamdicker.ca and of coursedcg.com.Adam Dicker, thank you for taking the time, coming on the show and being aDomainSherpa for other entrepreneurs and investors.Adam: thank you very much and I also don’t mind giving out my Skypewhich is adam.dicker. I also don’t mind giving them my cell phone because Ienjoy helping other people. So 416-884-0535. Any time I can help a fellowdomainer it is good for everybody in the business.Michael: That is very generous of you Adam. I thank you again and thankyou all for watching.We will see you next time.Watch the full video at:http://www.domainsherpa.com/adam-dickerAdam Dicker (DNForum.com) Interview Page 35 of 35DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa