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42 entrepreneurs reveal what changed after getting their best domain name
By SmartBranding Team access_time 26 min read

If you are seriously considering investing in a premium domain name, you certainly have many questions such as:

However, what’s of particular interest to every entrepreneur? The real-life examples of those who have already taken this step. Have their brands become stronger after acquiring their perfect domain name? Do they have more sales? What happened to the direct traffic of their website? Do they have lower marketing costs?

Spoiler alert: Yes, their businesses have grown — so has their overall company valuation. This is what we found after compiling some quotes from entrepreneurs who have shared with the public what changed after they acquired their best domain name.


When we founded the company in 2016, securing the domain Fair.com was anything but easy. However, very quickly we saw great returns with respect to customer recognition, service adoption, website exposure, and SEO.

Scott Painter, the founder and former CEO of Fair  (SmartBranding)
The domain name FAIR.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Having your best domain name is very important for your online brand. It improves brand recognition, increases credibility and helps you get found online more easily. California startup Fair.com definitely turned the car market on its head by providing a quick way for would-be drivers to get vehicles from a trusted brand.


We have seen better overall conversions and lower drop-off rates on our campaigns. For us, an important factor is that having a premium domain provides better access to big lead buyers and leading advertisers as well due to, again, the trust factor.

Frans van Hulle, CEO & Co-Founder at PX.com (NamePros)
The domain name PX.COM was acquired for $1 million in cash + additional consideration

In 2018, ReviMedia announced they’re rebranding to PX.com. This move was a great choice for the company given that there’s nothing easier to type on a cellphone or tablet than a two-character .com domain name which means more direct traffic, easier client conversions, word of mouth, lower advertising cost, and more effective marketing campaigns.


When we talk to a partner and give them an email address, name@ring.com, they always say “wow.” Also from a viral perspective, everyone can remember Ring.com.

Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor and Founder of Ring. (NamePros)
The domain name RING.COM was acquired for $1 million

Doorbot rebranded as Ring in September 2014. The first thing a customer interacts with is a name, so it has to convey the right message; it has to “wow” your target market, business partners, and investors. Obviously, this was a great decision for the brand. In February 2018, Ring was acquired by Amazon for an estimated value of between $1.2 billion and $1.8 billion.


We were already respected in the domain industry before Investor.com due to past acquisitions such as StockBrokers.com (2011, $185,000) and ForexBrokers.com (2016, $150,000). That said, yes, Investor.com certainly had a positive effect on our reputation in the industry, especially given it is was our most significant acquisition to date, by far. 

Blain Reinkensmeyer, Managing Director at RMG (SmartBranding)
The domain name INVESTOR.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Keyword domain names will greatly benefit your traffic for the given keyword. In order to make the most of your SEO efforts, you should always aim at choosing one or more keywords — terms that are popular in online searches.


It certainly helps in terms of BD and other aspects. Our team is very excited about this change and the brief domain is easier to go into people’s mind. 

XAG team (SmartBranding)
The domain name XA.COM was acquired for 12 million RMB ($1.79 million)

A Chinese manufacturer of agricultural drones called XAG adopted a two-letter top-level domain name XA.com to ensure its customers, investors, and business partners that they are an established, legitimate brand and, as a result, trust them more easily.


We grow through word-of-mouth, through people tweeting about us and talking about us, so the address matters.

Tim Campos, Co-founder, and CEO of Woven (DomainNameWire)
The domain name WOVEN.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

The company decided to launch as Woven.app still wanted to acquire the .com. Fortunately, Tim Campos acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Woven.com for an undisclosed amount. The more natural it feels to pronounce your domain name, the easier is for your target audience to promote your brand through word of mouth. After all, it’s your online identity — people should be able to find you without much thought.


.com sees much more traffic than a .io! It was a no-brainer to buy the domain, especially since we got a great deal on it.

Phillip Akhzar — Founder & CEO at Arka.com (SmartBranding)
The domain name ARKA.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Most worldwide known brands operate on their exact brand match, .com domain names. By choosing the best domain name you’re investing in the right asset today for building a strong brand for tomorrow.


People tend to like you if you’re associated with something else they like. So, I would say we probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same success without PadPiper.com.”

Jack Forbes, co-founder and CEO at PadPiper (SmartBranding)
The domain name PADPIPER.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Your name is transmitted day in and day out, in conversations, emails, voicemails, on the product, on business cards, marketing material and in presentations. Make sure it has positive connotations in the markets served.


We knew that our current marketing system would work exceptionally well with a domain as strong as BookKeeping.com. The purchase price has nearly been recouped in annualized revenues just two months from launch.

Brandon Littlefield, BookKeeping.com (NamePros)  
The domain name BOOKKEPING.COM was acquired for $150,000

At a time when every dollar counts, choosing a good domain name is the best way to put your marketing dollars to work for your brand.


Having this Joust.com domain made us feel that our branding was complete. It’s simple and easy to remember. 

Lamine Zarrad, CEO of Joust (SmartBranding)
The domain name JOUST.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Your domain name is an essential aspect of your brand. It dictates how customers will think and feel about your company from day one.


We noticed more conversions from our client integrations using that trademark once we acquired the TLD. 

Graham Dodge, Co-founder and CEO at SickWeather (SmartBranding)
The domain name SAILO.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Now that the world is swarming with competing companies, it pays to take every opportunity you can to stand out. Your exact brand match domain name with a .com extension is certainly the foundation on which you should start building your brand identity.


After acquiring User.com we noted a 300% increase in traffic.

Tomasz Sawicki, CMO at User (DSAD)
The domain name USER.COM was acquired for $150,000

People are already searching for your business and they will be happy to find you immediately. This is the best kind of traffic you can get as it is highly targeted and you won’t need promoting to make it a household name —  it’s already there. User, a marketing automation software company out of the UK that was previously called UserEngage, acquired its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain User.com in November 2018.


Our company has always been called “Neighbor,” so people would naturally type in Neighbor.com assuming we owned the domain. All of that direct traffic was lost. Making the switch eliminated that problem.

Joseph Woodbury, CEO and founder at Neighbor.com (SmartBranding)
The domain name NEIGHBOR.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

If another company owns the .com version of your domain name, you can expect many of your new and existing customers to end up visiting their website first. A peer-to-peer storage company Neighbor solved this problem by upgrading from the domain name StoreWithNeighbor.com to the exact brand match Neighbor.com.


We all feel, and our customers confirmed that it’s a great name, easy to recall and connect to, just like our team and our mission.

Adrian Gradinaru, Founder and CEO of Sailo (SmartBranding)
The domain name SAILO.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

If your business’ name is hard to spell and pronounce, too lengthy, or confusing, you can’t achieve recall in your audience. Sailo obviously made a great choice.


We have been completely thrilled with the response! Since we upgraded, we have had a real rush of positive messages of support congratulating us on the strong choice. It feels really great to have that outside affirmation of our already-established internal conviction that we made a great decision. 

 Kathryn Ross, Brand manager at Phrase (SmartBranding)
The domain name PHRASE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Online software translation management platform PhraseApp removed the “app” word from its domain name and upgraded to the exact brand match domain Phrase.com. One of the reasons the brand opted for this move is to be more relevant and help its website rank higher in search engines (think: voice-assisted google searches and shorter domain name applicability).


Owning Cover.com has lent an extra level of legitimacy to the brand and this, in turn, has translated into sales. We have seen firsthand how it helps get people over the hump when it comes to investing their money with us. Immediately after moving to Cover.com, we saw our conversions rise, largely because customers would cross-reference our app on the internet before they made the purchase decision. 

Karn Saroya, CEO and Co-founder at Cover (Entrepreneur’s Handbook)
The domain name COVER.COM was acquired for $825,000

The amount of value the right domain name can bring to your business is priceless. Not only it will help your brand to increase conversions, but it will also help you establish a leadership positioning.


Standing out just gets harder when people confuse you with other companies. That’s why we went right to the source. There are many copycat Sumo names in the market but by owning Sumo.com, we’re positioned as the original. We are the Sumo.com.

Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo at Sumo.com (Entrepreneur)
The domain name SUMO.COM was acquired for US$ 1,500,000

The overwhelming majority of websites use .com for their web presence. If you plan on having global reach (and you should always think big), a unique .com domain name will rank your brand at the top of the search when people look up your business online.


Beyond just the benefits of properly aligning our brand with the .com name, we knew that owning this domain would illustrate to future customers that we’re here to stay for the long haul.

Steli Efti, CEO of Close (Close blog)
The domain name CLOSE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Showing your customers, business partners & investors that you’re here to stay for the long haul is something every startup owner should focus on. If you have a good product/service, a motivated team & you invest in your brand constantly – the results will come.


You will lose all word of mouth marketing if you don’t have a good name. Most people choose their name because the domain is available. That’s a really bad idea. I spent 3 months and $182,000 negotiating for Mint.com, and it was the best purchase I ever made.

Aaron Patzer, Founder of Mint.com (Interview with CNet.com)
The domain name MINT.COM was acquired for US$ 8,100,000 (cash + equity deal)

Making your domain name short and memorable is important because it boosts word-of-mouth marketing while making it easy for people to reach your website. How easy is it for your customers to remember your brand name and recommend your domain name to others?


If you’re talking to someone at a bar about your company, they just won’t remember TeamworkPM.net. One of our competitors is Basecamp, which has Basecamp.com. If someone is comparing Basecamp.com against TeamworkPM.net, many will choose the .com because it has credibility and the right image.

Peter Coppinger, CEO Teamwork.com (Domain Name Wire)
The domain name TEAMWORK.COM was acquired for $675,000 in 2014

Would someone be able to clearly understand your domain name even if it was spoken in a crowded bar? How do you ensure that your customers trust your brand? Everyone from investors to potential customers see your name as an indicator of the credibility of your business.


Buying Tesla.com took over a decade, $11M & amazing amount of effort. Didn’t like TeslaMotors.com even when we were only making cars.

Elon Musk,  Co-founder and CEO of Tesla (Elon’s Twitter)
The domain name TESLA.COM was acquired for $11 Million

The leadership of a company must believe in the brand. After all, if you don’t believe it – how will your customers?


We’ve grown over the years – and we’re now much more than a taxi app. This new brand is an important evolution that represents our goal to outserve our customers. We are not only providing passengers with a transport service, we are saving them time and ensuring they have a safe ride.

Anthony Tan, Group CEO & Co-Founder of Grab (TechCrunch)
The domain name GRAB.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

In January 2016, GrabTaxi announced the rebranding of GrabTaxi to Grab. The company upgraded its domain name from GrabTaxi.com to the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Grab.com to introduce the company’s increasing number of services. How does your brand name limit the expansion of your business? Thinking big from the start expands your world of opportunity.


We started with PerchHomes.co and then moved to Perch.com when we had an opportunity to get the domain. Ultimately, your website domain is a big part of your brand, particularly for a B2C company.

Phil DeGisi, Co-Founder and Head of Customer Experience at Perch (NamePros)
The domain name PERCH.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

How much do you really expect someone to remember a domain like PerchHomes.co? Certainly not as much as Perch.com. How much of your budget is allocated to the most visible asset of your company?


If we didn’t own RTS.com we probably would have changed the company’s name. It was very important for us to have a simple brand that has the ability to be recognized and understood globally.

Gregory R. Lettieri, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Recycle Track Systems (NamePros)
The domain name RTS.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Simplicity is brand fundamental. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies with short, simple names attract more shareholders, generate greater amounts of stock trading, and perform better on certain financial measures than companies with hard-to-process names.


People are trusting us with their finances and TryDave just didn’t seem to give me the same confidence as Dave.com

Jason Wilk, Co-Founder and CEO of Dave (NamePros)
The domain name DAVE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

 

Over the last few years, a number of startups across a range of industries have named themselves relatively common human names — Casper, Oscar, Lola, and Albert, to name a few. The reason behind this trend is to build proximity and intimacy with consumers. In other words, these brands want to sound friendly and human and the shortest, simplest way to do that is with a human name. After all, research shows that the more simple and human-sounding the name, the greater the company’s success. Do you think it is interesting? We do too, that’s why we did our homework where we covered brands who chose a personal name as a brand name. Check our naming research here.


We saw a big growth with our repeat customers. We had an average return of repeat customers of over 200% from where it originally was and that was definitely attributable to the brand. When you are Pacific Pillows, you can stumble across a bunch of pillow sites, but when you are Pillows.com, its pretty clear that there is only one Pillows.com

Craig Clark, CEO of Pillow (Morgan Linton Blog)
The domain name PILLOWS.COM was acquired for six figures

Brand recognition is an asset that not only adds long-term value but is also a crucial element of successful marketing. Since keeping your customers coming back deserves as much (if not more) attention, a great domain name that is easy to remember can go a long way in establishing your business and earning you visibility without putting extra work into it.


We saw a 40% increase in traffic immediately after securing our preferred domain.

John Furneaux, CEO of Hive.com (NamePros)
The domain name HIVE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount in partnership with the domain owner

Satisfied customers become returning visitors and customers, and they might even become the promoters of your brand if they are really satisfied. How would a 40% increase in direct traffic reflect on your marketing budget?


We saw our customers confusing us with some of the other companies in the industry, and wanted to remedy that issue. Our service is so different and unique in comparison with the competition that these confusions might cost us a lot of opportunities.

Oliver Dlouhy, CEO of Kiwi.com (NamePros)
The domain name KIWI.COM was acquired for US$ 800,000

The online portal skypicker.com was created in 2011. In 2016 the company acquired the domain name Kiwi.com for $800,000 and rebranded itself as Kiwi.com. Many businesses don’t realize the power of brand recognition and will have almost the same exact name as another business, especially in the same industry. And you can agree, standing out just gets harder when people confuse you with other companies. What opportunities do you miss by not owning your perfect domain name?


We have seen a 5x in our web3 calls to our Alchemy instances that coincided with the procurement of Sushi.com. I think from a branding perspective it has been a boon.

Joseph Delong, Chief Technology Officer at SushiSwap (World Crypto News)
The domain name SUSHI.COM was acquired for undisclosed amount

Let’s face it. You only have one chance to make a great first impression. When dealing with the digital world, it starts with your domain name.


HelloExtend.com wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t feel professional and polished enough for the size and scope of the company we are, and the company we are building. Data drives most of our decisions at Extend, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

Woodrow Levin, Founder and CEO at Extend (Extend.com)
The domain name EXTEND.COM was acquired for undisclosed amount

Your name is an extension of your brand, and it can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it. Make sure you have the best one.


Your name is an extension of your brand, and it can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it. Make sure you have the best one. VidAngel passed about 58% of the time, which wasn’t enough. “We’ve seen over time,” Neal said, “that about 50% of our traffic comes through word-of-mouth. People hear about it, but then they end up having to type the domain.” One name did much better: Angel. A full 95% of people could remember, share and find that name.

Neal Harmon, Co-founder of VidAngel (Protocol)
The domain name Angel.com was acquired for $2 million

As Badger expands to become the most trusted place for anyone to put their Bitcoin to work, it’s important that the first experience for non-native crypto users is comfortable and that we help them quickly overcome the common stigma that surrounds the cryptocurrency industry today.

Chris Spadafora, BadgerDAO founder
The domain name BADGER.COM was acquired for US$ 300,000

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on customers/clients but it allows them to know what to expect from your company. Owning a memorable domain name ensures your customers will notice that you are an established, legitimate and trustworthy brand.


About 70% of traffic comes from the domain directly – we don’t have to purchase the keywords as much any longer.  The domain name is pretty valuable in and of itself.

Tor Sweeney, Owner of Dresses.com
The domain name DRESSES.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

How much of your traffic is direct? Good domain names add that extra zest to your digital marketing efforts. When it comes to traffic, top-level domain lets users know you’re the real deal. See how putting the right domain name strategy in place enhances your marketing efforts here.


Ari Rabban

It was a no-brainer when I had the opportunity to build on the Phone.com domain. It gives us instant credibility, high visibility in the search engines, and significant traffic, even apart from the value of the services we have built on top of it. 


Ari Rabban, CEO & Co-founder of Phone.com (Teten)
The domain name PHONE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

As Pia Silva said in her interview for Mark Upgrade: “The more proof you have, the more credibility you have, and the stronger your brand’s reputation will be.” In building your online credibility you must show your customers you have invested in building your brand and communicate why they can trust you. And everything starts with your name, your domain name… the house of your brand.


We were spending around $10,000 per month on Google AdWords and other pay-per-click services, which wasn’t really a great investment. As soon as we acquired the domain name, we saw a significant increase in focused traffic, apparently from direct visitors.

Ben Carmitchel, President and CEO of DataRecovery.com (DSAD)
The domain name DATARECOVERY.COM was acquired for $1.66 million

Spending your marketing budget on ads and/or other pay-per-click services? You might be happy because you have some activity on your website or social media posts. But then, as soon as you stop throwing cash – everything stops. Instead of paying other channels, it is always a smart decision to build your brand on your own website, your domain name.


 I got the .com to cover the word of mouth case of the brand case for someone typing in the URL expecting us to be there.

Jude Gomila, Founder and CEO of Golden (SmartBranding)
The domain name GOLDEN.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

The only way the word of mouth of a company can spread is through building and solidifying a brand that makes people want to talk about you. How do you get people to talk about your business? Is your brand name memorable enough to help you increase word of mouth?


One of the best decisions we made was to buy TN.com. It wasn’t “cheap” by any stretch of the imagination (especially because we were 100% bootstrapped and raised no investor capital), but not acquiring/having it would have been a far more costly decision for the company as we scaled our OOH marketing efforts.

Tim Hargis, VP, Marketing and Business Development at Tuft & Needle (LinkedIn)
The domain name TN.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

What is the cost you are paying for not owning your exact match .com domain? Is it lower than what it would cost you to acquire it now? 


I’m glad I was able to get Handshaking.com with the ‘g’, as many people had been emailing me, matt@handshaking.com, and before I was not receiving those emails when we only owned Handshakin.com.  

Matt Holmes, the Founder of Handshaking (SmartBranding)

People instinctively put .com after the name they type in their browser. If you don’t own your .com match, you can be sure you are losing type-in traffic, emails sent to the .com equivalent of your domain name and money spent on advertising.


In many ways, the RemoteTeam.com domain name has helped a lot in pushing the brand forward. A search for the keyword “remote team” on Google returns our brand and probably our LinkedIn page or blog as part of the first three results. This alone helps improve our overall search engine ranking. It also helps build our online reputation since our brand shows up as customers look for things relating to building a great remote team. 

Sahin Boydas, CEO and Founder of RemoteTeam.com (SmartBranding)

While the approach to search engine optimization has changed, choosing a domain name related to your industry helps you rank higher for related keywords. 


While “Desktop” alone is purely generic, Desktop + .com creates a one-of-a-kind identity. Having a strong keyword .com domain name brings a lot of inherent value, such as trust and a sense of being well-established, recognizable and not to mention web-based.”

Rolf Larsen, the CEO and Founder of Desktop.com (SmartBranding)

The real reason to build a powerful brand preference is to establish a name that people can rely on and trust in order to facilitate loyalty and recognition.


I wanted a name that would work in any country and that everyone had a positive association to. I was considering Play.com, Best.com and Brave.com as well – but Great.com became my favourite. It’s almost impossible to use the word “great” without making it into a positive sentence.

Erik Bergman, Founder of Great.com (SmartBranding)

Positive company names spark an emotional reaction in your customers. Aside from making sure that a brand name feels good (or great!) to customers, the main motivation behind cultivating a brand identity is to stand out, ensure they remember your brand name, and that they can easily find you online.


Richard Liu, Co-Founder at Yought

It has allowed us to have an international presence without needing to buy out a .co or .ai domain, which is significantly more expensive. So far, this is the only domain we need, even if we reach a bigger audience.

Richard Liu, Co-Founder at Yought (SmartBranding)

The overwhelming majority of websites use .com for their web presence. If you plan on having global reach (and you should always think big), a unique .com domain name will rank your brand at the top of the search when people look up your business online.


We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect business name. If you have any questions, need any help with acquiring your EBM (exact brand match) domain name, or just want to chat with someone about the process, get in touch. We are always happy to hear from you.

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