Planning, Launching & gTLD Operations
You only get ONE launch! Careful consideration into gTLD operations, timelines and special registration periods can help build excitement for your TLD. Additionally, trademark claim periods, Limited Registration Periods (LRP), Early Access Programs (EAP) help ensure domain names with trademarks are registered by the right people and give access to registrants who can make a strategic difference to your TLD while minimizing lost revenues from premium names that may have been missed from your premium domain name list.
The launch of your TLD is the melding of strategic planning, market analysis, technical infrastructure, registrar engagement to name a few of the gTLD operational components.
What the vision and mission of your TLD? Are you offering other products? How are you going to encourage registrants to renew? What additional products can add additional benefits to your registry? Who is doing which parts? What is a priority? What human capital is needed to reach the objectives?
Is your TLD purely generic or does it appeal to niche markets? How competitive are these markets? What is the awareness level? Does your organization have a special relationship or competency in reaching the desired market? These are only a few items to consider when building your planning and determining the resources required.
Which back-end provider is supporting your TLD? Do you have a full understanding of what they offer, what they do not offer, any work required for your TLD requires and what how they will be integrated? Each back-end provider is unique in what you as a registry can and cannot do or access. We’ve had hands-on experience from CentralNic to Key Systems to VeriSign.
For most TLDs, the registrar’s play a pivotal role in your success. They hold the key to databases of potential registrants who could be snapping up your names. Engage them early in the process, provide information, promotional materials, banners, graphics, etc., to make their life easier (along with your own)!
Once you have launched and the moment of watching the pre-registrations roll-in its time to move to daily operations. Analyze what is working, where to improve, reviewing names to perhaps uncover small niche markets to further develop, design and develop new promotions, develop case studies and expand your registrants. Persistence, consistency and sometimes a bit of luck can make a huge difference.
From our experience, TLDs with a strong strategic plan, careful market analysis, a great technical provider and the right mix of registrar engagement and focus on building daily gTLD operations are on track to meet or exceed their business expectations.