A Domain Just Like Mom Used to MakeMike Sullivan
Today’s keyword domain interview is with Stan Sandberg, co-founder of Cookies.com. Cookies.com, LLC was formed in 2009 and the launch of the e-commerce website was in early 2010. Cookies.com is a relatively new player with big plans to be the leading gourmet baked goods gifting site. “We want to bring cookie gifts top of mind when people are looking to send gifts to friends, loved ones or clients/employees,” said Stan. There are three co-owners and a small team of employees.
Mike: How has owning the domain Cookies.com impacted your business?
Stan: Owning the domain name Cookies.com has had a significant impact on our business. Not only does it have high brand recall, but it also adds a lot of credibility to the story when working out deals with partners and suppliers. Customers trust the brand and that helps to convert shoppers into customers. A lot of people are delighted by the name.
Mike: What is the volume of traffic that your site receives?
Stan: We don’t publicly disclose traffic stats but I can say that we get tens of thousands of visitors every month and are growing rapidly.
Mike: Do you have any other online marketing strategies that you follow (google ads, seo, banners on other sites, etc.?) What results have you seen from these?
Stan: We haven’t launched our large-scale marketing program yet but have big plans for SEO, PPC and other types of online advertising. With our testing so far, the results have been great.
Mike: Do you have other premium keyword domains?
Stan: Cookies.com, LLC does not own other premium keyword domains but we are always interested in looking at domains of this caliber. The key thing to look at is if the product(s) associated with the domain can be sold easily online or used to generate sale-able leads. Many people get caught up in domain names that don’t seem to make sense from a business perspective. We only look at product/industry and lead generation oriented domains.
Mike: What is the main source of traffic to your site? (ie. Google searches, links from other sites, type in traffic, etc.)?
Stan: Right now, most of our traffic comes from type-in and organic search. As we launch and grow our online marketing initiatives, this should change in a big way.
Mike: What type of growth have you seen in traffic to the site, sales, etc?
Stan: Again, I can’t give exact numbers but both our traffic and sales have increased significantly since launch. As opposed to the affiliate world, owning your own brand allows you to re-market to customers and get repeat sales. As we build Cookies.com into a real brand we’ll also see a direct impact on traffic growth.
Mike: Did you purchase the name from someone else that owned it? If so, what was the process you went through? Will you share what you paid for the name?
Stan: We purchased the domain name from the last owner and cannot give exact figures, but it was a significant amount of money and would definitely be high on the charts in terms of domain name sales. It was a relatively easy deal that we closed using Escrow.com. We purchased the domain with the intent to build real enterprise value as opposed to arbitraging the name in a short term sale.
Mike: Has the domain been worth the cost for you?
Stan: Absolutely. We would have probably paid more. When looking at the long term case for building a highly recognizable brand and category leader, owning the best domain name is a no brainer. I’ll admit we were very happy when we closed the deal.
Mike: Any advice for start ups, small business, or business of any size for that matter on choosing the right domain name?
Stan: Think big. If you can’t acquire the category defining domain name, see what people are searching for and go after those names. Make sure to get the .com and a name that is not prone to too many typos. Also, if the cost for the domain name is a barrier, get creative with deal structure and/or finance it. Finally it helps if you have some familiarity with the business or at least love it enough to dive deep.
Mike: What do your competitors think of your domain? What do your customers think?
Stan: Many of our competitors have approached us to sell their products on our site and a few have approached us about buying the domain/website outright. Our customers have been very happy. We are very focused on creating a really great customer experience.
Mike: Do you think you would be willing to sell your domain at any point? Have you ever received any unsolicited offers?
Stan: Although we receive regular offers, we don’t have plans to sell Cookies.com anytime soon. We want to become the leader in the space and build the Zappos of the baked goods industry.
Mike: Any other information you’d like to share?
Stan: In appreciation for you and your readers, we are happy to offer the following discount code, which will save 5% off any order on Cookies.com. Cookie gifts are great for friends, family and co-workers. Use Sully2010 at checkout to save 5%.
I’ll be sure to check in with Stan once the fully execute their online strategies. Until then, be sure to visit the site.