Example 1: Domain Registrar

Overview of the current process

Domain registrars sell the domain names (website address like www.yourcompany.com) and register the names with the central registry.  Typically this is a high volume, highly automated business with the sale value of around $20 for a one year registration of a domain name.  At the end of the year the customer can renew for another year.

When registering a domain name the customer must provide basic contact information plus payment information.  This process can take just a minute or so then the name is reserved.  Upon typing the newly acquired domain name into a browser the customer will most often find the registrar has created a “placeholder” page saying the site is coming soon.  This page is uneditable by the user unless they understand how to program in HTML and can FTP the files up to the correct location.  Even so, many registrars won’t allow FTP upload for the placeholder site.

If the registrar offers a website builder the user must come in and select to enter the website builder application and then start through the website builder’s multi-step process to select a design, content, etc.  For some users this extra work is enough to delay the building of the site until later.

The opportunity

The registrars have an enviable position since they have direct and immediate knowledge of a new domain being registered and thus can market additional services to these customers.  Website hosting is an obvious add-on service and many registrars have a web hosting offering with integrated website builder solutions.  Not only do the add-on services create new revenue streams but they can also help retain customers which otherwise can easily switch their domain to another registrar for renewal.

Typically a registrar with an integrated website builder and hosting can build a successful business but there is room for improvement.  This is evidenced by the fact that most registrars have many more domains sold than hosting accounts and it can be as much as 5 to 10 times more names than hosting accounts.  That gap is an opportunity.

By adding SnapSite into the sales process the registrar should be able to achieve a higher conversion rate to the higher margin hosting accounts by automating the initial site creation as part of the sales process.

With SnapSite integration

With the SnapSite pre-processor integrated into the registration process the host could automatically create and publish a website for the user that contains data to customize the site for that customer.  The content included in the site could be as simple as the users name or company name or the registrar could ask for more information like a site title, and a short descriptive text during the sign up process.  The user could also be given a few options for the look of the site using the designs the registrar customized.

Then when the customer browses to the new domain address he will see his selected design personalized with the content collected during the sign up process.  This gives the user an instant website rather than a default generic “coming soon” page.

Then the user can click on a link at the bottom of the website page that takes him into the website builder application so they can add more text, images, links, etc. to their site.  By bringing the user into the website builder with some of their content preloaded, it is a more engaging experience and more likely to keep them interested in editing and republishing those updates. 

It is important to engage the new users into the process of using a website builder early in the process when their interest in this new purchase is high.  Website builder users are much less likely to change registrars at renewal time since the current service is more likely meeting their needs (they have a website and are updating it) plus it would mean losing their site content since it’s typically not transferable to another provider.

Example 2: Business Card Printer

This example shows that the SnapSite process is nicely suited to businesses that are not focused on website hosting however they do offer some web site hosting services optionally with their main products.

There are many companies that are primarily printers for small business and specialize in the standard business card, letterhead, and envelope re-print business.  They offer design and printing to make it simple for the SMB owner to have a polished professional image. 

Some of these companies have a strong online presence and drive potential customers to their website by offering 250 or 500 free business cards.  By attracting customers with a free offer when they are first starting out they hope that re-prints and upgrades will be profitable for the life of the relationship.  One of the upgrade options that some of these companies offer is a website.

Current Process

A business card customer is shown the optional extras they can buy and can add any or all of those items to their cart.  For a website, the user would have to buy the option, wait for activation (may be only a few seconds) then login to the website builder application to start the process of building the site from scratch.

SnapSite Process

With SnapSites the offer could change to 500 free business cards and a free 1 page website.  When the user signs up for the business cards the information they enter (contact, company name, tagline etc) could be automatically and immediately merged into a website design using the SnapSite preprocessor.  In just a few seconds the new customer could have their cards ready for print and delivery plus a website up and published.  This would increase penetration of the website “option” to 100% and could dramatically increase the chances of upgrades to the website such as a domain registration or a plan upgrade.