The Most Simple, Yet Costly Process for Businesses to Overlook

It was a simple oversight that could happen. In fact, this oversight is likely to happen to us or someone we know operating a company as some point.

Just due to the shear nature of the business I’m in, search marketing and domain investing and consulting, I see more often than most.

In truth, it’s an everyday experience that is as normal as breathing for me to encounter as I sift through daily lists of expired domains in auction.

And so, what is this “it” that I speak of that is supposedly the most simple, yet costly process for businesses to overlook?

I was reminded of “it” when I read about Marketo’s CEO recently having to apologize to customers, suppliers/vendors and employees for Marketo’s latest domain blunder that he categorized as “human and process error”.

Marketo is not the first, nor will they be the last company to experience such costly oversight.

In fact, domain renewal blunders happen every day of the week, if not everyday of the year, and cost companies into the millions on the following, but not limited too:

  • missed revenue opportunities realized
  • lost email communication
  • lost search rankings
  • productivity loss and downtime expenses
  • cost to regain ownership

Most companies, and likely yourself as well, dismiss the notion that they or their company could ever miss not renewing their domain.

After all, that’s why domain registrars provide renewal notifications and automation services, right?

Many persons and companies do make good on using domain renewal notifications and automation services to ensure their domains are protected from such an embarrassing mishap.

But often is the case, people tend to renew domains for more than one year, especially companies. The problem with this strategy is that you could renew a domain for 5 or more years, yet the credit card could expire or a new card be issued.

I’ve actually seen companies fail to renew domains through acquisitions and divestitures because the domains were not accounted for as assets by the acquiring company.

But in most cases, domain renewals are often forgotten simply due to credit card blunders, or incorrect or outdated contact information.

In fact, a few months ago, I bid and purchased a generic sounding domain in expiring auctions that I thought was rather a decent domain. Then was contacted immediately upon the domain being transferred into my account.

Long story short, the previous owner had forgotten to multi-year renew the domain name because

1) credit card expired and

2) the email used in contact information had an email listed she could no longer access.

The interesting part is the latter of the previous sentence. The email used was the very domain she lost!?

Hint, Hint… Use a different email address than the registered domain for Whois contact info.

Nevertheless, she explained that she had placed her company on hold to care for mother who had recently passed.

After her mother’s passing, she to resume business only to realize that email, website, and domain were non functional.

Nevertheless, she and I worked together to validate her story. In the end, she received the domain back and business is back to normal.

From her small business to Marketo’s conglomerate, not one person or business is immune to the possibility of losing their domain name.

In fact, Google lost and retained their domain not too long ago due to “human and process error”.

Of course, domain renewal blunders happen to best of the best too.

Google retained ownership of, but not without making a generous donation, as did Marketo, to the person renewing the domain’s charity of choice.

I’m not certain of all the details in involved in Google or Marketo domain renewal snafus, but I strongly encourage you to check your domains on a monthly basis.

Check not only renewal dates, but also check and validate accurate contact information, payment methods, and that the domain actually does renew.

If not, then re-establishing domain ownership could be and is a costly experience.

Now, go check and validate that all is well with your domains, or you might find yourself reading 3 steps to reclaim lost domain names. 😉

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.