Each year, the Nominet team looks for ways that we can most effectively support our diverse membership to grow their share of the .UK namespace; that may be because they have their own domain portfolio, they are supporting large multinational brands or are attracting SMBs in getting online.
The term ‘digital first’ has never been more relevant than over the last year, as businesses have scrambled to build their online presence. Lockdown after lockdown has meant that having a great website has become the primary means of reaching customers. When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit we introduced the Nominet Support Fund (NSF) to help members and registrants navigate some of the most uncertain economic times we have seen. As 2020 progressed, registrations and renewals performed stronger than we expected, but who knows what the future will hold when we enter the next phase of the economy opening up.
Helping our membership to maximise their opportunities in the .UK namespace, at a time when we continue to see competition from other Top Level Domains, is not always easy. We have over 2,500 registrars from all over the world, sometimes in competition with each other and all trying to find their own edge. I wanted to take the time to talk through our plans for the coming months and how our members can engage with us to grow their businesses.
One of the primary ways we support our members is through co-marketing. Due to our Memorandum of Association stating that “no part of the income or capital shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, to the members of the Company”, we are unable to give rebates in the way that other registries can. What we can do is support our members by funding marketing activities that help to grow the .UK namespace. These activities may include social media campaigns, tv and radio or sponsoring events.
We are open to conversations with all our members to understand how the funds can be utilised to support their businesses. Importantly, there are no minimum spend requirements for co-marketing applications, and as such this enables us to provide our members with support at an investment level suited specifically to the registrar. We have created example use cases outlining different ways our registrars could leverage co-marketing funds, to help inspire others on what is possible.
Along with the co-marketing funding, our marketing team are here to advise and support our members to achieve their goals and are always willing to brainstorm ideas around potential campaigns (co-marketing or otherwise). To further support partners, we have recently launched the Channel Marketing Portal which stores a range of helpful resources and assets, including:
- Co-brandable marketing campaign assets
- Research and data points to help partners promote .UK domains
- On-demand marketing masterclass webinars covering a range of topics to help partners grow their business online, such as content marketing, social media and SEO
With co-marketing however, we do recognise that it is focused on an end customer. For our self-managed TAGs and domain portfolio registrars we are running promotions in September and November 2021. Our promotions provide a set of offers at a reduced wholesale price over a fixed-time period. We have announced details of our promotions; member registrars will be able to see Terms and Conditions and sign-up via Online Services from the 14th of July.
We continually review and optimise our approach to ensure we are catering for the needs of our entire channel and welcome any feedback on promotions that either we, or other registries, have run to help shape our offering.
Most importantly we want your input and engagement on the initiatives we have in place, as well to talk through your plans in more detail and how programmes like co-marketing can support you over the coming months.