Forget traffic leakage. It’s email that’s most dangerous


A lost website visitor is one thing; a misdirected email can be worse.

Domain name investors often talk about the traffic leakage that occurs when you use a domain name other than .com (or the dominant domain in your country).

Use something other than .com and some visitors will inevitably end up going to the same second level domain in .com. While this is bad, it’s usually not the end of the world. Unless a competitor has set up shop on the .com, most of your customers will still find you. I know that when I type in a .com and should have typed in something else, I turn to Google or recall that it was, say, .org.

But there’s another type of leakage that occurs when you don’t use .com: email. And this is where business can be lost.

Like most domain investors, I’ve been keenly aware of missent email for a long time. I have received lots of emails over the years meant for the owner of a different domain, whether it’s the wrong top level domain or someone forgetting the correct domain. I’ve been amazed to receive emails with social security numbers, medical x-rays…you name it.

But since I started using MailBox park a few months ago, I’ve begun to understand the extent of the problem. I’d categorize my non-marketing messages in three buckets:

1. Expired domains still receiving email meant for the previous owner.
2. Emails sent to my .com when they were intended for the equivalent .org, or other address.
3. Messages sent to my generic domains, like, that are intended for a wholly different domain.

And make no mistake, some misdirected email leads to lost business or unhappy customers. Like the company that sent a follow-up proposal to someone they just met with and then sent another message two weeks later asking why they hadn’t heard back. Or the person running late to a meeting who emailed to say when he’d arrive.

Perhaps this is part of the reason the $20 billion company DXC Technology decided to use a .com domain for email even though its main website is on .technology.

Business depends on email, and it’s a critical use of domain names that we often forget.

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