Printing Drop-shipper Pays Big for a Better URL—Was It Worth It?
What’s in a name? Only the future of your company. Just ask Printful Inc., a drop-ship printer of T-shirts, pillows, mugs and other customizable products.
The Los Angeles-based retailer, which also handles fulfillment and shipping for thousands of online stores, had been using “ThePrintful.com” as its primary URL. Why not go with the less confusing “Printful.com”? It simply wasn’t available. So, the company improvised.
It worked for a while, but after some digging in Google Analytics, Printful CEO Davis Siksnans knew change was needed. According to Internet Retailer, Siksnans and his team found that people struggled to find the company—the problem being how they searched. For example, there was the group of users who entered “Printful.com.” The other group got the name right, but typed “the Printful” (two words).
“We want to make it easier for word-of-mouth marketing to spread,” the CEO told Internet Retailer. “That was not going to be effective if well-meaning referrals led potential customers to a dead URL.”
It was neither an easy fix, nor a cheap one. After unsuccessfully negotiating directly with the original domain owner, an entrepreneur in Spain, Siksnans used the GoDaddy Domain Buy Service as an intermediary, Internet Retailer reported.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve paid attention to the evolution of Facebook—or “theFacebook,” as it previously was called. In 2005, Facebook famously spent $200,000 to acquire Facebook.com. Siksnans also dropped six figures for Printful.com, though it was a “steal” at $100,000.
Only time will tell if the retailer’s move will pay off. For Siksnans, dropping “the” fits with his long-term plans and is worth the cost.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.