Which domain should you use for sales outreach?
Lead Generation

Which domain should you use for sales outreach?

Do this to ensure you aren’t damaging your sales efforts

Using your main domain

The first mistake most early-stage teams make is sending emails from the company’s main domain. This has several damaging effects. The most immediate being that sending all of your sales outreach from a single domain will tank your deliverability. The reality in 2023 is that spam filters are smarter and stricter. Sending a large volume from multiple accounts on a single domain every day will be very easy to flag as spam content. Instead, you want to scatter your outbound activity over multiple domains. 

A team with 5 sales reps on the same domain screams trouble. All it takes is one rep to make a mistake with their outbound to compromise all the work the other 4 reps put in. Domains are often punished collectively - a healthy outbound machine accounts for this and reduces the risk involved. Having more than 1 in 1,000 emails being marked as spam can completely tank your deliverability. 

Seeing how easy it is for email deliverability to tank, we always suggest using domains that aren’t your main domain. Over the past two years, lots of startups have had issues with their deliverability when they ran sales campaigns without a background in best cold email practices. The ones that did this on their main domain have also had issues with their non-sales emails - unable to respond to investors, customers, and teammates. This is why it’s never worth it to run outreach from your main domain.

In the worst case, there can also be an impact to your SEO. Remember that Google and Microsoft’s primary concern is with providing a great email experience for their customers. Getting on Google’s bad books can have multiple negative effects on your growth efforts.

What domain should I use?

There are several variations of your domain that you can get as domains that exist solely for sales emails. Let’s say your company’s domain is Bounty.com. You could then buy other domains such as:

  • Bounty.co
  • Bounty.io
  • Bounty.so
  • Bounty.app
  • TryBounty.com
  • GetBounty.com
  • UseBounty.com

The important thing is that the domain must look natural. Some companies will alternatively use subdomains, such as marketing.bounty.com. This is feasible but nobody will take a cold email from a subdomain that begins with marketing or sales seriously. This works better for something like an email newsletter, where your audience has already opted in to hear from you.

Getting most domains should be easy and fairly inexpensive. A domain host like Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Google Domains will have an easy set up process to find, purchase and manage all of your domain settings. Here is how to manage your domain settings once you’ve purchased one.

How many accounts per domain?

It’s too risky to have more than 3 inboxes per domain for sales outreach. Your team will be much better served splitting your outreach across multiple domains for just $10 to $30 more. 

Limiting the number of inboxes per domain also helps with troubleshooting any sending issues you have. You should be running different iterations of your messaging. With different sending accounts on different domains, you can analyze your performance to see the difference between deliverability issues (through deliverability testing) and conversion issues (through outreach analytics).

Tracking replies across domains

Having a system with multiple sending accounts across several domains can make for a large mess when managing replies. There are a few ways to resolve this. 

  1. Managing replies through your sending tool

Most modern email outreach software will allow you to manage replies through a central inbox. This includes replying, forwarding, and setting reminders on your responses. A lot of legacy software do not offer this as a feature however, as they set individual accounts rather than team accounts where all the replies can be managed centrally. Have a look at how replies are managed before buying any email outreach tool. 

  1. Using a separate app just for responses

Shared inbox tools are used by teams to collaborate on both internal and external communications. You can use a tool like Front or Spark to centralize all your responses in one place. 

The important thing to note and test for is how your solution handles responses from colleagues of your prospects. Most tools can account for this accurately and include it in your central inbox, but it’s important to make sure that your choice works properly. It’s best to check the individual inboxes across your domains to ensure no replies are being missed.

Managing outreach across domains

Some older sending software still haven’t adapted to teams that use multiple domains for outreach on the same account. This is starting to change, as the software evolves with best practices.

There are also certain tools that allow multiple domains to be used but will limit one campaign per sending account. That makes it extremely challenging to scale out your outreach. You want to choose outreach software that allows for multiple email accounts per campaign, and multiple domains per account on the sending software.

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