10:30 AM

Clever Marketing Boosts .CO Domain Popularity

The .CO domain extension has become very popular and the company that handles the registrations was in San Francisco earlier this week promoting local businesses that use the extension at a party in a local restaurant.

I attended as a guest of my friend Heddi Cundle, who's MyTab.co travel gift site, was one of the businesses featured. She says that the .CO team have helped her out with a lot of expert services that have saved her considerable time. Registrars usually don't provide any business services at all.
Hutch Rosco (above), Marketing Manager at .CO, said that support services are an important way to help grow and promote the domain name. But only certain influential web sites are supported, not every domain buyer gets the same service.

The .CO extension is assigned to the country of Columbia but the registry is operated by a private company based in Miami: .CO Internet S.A.S. Lori Anne Wardi, vice president, said that some of the revenues are used to fund digital literacy programs in Colombia.

The company has registered more than 1.4 million names and was co-founded by Juan Diego Calle, CEO. Paul Sloan, at CNET, reports that he made some savvy marketing moves building the brand.

Early on ... he gave "T.co" to Twitter to use as it's URL shortener, which the folks at Twitter were eager to do. He did a deal with AngelList ... now uses Angel.co. [Dave] McClure's 500Startups runs on 500.co, Jason Calcanis's Launch runs on Launch.co, and on and on. These are influential places to spread your message.

The company is trying to portray .CO as being used by "early adopters." However, it's more like "late adopters" because they would prefer to have .COM if they could but were obviously late in registering their names. However, Google does treat the .CO extension as if it were .COM rather than as a country code, which helps .CO businesses.

Registration is $15 the first year rising to $25 the second year. This is much higher than .COM registration which can be as low as $8, to discourage speculative domain buyers buying up thousands of names. But domain squatters are still making money. A report from Sedo earlier this year shows average selling prices for .CO domain names was $1,826, second only to .COM at an average of $2,775.