At the end of my son’s soccer game on Saturday, one of the parents came up to the Assistant Coach and asked about the company on his sweatshirt. The Assistant Coach works at the company, and the other parent knew a couple of his colleagues. After their conversation ended and we walked off the field, I asked him if his company uses a .XYZ domain name.
The Assistant Coach looked surprised that I would know this, chuckled a bit, and confirmed that his company was the brand with the .XYZ domain name. Mind you, this is not one of the more well-known .XYZ users, but I happened to know of it because of some research I did in advance of launching Embrace.xyz.
After confirming, I told him I am familiar with .XYZ because the company sponsors my Pan-Mass Challenge ride every year. I also mentioned that it has become one of the most popular domain names for startups, and that has led to some fairly large domain name sales.
He then told me that they have serious issues with email deliverability. A lot of companies and/or email providers block .XYZ domain names or assume email from .XYZ domain names is spam. Our conversation was brief, but I thought it was interesting.
My uneducated assumption is that .XYZ domain names became a source of spam when they were super cheap to buy. Spammers could buy thousands of throwaway .XYZ domain names, use and abuse them, and dump them.
My domain investment portfolio is nearly all .com. In a very distant second place for me is .XYZ. I know the .XYZ team works hard to prevent abuse, but there is still work to be done to improve the email reputation.