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EnCirca .pro Creates New Online Marketing Opportunities

WebProNews
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-03-02

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Addressing a major Web marketing challenge facing small business professionals, EnCirca, Inc., today unveiled a new .pro service...

that makes it possible for all small firms and independent consultants to reserve more memorable and relevant Web addresses and search engine keywords that can be used to promote their businesses online, like www.health.pro for physical therapists.

EnCirca, the leading registrar of .pro domains, is now offering a unique .pro service that allows all self-employed licensed professionals and small businesses to obtain the .pro domain of their choice, without the previous cost and complexity of .pro registrations. The .pro domain was created in 2004 to create online marketing opportunities for licensed professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, physicians, dentists, financial advisors and health care providers - businesspeople who have limited Web promotion options due to the lack of available .com addresses.

"The issues with .pro, until now, were that the cost was often prohibitive and the requirement to validate the registration with credentials of being a licensed professional was restraining," said Tom Barrett, president of EnCirca. "The pace of supporting new professions and countries has been too slow to satisfy demand. Now, EnCirca is resolving the cost and registration obstacles, enabling all licensed professions -- no matter where they reside -- to quickly and easily acquire a memorable .pro identity and effectively compete online."

The .pro domain currently supports only lawyers (law.pro, bar.pro and jur.pro), accountants (cpa.pro, aca.pro), doctors (med.pro) and engineers (eng.pro) from the U.S., Canada, UK and Germany. EnCirca now can provide a .pro domain to licensed professionals worldwide in other categories previously not supported. These professional groups include:

· architects

· certified financial analysts

· certified financial planners

· dentists

· educators
· human resource experts

· insurance agents

· nurses

· nutritionists

· optometrists

· pharmacists

· physician assistants
· physical therapists

· podiatrists

· psychologists

· public relations professionals

· realtors

· veterinarians


Another challenge facing licensed professionals and self-employed businesspeople is that, until now, .pro domains were only available as industry-specific third-level domain names, such as www.wallstreet.law.pro. The more desirable second-level .pro domains, such as www.wallstreet.pro, first required registration of a third-level domain.

EnCirca is simplifying the mandatory certification process by allowing the reservation of second-level .pro domains without requiring the registration of any third-level domain name. This means that EnCirca now supports registrants from all licensed professions anywhere in the world. As a result, applicants no longer need to wait until their profession or country is supported by the registry to secure desirable .pro domains names for their industry.

As an introductory offer through March 31, EnCirca is offering second-level .pro domains for as low as $49, a reduction of 90 percent from the typical $499 fee required to secure these domains today. After March 31, the annual fee for these domains will jump to $99 per year.

"While the Internet and search engines have emerged as an essential part of business today, smaller firms and independent consultants are left largely on the sidelines, and EnCirca is stepping up to close this gap," said Barrett. "Search engine rankings reward domain names that contain keywords being searched. Small business professionals have not been able to competitively market themselves in the .com realm, but with EnCirca's new .pro service, these firms can get a memorable Web address, like www.loans.pro, at a low price that carries the same online ‘weight' as a .com designation."

As easy-to-recall .com designations have disappeared, the alternative has been either longer, more awkward .com second-level domain names or less desirable top-level domains such as .net, .biz, and .info. The .pro domain solves this dilemma for licensed professionals. Despite these efforts, adoption of .pro has been slow, prompting EnCirca's new .pro program.

Through March 31, EnCirca is selling second-level .pro domains, such as www.fitness.pro, for $49 per year, and third-level domains, such as www.pain.med.pro, for $99 per year. Each third-level .pro registration includes a digital certificate for authenticating communications and transactions. EnCirca also offers fully encrypted email and Web design tools, making it a one-stop-shop for the fundamental tools .pro registrants need for search engine-driven Web marketing.

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