The strategy registrars are or will be adopting is extremely important when it comes to raising end user awareness about new gTLDs. Imagine you’re Joe the End User and visit your registrar’s website because you have to renew an existing domain. If you see new gTLDs promoted aggressively on the homepage, you might find out for the first time about the existence of these new domains.
Then maybe a month later, you have to visit the registrar’s website again to let’s say update the name servers of a domain. If new gTLDs are yet again promoted aggressively on the homepage, you might be tempted to find out more this time and as time passes, you might end up getting used to them.
Now of course, the following question arises:
Will registrars promote new gTLDs aggressively?
In my opinion, it will all be a matter of split testing for them. In other words, they will test various approaches and ultimately stick with the one(s) that generate the most money. They will test various layouts through which new gTLDs are promoted aggressively, they will test various layouts through which “traditional” TLDs are promoted, they will test various layouts through which dot com is promoted and so on.
Money talks, everything else is just background noise.
As time passes, registrars will gather data about the effects of each approach. If promoting new gTLDs makes them more money, they will do this more often. If not, they won’t. When it comes to the new gTLD launches, registrars are in a very good position because registry operators will basically be forced to compete against one another and of course against the status quo in terms of registrar “shelf space” such as sticking with dot com.
Time will tell what ultimately happens. There’s no doubt in my mind that registry operators will be willing to offer very good deals but at the end of the day, the results have to do all of the talking because for the most part, registrars will be very pragmatic and simply choose whichever option generates more money.