With millions of people visiting Angie’s List each month to search for home related services, it definitely deserves some attention. As one of the leading home repair review sites on the internet today, you’d be crazy to ignore Angie’s list as a method for reaching customers.
Since I started my handyman business back in 2011, I have been testing the waters with Angie’s List to see if it is worthy of my advertising efforts and dollars. So far, I have spend about $750 dollars advertising with them, and received less than $300 in business as a result.
I’ve heard of several other businesses that have had good success with Angie’s list, so why am I different?
In this post, I plan on discussing the ins and outs of Angie’s list as well as giving some first hand insight into the lead generation giant.
What is Angie’s List?
For those of you not yet familiar with Angie’s List, it is essentially a customer reviews based search engine for paying members. Here’s how it works. A homeowner pays a yearly fee to be a member and have access to the site. Once a member, homeowners can browse business profiles and search for home service providers. Members can also read in depth reviews of service providers that were written by other members.
Angie’s List is unique for a couple of reasons. One, you have to pay to be a member (business listings are free, however). Two, only member reviews count for or against a service providers overall rating. The main benefits Angie’s list offers to subscribers are that companies can’t pay to be on Angie’s List, reviews come from real people (implying they are more accurate and non-biased), and members enjoy exclusive discounts from service providers.
How to get your business on Angie’s List
Getting your business listed on Angie’s List is really easy. Simply go to the link below and click on the “create your free account now” button at the bottom of the page.
Then, it’s as easy as filling out the information and then confirming your listing. Just follow the instructions on their site.
How to actually show up on Angie’s List
There are three ways that I know of to show up at the top of the list when a member searches for services in your category. This is what I gathered from viewing Angie’s List from a member perspective and talking to an Angie’s List Sales rep.
#1 Have a lot of reviews and an A rating
From what I could see on Angie’s list, most of the businesses listed at the top had several reviews. The more the better. I saw several handyman at the top had over 20 reviews and had an A rating. That is a lot of reviews and probably took a decent amount of effort to get that many people to submit reviews.
#2 Offer ridiculous discounts
With Angie’s List, there are a couple ways you can offer discounts. One, is by simply listing a certain type of discount on your listing such as $50 off of the initial service or something along those lines.
The second way to offer discounts is to set up a Big Deal. A Big Deal works just like Living Social or Groupon. You set up a deal for a certain service at a highly discounted rate (usually at least 50% off) and customers then have the ability to purchase that deal straight through Angie’s List. Typically you would put a limit on the number of available so you weren’t overwhelmed with calls. On top of the discount you are offering, Angie’s List gets a cut of what the customer pays. Angie’s list then pays you your cut and customers can call and schedule their service.
Obviously, Angie’s list wants to provide value to their members so they will make sure and place these ads so customers actually see them. This will get your listed exposure, but at the significant cost of your time.
That’s right, even though Angie’s List claims that businesses can’t be paid to BE on the list, they can pay to actually be SEEN on the list. Sneaky little devils.
From my experience, this can be a less than ideal way to reach the top of the listings. This is because even if you are at the top, you’re still going to be competing with companies with between 20 and 50 reviews. If you only have a couple, like I did, then you’re not as likely to get those customers to call you. I wouldn’t recommend paying for a top listing unless you already have at least 10 really good reviews.
When I paid for my listing, I also didn’t have very many reviews. I had about 5 total reviews and one of theme was not so good. If I would have had 10-20 reviews and an A rating, my experience may have been different.
Review of Angie’s List
What I Like
Angie’s list can be a great way to get new customers and there are several reasons why I like the website.
- It’s free to get listed – A basic listing is free. If you are willing to put in the efforts to get a bunch of reviews, it can be a great way to get new clients at no cost to you.
- Good for link building – Building links to your website helps it to rank in Google and other search engines. Since Angie’s List is an established website with authority, it’s a good link to have.
- Opportunity to build trust – Customers need to trust you in order to hire you, having good reviews online is a great way to build trust.
- Members have to pay for access – It’s free for businesses, but homeowners need to pay to have a membership. If a customer is willing to fork out some cash for an unnecessary membership, it shows that they have money and their home is important to them. This usually indicates a quality customer for a handyman business.
What I Don’t Like
Just like anything else, Angie’s list also has it’s cons.
- You can’t control negative reviews – There are a lot of irrational people out there that will give you a bad review simply because they hate their life. I usually try to avoid these customers at all costs, but I have come across 2 of them. Unfortunately, if you get a really bad review, it can seriously hinder your ability to get customers from Angie’s list. This is especially true when you have less than 5 reviews because the one bad one will stand out. The bad review will hurt your chances of attracting customers, which will make it difficult to get more good reviews in order to cover it up.
- Only Angie’s list members can effect your review grade – Any of your customers can submit a review on Angie’s list, but only members’ reviews impact your grade. This can make it difficult to gain momentum if you don’t get hired by Angie’s List members in the first place.
Overall, I’d say it’s worth it to at least have your business listed on Angie’s List. It’s free to do and the link to your website is worth the time to set up. As far as offering discounts and trying the Big Deal, that’s a decision you’ll have to make for your own business.
So what are your thoughts on Angie’s List? I’d like to hear your experience or questions. Leave them in the comment section below!