Angi Leads has a strong history. I remember 7 years ago when I first put my business on ‘Angie’s List’ (previous name) and had a decent, if perhaps a little underwhelming, experience. But I’ve had small business clients get serious amounts of business off of Angi Leads, so I went hunting for contractors and small businesses experience. Does Angi Leads get them leads?
- Though the overwhelming majority of businesses were negative, there are 2 below that talk about the positives.
- It seems SOME businesses were extremely successful on Angie’s List, though they were also very aggressive about getting reviews.
- We strongly suggest OWNING your lead-generation systems with your website and SEO, rather than relying on any third-party.
HomeAdvisor + Angie’s List Merger = Angi Leads
It’s probably good to begin with the fact that not too long ago, Angie’s List was purchased by IAC and was subsequently combined with HomeAdvisor (IAC’s home services marketplace).
Angie’s List had long been struggling, even after a freemium model and allowing companies to use the site for free (more on their current pricing model later). Angie’s List was started in 1995, and while it is often seen as an authoritative review site by many, they had trouble finding their footing against new rivals (like Amazon Home Services, Facebook, Thumbtack, Porch, and more). The growth of its user base stagnated, and its quarterly revenue over the last two years has been lackluster. Therefore, they were ripe for acquisition. Has the acquisition helped out Angie’s List? Let’s find out.
What is the Angi Leads Contractor Experience like now?
Every time I put out a ‘meme’ on Angi Leads – there is someone there to defend them.
Many contractors swear by Angi Leads and will defend them tooth and nail to the death.
Here are reasons many people believe that Angi Leads is actually an UNETHICAL or at least UNSAVORY or predatory business:
- They advertise for companies names – the same company’s that are paying them for leads and may have a lower amount of sophistication regarding advertising. Essentially they are using the company’s money to compete against them. Whack.
- They drive down pricing and advertise unrealistically low numbers – No wonder people ‘convert’ on their website and say they want ‘an Angi professional’ to come out to their home. If you’re a home service provider who’s average ticket is $10,000 – do you really want leads that opted in expecting a 5k service? This leads to homeowners believing the Angi home service contractors are low-end, and the contractors believing all homeowners are stingey.
- They sell the leads 3-4-5 times – This is probably the biggest problem with building your business entirely on Angi Leads. You will be in an urgent rush to the pricing bottom if you constantly believe all customers are like Angi customers. Some customers really do value doing it right, customer service, and brand – but you won’t see that as much on Angi – at least so I’ve been told my home service contractors with multiple lead flows.
Speaking of HomeAdvisor – check out this *atypical* contractors positive experience:
Reddit’s take on Angie’s List
Some hot takes from Youtube
8 Harsh Angie’s List Reviews from Consumer Affairs
“Please feel free to reach out to me at **. I signed up as a roofing/remodeling company contractor with Angie’s List in March! I received a total of 9 leads of which 4 were fake unverified leads that I could not even reach. The other 5 were just window shopping. I was only able to schedule 3 out of the 5 for an appointment. 2 were not actually ready to do anything, just wanted quotes and only 1 may potentially be a customer. I have reached out to Angie’s List with my disappointment and received 0 acknowledgement from the Angie’s List team. Once they sign you up for a year then instead of trying to help or work something out, the only communication I receive is more junk advertisement attempts to get more money from me. Be careful, I would stay clear of this company. Complete waste of time and money!” – Dmitry of Naples, FL
“Our Senior Client Success Manager Jack ** was unprofessional when I spoke to him on the phone in regards to canceling our membership. The reason we canceled was because we were getting charged $500 a month but didn’t have many leads to pay our monthly expense for Angie’s List. They made a payment without our authorization and it gave our account a negative. We had another guy we spoke to last time that worked with us with the payments and we would give him our authorization to take a payment out of our business account. We know other businesses that have used Angie’s List and they have told us we are paying too much every month.” – Evan of Port Saint Lucie, FL
“Instead of asking for local recommendations VIA a Facebook group (because I didn’t want to explain the situation publicly), I utilized Angie’s List. I was really excited when I found a company that had good reviews, and was only a few towns down from me. I requested a quote/information from this company, or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when I start receiving MULTIPLE phone calls from places that aren’t even that company in particular. Not ONE of those phone calls left a voicemail either. Instead, my phone screened those calls and I just have a transcript of what they said, but they didn’t leave a voicemail. Clearly Angie’s List (which has merged with HomeAdvisor so beware of them too), is selling our information. Do not use this website. Do your own research, and reach out to companies VIA their websites directly. I’m clearly going to be getting calls thanks to this for a long time.” – Amanda of Hudson, NY
“I own a construction and remodeling company, and joined Angie’s List for a year. The experience was terrible, I paid them to send me leads but instead, they sent the leads to their sister company Home Advisor (which I was a member also, not knowing that they are associated with each other) and then Home Advisor would send them to me (for a charge of course!) so, I paid double for the same lead. Their review system is awful, no investigation whatsoever, no call, etc. Anyone can go on their site and post reviews, as a matter of fact, they recommend that your friends post positive reviews so your score goes up (what???). Please if you are reading this and you are a contractor, stay away from Angie’s List and save yourself the pain, trouble, and your money.” – Tulio of Houston, TX
“Don’t waste your hard money with Liars and Losers. No leads, no customers and it is a 12 months contract. Don’t sign anything from them. They are owned by HomeAdvisor that is the same owner of the old leads scammers ServiceMagic. STAY AWAY!!!!”- MARCOS of Westborough, MA
“I’ve been an Angie’s List pro for about 2 months. Even though I was running my business on my own for a while I decided to stop due to a family emergency. I attempted to cancel my subscription and they are trying to charge me $1,000+ for a service I no longer need and THIS WAS NEVER DISCUSSED ON MY INITIAL SIGN UP. They never tell you this upfront! It’s either that or continue to pay 300.00 a month for a business I no longer have and advertisement they are NO LONGER PROVIDING!” – Gerlinda of Boynton Beach, FL
It’s not all bad – some good Angie’s List Reviews
Angie’s list has been the best advertising outlet we have ever used and we have serviced 1000s of customers through them. One of the problems I see with the people that complain is with the provider, not Angie’s list. If you are Dealing with a A rated company or an F rated one, it’s up to you and all you have to do is go on their page and write a review about the service. The Reason we have GREAT reviews is because we take care of our customers and they in turn give us GOOD REVIEWS. – Charlie of Millbrook, AL
A very insightful response to ‘Why is Angie’s List so terrible?’ on Quora
Well, I’m not going to say it’s terrible.
But I will say this:
For every person who says that Angie’s list is great, another says how awful they are. It’s tricky business. I know people who love Angie’s List and I know others who won’t touch it.
So what do you do with conflicting info? You look at data at scale.
There are some industry benchmarks you can look at to decide if an online lead source like Thumbtack is worth trying out (and paying for.)
A few things you need to consider:
- Cancellation Rates –Some sources have over a 50% cancellation rate. No joke. For example, Bing had a cancellation rate of 54% in 2018. That’s crazy. (While Angie’s List was only 11%.) You’ll need a source with as low of a cancellation rate as possible.
- Price per job –Some sources are going to average you a much higher price per job than others. You’ll definitely want to invest in those.
- Source Usage –Are other contractors joining or fleeing this source in droves? This can indicate that a source is going well (and it’s receiving great word-of-mouth) or that a source is really not working out. For example, almost +38% more contractors started using Home Advisor in 2018 than in 2017, and -17% less contractors used Angie’s list in 2018 than from 2017.
You’re welcome to read this cool report that came out, where 3,500 Home Service Businesses were surveyed.
You can find out about a lot of industry trends there and decide for yourself whether it’s a scam.
Here’s a really cool list of over 50+ online lead generation sources for Contractors, if you’re in the market for new ad sources:
– Vanessa Purples, on Quora
And from an anonymous Angie’s List employee on Quora:
“Going Anon on this, as Iaman Angie’s List employee, and I don’t want to give you a cookie-cutter answer.
Truth of the matter is that a slow roll-out of a new UX is occurring as you read this. Give it six more months, and the website and mobile apps should be more finely tuned and intuitive in functionality.
Canceling your membership doesn’t require a phone call. You can always send a quick email to memberservices (AT) angieslist (DOT) com, and you should have no issues getting your membership cancelled. There’s no user-end ability to do this, because sometimes members want to cancel for troubleshoot-able issues.
I would recommend using the email address I mentioned previously to contact Angie’s List directly. It might seem like a “ripoff” to pay for these services, but after some of the horror stories I’ve seen come through about businesses in various markets across the US, it helps to have a mediator for those rare situations when everything goes completely wrong.” – Anonymous Employee, Quora
So what’s the alternative to Angie’s List?
1. NextDoor App – find remodeling and other contractor jobs for free.
2. Thumbtack – get service-based leads for relatively cheap.
3. Your Website + Industrial Strength SEO – Ideally, you build your website into a traffic magnet.
1. Is Angie’s List reputable?
There’s always the question of whether or not Angie’s List is a respected business. Several consumer reports suggest mixed reviews on the legitimacy of Angie’s List.
Jeff Blyskal, a senior editor for Consumer Reports, says, “[Angie’s List] makes a big point to say they’re consumer-driven, when in fact 70% of their revenue comes from advertising. It’s not advertising Coca-Cola; it’s advertising from the companies they rate. If you’re looking for a contractor, you’re only going to look at the first page or two. That skews the ratings,” he said. “It’s about who advertises. I don’t think they’re straight with the public on that.”
2. Bogus ratings?
Even the Consumer Federation of America had something to say. “Angie’s List recommends and gives preferential treatment to these advertisers that can easily mislead consumers into thinking that these businesses are the best ones,” the group said in a news release in early 2019.
The group also found shreds of indirect evidence suggesting that the site contains bogus customer reviews. Many large businesses are given an “A” rating, despite only having a single review. Such a case often makes it difficult for consumers to trust such a site and find reliable contractors.
3. Poor Customer Service? More Reviews on Angie’s List From Consumer Affairs
One user, Cory of Forest Lake, MN, disclosed his experience when trying to remove his company profile from Angie’s List. “I recently closed my plumbing company due to an auto accident. I reached out to Angie’s to remove my profile since I did not want any affiliation with their company since their service really is piss poor anyway. To my surprise, they would not remove my profile, state that my plumbing company is closed. Just wanna give a warning to other contractors not to waste your time or money with these guys. Good Luck.”
Another user, John of Howell, MI, comments on his experience with Angie’s Lists’ poor customer service. “Royalty Deck Restoration was recommended by Angie’s List. However, this provider has failed to complete the job as contracted for and, after repeated calls, has failed to come back as promised.” He goes on to discuss the ill communication of the service, which resulted in him paying much more than expected.
4. Is Angie’s List a Scam? Quora Has Some Answers
Many still have debates on whether or not Angie’s List is a legitimate business or a scam. One Quora user, Randall Flag, shared his honest feelings.
“YES, Angie’s List is a scam … I’m speaking from the position of a service provider that has advertised with Angie’s List and not a consumer who is looking for services,” he says. “Angie’s List want’s your money, and providing you with quality referrals is last on their List. Angie’s List is a “Zero accountability” company in that everything is the customer’s fault and they are responsible for nothing when in fact they are responsible for everything.”
5. How Does Angie’s List Work?
Angie’s List essentially allows members to review local companies and provides access to verified reviews and ratings. The service’s purpose is to compare businesses and hire the best one for your needs or services. You can read reviews from previous customers and share your own experiences, as well.
6. How Much Does Angie’s List Cost?
The cost of Angie’s List depends on which plan you choose to select.
Upon creating an account, you’ll automatically be signed up for the free Green membership plan. The Green plan allows you to access nationwide ratings and reviews, access service pros, and view the digital magazine.
The Silver membership plan costs $24.99 per year. In addition to the Green services, the Silver membership gives access to a print magazine, fair-price guarantee, quality service guarantee, support through chat and email, Bluebook pricing guide, and project scheduling.
The Gold membership plan costs $99.99 per year. Aside from the combined perk from the Green and Silver plan, the Gold plan provides a complaint resolution process, “handy chat,” access to an emergency service line, insta-hire, and eCommerce savings.
7. What Are the “Pros” to Using Angie’s List as a Lead Source?
- Good, quality leads: Most Angie’s List users have agreed that the quality of leads tends to be high. Instead of focusing on selling yourself, you can rely on accurate ratings and reviews that prove you as a reliable option.
- Affordable price: Compared to HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List is much cheaper. Many users agree that it’s worth having your business listed on Angie’s List. The choice of membership depends entirely on your plans for your business.
8. What Are Some Other Specific things Angie’s List Does Well?
Angie’s list does do some things well. For example, because consumers have to pay to use Angie’s List, you can be confident that people who are on the site are actually looking for your services. Compare this with a platform like Houzz, where you’ll see plenty of users simply on there to get estimates or for inspiration. For companies that do get leads, they will likely be of higher quality than Houzz (there are obvious exceptions to this).
9. What Are the “Cons”?
- Self-serving interests: In simple terms, Angie’s List uses their reviews to sell their memberships. For example, the service offers a “read my reviews here” option for your website. However, every time you click on that option, it redirects you to the sales page for their membership plans rather than your reviews. In other words, you don’t have access to the reviews until you sign up.
10. What’s the Difference Between Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor?
Firstly, HomeAdvisor is more expensive than Angie’s List, starting at about $300 per year. As a result, HomeAdvisor refers you to higher-paying jobs. Most people recommended HomeAdvisor for large projects rather than small ones. But even then, you’re charged a fee each time you receive a new lead.
Angie’s List, on the other hand, does not charge a fee. The cost depends on your membership plan. Since business is generally based on rank and visibility, you can buy ads to boost your rankings. For smaller and project-based jobs, Angie’s List is recommended over HomeAdvisor.
11. Is Angie’s List Worth it for Contractors?
While some have found Angie’s List to be utterly useless, others have confirmed it as an excellent source to find professionals for your business needs. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before signing up and ensuring you have all the relevant information. Overall, Angie’s List has been seen to produce helpful leads. But be warned of the potential inconveniences beforehand.
12. Angie’s List Tips
If you’re intent on utilizing Angie’s List in some capacity for your business, here are some simple tips that may help you get a leg up on the competition:
Keep Tabs on Your Leads From Angie’s List – First and foremost, make sure that you know whether or not your efforts and investment in Angie’s List are worth it—especially if you’re paying for a membership. Tracking where your customers are coming from is actually a great business tip in general
Get Recent Customers to Add Reviews – Get in the habit of asking all the homeowners you work with to write a review on your site. To help encourage participation, give them a small rebate for taking the time to write a review.
Respond to Messages Quickly – Nothing is more annoying than a customer trying to do business with someone, but the business not responding to their inquiries. IF you get people messaging you on Angie’s List, make sure you respond promptly.
Resolve Customer Complaints – If you receive a bad review, work towards resolving the issue. Once you do, the review will be deleted and the customer will then be asked to update their review. Every contractor will receive bad reviews at some point. What separates the good contractors from the bad ones is how they handle those unflattering reviews.
Focusing on SEO Instead of Angie’s List
As we mentioned, putting your energy towards building a stronger website through digital marketing best practices is a much better way to get in front of your future customers. People are Googling for your services each and every day. If you don’t have the right tools and strategies in place to help you appear high on Google or be found on social media, you’re missing out a ton of business. Here are 3 quick SEO and conversion-friendly actions to take today to get started on boosting your digital marketing presence:
Create Landing Pages For All Your Services and Locations
Local SEO tactics are a great way to ensure that people that live in the locations you serve can find you easily. Creating specific landing pages (‘Edina Roofers’) will allow people who Google “roofers near me” to find you. Creating a quality, user-friendly location page will help you rank high for searches like that and ultimately land that business.
In addition, creating landing pages for each of your unique, specific services will help your customers find you, too.
Create Video Content
Not only does video content help boost your website’s SEO, but website users find video content much more engaging than written content. This can increase time on site which will also improve your SEO and help you rank. Video content is also great for social and can encourage sharing. Your videos don’t need to be expensive, top-tier videos. You can use a smartphone or an entry-level camera to get the job done.
Invest in a New Website
It cannot be understated just how important having a functional, modern, user-friendly website is for your company. New websites that are made with your ideal customers in mind will make it easier for your consumers to find you. In addition, your website is often the first impression your customers have of your company. You want that first impression to be a good one, right? An old, outdated website can give off bad vibes. At Hook Agency, we always ask whether or not you believe your site’s quality reflects the services you offer. If the answer is no, then reach out to us today.