Angie's List Marketing thoughts

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Forum topic by , posted 02-04-2014 02:30 AM 1182 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3574 days

02-04-2014 02:30 AM

So a totally different subject but an interesting one, at least to me. Our upcoming move to our own private property into a much bigger shop that we ‘Own’ rather than rent has me thinking about our future potential customers. I had realized that my local drive by the shop customer base had increased a fair amount since June 2013. In fact half of our customers since June 2013 were the result of a customer walking through our shop doors in town.

This is some cause for concern since working in our own shop on private acreage means no person is going to know about us except purely through word of mouth and also my web site SEO. I have had some conversations with Angie’s List and was almost set to sign on with them, the cost was not extremely high and was what I considered fair. And what was being offered was basically being at the top of the list in all of San Antonio and surrounding counties. Basically Angie’s List places listings that pay for advertising at the top while non paid listings then fall below. So if there are 200 shops in the city, and only us and a few other shops pay for advertising, we will always be at the top or the top 2 or 3. According to the sales rep only 1 or 2 other shops in the City currently pay for advertising. It also helped that Angie’s List marketing came highly recommended by a local granite shop we work with.

A couple months ago we had great success working with a small builder/George (about 5 homes a year he does). At a glance I realized we have 2 decent sized custom jobs on schedule/sold that we are working on. And then George called and said he has a new home he needs us to measure for cabinets soon, and then said he is also beginning another new home that will be about 2 months down the road. Then a few days later I was called by a lady who told me her builder/Mike had us listed in his approved booklet of contractors and she was wanting to schedule a meeting to discuss the details of her cabinets. I did not even recognize the builder by name. Upon quick research I discovered he has an office downtown and does nicer homes and completes about 10 homes per year. Then George advised me that he has a friend who is also a small builder that seen the job we did for him and now his friend wants us to do his next job.

Feeling like we might just get swamped, I advised Angie’s List I was going to hold off and not sign up for marketing as of right now. I said maybe check back with me in a few months and who knows.

Then just last Saturday I got a call from a prospective customer who only lives a few miles from our shop. I did my usual meeting and discussed the cabinets. The customer advised me that his wife as a membership with Angie’s List and that was how they found me. We have been accumulating good reviews with Angie’s List so our grade is ‘A’ and I keep the site updated with our recent project photographs. Anyhow, it was my first ever referral from Angie’s List and it was from what is currently a “Free” listing. I believe we were found because of our shop being in such close proximity to the potential customer who was doing the internet search.

Does anyone have any input. I am on the fence and part of me says to go for it. I have no doubt the ROI will be very good through Angie’s List however part of me realizes that our current schedule looks packed and could keep us busy for a long time coming.

Thanks for reading.

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4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 02:43 AM

Well, you’re doing well. I hope you aren’t underbidding, which
can make your shop popular but can run you down in other
ways. You are certainly finding a market for your competencies,
which is good.

As a rule of thumb if you’re swamped all the time your prices
are too low for the quality you produce.

This is not a direct answer I know. I’d hold off on the Angie’s
list paid promotion for the time being.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2314 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 02:50 AM

I’ve wondered about this myself. I know I’d never use Angies list as a customer, I mean your an idiot if you can’t talk to someone on the phone, look them up on the internet and make a decision. Yet people pay her to hook them up with merchants.
From the merchant side it’s different though. I’m thinking about a free listing myself. something tells me that these people will likely be difficult clients.
IDK, guess it’s worth a try if it’s free. I’ve been using Thumbtack and getting quite a few referrals. They make you pay for the contact up front, I’ve never paid more than $6.66 for a lead and most are $3.33. The info is rarely enough to buy a bid though. It’s like anything else, you have to decide on the fly sometimes.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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2387 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 02-04-2014 02:53 AM

Loren I agree my prices could still go up a bit. I have cut the builder a small break off of our normal price but actually found that we made better money with him. Mainly because he was fairly simple and did not go crazy with wanting this and that and asking us to jump through too many hoops. It was a fairly quick, bam bam bam job and thus we had very few trips to the job site.

Owner builders, we charge more but they don’t just want more, but a lot more. My current job is for an owner, she wants hidden casters under 2 cabinets, 2 levels of upper cabinets, double arched doors everywhere, dividers, pull outs, solid wood tops here and there, fancy trim everywhere, it is crazy. I thought I charged a decent amount for her but the more we are doing, it seems I still should have charged even more.

But yeah, I am still aiming our prices upward a little at a time.

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View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3574 days

#4 posted 02-04-2014 03:09 AM

Russell, with Angie’s List, you would have to have a customer put your name on their site. Don’t try to cheat them they seem to be fairly thorough as all reviews go through an approval process. And they don’t sell grades.

By the way, Angie’s List is basically a review system. Based on an honest review system. On the internet anymore, many products are bought based on reviews read. In fact, I buy a lot of my new tools based on reviews. Reviews helped me decide to go with Dewalt 20v Lithium for example. I read reviews on compressors, nail guns, welders, etc…

To provide a recent example where I should have went with internet reviews. For Christmas my wife wanted to get me something, but what. So I told her I might try a bluetooth head set for MP3 player (playing music) and for phone talking. She picked up a set at Best Buy. They were very uncomfortable. I tried to take them back but they refused the return. I decided to look up the headset online and sure enough the reviews revealed a pattern of pour comfort ratings. I even found a nicer headset with much better ratings for just a tad more money. Had I utilized online reviews, I would have had a different headset.

And yes, some sites may have fake reviews, there is that risk. But if you utilize multiple sites for the reviews and not just trust one site, the overall idea of using past reviews for future purchases can be viewed as wise. So this is where I see Angie’s List as being an advantage to some contractors. Of course if you do bad work, the review system is just going to screw you. But if you do bad work, you deserve to be screwed.

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