Way back in 1995 (yes, that's actually almost 30 years ago. Yikes.), business partners Angie Hicks and William S. Oesterle launched Angies List as a place for homeowners to find all their home service needs. And whether you love the controversial site or not, Angies List did change the way that people find contractors, so much so that many other sites have sprung up in the past 27 years that followed Angies List’s lead.
Today, Angies List is now Angi, and the way a potential customer or contractor uses Angi looks different from how they used it in 1995. If you’re a contractor and thinking about putting your business’s profile on Angi, you’re probably wondering if Angi leads are even worth it. While Angi will tell you the answer is a resounding yes, the truth is a little more complicated. Let’s get into Angi’s history and look at a cost versus benefit analysis of Angi home services.
Why Did Angies List Change to Angi?
First, let’s back up and talk about why Angies List is no more. When Angies List first launched, it didn’t take long for it to take off. By 2002, it had over 100,000 subscribers and was taking in $5 million in revenue each year. It spread into new cities all across the country. By 2014, there was talk of a new $40 million expansion for the company’s Indianapolis east-side campus. But that plan was scrapped in 2015, never to be mentioned again.
The 2010s were a trying time for the company, which was losing revenue and users to free review services like Yelp and HomeAdvisor Pro. In 2016, HomeAdvisor’s parent company, IAC, offered to buy the struggling brand, but the deal was initially rejected. However, in 2017, Angies List agreed to be acquired.
The birth of Angi in 2021 came from a desire to be viewed as something other than just a “list.” Although the website was initially launched as a directory, today it’s used for more than that, allowing potential customers to not only research and find their contractors but also book that contractor, schedule a consultation, provide payment, and review services. For contractors, it's a place to find quality customers, request reviews, and message homeowners.
It’s worth noting, however, that although the official line from Angi is that they just didn’t want to be a list anymore (and dropped the E in Angie because Angi is more unique), some people believe there’s more to the story. While Angies List was struggling with new competition, it was also dealing with lawsuits alleging unfair business practices, including lying about their algorithm in order to promote higher-paying advertisers on its site (making some potential customers mistrust Angi ads), hiding negative reviews from users, and making misleading claims about how its contractors undergo background checks. Angies List has continued to deny any wrongdoing.
Are Angi Leads Worth It?
Besides the controversy surrounding the site and the rebrand, contractors want to use Angi as a lead source. So you might be wondering about the pros and cons. For a website that’s been around as long as Angi, it’s not surprising that it comes with some baggage, but how much of that will actually affect you? We’ll break down the benefits and costs of working with Angi.
Benefits to Angi Leads
1. You’ll have access to Angi’s massive userbase.
As a company that was a trailblazer in its time, it’s no surprise that Angi has a large userbase. In fact, Angi boosts that it’s helped over 150 million people with their home care needs. Using Angi means unlocking access to a massive pool of users. It would be incredibly difficult to attempt to build up that kind of potential customer pool on your own.
2. If you’re just starting out, it can help you with lead generation by making you discoverable.
If you’re lacking an online presence, working with Angi would mean getting eyes on your company. If your marketing budget doesn’t allow for website development and maintenance, social media management, and advertisement, it’s going to be hard to be discovered online, but Angi can help with that.
3. It’s free to create a profile.
Although you once had to pay to be on Angies List, Angi isn’t like that. Instead, users have the option to sign up for a paid membership, where they can get access to great discounts. But as a contractor, you can create a profile for free.
Costs to Angi Leads
1. You’ll have to pay-to-play.
Since Angi has been around (in some form) for 27 years, it has indeed built up a lot of users. But it’s also become oversaturated with contractors. That means that you need to be able to stand out in a sea of them. And, unfortunately, the main way to do that on Angi is to pay for Angi ads to show up higher in search results.
2. How low can you go? Angi wants you to go lower.
Services like Angi prioritize the lowest price possible for the customer, and that’s in Angi’s best interest. To entice people into paying for a membership, Angi tells users that they will get access to tons of steep discounts. It makes sense why then Angi’s search results prioritize contractors who offer coupons to Angi’s members, but that doesn’t change the fact that those coupons could cut into your profits.
3. Their review system will leave you frustrated.
To get booked on Angi, you’re going to need to build up your reviews. The oversaturation of contractors on the site means that you should aim to be someone with 20 or more reviews while everyone else is sitting at one review. It’ll make you look more trustworthy, competent, and all-around hirable.
The problem is, as many contractors have unfortunately discovered, Angi’s rating system, which gives contractors anywhere from an A to an F, is only affected by Angi’s members’ reviews. You could have a ton of non-members talking about how great you are, but if a single Angi’s member gives you a poor review, it could tank your rating. And no one is going to hire someone with a B rating if there are a bunch of contractors with A ratings available.
What’s the Verdict?
Breaking down Angi’s pros and cons shows us that we need to have realistic expectations when using a review site as a part of our overall marketing strategy. With Angi leads, you could end up spending money just to appear higher in its search results. And if you don’t have the marketing budget to try other forms of lead generation, you probably don’t have enough money to compete with those spending thousands to get to the top of Angi’s rankings. Angi will cost you time, energy, and money, but it could also produce highly qualified customers.
So, is Angi worth it? That’s up to you and your business’s needs and funds. But it’s important to remember that you should never rely solely on one service for your leads. Diversifying your lead generation is crucial to a growing business, and you’re better off allotting more funds to testing out multiple lead generation funnels. Rather than relying on your profile on Angi to get you clicks, you should put more of your energy into making sure your website is SEO-friendly, optimizing your Google ads, and building out your brand identity on social media.
Don’t know where to start? Companies like Scorpion are designed to help you out through each step of the lead generation process, from creating blog posts to get you noticed through SEO to helping you maintain your email subscribers so that your repeat business never forgets you. Lead generation just got a lot easier.
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