Carpet Cleaning Business Marketing

Advertising on Angie's List: Is it Worth it?

January 8, 2013

You’ve probably seen the national commercials from Angie’s List. Angie Hicks, company founder, says on the commercial, “No company can pay to be on Angie’s List, so you can trust what you’re reading.” But do you prospects believe this? And better yet, is it worth it to you to advertise on Angie’s List?
Yes, you can advertise on Angie’s List. Isn’t that ironic? Angie boasts that the reason you can “trust what you’re reading” on her list is because companies don’t pay to be listed. Let me explain how it works: Companies can get listed only after a paid member gives them a positive review. It’s true that you can’t put yourself on Angie’s List or pay to get listed. After your company is on the list, you have the option to pay for a higher and bolder position. Because of their acceptance of advertising, one of the major complaints about Angie’s List is they are not entirely on the consumer’s side. But can it help cleaning companies get better clients?

How much does advertising on Angie’s List cost? 

I did a little research for my own carpet cleaning business. There are roughly 5,000 Angie’s List members in my two-county area. The representative I spoke with said there have been approximately 17 searches per month for carpet cleaning in those counties. The advertising cost, to place me at the top of the list, is $91.50 per month. And there is a one-year commitment. That’s a whopping $5.35 each time someone searches the list, regardless of whether or not they click my link. When you consider that Google Adwords clicks cost an average of $4.50 per click in my area, Angie’s List sounds pretty expensive.  

Is Angie’s List advertising worth the money?  

Dan Traub of Four Seasons Rug, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning (Ventura, CA) told me, “Very few clients we get on Angie’s List tend to complain about price or other minor issues. They tend to be good clients. So that alone is worth advertising with them.” Dan mentioned that he pays $190 per month to be listed at the top of Angie’s List and gets around a 3-to-1 return on his advertising investment.  
Jim Francis, of A Clean Pro Professional Cleaning Service (Apple Valley, CA) told me via Facebook, “I pay $25.17 per month. We are in a small area but it’s starting to work in just over a year. (We’re) getting great clients.”
You can pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to put your company rank higher than your competitor. If you have a good reputation and several good reviews, it may be worth testing it out. In large areas, where Angie’s List has over 10,000 members, they even send out a snail-mail newsletter. Companies who are listed on Angie’s List have an opportunity to advertise in this newsletter.
They also have group coupon deals, called the “Big Deals.” You tell them the specifics of your offer, and they put the offer in front of their members. I’ve heard of companies paying up to 33% of their total, already discounted job ticket, for these deals. Similar to Groupon, success of these offers varies. However, it does seem Angie’s List demands a higher percentage than Groupon demands on their deals.

What makes Angie’s List members different?  

According to their media kit, here is how they define their members:
  • Between the ages of 35 and 64
  • Married
  • A homeowner
  • College educated
  • Has an annual household income of at least $100,000
These are all demographics of what you should typically look for in an ideal cleaning client prospect. Additionally, other reports state that there are many more female members than male.  
There’s another big factor that comes into play when you consider whether or not your cleaning company should think about advertising on Angie’s List - the paid membership factor. Many will argue that you can get the same type of reviews on Google, Yahoo! and Yelp. For the most part, that is true. But from an advertiser’s perspective, the fact that someone must pay a few dollars to become a member steps it up a notch. With membership, there’s a certain group community that you can benefit from.
If you do an Internet search for Angie’s List, you’ll find it is constantly getting knocked because members have to pay to see reviews. Reviews can be found online for free. But that’s what makes Angie’s List different. Many members feel they can trust Angie’s List more than freebie review sites. They feel this way mostly because it’s a paid membership site. But really, it doesn’t matter. The important thing you should know is that it’s a cherished service among those that use it. That, combined with the right demographics of an ideal cleaning client, may lead to a great advertising source.
If you want a glowing reputation among Angie’s List members, get the Super Service Award. All you need to do is get a few high-rated reviews by members. The number of reviews required varies by chapter. But once you receive the award, your profile is graced with the award that distinguishes you apart from your competition.
It’s really a new twist on referral marketing taken to the online community. Many people with disposable income would rather pay for this type of information. And if they’re likely to pay for the information, they’re surely more likely to be the type of consumer who would pay for a service like carpet cleaning. So do what you can to get on this list.

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