If you’ve decided that Angie’s List is the right way to reach your customers, your next thought may be how to get the most out of the website. With the option of free memberships for consumers, Angie’s List is attracting more new customers and businesses than before. And the recent merger with Home Advisor has made it an even bigger player in the space. The number of consumers visiting Angie’s List on a daily basis makes it a big opportunity for your business. Here’s a guide to getting the most for your bottom line.
Straightforward Sign-Up for the Angie’s List Business Center
Getting the ball rolling is easy with Angie’s List. It’s a straightforward process of entering basic information about you and your business. Getting a presence is fast and easy, and won’t take more than a few minutes of your busy day.
From there, you can fill out as much or as little as you want at first. Customers can see your basic information, even if you aren’t able to add everything immediately. To start, add your company logo, hours of operation, and general information quickly, and then get back to adding gallery pics or other details at your convenience. Once your Angie’s List Business Center page is set up, you can access all the other features for business owners.
Keep in mind that customers have an easier sign up, too. Now that the paywall is gone – but the premium options remain – businesses have more incentive to keep their presence on Angie’s List.
Angie’s List allows you to create online custom offers and deals, presented directly to potential customers. These deals are discounted services that the customer finds and buys online – though they may sometimes ask questions before the purchase. These offers also help customers search for you as well by giving you more exposure on the site.
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To get started with offers, click on the “Payment Info” link from your main Business Center page to enter your payment preferences. You can get paid either by check or direct deposit when customers buy your offer.
The next step to setting up your ecommerce offers is to call Angie’s List’s toll-free number. You have to call first as way for them to verify your eligibility. But after it’s activated, you can get new customers 24 hours a day without having to answer your phone.
A word of caution: presenting an offer gets you better visibility, but it can come at a high cost. Angie’s List takes a high percentage of the deal. If you’re going to share offers, consider offering a “deposit” for a larger project or a loss-leader. With a loss-leader you offer a simple service at a really low cost in hopes of building a longer-term customer relationship. Losing money at the beginning might be ok if you can recoup it many times over in the coming months or years.
Expert Contributor Program
Have a lot to share about your specialty? The Expert Contributor Program allows you to write articles and post them on the site. It’s a free way to promote your business. From the bottom of the Angie’s List Business Center page, click on the Expert Content link to get started. Submitting articles gets you free exposure that you can link to social media or your own website. If video is a better format for promoting your business, they offer that as well.
You can also ask and answer questions on the Answers page, linked on the right sidebar of the Expert Contributor Page. It’s another free way to promote your business and highlight your expertise. High volume participation puts you to the top of the leaderboard, increasing your visibility. You get points separately for asking and answering, plus votes on how helpful your information is. With each of these options, customers see you sharing your experience and expertise in a public place. This helps build rapport before they email or call, and it could help you win more business.
Angie’s List offers multiple free ways of promoting your company. To expand your digital marketing efforts, you might consider their multiple advertising programs. Before your do, though, you’ll want to brush up on your negotiating skills. More about that in a moment.
To get start with their advertising program, start at the top of your Business Center page, and click on the blue bar for advertising. You can also go directly to “Promote Your Business” at the top of angieslistbusinesscenter.com. Just enter your basic info, and they call you. The downside is that you do have to wait for them initially, but then they’ll be persistent.
Advertising isn’t a feature of the site that is 100% managed online. That’s because there is no set fee structure – it’s based on the zip codes you’re targeting instead. You could end up paying from anywhere between $100 to nearly $3000 per month. Prepare to negotiate to get the best rate and the highest visibility.
While negotiating, ask for ads in their monthly print magazine. As one of their cheapest ads, they offer a good place to start. And it’s a great way to reach people that don’t go online as often.
Whether Angie’s List advertising offers the best ROI is still up for debate. Regardless, make sure to measure your results and be sure of a positive return. Some companies have seen a pick up; others are still waiting. This is another reason to participate in the forums, upload videos, and contribute to the Expert Contributor. Savvy customers respond better to those sides of Angie’s List, at least for now.
Managing Customer Reviews
You’ll want to regularly monitor customer reviews on the website. They show up in searches and on your profile, so reviews can directly impact your business. With the new free option, some customers just look at the reviews and get your name and info. Because of this, reviews can be a key component to that angle of the service.
Angie’s List will stay on top of obvious violations to their terms of service, but you’ll want to respond quickly to any negative comments or reviews that are valid. If you have issues with specific reviews, they are available by phone twelve hours a day, Monday through Friday. Additionally they can respond by email to resolve concerns you may have.
Angie’s List users tend to want more information than the average customer. So they’ve made it easy by allowing you to talk directly with your customers in the Message Center. This feature lets you quickly respond to customers and answer their questions. Also, you can manage conversations with multiple customers at once. Such easy access has some downsides, including the expectation that you’ll respond quickly. It’s also possible to have an upset customer who won’t talk to you in person and prefers to use the message center. For quick answers and easy communication, though, the message center can be a great tool for managing conversations.
Get Started with Angie’s List Business Center
Angie’s List provides many different avenues for you to promote your business. Whether you are just starting out and looking to get established, or you’re an expert navigating changing markets, Angie’s List can offer you great exposure. But there are some downsides you’ll want to balance. Angie’s List is a well-established site, and having a presence on this site can benefit your bottom line if you know what to expect.