Angie’s List launched a new tool on Wednesday that it says may be the key to stealing home services providers from competitors, like Porch.com, Pro.com and Amazon Home Services.
CEO Scott Durchslag says they’re fighting in a crowded market, where professionals have no shortage of options to help generate leads and find new customers.
So Angie’s List plans to stand out with a new tool, called LeadFeed, that was built from the ground up with the professionals in mind. Contractors want a service that gives them control over when and what kind of leads they’re paying for — and that’s what the new tool is all about.
“We heard very specific feedback in our market research before we launched this, saying, ‘We would love to have something like this but address these specific issues,'” Durchslag said at a RBC Capital Markets conference in New York on Wednesday. “LeadFeed addresses all of those issues.”
The launch highlights just how tough the lead generation business is right now, and how far companies must go to stand out. Competition is coming from technology giants like Yelp and Amazon, but also a new wave of startups that are popping up constantly. Building a service that offers something professionals can’t get anywhere else has been just one hurdle companies like Seattle-based Porch have struggled to overcome, and now there’s yet another competing offer they’ll have to deal with.
On the consumer side, the only real difference with LeadFeed is that users don’t have to create an account before Angie’s List will match them with a contractor that does whatever kind of work they’re looking for. Users go to the website, submit a description of the job, their address and contact information.
Angie’s List then teases that job to three providers, who can choose whether or not to buy the lead for between $7 and $100, depending on the project. If they buy it, they receive the homeowner’s contact information and can reach out to try to land the business.
It seems simple enough, but Durchslag explained on stage at the RBC conference this isn’t how other services have operated in the past. Porch, for example, sells subscriptions contractor’s pay to sporadically receive leads all year long.
“We’re not ramming it down their throats every month where they don’t have any choice about it,” Durchslag said. “The big thing we’re trying to do with LeadFeed is have the best lead generation engine that’s out there. We’re not the first ones to come up with that idea. Others are doing that.”
LeadFeed has the added bonus of enabling Angie’s List to turn casual visitors who don’t create an account, which is about 85 percent of the site’s traffic, into jobs for its professionals.
“LeadFeed enables us to directly connect these visitors to highly-rated service providers while monetizing more of the massive amount of traffic that comes to our website,” Durchslag said in a Wednesday press release announcing the new product. “It also allows non-members an easy way to sample a small piece of the value we offer.”