What's Your Experience with Internet Referral Services?
Last week, we reported the launch of Porch.com, a new internet service designed to connect homeowners with contractors. The field also includes Angie's List, Home Advisor (previously Service Magic) and others. Looking at various window and door dealer and manufacturer websites, it's clear many companies in our industry have at least tried these services for lead generation, and in some cases, embraced them.
I thought I would use this week's poll to get a better sense of how much influence these services have on our business. Has your company tried one or more of these services? Was it a cost-effective way to gather new leads?
And of course, I'd like to hear more on the subject from you too. What are your firm's preferred methods for lead generation these days? Where do you invest the most time and money: existing customer referrals, canvassing, telemarketing, traditional advertising media, home shows, websites, SEO and other internet marketing, social media? Is your mix changing? Post a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
Survey Results as of 10/08/2013 :
Describe your company's experience with Internet referral services:
We've tried one or more and determined this approach is not cost effective for us.
We have not tried these services, preferring alternative approaches to lead generation.
We've tried one or more and been somewhat satisfied with the results.
We intend to try one of these services, but have not done so yet.
We've tried one or more and been very successful with the leads we've received.
This week's poll results do not give high marks to internet referral services. Less than 20 percent of respondents report they've been satisfied or successful with the leads generated from these types of companies. More than half of respondents said this approach was not cost effective for their company.
In some ways, I'm not too surprised. Asking various dealers through the years about these services, I've heard some talk positively about the results, but rarely have I heard a ringing endorsement.
But I would also note that scanning dealer websites also suggests there's a higher level of participation in these serivices than our poll would indicate. Most specifically, I can point to a growing presence of "Angies List Super Service Award" logos on dealer home pages. It's clear many window and door dealers see a need to work with these internet referral services, even if they might not be completely sold on the idea.