Tag Archives: Angie Hicks

Angie’s List Adds Groupon-Like Group Buying

Angie’s List, the ratings service for home services and medical providers in markets around the U.S., is adding Groupon-like group buying offers to services and medical providers that receive high ratings from its members of “B” or above – the criteria for all its advertising.

“The Big Deal” offer is being developed in-house, and is being tested in three markets: Indianapolis, Chicago and Washington, D.C.,. It has plans to expand to 25 cities by the end of June and eventually serve 50-80 cities.

Founder Angie Hicks tells us that the company sees group buying as a direct descendant of other marketing that the company provides, including advertising, coupons, direct mail, etc. The key Angie’s List differentiator is that every service provider will be certified as high quality by its member ratings.

Another differentiator is that Angie’s List is going to go hyperlocal with the offers. “We are used to targeting down to the neighborhood level,” she says. “We can get down to the level of a section of a zip code. It is of real interest to us. Dog walkers can take advantage of this. Otherwise, it would only be limited to large companies.” Hicks also says that the company is not being confined to specific thresholds for group buys. Each offer will be different.

Typical offer categories might include dentistry, massage therapy, carpet cleaning deals, and roofing deals. “There may be real opportunities there,” says Hicks. “We’ve got 500 categories that we’ve collected reviews on.”

The service expects to offer one deal a week per city. Some offers will be marketed on a non-local basis, so members might see five deals in a week. Hicks adds that participating service providers will be providing Angie’s List with commissions from sales. But it won’t be as high as the 30-50 percent that other deal a day providers are getting. “For us, it is an added revenue stream, but it is not our sole stream,” she says.

An added benefit of providing the service is its viral nature. Non-members can participate and learn more about Angie’s List, perhaps joining the service, which costs up to $67 per year. Hicks says that the service currently has over 500,000 active household accounts –including paid and free trial accounts — and over one million members.

Angie Hicks at Online Marketing Summit: “We’re Direct Marketers”

Angie Hicks, the co-founder and namesake of Angie’s List, said she thinks of her company as a direct marketing machine. Speaking at ClickZ’s Online Marketing Summit in San Diego this morning, Hicks noted that “we’re direct marketers at heart. If it doesn’t perform, it’s out. We’re constantly measuring effectiveness, and overall lift.”

Hicks noted that the 250 city company has made its own transformation from phone-based to the Internet, which now accounts for 90 percent of its usage. But as builds a national brand, and seeks premium home owner as members (who tend to be older) the company still relies on offline marketing. While it is doing some pay per click advertising, “The majority of our spend is offline, she said.

TV accounts for the biggest share of Angie’s spend. In two weeks, the company is launching a major new TV campaign. But the medium has its own frustrations. “TV is the least measureable medium,” she lamented. In the new campaign, “we’ll segment it out, and test its efficiency.”