Which professional service sites are worth your time?
Lately, it seems that professional service sites are becoming less relevant as more people transition to relying on services like Facebook and Google to connect with businesses.
However, our data shows that there is still a place for websites like Yelp and Angie's List in your business model.
We evaluated the results of 46,263 leads being entered into our system to answer the question: Which professional referral sites are worth your time?
And our top pick might surprise you.
Oncue, an industry leading mover software and booking platform, analyzed the results of our expert sales representatives attempting to convert leads from nearly 50 different sources into bookings for our customers by contacting them via text, email, and numerous phone calls (all included as part of the Oncue system).
By analyzing the results of these attempts we were able to determine the most effective referral platforms for your moving business.
So without further ado, here are our top 5:
#5 - Home Advisor
This Angie's List partner offered our customers a respectable 15% conversion rate on leads generated on the site, giving credence to the effectiveness of offering a "Walled Garden" (limiting referrals to a specific industry).
This effectiveness impressed us enough to give them a spot on our list!
#4 - Craigslist
From a "Walled Garden" to... basically the complete opposite.
Craigslist offers one of the most "Open" referral platforms there is, and certainly the most open on this list.
That said, in spite of its reputation (searching "Mover Craigslist" brings up results that include "Is it safe to hire movers from Craigslist"), Craigslist offered our clients a 19% conversion rate, which speaks to how well Craigslist, despite its wide-breadth, connects consumers to relevant businesses.
For advice on this platform, industry veteran Jae Burnham has a great video.
#3 - Angie's List
Outcompeting its partner company, Angie's List saw an excellent 36% conversion rate on move leads! Their slightly more open network of professional services seems to do a better job referring prospective customers to relevant services - more than likely due to the screening process it asks prospective customers to go through.
This combination "Walled-Garden" and pre-screening made Angie's List an effective referral network and placed it highly on our list.
#2 - Yelp
This one isn't much of a surprise.
Yelp has its issues, but it's one of the most popular professional referral / social proof websites there is.
However, it wasn't just sheer volume that placed Yelp in the number 2 spot.
It was its 47% conversion rate.
Yelp connects people to the services they are actively looking for - whether or not it's a meritocracy is up for debate, but it seems to have devised an effective system.
#1 - Thumbtack
Being the youngest company on this list kind of makes comparing Thumbtack to Yelp a David vs. Goliath story, but the numbers prove it: across the referral services in our system, Thumbtack edged the other competitors in its consistency, achieving a nearly 50% conversion rate!
This is no small feat, but it appears Thumbtack's combination of sorting, pricing, and offering geographically relevant results is an effective way to cut through the noise, and offer quality leads.
This unique approach seems to not only caught our eye, but also the eye of Google's investment fund, Capital G, who led a $100M investment into the company.
What's the takeaway?
Not all lead sources are created equal. Where your business is - or isn't - matters.
How do these numbers compare to your experiences? Similar? Different? We'd like to hear from you! Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook!
Oncue is here to help you make the most of these leads, and with lead chasing software and systems, we offer a unique service that will allow you to convert more leads into sales - no matter where they're from.
If you'd like to learn more, request a demo.
Tyler Jemetz; Oncue Marketing Coordinator