The Power of Tracking
This week I saw a tantalizing offer made by Homestars, a popular Canadian website that publishes reviews written by homeowners about home improvement professionals such as repairman, contractors, renovators, and retailers. It's very shiny and they will sell this offer to many contractors before it expires on Dec.31.
Homestars began less than 10 years ago, by reaching out to business owners to create a profile, upload some photos and add a description. Once published (for free), clients could be invited to post a star-rating and a review of work completed. The idea took off and the business has grown, but now the free listing has it's downside.
Pros who pay for an upgraded listing will have their name appear above any search, and they are sent leads as part of their membership. A pro who has a free listing has to pay for their leads, which at first sounds like a good deal, since they are not paying for their listing. We have found that the leads on Homestars are generally not qualified, however. In other words, there are a lot of people just clicking randomly to ask for hundreds of quotes and they may not even reply after a contractor has received their request.
The main point here, is that your time and your business are too important to be doing guess-work. If you take the offer from Homestars, then it's vital that you track every lead and see whether the investment you make is actually worthwhile from a business standpoint.
Proper tracking requires a CRM, like Pipedrive or Zoho or Salesforce. When you track every lead you can look at conversion rates from each source and only then can you know the value of your marketing dollar and where to invest in the future.