thumbtack iconIf you haven’t seen it yet, there is a company called “Thumbtack” which generates “leads” via e-mail for different businesses.

I have spent 9 months testing this service.  I have not found it to be a valuable resource for Massage Therapists.  Although, someone else may have another experience.

Below is some information I wrote at the BodyworkOnline.com forums in regard to my personal experience.

I signed up for the “free listing” as they describe.  For anyone else wondering about the “free listing”, it goes something like this:

  • You add your information and answer some questions. You get “points” for answering the questions and providing lengthy info along with being verifiable, etc. 
    • I still haven’t figured out exactly what these “points” do for you on a personal or business level.  To me, they just seem to be something to makes people feel better about themselves if they have acquired a bunch of them.
  • Next, if someone types into the Thumbtack site that they are looking for massage therapy or other services, an e-mail is generated to all of the MT’s (most likely by area, but maybe there is some other way they decide) who fit the bill listed on Thumbtack.
    • That means, you will be sent an e-mail “lead” to whatever e-mail address you provided.  In the Subject line, it will say: “New lead from Jane D.”, etc.  You can choose to respond by denying the request and describing why you denied it (ie.  “lead was too expensive”, potential client used suggestive or unprofessional questioning”, “you were not a fit for the request”, “you are too far away”, “you don’t work those days/hours”, etc.). 
    • Or, you can accept the request and will be charged a fee (generally via PayPal).
    • You may also be provided with the option to pay a monthly fee.
  • Fees have changed over the past 9 months, spanning $1.99 for a lead all the way up to $5.99.  They seem to have recently settled on a credit system, where an MT lead costs 2 credits for a total of something around $3.33.
  • The e-mail will note “What” (the client is looking for), “Service Type“, “Gender Preference“, “Frequency“, “Message” (from the client… ie.  “I am experiencing…”), “Travel” (how far they are willing to travel), and a few other items. 
    • The e-mail will note any additional special items following items, such as
      “Jane D. also wants quotes by phone”.

      • In this case, the phone number available after you submit your quote to purchase the lead.

 

So, from what I have seen it is rare that someone will actually find you because of your ”free listing”, but a few MT’s I know who have signed up have noted that the site does a link-back to you which may be worth it for some people, and another MT noted she used the “slide show” she built there for use somewhere else, which was good for her.  

 

I had planned to try this for the period of 1 year just to understand the site more and be a guinea pig for the rest of you out there who may be interested in knowing how it works. I’ve decided to stop, after 9 months.

I responded to only:

  • … those people who are within vicinity of my office (they will post how far they are willing to drive).
  • … those people who are in a zip code that I feel would be a match for my office. Many times the potential client will post their zip code.  With our city, it’s a little easier to make the assumption as to which zip codes would and would most likely not pay the fees I charge in my office. (I realize this is painting the city with a broad brush and I may miss a few along the way — but, if I am paying for a “lead”, then I want to put my efforts in the ones most likely to materialize.)
  • … those people who request work that I feel I would be a good match for the way I work and what I provide.
  • … those people who list a request that “makes sense”, is a complete request or seem serious about bodywork. (I have seen people make requests with a lot of words that say absolutely “nothing” and yet it says it all — usually not in a good way.)

Since July 2012, I have responded to 14 requests. Two of those provided a phone number with their “lead” and I spoke to both of those individuals (both were pleasant to speak with but as each stated before even asking questions about my practice described how they were just “looking” at the time).  I’m not a sales person, so I don’t try to convert people on the phone. Either they are interested in my services or not.  But, I did take the time to answer questions for both of these people who ended up taking about 20 mins. for each.

I found that the majority of the leads I purchased ended up being the types of clients who were “looking” at responses and although the clients have the option to update their lead request to show when they picked a massage therapist for the job, only 2 ever noted that they actually selected any massage therapy services.

So, I guess what I am saying is my experience is that the majority of the folks on this site tend to be lookie-loos. Not do-ers.

Thumbtack also changed the way leads are submitted in my area. The requester now receives only 5 responses, then their request is closed to any other therapist responses.

Since my sign-up in July 2012, they have sent me 54 leads (of which I responded to 14 requests – by purchasing the lead). I had 30 “profile service” views to my “page”.

In your account “Settings” you can look at your “Purchase History” to see how much money you have spent. I ended up spending $59.90 to date, testing this service and feel I gave it a fair chance.

I have not had any clients come in to my office from this service, and I don’t think it is because I did something wrong with the process. I just don’t think it is a valuable resource.

 

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2 Comments on Review: “Thumbtack” as a “Leads” Resource

  1. Jaci Yeager, LMT says:

    I had much the same experience. Most “leads” are too far away. Instead of a search radius around your zip code, they do it by metropolitan area. So most of the leads I get are downtown, whereas I’m a good 30 minutes outside the city. With the current market saturation (and the fact that most city folk don’t drive), it’s fairly useless. Maybe more useful if you’re in the center of a large metro area? FYI, if the potential customer doesn’t accept or deny your quote within a certain number of days (8 maybe?) you can request a refund of the lead fee.

  2. Eric says:

    I am a personal trainer and have had great success generating leads and clients from Thumbtack.

    There are many other personal trainers in my area but I believe I have taken a business lead by promoting on TT. On average I receive 5 new leads a week. Of those 2 respond and I usually turn at least one into a returning client. I do offer comp sessions to start so that helps.

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