Thumbtack – an interesting model

In the realm of digital marketing its necessary to have a multi-faceted approach when trying to attract the coveted “quality lead”. This approach can include a number of tools and utilities available online least of which being free directory listings like thumbtack.com.

I’ve been using thumbtack for a little over a year now and have been impressed with the way they have managed their model. The vast majority of quality directories either charge up front fees (at least for premium listings) or debase the quality of their application and its usability by relying on heavy ad monetization. Thumbtack does neither, opting instead to rank users based upon pre-defined criteria that allows the owners of listings to increase their rank by taking measurable steps toward improving their profile. Actions like adding detailed service offerings, uploading images and requesting testimonials each garner a certain amount of “points”. Listings are then ranked according to how many points they have.

But! How do they make money? Thumbtack pulls in a fairly large amount of requests for proposals from Clients far and wide and then submits these requests to appropriate vendors who’s service area and offerings match the user’s needs. These vendors then have the opportunity to pay a small fee in order to bid on the project or pass on it if it doesn’t suit them. The best part is that if you (as a vendor) pay for a lead and receive no response or aren’t given the opportunity to bid on their project thumbtack will refund the amount paid no questions asked. How do I know? I’ve done it and they couldn’t be nicer about the entire situation.

Checkout our thumbtack profile on digital marketing and think about creating one for yourself.

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