If you aren’t familiar with Thumbtack, it’s kind of like a cross between Angie’s List, Expedia, and eBay combined. When couples go online, not only can they type in what services they are looking for, but then they also see a comparison of all the vendors who reply to them in that particular category.
Once you get an inquiry, you pay to send couples quotes which include an estimate, reviews, your contact information, a personalized message and your business profile.
Once a couple receives that information from you, and other professionals that do the same, they will make their decision on whom to hire.
Now, as you can imagine, there are many vendors from which to choose, and you want to make sure you stand out so you get booked over the competition.
Here are the best practices for booking Thumbtack leads.
#1 – Respond FAST.
Thumbtack only allows a maximum of 5 quotes per request. It’s first come, first served.
The faster your response (this goes with ANY lead, not just Thumbtack) the more likely you are to book. Even just a one hour delay in response makes it 21x less likely you’ll book the wedding.
“The DJ/Pro needs to be quick on the trigger and able to respond very fast on a good quality lead.” – Anthony Lunardini, DJ Stallion
#2 – Add reviews, photos and a compelling description to your listing.
Brides and grooms have the option of searching for wedding professionals in their area. Your listing will be displayed right next to your competitors, so add reviews and an emotional description to draw them in.
Having certain criteria in your profile such as your years of experience, a description of your product and what makes you qualified to deliver, such as a business license, insurance, reliable transportation, willingness to travel, and your backup plan will all enhance your profile.
This may go without saying, but make sure you have a fully functioning website before bidding for clients. Presenting the whole package in a top-notch professional way can contribute to closing more deals.
We all know whenever we are looking to hire someone, we always look for good reviews. Reviews are absolutely essential on Thumbtack.
Send a short and friendly email to past couples and ask them to fill out the feedback page on your profile webpage. The more reviews you have, the more likely you are to book a lead.
“We also strive to update our Thumbtack page constantly with fresh photos and updated information about our company. We like to ask for reviews from our Thumbtack clients so other customers on Thumbtack can see the success they have had working with us.” – Jessica Ralph, Parties A La Carte
#3 – Bid on the right request.
This means only providing a quote on jobs you can actually deliver.
It’s very tempting to accept every job that comes your way. However, you are really doing yourself a disservice if you bid on a job that is truly not suited to your expertise.
Try grabbing smaller events to start. Remember, every event is an avenue for referrals, regardless of the number of people in attendance.
#4 – Write a personal message.
With Thumbtack, you don’t receive the bride or groom’s contact information until they give it to you. That means you’re forced to use the exact same quote and messaging format as your competitors.
Adding a personal touch into every message you send is essential if you want to stand out. It makes couples feel more valued and builds a connection with them.
Some ways to make your message more personal:
- Greet the customer by her name.
- Refer to specific details from their request, such as the location or date.
- Show your personality and friendliness in the words you choose.
This is what the bride or groom sees when you send your quote.
Notice how big the price is? Yeah, that’s the focus.
Your message has to be good if you want to have any hope of getting to the next step.
#5 – Give a compelling price quote.
Couples who shop for wedding professionals on Thumbtack tend to be more budget minded.
That doesn’t mean they won’t end up spending more with you, but it does mean that you’ll need to give a competitive price if you want a shot at the booking.
Provide detail on price and the value they are getting with – or rather, investing in – you, and highlighting the next step in the process and what will happen when they book you.
#6 – Include a strong call to action in your response.
One of the biggest mistakes wedding pros make with follow up is having a weak or non-existent call to action. Tell the potential customer exactly what to do next and give her a compelling reason to do it.
Include a link to your website as well as your phone number right in the message.
“Thumbtack does not give you any customer contact information. You have to wait until the customer gives it to you. That is why I try to drive them to my website with a free offer to get their email address.” – Dwight Hapeman, Denver Pro DJs
#7 – Follow up again. And again.
If the couple doesn’t respond immediately, don’t get discouraged. You don’t know the reason why, and you can easily stress out making assumptions as to why they aren’t getting back to you like thinking they don’t like you.
It often takes 5-12 contacts with your business before the client will hire you. That means multiple follow ups are a must!
Instead of stressing, send a follow-up message on your quote or service and reiterate everything you put into your first message. You may also need to provide sample work as well, just to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light possible.
The Verdict on Thumbtack
Getting down to brass (thumb) tacks, does Thumbtack actually work to book weddings?
That depends on who you ask, but here are the results a few wedding professionals have reported.
“I have had tremendous success with Thumbtack.com; been hired 38 times in 2 years.” – David Ruszkowski, Buffalo Street Media Solutions
I highly recommend reading this detailed list of Thumbtack do’s and don’t from wedding photographer Lauren Lindley.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Thumbtack is best used to fill in dates you wouldn’t normally fill with small, relaxed weddings and clients that turn into great referrals. I was successfully connected to 29 new clients in the past three years via Thumbtack and it has amounted to 33% of my revenue in the last year alone…If your market is glitzy and glamorous giant hotel weddings, Thumbtack is not the avenue for you to pursue clients. If your client is rustic, backyard, vintage, DIY, and relaxed, then Thumbtack is a great place for you to be.” – Lauren Lindley, Photographer
Dwight Hapeman describes his experience in detail:
- 17% of Thumbtack leads respond to him in some way.
- 10.5% of the total leads he’s received have booked him.
- It costs him about $7.50 per quote submitted.
“I do a calculation to give me the real cost of using Thumbtack in relation to the jobs I actually book from their service. I take the total cost I spend on Thumbtack, divided by the number of gigs I actually book from TT leads. Now I have a useful number. I spend between $50-$55 for every booked event that I get through Thumbtack for submitting Thumbtack quotes. That isn’t too bad and it helps knowing this when I submit a quote.” – Dwight Hapeman, Denver Pro DJs
What do you think about Thumbtack?