I've heard it said before that there are "factors" that determine what the cost of a lead is. I'm a videographer so I can only speak to what I've seen for my industry.
I think the low end budget leads cost WAY too much and there isn't enough descrepancy between a low budget job, middle budget job, and high budget job.
The pricing categories are as follows:
I'm not sure
$400 - $700
$700 - $1,000
$1,000 - $1,500
$1,500 - $2,500
$2,500 - $3,500
$3,500 - $5,000
$5,000 - $7,500
More than $7,500
There is currently an open job in Granger, IN (outside of South Bend, IN) where the customer's budget is "Under $400" and the cost of the lead is $28.82.
I paid $31.68 on a project in Greenwood, IN (outisde of Indianapolis) where the customer's budget was listed as "I'm not sure".
I paid $28.82 for a customer in New Orleans who's budget was $400-$700.
I paid $35 for a lead in Cincinnati, OH where the budget was $1000 - $1500.
I paid $26.85 for a lead in Canton, OH where the budget was $1500 - $2500.
This particular lead was discounted from $33.75 because it was an "exact match".
None of those other leads I listed were discounted for exact match or any other reason. I have many more examples, but the point is that the charges are all over the place.
A lead for a "I'm not sure" or "Under $400" budget should not cost 82% of what a $1000-$1500 job costs.
A lead for a "$1000-$1500" job in Cincinnati, OH should not cost $2 more than a lead for a "$1500-$2500" job in Canton, OH.
I think the charges should be something like this:
I'm not sure - $5
Under $400 - $10
$400 - $700 - $15
$700 - $1,000 - $20
$1,000 - $1,500 - $22.50
$1,500 - $2,500 - $25
$2,500 - $3,500 - $27.50
$3,500 - $5,000 - $30
$5,000 - $7,500 - $35
More than $7,500 - $40
I also notice that a lot of the jobs with lower budgets and charge costs that are $20+ never seem to get responded to.
I get tons of emails saying that Pros have not responded to a certain lead. I look at the lead and almost every time the budget is "Under $400" and the cost of the lead is $25+. I think Thumbtack missing out on connecting these customers with Pros because you have set the price of the lower budget leads WAY too high. How are newer Pros on the platform supposed to build up their businesses if they are paying $25 a pop for leads to jobs that pay less than $400?