I have not spent near that much - but, I am just starting out. I'm in the travel arena and I can tell you, when most of these leads want air booking from LA to Mobile - TA's don't make a commission on national air fare unless we charge a flat fee. And because of the use of CCs and the laws, we have to report our fees to the clients. Then they get upset and we've spent $4 - $15 on a lead that we won't even make $9 off from in the end.
And - had I not spotted a "air-fare to africa" spam that was already being talked about in my agency... I could have gotten a charge back on a bogus flight purchase... which I would have had to eat. I think for some trades - there needs to be a way to get real leads and weed through spam or fraud.
If Air, you must pay an upfront deposit of $25 to get quotes or something like that. It would separate those that just want to see if they can beat bookings.com or Trivago - and those sites deal in armpit industry options... real agents are able to get more solid and tangible results and usually more specific... it's not apples to apples. It's apples to Mangos.
The current pricign model is rediculous. None of the descriptions of the jobs are even filled out, giving me no reason to pay such a high cost for a potential job.
My recommendation is a SMALL monthly menmbership fee of less that 4$/mo. This is all you need to do, and your business (and ours) will thrive!
I found the new system confusing and not efficient. I agree with the other comments about the previous method. It was a much better concept to follow and easier to quote. I have not been able to get one sure lead since the start of your new method. I 'm hoping you can change that.
In the previous model, I knew exactly what each lead would cost me, that was great. But they were very expensive, probably averaged around $15 to $20 dollars per lead depending on location. These were for "coaching". I completely stopped for business consulting as the leads where even more expensive and the actual potential clients were so unreliable it didn't make sense to continue so I completely stopped on the consulting side.
On the coaching side, I kept going and would get some conversions but the reality was that it was very common for potential clients to engage me on the platform, triggering my cost payment, only to let me know they meant to look for someone local or really wanted a female coach, etc. Each one of these cost me a considerable amount over time. And those that I did have conversations with were "window shopping". So when I ran the numbers it just didn't seem like a good way to spend my marketing dollars and I stopped pursuing.
Until the new system came out. The advantage of the new system is that it really weeds out a lot of the things I mentioned above as a problem. No one is calling me, only to say they don't want a male coach for example. People who call have some level of serious interest, and I keep a high price point in the system to try and ensure people are really interested in coaching. But this is expensive to me from a LTV standpoint. And I still get people who either are not a good fit, or worse initially contact me, and then don't respond to my follow-ups. These are really expensive.
I am on several platforms looking for coaching or consulting clients. And I do get good clients off of Thumbtack, and more than from any other source. But I struggle with the cost of acquisition on Thumbtack, and the front-loaded investment for these leads.
I know you can't guarantee a sale, or a good fit with a client, especially with coaching, but I would be more inclined to bid again (I rarely do now) or lower my price and see what other kinds of work I could get if I could have more certainty in both the quality and the quantity of the leads. There has to be a way, like Upwork or something, that incentivizes both the service provider and the client towards the right behaviors for both parties and disincentivizes the wrong behaviors for both parties.