Targeting preferences — it’s the name of the game

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee
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You’ve seen some changes during your time with Thumbtack. First things first, we appreciate you. We can’t do this without our pros. You tell us when things don’t make sense, and you’ve helped guide us to where we are now and where we’re going. So let’s get into it.

Targeting is the new promote

Here’s the deal. You know how Thumbtack works. You told us “promote” doesn’t tell the whole story, and we agree. So we switched up the way we talk about it. 

You’ll start to notice that instead of “promoting your business”, you set your “targeting preferences” to find the right customers. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you set your preferences — targeting the customers you want to meet. 

That’s the only thing that’s changed. You still only pay automatically for jobs that match your exact preferences. And when a job isn’t an exact match, you decide to accept or decline it (declining doesn’t cost a cent).

Say it again louder for the people in the back

  • You turn on targeting preferences to show up in the right customers’ searches.
  • When a customer’s job matches your preferences exactly, you pay automatically for the lead and get a discount.
  • If a job only partially matches your preferences, you choose to accept the lead and pay, or decline and pay nothing.
  • Always respond quickly to leads. Pros who respond quickly rank better in customers’ search results.

To target the right customers, go to your Services and set your targeting preferences. And if you’ve already set your preferences, let us know how it’s going in the comments below.

10 responses
Active Community Member

I'm curious why so much thought went into changing the name from "Promote" to "Targeting"?  The most common complaints I have seen here and on other forums about that specific feature of the Thumbtack platform are:

1)  Some Pros were getting charged for leads they didn't really want (for many different reasons).

2)  Some Pros were getting ghosted by the job poster after they paid for the lead.

3)  The Pro ranking system can often seem flawed.  Pros not being listed first, even when they have targeting turned on, have the most hires and also have the most reviews, for example.

The name was never an issue with the Pros, that I knew of.

My main complaint is that I don't see enough leads.  I'm not cheap so the majority of Thumbtack job posters won't ever see my profile when they select thair budget.  

I'll also add that the response time isn't something we Pros can always be super fast at.  Some times we are on a job, or vacation, or asleep.  Does the system account for job posters who reach out to us at 1:30am? 

I know there have been ideas brought up on how to fix this issue.  We were told those ideas were passed on to the team, but nothing has really changed.  Pros shouldn't get knocked down in rankings because "life happens" every now and then.

Community Veteran

So.... "the only change" is promote is now called Target?

Community Veteran

I have no idea what preference settings are offered in the category of "Wedding and Events". When this service was initially added to my profile, it seemed wise to see which preferences are offered. It came to pass that "promote" was automatically engaged. That scared me, frankly. I knew at that instant that my account was liable for at least 10 leads (each costing from $30-$75 each). Immediately I disabled the service. I then reset it to not have "promote"and now it shows "promote paused". That is not comfortable for me either and support says that there is no way to change that. I use "promote" for another of my services (I have three) and that's doing fine. My concern is that I am discouraged from even considering "promote" or "target", as it is now called. How can I allow this option to be engaged without fully knowing what preference settings are available in any of my other services? It appears to be a blind choice. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@ChefOfAllSeason Thanks for your thoughts. Can you expand more on why it showing "paused" doesn't sit well with you? We'd love your feedback! 

Upon that, we don't want there to be any confusion. You're able to see each preference that's available for you to set. You can see these in your services settings when you set your targeting preferences. The preferences are all the same for each pro that offers that specific service. 

Community Veteran


To answer your question: I am not comfortable in principle. No one likes goods or services pushed at them. Maintaining "promote paused" is presumptious as it assumes that I willingly engaged it ever.  I need no reminders that the "promote" option exists. TT provides adequately with that information. The "hard sell" is a turn off. 

As for preferences: the system for posting prices is inadequate for reasons stated in previous posts. As for my third service "Private Chef", no preferences are offered as preview. Only a button that says "set preferences". Based on previous experience with "Wedding and Events", clicking any button that says "preferences" is not my preferred course of action. I am very uncomfortable having any option automatically engaged without my consent. Previewing what preferences are offered does not equal consent. 

There is no need to be pushy. If the product is good, "promote" or "target" will sell itself, guaranteed.

PS- Have you found out anything about the other issue we discussed, re: auto-fixed estimates on inbox leads?


Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for the feedback @ChefOfAllSeason, we appreciate the honesty and we'll sen
As far as your other issue we discussed, it's still being looked into. I'll be sure to follow up via DM once I have more answers for you. 

Community Veteran

I still feel that I should have the right of first refusal on accepting a lead job request even if the job matches my preferences instead of being auto charged. After all it's my money that's being spent. These leads aren't cheap. All I'm paying for is a name. I get no lead contact info at all. Many of these leads are ghost leads & tire kickers. These type of targeted leads don't do my business or budget any good.

Hankster 7/24/19

Community Veteran
@Meckell- your alacrity and diligence is duly noted and appreciated. My focus when using Thumbtack is to accept as many viable leads as possible. The way it has been set up of late is discouraging, but my optimism insists that these roadblocks will be fixed in good time.
Meantime, I will patiently await any further updates.
Community Veteran
Community Newcomer

Can you explain what happens if we do not choose to target?  We will never show up when customers search?  As in, we no longer exist?