Thumbtack Advertising vs. Townsquare Interactive: Which Service Is Better for Your Business?


Curious about how Townsquare Interactive stacks up against Thumbtack? As two major players in the digital space for small businesses, they have some similarities—but even more differences. One builds a solid online presence designed to funnel exclusive leads to their clients, while the other offers a paid membership that gives pros access to non-exclusive leads they can bid on.

Keep reading to learn if Townsquare Interactive or Thumbtack would work better for your business.


1. Price of Leads

Thumbtack Advertising

On Thumbtack, lead pricing fluctuates—sometimes drastically. It changes every week depending on the market, the size of the job and how many Thumbtack pros are available. Because of these constant changes in lead pricing, it’s important to have a flexible budget and some extra cash to cover unexpected costs because—here’s the kicker—you must pay for the leads you receive, even if they don’t end up hiring you.

  • Lead prices change weekly.
  • You pay for all leads, including the ones who don’t hire you.

Townsquare Interactive

At Townsquare Interactive, your cost is the same month after month—unless you add additional digital marketing tools to your package. You pay the same amount on the same day every month, so you always know what to expect. So, when you have an extra good month and end up with more leads than you were expecting, don’t worry. You don’t have to pay extra.

  • Cost doesn’t fluctuate.
  • Lead volume does not affect what you pay.
  • Pay on the same day each month.


If you have extra money in your budget to pay for leads that may or may not end up hiring you, go with Thumbtack.

If you’re budget-conscious and want to know exactly what you’re paying every month, no matter how many leads you get, go with Townsquare Interactive.


2. Quality of Leads

Thumbtack Advertising

Even though Thumbtack requires you to pay for every lead you receive, there’s no guarantee it will turn into a job for you. For one, that lead might decide to go with one of your competitors. For another, they just might not be a good lead.

Price shoppers, tire kickers and other people who aren’t ready to commit will often request work on Thumbtack because they’re curious or testing the waters. When Thumbtack sells you unqualified leads like that, it costs your business time and money. So, they’re both expensive and annoying.

  • Tire kickers, price shoppers and even your competitors can request work.
  • You pay for every lead, no matter the quality.

Townsquare Interactive

Townsquare Interactive weeds out bad leads by changing how they find you. While Thumbtack can only target people who use their website, Townsquare Interactive targets everyone who uses search engines, like Google.

How? By building websites for businesses and implementing a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that moves them to the top of page one of Google. That way, when homeowners in your area search for the services you provide, your website will be one of the top results on Google. Being near the top of page one means clicks, and clicks mean potential customers are viewing your website.

When those potential customers submit a form or contact you, it’s because they’re sure they want to work with you.

  • You receive exclusive leads at no additional cost.
  • Customers contact you directly through your website when they’re ready to start.


If you’re comfortable taking a chance on leads that might not turn into customers, even after you pay for them, Thumbtack could be a viable option.

But if you’d rather receive exclusive leads from people in your location who are ready to pay for your services now, go with Townsquare Interactive.


3. Competition

Thumbtack Advertising

By nature, Thumbtack is home to you and your competitors. It’s designed to work for the consumer and pit businesses and contractors against each other, often coming down to who will do the job for the least amount of money.

In the first four hours after a work request is submitted, up to four pros are allowed to bid on it. After four hours have passed, the work request is opened up to more pros.

  • Leads go to you and at least three competitors in the first four hours.
  • After four hours, more of your competitors can bid on the job.
  • Comes down to who will do the job for the least amount of money.

Townsquare Interactive

When you use Townsquare Interactive, you don’t have to share your leads. Leads that are submitted through your website are delivered directly to your inbox—and no one else’s. It’s exclusive to you. That means you can take the time to speak to your potential customer and learn more about the job they have in mind before throwing out your bottom-line price.

  • Leads submitted through your website are exclusive to you.
  • No trying to outbid your competitors to win the lead.
  • No time crunch or race to contact the customer first.


Because of Thumbtack’s competitive nature, it’s really only suitable for businesses and contractors that can operate consistently with a low profit margin. If you feel you can outbid your competitors fast, getting leads this way could work for you.

If you’d be more comfortable receiving exclusive leads through your website, Townsquare Interactive could be the best option.


4. Customer Service

Thumbtack Advertising

Thumbtack has made multiple methods of communication available to its pros, including a 1-800 phone number, support email, live chat, Facebook messenger and online help desk. You’re likely to speak to someone new every time you contact them, so make sure you have all of your account information handy so they can verify who you are and pull up your records. Oftentimes, this ID process takes longer than actually having your questions answered.

  • Multiple methods of contact.
  • Speak to someone new every time.

Townsquare Interactive

Townsquare Interactive takes a more personal approach to customer service. Each client works with one dedicated digital marketing specialist, which means they have one point of contact who is familiar with their business and handles all the nitty-gritty details of their marketing campaign for them. That means coordinating with a variety of subject matter experts, like web designers, SEO analysts and content writers, to make sure everything is operating smoothly.

  • One point of contact—your dedicated digital marketing specialist (DMS).
  • Your DMS is familiar with your business and coordinates your marketing campaign.
  • Contact them directly by phone or email whenever you need them.


If you’re fine with going through a call center and speaking to someone new every time you have a question about your profile or the leads you’re receiving, Thumbtack won’t disappoint you.

But if you’d rather have a single point of contact you can reach by phone or email whenever you need them, Townsquare Interactive can provide that personal touch.


5. Value

Thumbtack Advertising

When you pay for a pro account on Thumbtack, you get a profile on their website and access to their leads at an extra cost.

  • You pay for a Thumbtack pro account.

Townsquare Interactive

You’re paying for a comprehensive digital marketing campaign—not leads. Those are free and exclusive to you. With Townsquare Interactive, you can personalize your business’s marketing campaign to include a variety of digital marketing tools that create lasting online authority for your business and move you closer to the top of page one of Google organically, where you’re most likely to get clicks and traffic to your site. With Townsquare Interactive, you can get:

  • A professional website designed to convert customers.
    • Easy-to-follow navigation
    • Call-to-action and click-to-call buttons
    • Highly visible phone number
    • Forms delivered directly to your inbox
  • Search engine optimization to get you to page one of Google.
    • Keywords specific to your industry and location
  • Business listing management to boost your online presence.
    • Publishing accurate business information to 50+ authoritative directory sites
  • Social media marketing to place your ads on your ideal customers’ feeds.
    • Social media producers regularly verify and update your business info
    • Post relevant and engaging content 2x/week
  • Reputation monitoring that tracks multiple review websites.
    • Get an alert for every new review and rating
    • Tips and advice for responding to both positive and negative reviews
  • Business tools so you can interact with your customers faster and easier.
    • Schedule appointments
    • Send invoices
    • Collect payments online


A digital marketing campaign with Townsquare Interactive provides more value than a membership that lets you access non-exclusive leads at an additional cost. If you want more bang for your buck, the winner should be clear.


The Final Verdict

Every business needs leads to survive. While the right choice will vary from business to business, you’re more likely to get the results you want with a comprehensive digital marketing campaign than you are with a costly and inconsistent lead generation service.

If you want to grow your business, give it a solid foundation. A professionally designed website and search engine optimization are digital marketing must-haves for consistent and lasting success. Going this route instead of paying for leads is simply the best way to grow your business organically.

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