StumbleUpon Sells Advertising?

StumbleUpon Advertising

Tonight I was checking some of my stats and noticed that I had a lot of visitors coming to my previous post from StumbleUpon, so I clicked the link in my stats and it takes me to this page letting me know that my post had been stumbled (hmmm…I wonder who did that?).

Anyway, right below that message I notice that StumbleUpon sells advertising. Really? I have never noticed an ad on StumbleUpon. I had to check into this and see where these advertisements were being shown. To my utter amazement StumbleUpon is allowing “advertisers” to pay to place the page they choose in a selected audience’s stumble que/rotation. Now maybe I am behind the times and everyone else knows this, but I had no idea that StumbleUpon was doing this.

Here is some interesting information I found in the FAQ about advertising on StumbleUpon.

Where will my content appear?
When you use StumbleUpon to promote your website (or other content), we send your site directly to people who match your targeting criteria, and specifically to those who have expressed an interest in similar sites before. We display your content directly in the user’s browser – not as an ad, but as the sole and entire focus. Each unique URL is displayed only once to each member.

What am I paying for? What do I get?
Premium inclusion in StumbleUpon starts at 5 cents per targeted visitor. We show your site directly to StumbleUpon members (a demo is available here). Targeting by personal interest, history of rating similar sites, location, and demographics (age, gender) determines who will see your site. There is no ad impression or click-through. Rather than using intrusive forms of advertising (like popup ads), we display your entire page. Your page will be the only content displayed in the user’s web-browser. Your site isn’t wrapped inside a frame or presented as an ad within another page. You have the visitor’s full attention.

How can I target a specific audience?
In addition to StumbleUpon’s built-in behavioural targeting, you can target campaigns by:

* Category – more than 500 to choose from.
* Location – country, state, city (US & Canada)
* Demographics – age, gender

I have a mixed opinion about this kind of advertising. From a consumers standpoint I think it’s a little sleazy, but from a Marketers standpoint I think it’s GOLDEN. I mean we are not talking about text ads here where you have to optimize, optimize, optimize in hopes of someone clicking through to your page. You are paying to get your entire page, along with the product and/or sales pitch, right in front of the customer without them realizing that it’s an ad.

What’s weird is that after I signed up and created a campaign there are not any options to delete or pause the campaign. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a way to setup my payment information. This makes me think it must be new, but then again maybe those options are only available once your first campaign is approved.

Have I been completely in the dark about this or is this news to you too? If anyone has been using this advertising service from StumbleUpon let me know.

I shared this with Mark “Rhiz” Hopkins over at Check out his take on StumbleUpon Selling Targeted Traffic for $50 CPM.

Posted on November 21, 2007
Filed Under Advertising, Money Ideas, Sites of Interest | Leave a comment


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9 Responses to “StumbleUpon Sells Advertising?”

  1. Alex @ Web 2.0 WordPress Guide on November 21st, 2007 8:01 pm

    Yeah, this one can have you scratching a head … it is against their TOS to submit your own content – UNLESS you pay for it.

    Kinda two faced approach here. They say they want to keep network clear and pure and yet for a small fee they don’t mind your ad filled page to be part of it …

    Maybe its just me but seems like many social networks now days talk about integrity only to cover something else.


  2. Lizzie on November 21st, 2007 8:49 pm

    Uh-oh. I see problems with this. Isn’t it a little reminiscent of search engines selling traffic (or something along those lines)?

    Thanks for the info.

  3. Trai Davenport on November 21st, 2007 9:34 pm

    @Alex & Lizzie
    That’s why I said this approach was a little sleazy. At least people who are paid to write reviews (through reviewme or payperpost) have to disclose it is a paid review. With the kind of advertising that SU is doing there is no disclaimer to the user, except maybe in small print in their TOS.

    And thanks for visiting.

  4. Tyler on November 22nd, 2007 2:44 am

    As someone who has used StumbleUpon advertising, I can say that it it much more effective than Adwords.

  5. Ruchir on November 22nd, 2007 7:29 am

    It’s actually not worth it. Paying for social media users is dropping money in the sewer. I’d rather use that money to advertise on AdWords…

  6. Fred on November 22nd, 2007 7:59 am

    I have my concerns about stumbleupon traffic too. However, it can be extremely targeted traffic. But, I think when people of stumbling sites, they just keep stumbling and moving on to the next site.

    By the way, I found your site through entrecard!!

  7. Costa on November 22nd, 2007 9:13 am

    hmm.. sounds like a good idea to me. I might just take a shot at it.

    I bought a campaign from StumbleUpon before for 500 visitors, also at 5 cents per visitor and within 3 hours, my campaign was over. The 500 just came and went! LOL!!

    Maybe I will spend 25 bucks to try this one out.

  8. Trai Davenport on November 22nd, 2007 10:38 am

    I think one of the keys would be to send those targeted visitors to a “targeted” engaging page/post on your site. I am gonna give it a shot with some other sites.

    Cool…how is Entrecard working out for you?

  9. Matt Ellsworth on November 24th, 2007 9:01 am

    Stumbleupon has been doing this kind of “advertising” for a long time now. I don’t know anyone who actually used it and turned it into a profit.

    As a SU sponsor user you can disable the paid stumbles.

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