Posted March 8, 2007 6:11 pm by with 13 comments

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StumbleUpon is popular, delivers interested and qualified traffic and is relatively cheap for their paid inclusion program. But like other social media, StumbleUpon isn’t the easiest way to promote your site. In fact, it may not even be valuable to promote your site. As StumbleUpon warns in their advertising FAQ:

Some content doesn’t work well with StumbleUpon. A hard-sell offering little introduction or supporting information will seem out of place to StumbleUpon’s community members. Remember that they’re using the service to find something new, something different. Pages that contain little more than a list of ppc or affiliate links also will not perform well.

Is it worth is to promote your site via paid inclusion on StumbleUpon? The cost is $0.05/impression. The conversion rate will obviously depend on what a conversion is for your site.

Last month, SEOmoz (naturally) shared their traffic and conversion rates from various sources, including StumbleUpon. While they received more than 55,000 visits, but only 22 conversions or 0.03% conversion rate. For SEOmoz, a conversion was registering on the blog—for free.

Of all the social sites referring traffic to SEOmoz, StumbleUpon had the lowest conversion rate. If SEOmoz had garnered their SU traffic through the paid inclusion program (which I doubt), they would have paid over $2700 for 22 conversions, a lead acquisition cost of about $125.

I don’t want to come down too hard on StumbleUpon; I do enjoy using the toolbar myself. The paid inclusion program can even be a good fit for your site. If your goal is ultimately to raise site and brand awareness, SU might be a good alternative. Before you submit your site, make sure your site is StumbleUponAble

  • When you say the “cost is $0.05/impression” do you mean that the cost is five cents per click?

  • Jordan McCollum

    StumbleUpon delivers the visitor directly to your page. They don’t click on a link on another website to get there. So it’s $0.05 per impression of your page, not click on the toolbar.

  • Thanks for the clarification. Does that mean that if someone sits there refreshing the screen, it’s a nickel each time they hit the refresh button?

  • Jordan McCollum

    I’m pretty sure it’s not. I vaguely remember reading the details in the SU FAQ; I’m pretty sure they cover this much better than I did.

  • Thanks, I’ll have a look.

  • Meg

    Hi Jordan,

    I’ve been experimenting with paid inclusion for a business directory site, but have now paused the ads. I agree that you have to be careful about a good fit. I too like the SU concept but the quality of the traffic (in terms of page views) was pretty ordinary (I’ve outlined this in my latest blog post).

  • I would say no, it definitely doesn’t seem to worth it. Shoemoney also had a post about SU’s paid inclusion, and there wasn’t anything positive in it.

  • It surprises me why people would be willing to use paid inclusion on stumbleupon. It needs a lot less votes to drive significant traffic that the other social networks.

  • Tim

    Thank you. This answers my question I had about paid inclusion. I’ve read their advertising page and have browsed other blogs talking about it, but it’s great to see performance numbers.

  • I hate Stumble Upon.
    They just con people of the money and website owners have been taken a run for their money. Just like adsense in their early days, and the quality sucks, cos majority of it are from the Eastern European block.

    Azrin @

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