I recently came across an old article (Dec. 2008) about cataloger King Arthur Flour that mentioned a surprising fact: At the time, their largest source of referred traffic to their website, and third largest overall, was from the “discovery engine” StumbleUpon.
If you’re not familiar with StumbleUpon, here’s how it works: After users indicate their interests, StumbleUpon presents a series of related websites. As users give each a thumbs up or thumbs down, StumbleUpon refines its offerings. For instance, my feedback allowed StumbleUpon to figure out that I’m interested in day hiking, but not technical climbing or backpacking.
The websites presented are a combination of those suggested by users and companies that pay to be included. Payment is $0.50, $0.10 or $0.25 per unique visitor, depending on the plan. Advertisers can target visitors by demographics and geography.
I dabbled with StumbleUpon advertising a few years ago, with somewhat disappointing results. The King Arthur Flour article prompted me to see what’s new with StumbleUpon.
To my surprise, according to a recent article in Information Week, StumbleUpon topped Facebook as a traffic source at the end of last year. In December 2011, Facebook accounted for 38% of social media traffic, while StumbleUpon generated 43%.
In my book, any source of that many targeted prospects is worth some consideration. I expect that that, since StumbleUpon users are in “browsing mode,” not “shopping mode,” it’s more a lead source than sales closer. But if your site has dynamite content that can help visitors become better gardeners, it may be worth exploring.
If you’ve advertised on StumbleUpon recently, I’d be curious to hear about your experience, good or bad.