My ImpromptuDo reddit ad by the numbers

For the past 5 days I’ve run a sponsored link ad at reddit in order to get some feedback on my young side project I really enjoyed Gabriel Weinberg blog post about his experiences with reddit advertising and I hope I can provide some information that is just as useful. 

My sponsored link was different from the DuckDuckGo ad in a few ways:

  • It was shorter, I only bought 5 days worth
  • I didn’t spend as much money, I only bid $20/day for a total of $100
  • I used the targeting feature of the sponsored link advertising system (more on this below)
  • I didn’t use an image for my sponsored link
  • I’m not Gabriel Weinberg, and I’m not trying to compete with Google

My traffic graphs:

You can see my numbers were way lower than the DuckDuckGo campaign. I believe this is easy to explain.

Raw traffic numbers:

Impressions                   Clicks                         click-thru(%)

unique     total             unique     total                unique        total

6,444     38,207             149        171                 2.31%        0.45%

From these numbers, my CPC was $0.67 for uniques, with a CPM of $2.62 for uniques. 

My hope is my project becomes the PadMapper for finding things to do in your local area. I provide data from a variety of providers and show you what is going on in your city so you can find something to do. This is a very early stage project and I was attracted to the reddit advertising model because of the ability to get comments, and getting feedback from potential users at this point in my side project is really important. I decided to target the /r/nyc subreddit because it had the most subreddits of any of my currently supported cities and so I figured would see more traffic than any of the others. I believe this is why my traffic numbers are so low. I never verified but I think(and it makes sense) the ad will only display if the redditor visits the /r/nyc subreddit, which probably isn’t as popular as subscribing to /r/nyc and letting popular links from the subreddit make it to your homepage.

At first, I didn’t get many comments, luckily I am a big fan of irc and /r/nyc has a pretty active irc channel at #/r/nyc. So I jumped in there and asked them what they thought of my ad and my project. I attribute all of the comments I got to my interaction in that channel. 

Another interesting but less important point- I “released” the project back in September, and got a bit ahead of myself and created a reddit sponsored link but never funded/activated it. 6 months later, I finally activated it. However, after the first day it was live, commenting wasn’t enabled (which was half the point). I sent an email to the reddit self service email address to see what was up. They quickly figured out the problem after escalating it to the technical team, apparently posts older than a certain threshold are archived, and commenting is disabled on archived posts. So even though it was never made live, it was still “created” and eventually archived. Kristine was very helpful in getting me squared away with a new ad with comments, and even credited me a day after I asked if that was possible.So big thanks Kristine!

In the end I got some good feedback but not as much as I wanted and it took a bit more work than just setting up the ad. If I were to do it again, I wouldn’t target the subreddit directly, and just make a generic link title. I have a hunch my ad would have seen more traffic even though I would have been competing with other sponsors for eyeballs.