Firefox 3 was Probably the Best Release from Mozilla

Update: Firefox 3 secures ~8.3 Million Downloads in 24 Hours. [Source]

Call me biased, but I believe Firefox 3 was probably the most successful release to date from Mozilla. A lot of exciting stats have been released this morning that validate the success from the campaign. I’ll recap their viral marketing campaign and join some of the discussion on it.

This is a picture of the Firefox 3 Home PageAny great marketing campaign leverages metrics and capture analytics to determine its effectiveness. Whether that’s sales, awareness or even consumption — every great marketer sets benchmarks and measures their efforts with it.

Mozilla Firefox is no different. Mozilla has something to gain with each installation: About $1.50 or more per installation from Google for integrating their Google search. (The benefit for Google is people use their search, and click their contextual ads.)

Firefox 3’s success started to sprinkle around the blogosphere and geeky circles by refining and optimizing the code-base and adding some useful (and interesting) features into the browser. They also gained support from security industry influencers by making Web site security more accessible to users. (No, the gold lock doesn’t always mean you’re secure, like Microsoft drilled into us.)

Then the folks at Mozilla talked to the folks at the Guinness World Records and felt compelled to attempt to set a record with the 3.0 release. It appears the die-hard fans, myself included, of Firefox returned the favor by pledging to download on Firefox 3’s GM date, known as Download Day.

On the Download Day page, users would pledge to download Firefox on the next release, in exchange for disclosure of their country and e-mail address. This must have been a mind-blowing lead generation for Firefox, because they gained millions of interested, engaged and permission-based contacts for later major releases.

Merely the fact that Mozilla crowdsourced their own success to users made it appeal to their consumers who are self-sufficient Internet users, who likely believe the goal is attainable and accessible. As a result, the Mozilla’s site was trafficked heavily on the Internet yesterday, resulting in a brief moment of downtime on Mozilla’s servers among other delays that typically occur when millions of eager users browse a Web server.

Nearly a day later (today), Internet metrics aggregator, Hitslink, has published the live pulse on Mozilla Firefox 3’s success — more than 300% growth in 24 hours — which greatly exceeds Firefox 2’s launch.

As of this entry, there have been:

I’m a big proponent of not just looking at the numbers. Because, clearly if traffic was Mozilla’s goal, they would just need to host some adult content and that would really boost the numbers. What they needed was conversion, and downloading and installing was their conversion. What made this launch especially successful is the surge of grassroot-efforts, authentic discussion and peer-to-peer (viral) marketing that took place. And they only posted two press releases and ten blog entries on the newly designed Mozilla Blog throughout the whole campaign.

The takeaways from this:

  • If you have something useful AND interesting, people will market it for you.
  • Support your power-user community, beta testers and above all, users – not press releases in order to manage the message.
  • Make good products.
  • People are human and need friendly, short reminders. E-mail marketing had a significant effect on the campaign, of which they used MailChimp for delivery. (Not necessarily precluding that say, Infusionsoft, couldn’t be used either.) ;-)
  • Respect your users and they will respect you. I only received two pieces of e-mail from Mozilla: confirmation and reminder. I have not and don’t anticipate unsubscribing.

Thank you Mozilla, and you’re welcome! I hope we all set a record!

What do you think?
Post your thoughts in the comments below!