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Viral Hall of Fame 2009

Viral Hall of Fame 2009
Atlassian's Stimulus Package

MarketingSherpa Summary:
Twitter acts like gasoline on fire for word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. Just look at the results Atlassian achieved with a promotion that offered $5 licenses for two of its top applications (with all proceeds going to charity). A coordinated launch using email, Twitter, and blog posts became a storm of Twitter activity, helped along by targeting Twitterers with more than 10,000 followers to re-tweet the message. The team achieved their goal of raising $25,000 in 23 hours, and by the end of the five-day campaign landed more than 7,000 new customers from 86 countries, and raised more than $100,000.

Agency: None
Client/company: Atlassian
Brand campaign was conducted for: JIRA and Confluence
Launch date of campaign: April 20, 2009
Target audience/demographic: Individual software developers, startup companies, small businesses, and or small software development teams within larger companies

Campaign Goal:
Stimulate entry-level sales for two of the company's most popular software-development and project collaboration applications. With the recession causing companies to scale back technology investments, the team wanted a campaign that appealed to cost-conscious, smaller customers -- such as startups -- who might be tempted instead to choose an open-source solution.

The team created the "Atlassian Stimulus Package" -- A five-day promotion that offered five user licenses for two of its popular products for an annual fee of $5. (The products typically sold for $1,200.) The promotion sign-up page featured an illustration of a pink piggy bank and a $5 coin, which was also used for email promotion.

The team added a philanthropic tie-in by pledging to donate proceeds from the promotion to Room to Read, an organization that builds libraries and schools in developing nations. The team set a goal of selling 5,000 licenses and donating $25,000 to Room to Read. They tracked their progress toward this goal on the campaign landing page, using a graphic of a thermometer tallying the total amount raised during the five days.

Seed Strategy:
The team used a combination of email, blogging and Twitter to launch the campaign, with messages going out on each channel simultaneously:
  • An email message sent to 70,000 names in the house database included a description of the promotion, a link to the registration page, and a link to let recipients share the message on Twitter. The Twitter link used a URL-shortening service that allowed the team to track subsequent clicks from Twitter.

  • A blog post announcing the campaign featured the registration link and answers to potential questions prospects might have, such as "Will I have reduced capabilities?" (Answer: No). During the five-day campaign, the team also posted several updates on the amount of licenses sold and total funds raised for Room to Read.


  • After the initial post to Twitter, the team searched the network for influential people with more than 10,000 followers among their target audience, such as Tim O'Reilly, Robert Scoble, and Mitch Kapor. Then, they sent a tweet to those users, encouraging them to re-tweet the campaign information to their followers.
Buzz Generated:
  • More than 300 blog mentions, doubling the company's number of blog referrals.

  • Thousands of tweets, reaching an estimated 1 million people, based on tweets and re-tweets from Twitterers with huge followings, such as Scoble and O'Reilly.

  • Video interview with Robert Scoble:
Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
The team reached its goal of raising $25,000 within the first day. Results at the end of the five-day campaign:
  • 7,286 had purchased $5 licenses
  • Customers came from 86 countries
  • $100,370 was raised for Room to Read
Since the end of the campaign, the team has maintained the landing page with messaging that tells visitors the promotion is over, but lets them submit their name and email address as a request to "Bring it Back!"

Biggest Lesson:
It's important to include tactics that maintain viral momentum when building your campaign plan. The team's decision to target Twitter users with 10,000 or more followers came after the second day of the campaign, when orders started to ebb from their initial rush. The effect of tweets from those influential Twitter users was enormous, and something to plan for from the beginning.