When LatinFinance held its Fifth Finance Summit in Argentina last month, the event was tracking a bit behind on attendance, due in large part to political turmoil. But instead of allowing the turmoil to act as a deficit, LatinFinance used it as an advantage and brought in $7,000 in walk-in attendee revenue (it usually sees about $1,000 to $2,000); 90 free, qualified, last-minute attendees; and a 265 percent increase in Web traffic.

How They Did It

LatinFinance managed to get a big-name keynote speaker—Martin Redrado, president of Argentina’s Central Bank—on the first day of the event, who made controversial, pro-government remarks about the state of affairs. Within an hour, LatinFinance’s marketing team e-mailed a press release with his comments to potential attendees. The e-mail went out on all the news wires and to local reporters and “the next day we were in all the papers,” says Kathy Andrew, LatinFinance’s marketing manager.
The e-mail also drove people to LatinFinance.com, which caused the day’s huge spike in traffic but also helped expose new users to the brand. The site now sees an average of 30,000 more page views per week since then, according to Andrew.

Why it Worked

It was LatinFinance’s ability to act quickly that made this e-mail campaign so effective, of course, but it was also its focus on the event’s core value.

“A lot of times as marketers we lose sight of what the actual product is,” she says. “Sometimes we get too involved in whether the HTML looks nice, the images are cute, the colors are right, the font looks good.”