Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
My name is Winton Churchill and yes, that is my real name...there is kind of a long story about my name and rather than include it here I’ll give your readers this link so they can read the full story if they are interested: http://www.churchillmethod.com/name.html
What inspired the book?
I do a lot of speaking to small business owners on the topic of growing their business. In particular, my talk about email marketing has been very popular. I got a lot of appreciation for demystifying the concepts and putting them into plain language most business owners and executives could understand. When audience members asked me if I could recommend a book on the topic, I couldn’t find one that explained this stuff in business terms for the non-technical person...so I wrote it!
What makes this book special to you?
I had my first email address in 1980...so I was using email a good 10-15 years before most of the people on the planet even knew what it was. I also knew how effective it could be to build relationships and trust. I am glad to be able to bring that expertise to a large audience with this book.
What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?
Prospects want to get to know the businesses they buy from even more than in the past. Companies are starting to recognize that the quality of the LONG TERM relationships they have makes for better sales, more profit and a better run company. Email is the best tool to build, strengthen and extend that relationship. Spam is a big problem today and many have turned away from email marketing because they incorrectly confuse it with spam. As spam prevention improves email will continue to get even more effective if done right.
What people NEED to read this book and WHY?
Anyone who touches sales in a company must understand this medium. In our consulting practice we typically work with the CEO, VP marketing or VP sales to design and implement effective email strategies. As your competitors begin to understand and use email, they have a discernable edge over your business if you don’t have a similar program. They can reach prospects more frequently, for less money and with greater impact than you can. If they pull ahead of you it will be very difficult for you to recover that lost ground.
We also find a lot of sales executives reading this book. Their companies frequently have “glossy brochure” sent out as email campaigns that are largely ineffective. They want sales leads and to build sales relationships. By applying some of the principles in this book they can improve the speed with which they build relationships and close deals.
What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?
My creativity is sparked by the challenge of helping a client take their product or service and turn it into a successful marketing campaign. We find those campaigns can run for months to years because it really speaks to their prospects in a way that their competitors don’t.
When I am wrestling with a challenge like this, I like to immerse myself in as much data as I can dredge up. I talk to customers, past clients, prospects, internal people and when I am drowning in information for a day or 2 I begin to get tiny insights about some aspect of the problem. The insights build into a solution almost the way you would put together a puzzle.
What has been the biggest stumbling block in your writing? Can you share some tips to help others get past similar problems?
Time is the biggest problem. I run a business. I have to deliver services pretty much every day of the week. We are creating campaigns, meeting deadlines and pushing projects through our process. It is hard to get the time to write. I started with transcripts of talks I’d given and began organizing and refining from there. It was important to me that the book has a conversational tone so the editing process leaned towards readability. The process worked well.
I would recommend any author who gets stuck from time to time exploit dictation and transcription as a great way to get the ball moving.
What I like about working from transcripts of presentations is that they already have an organizational “backbone.” The more organized your comments, the easier it is to move forward with transcripts.
What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
I think people become authors because they recognize they have a vision or perspective to bring into the world that is better and/or different than what they have seen before.
Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?
It was accidental...I was traveling to Chicago sitting in an aisle seat. I was preparing to give a talk and wanted to refer to something in my book. To make sure I quoted the information exactly as I put it in the book, I whipped out the book and started flipping through the pages to find my reference. The guy sitting on the window saw the book and asked me about it. I told him I was the author. Turns out that he owns a business and wanted my consulting advice.
NON FICTION - Why are you the BEST person to write this book? What in your background or in your research makes you qualified to do justice to this topic?
There are a lot of good books about email out there but the complex sales cycle gets neglected. The things that work for selling toiletries through an online catalog site are completely wrong for say an engineering consulting firm that has to build trust and credibility before their prospects buy.
I have been using email in the complex sales cycle for over 20 years...long before most of your readers even had email address. I had the good fortune to work for companies like Apple before they were a household name, and other great companies like Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Spinnaker to name a few. I am very measurement oriented and have seen thousand of testing results in thousands of marketing campaigns and I know what works in certain situations and what doesn’t.
Everybody has an opinion about what will work, but at the end of the day, the number will tell you what really works.
NON FICTION - If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn't interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I'm thinking something better than "It's the greatest book ever." Give me something more specific :)
If they have any responsibility for a business this is an essential process to understand. To me this is like the early days of the telephone, automobile or electric light. Many people thought it would be a passing fad. It’s not. In fact it is looking more like the aorta of the business in 5 years... and if your aorta isn’t up to snuff your business will almost certainly perish.
NON FICTION Is there a way to tie your book topic to current events? If so, tell us about how you could do that. I have a blog to feature information and examples about tying books into current events that might be a good place for you to promote your book.
Yes, certainly the economic crisis with the stock market problems and bailout of Wall Street are top of mind. The story doesn’t get much bigger than that. As the economy reels, those without an effective, trust-based email relationship with their prospects and clients will be at a tremendous disadvantage. They will have to spend more in media that are not as effective as they once were. A bigger problem is that businesses become distrustful of new relationships during economic hard times. The organization with the trust-based email relationship has already figured out how to inform, educate and delight their prospect and client base. It is very hard competitively to catch up.
If there's anything else you would like to share, this is the time and place.
If you don’t have a list of customers, clients and prospects who appreciate the information and insight you are able to provide them, you will become increasingly irrelevant and your business will die a painful death. You can transform that possible future by getting serious about building your business on the quality and delivery of informative and educational information.
Thank you for visiting with me and in closing, give us your website address and a link to order your book.
For more information, visit www.churchillmethod.com. Visit www.virtualblogtour.blogspot.com for the most up to date information. His full tour schedule is posted at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/06/winton-churchill-email-marketing-for.html. Winton Churchill is offering a wealth of free gifts for every person that purchases his book Email Marketing. Visit www.churchillmethod.com/bookbonus for full details about how to download all of these free gifts.