Your Name: Winton Churchill
1. Where you are from and where are you now?
Originally from Miami, Florida and now a vagabond...my business interests mean that I travel quite a bit, my company is based in Los Angeles and my wife and I have a place in Huatulco, Mexico that we consider home base.
2. How did you get started writing?
I came to writing through the back door... through the door of long copy direct marketing and advertising.
3. What do you do when you are not writing?
I run a consulting business helping executives and owners of small to medium size businesses grow their business. That usually takes the form of systematizing their sales process to eliminate the chaos I see in about 80% of all businesses of this size.
4. What would readers like to know about you?
That would have to be my name...I get questions about my name every single day!... 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 have an interest: http://www.churchillmethod.com/name.html
5. What inspired your first 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!
6. How many books have you written?
This is my first.
8. Why are you specially qualified to write about 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.
9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track when you’re writing a book?
I have my talks and seminars transcribed and do all my editing from there. I get in to a rhythm with that and it helps me maintain focus.
10. Do you write to make money, for the love of writing or both?
I wrote this book in part because it establishes me as an authority on the topic. Of the people the do the kind of work I do, not one in a thousand has written a book about it...so it definitely elevates one’s work in the eyes of the market.
The other thought I had is that there are so many people who could benefit from email marketing (and aren’t now using it effectively) that I wanted to say something to the business people beyond those who hear me speak.
12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used? Which were the most successful?
The book is published by MorganJames Publishing and they have done a number of the traditional things like a press release and programs with the booksellers.
The blog tour is one of the most unique and most successful. I could clearly see how effective it is when, on the third day of the tour my book hit the Amazon best seller list.
13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not?
I sell my company’s products through my main website ( http://www.churchillmethod.com/onlinestore.html ). The book is distributed by Ingram and available at all the usual online locations including Amazon.
14. Where can people order your books?
I have a domain set up that takes you directly to the Amazon sales page:
15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc?
Today, both hardback and paperback.
16. Will you write more books?
Yes, I have one on the works with my wife. It is a book on Winston Churchill’s leadership secrets for college students.
18. What does the future hold for you and your books?
I will continue to do both consulting and writing. I find that working in the field means I can bring a different quality to the work. I find that so many authors on this topic don’t actually work in the field...they interview people that do and write from there. That is one approach but I like to bring the most current knowledge to my readers.
19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books?
Has to be the blog tour and that has spawned a number of other marketing opportunities.
20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books?
Press release...didn’t see a lot of activity from that.
22. 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.
23. What sort of comments have you gotten about the content of the book?
Feedback has been great...the most common theme is that readers (mostly business owners or executives) say they finally see how they can use email without being branded as a spammer or marketing pest.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own
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.
27. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
I think that every author (myself included) believes they have a message or insight that is not being heard.
28. 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.
29. 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 "Its 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.
30. Why does the topic of your book interest you? Why would it interest potential readers? Give us a hook to reel in new readers.
Email marketing completely changes the game. It is a nearly free way to communicate with people...that’s the good news. The bad news...if you don’t communicate well they may not give you a second chance.
If you have to form a relationship with your prospects before they buy, you have a complex sale. Most of what you know about selling won’t work in this new environment. Read this book and you clearly see how to make those changes.
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.