I’m thrilled to post a recent interview I did with author, Winton Churchill. Winton’s newest book is very timely for anyone who wants to optimize their email marketing.
1. What is your professional background?
I am a Sales & Marketing executive by training and career path. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great companies: Apple, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Contact Software, developers of ACT! contact management software.  7 Years ago I started my own consulting company to help people who struggle with lead generation and business growth learn to exploit the capability of the Internet.
2. How long have you been involved with Internet marketing?
I had my first email account in 1980, really stepped up my use of email for marketing actives to technology clients in the mid-eighties when I worked at Sun Microsystems.  That was all B2B.  My first foray into B2C came along when I helped my oldest daughter sell Girl Scout cookies via the Internet very successfully in 1991.
After that experience, I began to take everything I had learned about direct marketing and lead generation and began applying it to the Internet.   In 1993 the Wall Street Journal interviewed me for an article they were doing about email…and since then I have been using it, improving my process and speaking and writing about how I approach the topic.
3. When did you decide that a book on email marketing was needed?

kathlI do a fair amount of speaking. After my talks I am always asked if I had a book that more fully explained what I just said from the platform. For me the challenge in writing this book was to keep it simple and conversational like my talks, but informative and detailed enough that readers can build or improve their own process.
The other thing that prompted me to do the book was that I get email every day.  I see companies large and small making mistakes that I know will kill the response to their email. There seems to be a big information gap, and I wanted to fill that gap.
4. How is your information unique to other books on the same topic?
Many of the books on the topic tend to be numbers and statistics oriented.  That information is very useful; I’ve read and recommended many of them. But I haven’t found a book that was really useful for the business owner… they are either too light and breezy or plunge into the technology jargon too quickly to be helpful.
As I was writing the manuscript, I had quite a number of business owners review it.  Any time they got stuck or didn’t understand what I was saying I re-wrote it…and re-wrote it…and re-wrote it until business owners started saying things like, “Now I understand!”
5. In Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles you talk about segmenting your database. Why is this so important for the reader to understand?
None of us really wants to ever get an irrelevant advertising message. At last count the average American is exposed to thousands of these messages every single day.  We all build up a mental callous.  Getting a message that meets a need, scratches an itch is so welcome. By segmenting your list and sending emails that speak to the needs of your segment, your message is usually welcome. This helps the quality of your business relationship grow.
6. Your book goes into much more than simply Email Marketing. You address areas with a sales team. How can your book help a sales manager?
One of the biggest challenges sales managers face today is burnout of their top sales people.  The burnout is in part due to the repetitive, mind numbing tasks that many sales people must do on a daily basis. I teach how to “off-load” much of that repetitive sales activity. When a business does that, their sales team can focus on the relationship more clearly.
7. Who would benefit from reading your book?
I think any business owner, sales executive, marketing executive or super sales person who wants more growth and more serenity in their business.  If you have a reliable system to produce sales, you have a lot less chaos in all parts of your business.
8. Do you have plans for other books?
The focus for right now is on email marketing because this tool will emerge as the primary tool for working with clients and prospects over time. We are just on the threshold of a new wave of interest in email now that spam blocking techniques are improving. But I do have several files on topics that I am actively clipping…social networks will be very influential in business relationships in the near future.
9. Besides books, what other products or services do you have available for your customers?
Our primary work is our consulting and training for our private clients. We help them build systems to grow their business more reliably and predictably.
On our web site we have a variety of audio and video products that people find helpful.  Here is the link: http://www.churchillmethod.com/onlinestore.html
10. What is the 1 mistake most people reading your book are likely to make when they try to apply it on their own?
They don’t quite understand what they don’t know and send out an email campaign that doesn’t do well. Each year we look at hundreds, maybe thousands of campaigns.  When you do that you develop a really good experience base for what works and what doesn’t. It is similar to a really good medical diagnostician.
In fact we developed a service for our clients where they get a campaign all ready to launch, then they have us “score it” using a model we have developed.
We usually identify a few things and typically make 3-6 recommendations on how to improve their campaign’s effectiveness.
We sell that service for $347 and offer it with a money back guaranty…if they use the recommendations and don’t see a satisfactory increase in their response we cheerfully refund their money. This service takes everything we know about email and puts it at the point of greatest impact…so clients like it.
11. How can people reach you to get more information?
They can call at me          310-322-8255        or email me at winton@churchillmethod.com .
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.
Outstanding Interview Winton. Thank you Kathleen Gage The Street Smarts Marketer