Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My background is from the design and advertising world. I have been working as an Art director at agencies or as freelance since I was 19 years old. Both with traditional design and advertising but a lot with digital media. I designed websites when you had to do it with tables and without a CMS, quite a lot have changed since then : )
A few years ago I got tired of only working with other peoples projects and teamed up with a friend and started VideofyMe. A video app company where our original idea was to share ad revenue with the users creating the video content. This was before Youtube enabled that. VideofyMe is quite successful in Sweden – now with less focus on revenue sharing and more on mobile video – but I’m not involved in the day to day activities but own shares and I’m part of the board.
What problem does Minutemailer solve?
I started thinking about Minutemailer when I wanted to update customers about what I’m up to. Both at VideofyMe and as a freelancer. I tried different softwares, like Mailchimp and others but ended up creating html emails from scratch and sending them manually. I couldn’t find a method that was easy, made the emails look good and for a good price. So I started to plan how I could solve that for myself and others in the same situation. Basically Minutemailer is simplifying the task of sending a newsletter and bringing that to more people for a good price. A bit like Tictail is enabling more people to sell stuff online.
How is Minutemailer different from Mailchimp?
I’m very focused on the usability side and try to create a experience that is as fast and easy to understand as possible. The user should be able to use Minutemailer no matter what background they have and still end up with a good looking newsletter. Mailchimp is more of a expert tool with lots of functions that makes it more powerful but also more complex. I will add more features for sure but will try to avoid feature clutter. I think a good sign I’m on the right track is that my mother signed up and sent me a nice looking newsletter with images and everything. I don’t think she would have managed that using Mailchimp.
How big is your team and are you working full-time on the project?
Right now I’m mixing Minutemailer with freelance work but will hopefully focus more and more on Minutemailer. The team consists of me and two part time developers. I’m looking at bringing in another developer as well and I’m always looking for great people to collaborate with.
What made you interested in the newsletter and email campaign market?
As I said it was a problem I had myself, that I could see how to solve and create a practical solution for. But also I’m helping this other startup out; Hemsida24 which does something similar but for creating homepages and I could see there is a market for creating easy to use tools for small businesses. Also I think there is a lot to do in the field by making the content itself smarter and more targeted. Not only better looking. Can I help other small companies use email as an efficient marketing tool and be more successful as companies that would be wonderful.
How has this market changed the past years?
The funny thing is that email has been around for ages, over 20 years I think and the technology itself haven’t changed much but its actually bigger than ever. More people have an email account than a Facebook account. An increasing amount of emails are being sent and more businesses discover the possibilities of email. Email doesn’t sound as sexy as social media or video for example but there is great potential in it.
What is the next step for Minutemailer?
The next step is to continue testing Minutemailer with real users to get some feedback (all help appreciated!) then add some essential features that are missing and polish on the usability and speed of the service. It will be interesting to see what users will use it and how, as that may come as a surprise. After that comes the marketing which is when things really start to happen. My first goal is to have a 100 paying users within 3 months and 1.000 paying users before Q2 2014. We’ll see how that goes.
Please give it a try at http://minutemailer.com and let me know what you think! If you decide to use the service you can use this discount code to get 30% off if you signup for 12 months: 4FREEM.