Episode #47

Jimmy Hayes from Minaal

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In this episode of Beyond the Inbox, Jimmy Hayes, co-founder of Minaal, shares the journey of how Minaal transitioned from a simple crowdfunding campaign to a successful brand renowned for its superior quality travel bags.

Hayes starts by discussing the challenges that arose when launching a product amidst a pandemic. The timing seemed unfortunate as their hero product was lined up for release just as the pandemic hit. However, they decided to launch it regardless, raising enough money through pre-orders to cover production costs. Despite the difficult period, Hayes emphasizes the importance of their community, many of whom were original backers from their first Kickstarter campaign in 2013. The community's support during this challenging time was instrumental in keeping the company afloat and served as a reminder of the power of community investment.

Next, Hayes moves onto the importance of building a community. He explains how Minaal started with a product made for themselves, targeting people with similar needs and lifestyle. This approach fostered organic relationships with their customers, who felt invested in the brand and its products. He notes that many of their customers feel like friends, given the long-term relationships they have built over time.

One of the key marketing strategies Hayes highlights is the role of email marketing in their business. He explains that email has always been their primary mode of communication, using it for both community communication and sales. With detailed and strategic automations set up, Minaal has been able to nurture customer relationships and increase sales without constant manual follow-ups.

Hayes also touches upon the concept of customer lifetime value and upselling. Given that Minaal promises high-quality products that last a lifetime, they ensure that customers are aware of all their options during their first purchase. The company grows through strategic and slow-paced product releases, making each launch meaningful and anticipated by customers.

Looking ahead, Hayes envisions Minaal continuing to focus on the process rather than the end state. The company aims to provide people with excellent experiences, products, and memories, and sees its growth as a result of this focus.

In conclusion, this episode provides valuable insights into how a business can successfully navigate challenges, build a strong community, and leverage email marketing to foster customer relationships and drive sales. 

Read the transcript:

  • (12:19) Jimmy discusses the marketing strategies used in the early years of Minaal
  • (13:08) The importance of in-person research and feedback from potential customers
  • (14:10) The decision to sell exclusively through their own store
  • (14:17) The benefits of having full control over the customer experience
  • (15:27) The importance of maintaining a high-end experience for their customers
  • (15:43) The close relationship Minaal has with its customers
  • (16:13) How Minaal was able to organically nurture relationships with their customers
  • (17:31) The focus on long-term relationships over short-term goals
  • (18:20) The benefits of having customers invested in the brand
  • (18:40) The challenges of managing customer expectations and emotions
  • (19:56) The impact of the pandemic on Minaal
  • (20:09) The decision to launch a new version of their product during the pandemic
  • (21:36) The importance of community support during difficult times
  • (22:25) The role of email marketing in Minaal's business
  • (24:22) How email marketing helps in nurturing customer relationships and increasing sales
  • (25:22) The use of email marketing as a "free salesperson"
  • (26:42) The concept of customer lifetime value and upselling in Minaal's marketing strategy
  • (27:02) The challenges of selling a product that is designed to last a lifetime
  • (27:53) The growth of Minaal through strategic and slow-paced product releases
  • (28:38) The future outlook for Minaal
  • (28:49) The long-term vision for the company and focus on the process
  • (29:42) The importance of providing excellent experiences to customers
  • (30:06) Where listeners can learn more about Minaal
  • (30:24) Conclusion of the interview