“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - Prophet Muhammed (S)

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” – Prophet Muhammed (S)

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Welcome to the redesign of Zaheer.me – my home on the web.

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Apps Can Now Be Transferred From One Developer to Another

Got the following great news from Apple in my email today:

Apps can now be transferred from one developer to another within iTunes Connect, for example after an acquisition or when a distribution deal expires. Transferring the ownership of an app does not affect the app’s availability on the App Store. All ratings and reviews will be transferred and your customers will continue to have access to all available app updates.
To transfer an app, go to the app’s App Summary page in the Manage Your Applications module on iTunes Connect and click Transfer App. Make sure that:

  • Your account is active
  • You have accepted the most current version of your contracts
  • Your app has at least one approved version
  • Your app is in the Ready for Sale, Invalid Binary, Rejected, Developer Rejected, or Developer Removed from Sale state
  • Any associated In-App Purchases are in the Ready to Submit, Ready for Sale, Rejected, Developer Removed from Sale, or Approved state
  • You know the Apple ID of the recipient’s Team Agent and their Team ID.

For more information on app transfer, see the video tutorial on iTunes Connect. To find answers to common questions about app transfer, see the FAQ on iTunes Connect.
Regards,
The App Store team

Sendy Hosting & Advanced Set-Up

If you missed my original Sendy review check it out: Cheaper, Affordable Mailchimp Alternative

Sendy Host

After researching many different options I’ve come to the conclusion that Hosthese has the best plan for hosting Sendy. They have created a custom-tailored solution just for Sendy that is ready to deploy and up-to-date with the latest version of Sendy with all server cron jobs and settings in place.

Two main criterion while I was researching hosting options:
1. Cost – The cost of hosting should be minimal. Hosthese delivers in this regard spectacularly – hosting cost for the year is on par or cheaper than most hosting options for any sort of online system.
2. Technical Capability – With Hosthese’s sendy hosting there is almost no technical knowledge needed other than adding a CNAME record for your domain to point to their servers. There are many guides online to help with this quite easy step.

Advanced Set-Up

This advanced set-up portion will be covering the steps taken to increase Amazon SES’s email quota. Amazon SES initially limits you to 10,000 emails per 24 hours. To increase this limit you will need to submit an extended access request.
NOTE: This process typically takes 24 hours. This is in addition to the 24 hours it takes to approve your SES account. Plan accordingly.
There are a few items needed to submit your request outlined here and reproduced below:
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Contact email address
  • Telephone number
  • Website address (optional)
  • Link to your opt-in page (optional)
  • Link to your opt-out policy (optional)
  • Link to your privacy policy (optional)
  • Email message type: Marketing, Transactional, Subscription, and/or System Notifications
  • Anticipated maximum daily sending volume
  • Use case detail
Notice how some fields are optional and can simply be filled with “None”. It is highly advised to fill all fields though as you probably should have implemented the optional fields and adding the information only serves to make your request stronger.
For a privacy policy page it’s best to take a look at other privacy policy pages and pick out the portions relavent to your particular newsletter.

 

Cheaper, Affordable Mailchimp Alternative

Mailchimp is great, but more than a significant amount of subscribers and you’re going to go broke. Today I’m going to show you how to make your own service to send newsletters as a much cheaper alternative to Mailchimp using Sendy. The best part is, you can do this even if you don’t know programming or are technical!

How is it so cheap? The system we will be using to send emails will be Amazon’s robust SES service to send out emails for a per email cost. It is important to note that while Mailchimp and similar services (ex. Aweber, ConstantContact, etc) may offer unlimited emails per month, most people will not need to send out too many emails per month. It’s worth running the analysis below for your own variable and determining whether Sendy is cost-effective for you – in most situations it will be.

 

Cost Breakdown

Sendy has a great widget to play with on their site to determine how much you’ll save but I’ll do a quick breakdown below.

Sendy – Sendy Software ($59) + Hosting/Set-Up ($130 yearly though can vary) + Amazon SES ($0.0001 per email)
Mailchimp – 2 main pricing models:
1. Monthly – Subscriber based (Subscribers/Monthly Cost):

(Note: for under 2,500 subscribers Mailchimp also has a free plan)

2. Pay As You Go

Lets calculate a hypothetical scenario: I have S subscribers in my list I send a newsletter to every week for a year. I’ll include the initial Sendy software cost ($59) – note though that this is only a one-time cost.

For S = 5,000 subscribers
Sendy setup: $59 + $130 + (5000 subscribers * 52 weeks * $0.0001 per email) = $215
Mailchimp: $50 * 12 months = $600

For S = 10,000 subscribers:
Sendy setup: $59 + $130 + (10,000 subscribers * 52 weeks * $0.0001 per email) = $241
Mailchimp: $75 * 12 months = $900

Caveats

Analytics – While Sendy does have a great analytics dashboard for analyzing open rates and other key email metrics, Mailchimp does offer a superior analytics layer. For some, this may be a deal breaker though for me analytics wasn’t always a huge factor and the basics sufficed.
Email Editor - I have to hand it to Mailchimp on this one for creating an awesome email editor that makes it super simple for even the least technical individuals to create a beautiful looking email. Sendy’s email editor is pale in comparison to Mailchimp’s editor. One workaround that I’ve been using is to simply create the email in Mailchimp and copy over the html into Sendy’s email editor. This takes some minor HTML knowledge but is doable. Look out for a future blog post detailing this method.

Set Up

Judge for yourself how much these caveats are worth. Several hundred dollars? Maybe Mailchimp is better for you. If not, then great lets finally get to how to build our own solution!
First purchase Sendy.
Note: The link is a referral link. I found out about their referral program just as I finished writing the article. Help me keep this blog running :)
Next up we have to decide where we’re going to host Sendy. Sendy is just the software layer but we need a server to put Sendy on so that we can access it online and actually send the emails. This is where some paths can diverge. While many opt to create their own server using their favorite stack of technologies, the simplest solution came to me in a response in Sendy’d forums.
The good folks over at Hosthese have a created pre-made dedicated Sendy environments, optimized to its requirements. Their services can be used without limitation on webspace or traffic for a yearly price of € 109 / ~$ 130.
All you have to do is contact Hosthese and they’ll create a new hosting environment with your Sendy license without you having to dabble into the technical details at all. I should note that this does require a domain/subdomain that can be pointed at the hosted Sendy solution. This is as simple as creating a CNAME record that points to Hosthese’s servers.
You’re done! Sendy supports importing contacts so to transition from Mailchimp or any other service, simply export your current subscriber list and import it into Sendy!
If you have any trouble, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out!

Update: New post is now live: Sendy Hosting & Advanced Set-up