Hey Mrs SEO, we all love you more ….

alright, with me being ‘out’ (quite literally, eyes shut for most of the last 2 days), here’s what’s queued up …

… reads a little like Huffington Post digest, so excuse the ‘mish-mash’

You WILL love the “hey Mrs SEO” thing, I can pretty much guarantee it

(let me put it this way: I just talked to Mrs SEO, and I’m EXCITED!)

(to get yourself in the mood, here’s a reminder what it’s all about:

and if you’re lucky, you too will get spammed by hostgator’s $0.01 hosting offer which is kinda ironic seeing where this post is going in a minute;-)

First though, a quick

#1 IMSC Rapid Mailer Update:no-hostgator-shared-hosting


right, had Alex install it … and … that’s it.

Will NOT work on hostgator shared hosting.

(at least not ours – the HG tech-guy was totally useless)

And that’s where we test all our plugins, as shared hosting I guess is the common denominator.

Why does it not work?

Because hostgator will NOT allow outgoing SMTP from their servers.


  • get a dedicated server (ouch for most people), or:
  • do NOT use an SMTP service. (not a good idea when you have significant volume of mail) Or:
  • find a shared hosting plan that does allow for outgoing SMTP.

trying to fiddle with the MX records does NOT help!

Big thanks for the Mandrill tech-people,they were really helpful, and fast to respond too!

Will keep you up-to-date.

Note: of all the recommended SMTP services, we would have used Mandrill.com, first 12k msg included every month, that’s plenty for most users!


because with intelligent list-segmentation like you have in IMSC pro-mailer, you can quickly weed out the non-openers!

meaning you only mail to your hyper-responsive prospects anyway!

Apart from that:

the “advanced training” OTO looks VERY interesting!

a lot of really interesting topics covered that help you build AND monetize a list quickly, so your IMSC Rapid mailer investment pays for itself very quickly.

My take so far:

IMSC Rapid Mailer looks so good that we’re now rolling it out to our proper servers where we have SMTP.

(btw, if you believe in the whole “if you pay attention, the Universe will reach out to you” thing .

… yesterday evening, something I’d seen plenty of time before, suddenly popped into my consciousness …

… the PERFECT application for something like IMSC Rapid Mailer.

Goes WAY beyond just replacing aweber, or acting as a backup!

Strange ol’ Universe reaching out when the time is right;-)

#1.5 as a result of all of this, we’re investigating hosting our sites at Amazon EC2 + the whole cloud thing.

Initially extremely cheap (as in: kinda free….) and only once you go beyond a certain (quite impressive) volume, it starts costing real money.

that *should*

  • give super-fast sites and
  • integrate very nicely with their S3 service, which of course is great for sending emails….;-)

More info on our investigations as we learn more/experiment.

Ah yes, Mike has agreed to do a ‘tour of server optimization’, we’ll probably record something mid next week!

#2 The whole ‘heart-bleed’ debate:heartbleed

in case you haven’t heard (or ignored it like me), there’s a big security alert out there, all to do with the SSL protocol not being safe.

The BBC’s take:

http://www.bbc.com/news/ technology-26954540

sure, look out for it, but don’t go mental ….

(only do when your service provider tells you it’s time to act;-)

my advice: use roboform or any of the other password tools – I like Roboform because you can share you passwords across lots of devices, you can create identities (e.g. every time you need to fill in your credit card details on a new site, or register with a site….)

… and then create truly RANDOM passwords.

#3 SEO. Penguin recovery. And SEO. And some more SEO.

Katharine_Ross_-_BuddwingSo, here we go, Mrs SEO.

someone who shall remain anonymous for the time being, has discovered something pretty sensational.

A Penguin recovery method, that works 90% of the time!

They’ve been testing this on a ton of sites, and even where they did their magic 5 months ago, still works!


a SOLID penguin recovery method!

What’s even better:

there are plenty of penalty recovery companies out there who’ll ‘clean up your SEO mess’ for THOUSANDS of dollars.

Mrs SEO can do it for about $25.

Awesome, or what?

Can you see the opportunity?


Look out for more!

(I have a feeling she’s going to share with us how it’s done!)

Evil of me, isn’t it;-)

Well, this is in part to give Mrs X a kick up the backside to get her arse into gear and actually get this out!

It’s a classic case of “but, what if my stuff isn’t good enough?”

My take: a Penguin recovery method that works, gimme, gimme gimme!

Recover a complete site for only $25?


So, just for kicks, leave a note for Mrs SEO here:


#4 Right, which brings me neatly to an observation:

check out this:


what is it?

it’s an ‘interlinking’ tool that helps you get a great interlinking structure on your site, which in turn helps create reasons to stay on site.

both for Google’s spider, as well as the human visitor.

Longer stay on site = lower bounce-rate = signal to Google that this is a good site.

In other words: plenty of SEO goodness!

So far, so good. (ok, so far, actually, really good).

But, then comes the big problem – and this has nothing to do with the actual tool, but it’s a general observation of what’s going on in the IM space:

For this to work … you have to have content that is actually appealing to your visitors.

Or, if you had to condense it into one word, you have to have an “offer”.

another definition of “offer” is “a reason to [X]”

where X could be “buy”, or “sign up”, or “click”…

… or whatever you want your visitors to do.

You can do SEO all day long, and get gazillions of visitors to your site….

if there’s no reason to [X], all that traffic is wasted.

(ok, 99% of it. The other 1% have taken too many pink happy pills and then click on anything)

Here’s another one to highlight the real issue:


AWESOME, truly mindboggling collection of PLR content in the weightloss/fitness niche.

If you know how to turn this into an OFFER…

…if you know how to turn this into something that gives people a REASON TO [X] …

… then it’s like rocket-fuel in your marketing arsenal

(lol, as you can probably tell, I’m pushing heavily into the fitness niche at the moment … my 6-pack abs project even got support from not eating for 3 days due to flu;-)

However, and that’s the big however:

if you cannot craft a REASON TO [X], then NONE of these other tools, reasources or tricks …

… never mind all the traffic in the world …

… is going to be any good to you.

(this weeks launches were dominated by a whole bunch of ‘this is how you build massive, responsive lists.

do NOT get me started!

They were all about driving cheapo solo-ad traffic at ‘no brainer’ offers.

and you were given the no-brainer offers.

Well, guess what!?

Now suddenly every Tom, Dick & Harry is trying to flog their ‘no-brainer’ offers.

Meaning: there’s nothing unique.

There’s NO REASON TO [X] (at least not with YOU)

Figure out the real REASON TO [X], and you’ve got yourself a money-printing machine!

#5 something useful/important on Privacy

this is something Detlev brought to my attention, thanks to Detlev for pointing it out:

in the EU, we have to be careful what we store about our website visitors.

In particular, things like information stored incookies, and of course through our Analytics.

Well, Keyword Swarm I mentioned a few days ago (btw, they’re closing for good tomorrow:

http://jvz8.com/c/1648/95829) – the bonus walkthrough of all the options will come next week, but here’s the one you should know about right now (if you’re in the EU)

Keyword Swarm has just the right option for doing exactly what the EU wants us to do – if you’re in the EU, this is the setting you need to activate:
(click on the image for a larger view)


if you want to go super-compliant you also give the user the choice to disable all cookies:


and you’re squeaky clean;-)

#6 A nasty bug in JVzoo/Paypal

This started a few days ago with one vendor sending me a screen-shot with a good dozen of refunds, all in one row, even a couple from my list (which is extremely rare)

I’m all “mhmm, very strange, but, stuff happens” (very unusual though)

Today, another vendor sends me a similar screen-shot:

8 refunds in one row.

Turns out, there’s a bug in the communication between Paypal and JVZoo…

… automatically refunds your purchase.

… which in some cases then puts you on a blacklist, and you can’t buy from that vendor anymore.

As has happend to Phil this morning.

So, if you bought anything that went through JVZoo and you unexpectedly got a refund, or you find yourself blacklisted …

… don’t blame the vendor, there’s a genuine bug somewhere in the system. (actually, looks very much like it’s happening on the Paypal side….)

… which is really rubbish for everyone!

this looks really bad on the ‘refund rate’ for the vendors, so they’re selling far fewer copies.

which isn’t fair, when you’re a business owner, you put a lot of effort into your product, and then people don’t buy it because of some Paypal-JVZoo foulup….)

#7 Mario Brown’s upcoming event:

not sure if you’re familiar with Mario Brown, if not, you should check him out.
(just don’t go to Google images and search for Mario Brown … you’ll find something entirely different;-)

Met him many years, queuing (standing in line) at a Mass Control event, and we got talking.

He’s one of the very few (less than 1 hand required for counting them) of people I call ‘friends’ when it comes to this online community.

In the sense of “I’d happily have him baby-sit my children”.

And I’m gratful for being able to call him my friend.

Why? Because he’s a true inspiration.

This guy came over from Germany, and he’s making the American dream happen!

Just rolls up his sleeves and gets down to work.

Makes stuff happen.

“imperfect action” as he keeps telling me.

Your chance to see him, learn from him, network like crazy, get inspired and build your own dream:


it’s not an affiliate link, nothing in it for me (well, unless you believe in that Universe thing, but I reckon we’ve established that I do;-)

just a heads-up on something I think you’d get a lot out of!

price is going up tonight if I understand correctly.

Now, I have a ton more to tell you about, but I shall stop here!;-)

starting to realize, I *should* probably start doing proper social media, break these things into 17 small bits, and have a constant stream of updates going out;-)

hasta luego!


PS: alright, WTF? I don’t swear much, …csi-forensic-kit

… but our retired neighbour just rang the door-bell, came in, walked straight through the dining room …

… armed with window-cleaner and cloth …

… to clean our dining room window.


Must reduce dosage of those pink happy pills.

I mean WTF? and I promise it’s the last time I’m saying that in this email….


“…hey, I was keeping those fingerprints for when my kids are old enough to play with the CSI forensic kit… (officially for kids only, but we all know ….)”

PPS: Right, in autumn (fall) this year I’ll do a live seminar.

We’re in talks with a rather large company … hint, they’re all about email.

and they’re in PA…

and I just came up with a name for the workshop:


PS: ok, one more, can’t resist: (but honestly, that’s it)


The question is: which side of the equation do you want YOUR offspring to be on?

I can tell you this: YOU take action, create a real business, make lotsa lovely dough, and you’ve got a great shot of being at the root of a family tree that ends up on the right side of that divide!



  1. Hey Veit, love your stuff as always.

    Really appreciate the point-out to Mandrill but even though it’s free for the first 12,000/mo, Amazon’s SES is still pretty competitive to that at $1 per 10,000,. Difference being it stays that rate, regardless of number sent. Mandrill goes to 20 cents/thousand for the next MILLION emails per month. That’s about 20x more expensive than Amazon if I’m looking at the numbers right.

    Oh, and GO, GO, GO Mrs. SEO! 😉

    • Dion, no, only TWICE as ‘expensive’ $1/10k = $0.1/thousand for Amazon SES (http://aws.amazon.com/ses/pricing/) – vs $0.2/thousand for Mandrill. (http://mandrill.com/pricing/)

      But, you don’t pay for the first 12k.

      Now, although you’re paying ‘double’ after the first 12k … say you’re sending out 10k messages every day. (list of 10k, 1 msg/day)

      that’s about 300k/month.

      With Mandrill you’re looking at $57.60 per month in email sending costs. Roughly double the cost of Amazon SES ($30)

      BUT, with Mandrill you’re getting far superior analytics. All kinds of superb tracking stats which you don’t get with Amazon.

      Meaning: you can quickly weed out the dead email addresses and only mail the good ones.

      Plus, with Amazon the sending restrictions are MUCH tougher …. you really have to work hard to even get out of the sandbox.

      I mean c’mon, what a joke. Initially I’m only allowed to test my emails inside Oregon. Yeah, Portland is nice, and the people of Portland even nicer.

      And the backcountry is beautiful, but …. do I now have to find penpals in Oregon so I can work myself out of the sandbox?

      thanks, but no thanks;-)


      • We can be pen pals! I’m in the Portland area. 🙂

        Actually Veit, I agree with you about Amazon’s sandbox. I actually got into it when I was trying Sendy, an Amazon SES front end, and I never did get out.

        In terms of analytics, does Mandrill’s go beyond what Sean’s offering in Rapid Mailer?

        The one thing that would make me jump on this immediately is if it allowed a whitelabel, reseller option. That’s why I picked up Sendy. I could set up an entire sub-account for a client to then access and manage on their own. Anything like that in Rapid Mailer or upsells?


        • Hey Dion,

          lol, THAT’s why they didn’t let you out: “this looks just too dodgy, there’s a guy emailing himself all the time … leave’im in the box a little while longer and see if he goes nuts…”

          well, as I haven’t played properly with Mandrill + Rapid Mailer I can’t tell you just yet how their Analytics & reporting integrate, but will keep updating as we go along!

          Re white-label/reseller, just talked to Sean and he says: “Considering it for later, but no firm decision” (at this point in time).


          PS: checked with bluehost.com – same as with hostgator – no outgoing SMTP for the shared hosts!

  2. LOL

    Thanks Veit.

  3. Hi Veit,
    My sites are on Hostgator shared account as well and I managed IMSC Rapid Mailer to work for me. Just instead of default Mandrill SMTP settings I use port 465 and SSL.


    • Does your Rapid Mailer plugin still work for a shared Hostgator account when using Mandrill? I tried the smtp port 465 and SSL and whenever I send a test mail, nothing happens. It keeps loading and loading and doesn’t even send me a notice to let me know that the test email failed.

      Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

      • Hey Melvin,

        very strange. I just followed Barbara’s advice, and it worked beautifully.

        just tested it (just for you;-) and yes, works just fine over here!

        here’s what I’d do now:

        deactivate all other plugins, only leave IMSC Rapid Mailer on.

        If it still doesn’t work, then you know it’s not a plugin-conflict.

        if it works, then keep activating your other plugins 1-by-1 until it stops working



  4. Hi Veit,

    Thanks for your response.

    I really appreciate it.

    But all my plugins are deactivated and the same thing happens when I try to send a test email via SMTP port 465 SSL.

    I even had my sending domain verified, DKIM and SPF by Mandrill and I am still having some major issues. Listed below is the image for you to see what I am referring to:


    But for some apparent reason this plugin has not been working. I’ve been at it for hours and it is driving me crazy. Anyways, what do you think could be the problem? I feel that I am totally out of options. I’ve tried every SMTP port out there and I am still not able to send out the test email.

    Maybe it’s an issue with the new plugin update? I don’t know.

    I just know that I’ve been at this for hours, with nothing to show for it.

    One guy recommended that I use MailPoet with Mandrill.

    Sorry for the rant. I really do appreciate the response and the help though.

    I’m just hoping to get this resolved…if I can.

    Thanks again for your help.


    • Hey Melvin,

      have a look, these are the settings I’m using:


      and here are the Mandrill settings:


      (use that password in the Rapid Mailer settings)

      does that work?


      • Hi Veit,

        Thanks again for really trying to help me.

        I deeply appreciate it.

        But your settings from the above screenshots is exactly how I have mine set up. I have it set up the same exact way, with a shared host gator account and it still does not send out a test email.

        But after thinking about my situation for awhile, I think I know what the problem is. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

        Thanks again.


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