Sep 18, 2005

Whoops - There Goes My List!

Welcome to Flo's Business Blog

When I first started designing my website four pages had been completed, I never thought of backing up my files. One day I turned on my computer and in disbelief, I lost everything and needed to re-program my computer and start over. Since then I have a calendar and on Friday's it will notify me to back up my files.

Today's article is about backing up your subscriber list or customer list to protect your assets ... you must plan on performing a regular back up for safekeeping!

WHOOPS -- There Goes My List!
(Are You Backing Up Your BIGGEST Asset?)
By Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen"

Have you ever accidentally lost an important file on your computer? Perhaps your computer crashed (again) or your cat sauntered over a dooming sequence of keys. Remember that little pang in your stomach you felt when you realized that file was gone for good?

OK, now imagine losing your entire e-zine subscriber list or customer list. Did that pang just get a bit more intense? (Ouch!)

When several Internet marketing gurus were asked the question, "If your office was burning down and you could save one thing, what would it be?

"The unanimous answer among all of them was, "my list"!

Your list is your goldmine. It's your pool of warm prospects and clients with whom you've taken months to build a level of credibility and trust. They're your ticket to a steady stream of income.

It can take years to build a large collection of opt-in subscribers and customers. But they can disappear in a flash if they're not protected.

So, are YOU backing up your list on a regular basis? (Be honest!) If not, let's get you started today.

If Your List Resides on Your Computer...

If you send out your e-zine or e-mail promotions from your own computer, you MUST make backing-up your list a daily habit. And by "backing-up," I mean saving your list to a disk or location other than your hard drive. For example, you can save your list to:

1) a CD (you'll need a CD burner)

2) an external hard drive
(these are less expensive now than they used to be)

3) a secure, Web-based file storage service.

I currently use option 3 for my computer files. The service I use is called I-Backup, and there are many others out there, starting at as little as $3 per month. I prefer this option because I have so many large files on my computer that I'd have to backup my files to several separate disks or CDs. And because this method is so EASY, I'm more likely to follow through and back-up my files on a regular basis!

I also like I-Backup for traveling, as I can upload files that I'll need to access on the road. This way I don't have to bring a disk with me.

If You Use an Online List Service...

Even if you host your list online with a listserve (such as Constant Contact) or an autoresponder service (such as, you should still make your own backup copy on a regular basis! Just download or "export" a copy of your list each week for safekeeping. It should be pretty easy to do. This procedure varies depending on what program you use, so see its help files or contact their support center for assistance.Constant Contact

Consider Purchasing a Battery Backup System

Southern California is known for its frequent power outages, and they were wreaking havoc on my computer. So I purchased a battery backup unit. (I chose APC's 650 model.) It's about the size of a breadbox and keeps my computer going for another hour or so in the event of a power outage. This gives me ample time to back up any files I'm working on and shut down my computer properly. It also functions as a surge-protector to keep my computer safe from electric surges. You can buy units like these at any large office supply store, and they range in price from $100 to $500.

Don't Put It Off Any Longer!

I know that backing-up your files seems like another irritating addition to your busy schedule. But remember that you've worked hard to build your list ... and your business. So take just a few minutes each week to protect that investment.

I now keep three separate copies of my list backups among me and my two assistants as well, so they are spread across the country and on different computers! (This may seem anal, but when you consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year they are worth to me, it makes sense.)

TIP: Pick a certain day each week to back up your list. For example, my electronic calendar automatically reminds me to do this every Friday.

© 2003-2005 Alexandria K.

Brown WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is creator of the award-winning 'Boost Business With Your Own E-zine' system. To learn more about this step-by-step program, and to sign up for her FREE how-to marketing articles and FREE audio class, visit

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?See Alexandria's Small Business Marketing Blog.

Wishing you online success

No comments: