Are You Backing Up Your BIGGEST
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. Did that pang just get a bit more intense? (Ouch!)
"Master List Builder"
Joel Christopher asked several Internet marketing gurus 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. 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 Zip disk (you'll need a Zip
2) a CD (you'll need a CD burner)
3) a floppy disk (these don't hold much data though)
4) an external hard drive (these are less expensive now than they used
5) a secure, Web-based file storage service.
I currently use option 5 for my
computer files. The service I use is called I-Backup (http://www.ibackup.com)
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 a type of list management
software that resides on your computer or your own Web server, such
as Broadc@st or MailLoop, it can probably schedule automatic backups
for you. See the program's help files or contact their support center
If You Use an Online List Service...
Even if you host your list online with a listserve (such as Topica)
or an autoresponder service (such as GetResponse) that should make their
own secure backups, 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.
Consider Purchasing a Battery Backup
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.
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.
(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, The E-zine
Queen, is author of the award-winning manual, Boost Business
With Your Own E-zine. To learn more about her book and sign up
for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://www.ezinequeen.com.