Mailing List Backup

You back up your computer files regularly, and if you have a mailing list, make sure to back that up too.

I use Aweber for my mailing list, and every Sunday I download my lists. That gives me a backup of all the names and email addresses, and it’s also a great way to analyze all that data.

Make a Backup

It’s easy to create a backup, with the following steps:

  • Log in to Aweber, and click the My Lists link, then click the List Options tab.
  • Click the button to Back Up & Export All Active Lists

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  • Click the button to create a Backup Request

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  • It might take a few minutes to prepare the file, and Aweber says it will notify you when the download file is ready.

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  • I never seem to get those notices, so I just wait a few minutes, the go back to the List Options tab, and click the button to Back Up & Export All Active Lists
  • Click the button to download the zipped file, which has your account name, and the current date.

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Inside the Zipped Backup Download

If you open the zipped backup file, you’ll see a folder for each of your lists. Inside each of those folders there are more folders, with leads, broadcasts, and followups.

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The leads folder contains csv files, with active and inactive leads.

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Analyze in Excel

After downloading the backup, I paste the active leads for each list into a single Excel file, and add the List name as the first field in the table.

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I format that data as an Excel table, and create a pivot table from that table. That lets me see which URLs and which sign-up forms are most popular, for signing up for the mailing list. You can also see which countries your subscribers live in, and see how subscription numbers increase over time.

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By combining all the lists into one Excel file, I can also see if people are on more than one of my Aweber lists – perhaps they signed up for the newsletter, and later bought one of my Excel products, and signed up for that list too.

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