Over the weekend, one of the US banks that’s deeply involved in the tech world went up in smoke, taking a lot of customer’s money with it.

Lots of people regretted having all their deposits in one place and not being covered by federal guarantees.

This sounds a lot like most email list owners.

You’ve probably heard the expression “The money’s in the list”, so shouldn’t you be taking as much care of your email list as you do your cash?

The chances of getting lists shut down or providers shutting up shop are real. We’ve seen Mailchimp shut accounts, and even Revue, that Twitter bought last year has shut up shop already.

Fortunately we don’t have to split email lists up to take care of them and keep them safe.

If you have 10,000 names in one system, you can just copy them to somewhere else and now you have a backup, not just a fraction of what you had before.

If you’re paranoid, and running campaigns that might make you unpopular with the authorities, I’ve heard of people keeping lists on USB sticks so they can move without being detected, but that’s a bit extreme for my tastes.

I’d rather run a legitimate business and sleep at night.

Here’s my advice for how to do it…

Step 1: Choose an email system that has a “pay as you go” option.

This means you won’t get charged for just storing emails like you would if they charge per-contact.

The 3 I’ve used in the past are:

  • Mailchimp
  • CampaignMonitor
  • SendInBlue

Of the 3 I use SendInblue now.

  1. It’s based on Google Cloud servers, not Amazon Web Services so you’re less likely to see them both go up in smoke at the same time.
  2. It has pretty much all the features I have in ActiveCampaign, so I can keep the same level of detail in both accounts.
  3. It’s cheaper on a per-email basis if you do need to use it in a hurry

Step 2: Export your current list and import it into your backup system

If you can’t do this easily, that’s reason enough to move right now. You never want to be running an email service where you don’t own the data, regardless how cheap or easy it is to use.

Step 3: Set up Zapier to add all new contacts to your list

Again, if you can’t do this automatically, move. You don’t want to leave your freshest leads behind if you have to move in a hurry.

Step 4: Set up Zapier to unsubscribe contacts from your backup list

There’s no point having a backup if you get it shut down for spamming the moment you use it. Keep the two lists in synch as much as you can.

Step 5: Run a warm-up campaign

Give them something of value like a lead magnet that existing subscribers might not have seen.

Send it from the new system.

You want to get as many clicks as possible on this to show your new provider that you’re a legit customer. If you can get replies, all the better.

Now you can sit back and relax knowing that you’re not going to have to do all this in a blazing hurry if you get problems in the future.