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How to Back Up Your MailChimp Data

MailChimp is a tool that helps you engage with your audience through emails. The service lets you easily design newsletters or target specific subsections of people. It’s simple to understand and the price point varies depending on how large your audience base is and how many emails you send out.

The data stored on your MailChimp account is, understandably, quite valuable and important to keep secure. MailChimp claim that they work hard to make sure your account is safe, but no data is ever truly one hundred percent secure. Even if it is accidental deletion, rather than an intentional account compromise, there’s always that chance that your data could vanish – so why take the risk? This article will help you to back up your MailChimp data.

However, before continuing, bear in mind that MailChimp don’t keep any of your deleted lists on file. That means that if you’re going to delete a list that you might (even if it is a very small might!) want to use again in the future, take a backup of your account before doing so.

Additionally, the ability to back up the data is only available to those users with admin permissions. If you’re not the right user level, contact your system administrator if you wish for your MailChimp data to be backed up.

First, login to your MailChimp account. Next, click your name on the left-hand side of the screen. From here, select ‘Account Settings’ and then ‘Export my data’ from the drop down that appears. Finally, click ‘Build My Data Backup’ button.

Once you’ve done this, all of your data is bundled into a zip file that will be emailed to the address on your account when it’s ready to download. How long this takes will depend on how much data you have.

The data that is included in your zip file is: lists (including subscribed, unsubscribed and cleaned addresses), campaign reports (including aggregated data for opens and clicks), subscriber-level campaign reports (either for the most recent 20 campaigns or the past 60 days, whichever is higher), geodata for each campaign, HTML files for templates and HTML and txt files for campaigns.

The backing up process can only be performed once every 24 hours. The reason for this is that MailChimp says the process is too taxing on their service to be repeatedly performed within a short space of time.

Now that you know how to back up your MailChimp data, let’s take a look at the process the company uses for backing up.

Your information is stored on a database shard and each shard has two separate machines. One takes care of the standard, day-to-day functionality and the other is inactive, waiting to take over if something goes wrong. There’s also a third machine, in an entirely different location, which is a few seconds behind the other machines. The company take a full back up of the entire shard every day, just in case trouble strikes in all three machines (which you would hope is highly unlikely).


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