You may be wondering: “Why do I need an email list? I’m just an activist. I’m already on social media; I’m constantly interacting with my followers. I don’t want to be doing email newsletters and stuff!”

I hear you.

I don’t like email marketing that much either.

But here is the thing.

All these social pages you’ve spent so much time setting up and updating?

They are not yours. They may disappear from the face of the Internet any time – and you won’t be able to do anything about it – not even create a backup of your subscribers.

And the best way to protect yourself against it?

The best way to hedge against the risk of Facebook or Twitter or any other company messing with your page privileges is to build an email list. By getting your fans to join your email list you are building an asset that noone can take away from you.

With an email list you can easily build up another Facebook Page if your page is hacked and/or deleted.

One way that you can capture emails into your page by installing an email form into a tab on your Facebook page. All major email marketing solutions have form building tools that will give you the code you need to drop into a custom Facebook tab.

You can do it by setting up an auto-responder account with a company such as Sendinblue or MailerLite, and a signup page. And you can even do it for free.

Then, come up with something to give to people in exchange for their email address. A pdf with some recipes, an article you wrote on a topic that is solves a problem, a free report, a worksheet, etc.

Why is building an email list important?

Building an email list is the cornerstone of traditional and online marketing.
It works for ecommerce sites, large, small and medium-sized businesses.
So why not use this tool in activism?

List building gives you the opportunity to network and build relationships and community. People visit many sites and don’t always remember to come back, even if they were interested in your content. If you have their email, you can stay in touch with your fans and readers, send them valuable information, prop them to share information, sign a petition, come to a protest or demonstration, support an activity, etc. You can also offer them products for sale, such as, for example, books, logo T-shirts, courses, or anything else.

Even if thousands of people visit your website and your social profiles, unless you have the email addresses of these people, you don’t really have a reliable way to reach them.

Here’s why you need to focus on email:

1. The contact list is yours.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform that DOES NOT belong to you, YOU ARE THE OWNER OF YOUR EMAIL CONTACT LIST. Companies cease to exist, websites disappear, or they change the rules, but no one can take it away from you or change the rules on which you can contact your recipients.

2. Emails are read by almost everyone.
Unlike messages on social media, where a lot depends on chance-whether or not someone happens to look at the page (you’re lucky if 10% of your followers even see your posts, let alone do anything about them), the May inbox is checked by almost everyone. Companies like Facebook are constantly changing the rules of the game, and your posts can get lost in the flurry of other posts, so that it can be difficult for you to break through with your message, but if you know the email addresses of your fans, you can always reach them.
For example, the average click-through rate of a paid Facebook ad is about 2.5%, and the average click-through rate of emails is much higher, depending on the relationship with the people on the list, but usually between 10% – 30%. Almost ten times more effective, and you don’t have to spend a penny on ads.

3. You choose the content.
You can write about whatever you want in your emails, without having to adapt to the ever-changing Terms of Service. And I’ll cover the topic of content in the future blog posts, but for now, I hope I convinced you that building an email list is essential. Even in this day and age, when you can gather thousands of fans on social media platforms, email is the most effective method of mass communication online.

Set up a website or blog

Don’t just share content on social media profiles, create it. Add to the conversation. It’s easy to set up your own website or blog, so if you don’t have it yet, just do it!

You may be thinking: “There are too many people on the Internet already, too many websites, too much information, too much competition… I just want to share things on social media.”

Yes, it’s true that there are millions of websites out there already, and millions of people online trying to promote something.

However, there are EVEN MORE AND MORE people getting online every day searching for information they need.

The beauty of the internet is that it allows to SHARE IDEAS and PROVIDE SOLUTIONS to specific problems. I believe everyone has some unique gifts/knowledge/passions to share with the world, and by doing that we are all making the world a better place.

There is never too much knowledge, never too much valuable information and products. If you can provide VALUE, you don’t need to worry about competition.

What you need to do first is to look at your current knowledge and interests. Everybody has a passion–it may be related to your current profession or business, or something completely different, something that you are really interested in that you know more about than people around you.

Everyone has something that they can contribute to the world in a unique way. For some people, it will be by creating original content themselves. For others, it will be simply by sharing their passion and experience about a particular topic. For others, it will be to simply act as a ‘journalist’ and find other people with great information to contribute to your website.

You may be an expert in that field, have a degree or certification, or not. Even if you are not an expert on your topic of interest and don’t have credentials, you probably know more than 99% of people out there, and you have something valuable to offer, something that comes from your own experience. What you need is to find a way to add value to other people’s lives.

The question you should be asking yourself: “What Can I Do To Help Make Someone’s Life Better?”

You can write ebooks, provide coaching, consulting or training. When people go to your site, and join your mailing list, they’ll want to get value in exchange for handing you their name and e-mail address. To be successful, you have to contribute to their lives in a meaningful way.

And if you are worried that it’s too complicated? You certainly do NOT need to know any programming to build a successful website. With technologies and tools available today, you can set up a professionally looking website in just a few hours WITHOUT writing a single line of code! Yes, it does require some computer skills, but if you can write an email or type a letter on a computer, you can create a website – you just need to know what steps to take and what tools to use. Plus, there’s always Fiverr or Upwork (former Odesk) with plenty of people who’ll do it for you for cheap.

You can set up a website for free, I recommend setting a WordPress site on your own hosting and domain name. Let’s look at the basic costs of building your own website:

  1. Domain Name. This is essential. About $20 per year.
  2. Hosting. About $70-$120 per year.
  3. Building the Website. You can easily build a site yourself by installing WordPress and buying a professionally designed theme for under $100. You can pay someone on Fiverr to set it all up for you for $5-20.
  4. Mailing List/Autoresponder. To start, set up an account on Sendinblue or MailerLite – it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. The cost for autoresponder starts at about $15 per month (Get Response, for example).

So up to this point you are looking at a cost of around $150, which doesn’t have to be paid all at once. Once you have your website set up, plan to work on it regularly to add content, promote it, and provide value to your audience.

You may be thinking “I don’t have time to do all that.” Yes, it does take time and money to build a website, be active on social media, and build an email list – but probably a lot less than you think. And just think about the impact and the leverage that you’ll have – all the good things that you could accomplish – those are PRICELESS.”

This excerpt comes from the book “Social Media Influencer. Changing Minds, Changing Hearts ONLINE, One Social Media Update and Follower At a Time.” The book is available if you sign up to my newsletter or on (coming soon.)