Are you planning to run your own paid newsletter?
If you have begun researching newsletter platforms then perhaps you are in the state of confusion - which one to choose? how to choose? what's best for me?
With so many newsletter tools out there, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, it gets quite tricky to make the perfect choice for your use case.
With such a large variety of options presented to you, making a choice is certainly difficult.
Moreover, there is no one tool that fits all.
To save your time (and money), we have come up with a well-researched list of top platforms to efficiently run your paid newsletter. Profitably too!
9 Best Paid Newsletter Platforms for Creators
Substack lets writers, video creators and podcasters directly publish their work and get paid in return. You get full creative control. You own your work, the mailing list as well as the payments. Logistics such as tech, billing and admin work is handled by the platform. The platform is also known to bring in 10 % paid subscriptions for its users.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Substack:
- For writers, creators and podcastors to publish their work
- Let’s anyone create blogs and newsletters
- Helps to grow audience; 30 % of all new free subscriptions and 10 % of new paid subscriptions
Top 5 Features of Substack:
- Comments and community threads
- Billing, admin work and tech handled
- Customer support team
- Payment system
- Marketing by the platform
Limitations of Substack:
- High competition as used by many creators
- Limited SEO features
Substack Pricing Plan/s:
Free to get started. Once you have paid subscriptions, there is a charge of 10%. Along with this is the credit card charge by Stripe. The transaction fee is between 1.5% and 3.5% in most countries. Along with this there may also be a flat fee per transaction.
Check Their Official Website: https://substack.com/
A tool to create, monetize and scale your newsletters with ease. Provides all-in-one solutions such as customized newsletters, extensive scalability, audience data, monetization tools, referral program etc. It is used by some of the top newsletters such as The Publish Press, Madhappy, Payload and much more. It also provides integration with multiple tools.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Beehiiv:
- An sizeable feature suite
- Helps you know your audience
- Integrations with multiple apps
- No fee for paid subscriptions
Top 5 Features of Beehiiv:
- Advanced audience segmentation
- Fully-integrated referral program
- Premium sponsorship
- Paid subscriptions
- High level-customization
Limitations of Beehiiv:
- Limited customizations
- No automated emails
- Weak SEO
Beehiiv Pricing Plan/s:
- A free plan
- A $42 per month plan billed annually or $49 billed monthly
- A scale plan of $84 per month billed annually or $99 billed monthly
Beehiiv’s payment partner, Stripe charges a 2.9% fee. There is also a transaction charge of 0.30/transaction.
Check Their Official Website: https://www.beehiiv.com/
A platform for editorial newsletter writers to directly connect with their readers. Revue has a lavish suite of features. Revue connects the writers and readers directly through Twitter. It takes only a fraction of the profits made by the writers and publishers.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Revue:
- Complete control of your audience list
- Only 5% of revenue along with processing fee is taken from the audience
- Allows audience to subscribe directly through twitter
Top 5 Features of Revue:
- Analytics on audience engagement
- Cross publishing to Medium, WordPress and more
- Options for subscriber management
- Browser extensions
- Integration to Twitter, Facebook, Pocket, Instagram etac
- Subscriber feedback
Limitations of Revue:
- Limited customization
Revue Pricing Plan/s:
You can start for free. Once you get paid subscriptions, the platform takes 5% of the revenue. Along with this there is a transaction free charged by Stripe which varies according to your location. In the USA, Stripe charges 2.9% while in the UK the charge is 4.9%. With this there may also be a flat fee per transaction.
Check Their Official Website: https://www.getrevue.co/
An easy-to-use tool with a minimalist interface to create newsletters. It's a tool that helps you organize menial tasks such as checking for typos, improper images, corrupt links etc. allows you to save time. It is run by a single creator Justin Duke, who himself has been a newsletter writer.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Buttondown:
- Minimalist interface suited for individual writers
- Run by a newsletter writer committed to solving user queries
- GDPR-compliant; Does not collect any data of users as well as subscribers
Top 5 Features of Buttondown:
- First-party API
- Allows multiple newsletters
- Pay-what-you-want pricing
- Analytics in real-time
- Third-party integrations such as Ghost, Zapier, IFTTT etc.
- Paid subscriptions, webhooks and hosted archives
Limitations of Buttondown:
- Not build to suit the need of corporations, startups etc
- Limited marketing
Buttondown Pricing Plan/s:
Four pricing plans are offered: Free for up to 100 subscribers, a Basic plan at $9/month for 1000 subscribers, a Standard plan at $29/month for 5000 subscribers and a Professional plan at $79/month for 10000 subscribers.
Check Their Official Website: https://buttondown.email/
ConvertKit is a subscription-based newsletter platform created for writers. It supports customization and automation in a few simple steps. There are many features available to help writers to earn, sell and customize better. The comprehensive gathering of features of ConvertKit helps the newsletter to be more personalized.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on ConvertKit:
- Calculator to determine your earnings
- Referral program to grow your audience
- Low transaction fee and integrated payment processing
- Extensive sales options to build audience
- Customization at each step
Top 5 Features of ConvertKit:
- Simple templates
- Easy sales funnels
- Audience growth tracking
- Subscribers management
- Protection to payments
- Automations and integrations
- Creator Pro
Limitations of ConvertKit:
- Limited A/B testing
- Customization for email templates and forms is limited
ConvertKit Pricing Plan/s:
Three types of pricing plans are available for ConvertKit: A free plan for 300 subscribers, a Creator plan at $9 /month or $108/ year for up to 300 subscribers and a Creator pro plan at $25 /month or $290 billed annually for up to 300 subscribers. Once you start getting paid subscriptions there is a fee of 3.5% + 30c on Stripe.
Check Their Official Website: https://convertkit.com/paid-newsletter
Memberful offers a paid newsletter platform with simple features. It is used by some of the biggest newsletters across the world such as Benedict Evans, The New Consumer, The Air Current and Punchbowl news. The platform helps to directly connect with the audience, allows integration without a credit card and provides email marketing integration.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Memberful:
- Reliable customer support
- Provide your content to a members-only website
- Select from a list of popular email service providers
Top 5 Features of Memberful:
- Documentation showing how to use all features
- Community of members
- Posts to send newsletters directly to readers
- Posts scheduling
- Publish to multiple platforms
- Likes and comments to increase engagements
Limitations of Memberful:
- Limited CMS options
- Interface is basic and limited
Memberful Pricing Plan/s:
Three pricing plans are available for Memberful. A starting pricing plan at $0/ month with a 10% transaction fee. A Pro plan at $25/month with 4.9% transaction fee. A Premium plan at $100/month with a 4.9% transaction fee.
Check Their Official Website: https://memberful.com/newsletters/
This is a well-known platform for newsletter monetization that provides all resources in a single space. This platform is built to provide intuitive solutions for difficult tasks. They provide multiple resources for users to develop their newsletters. Everything from getting leads to sending mails to payment is taken care of.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Mailerlite:
- Management of subscribers is fully automated
- More than 135 currencies and payment methods
- A/B testing to see what content brings success
Top 5 Features of Mailerlite:
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Automated email workflows
- Stripe integration enabling payments worldwide
- Simple and functional design
- Mailerlite expert to provide advice and support
Limitations of Mailerlite:
- Limited flexibility in the drag-and-drop interface
- Limited templates
Mailerlite Pricing Plan/s:
Four pricing plans are available for Mailerlite. First, a free plan at $0 for 1,000 subscribers. Then there is a plan for Growing Businesses at $9/month or $108 billed yearly for upto 1,000 subscribers. An advanced plan is available at $19/month or $228 billed yearly for upto 1,000
subscribers. For enterprises, a custom plan can be built for more than 100k subscribers at varied pricing. Cost per subscriber increases as your audience grows.
Check Their Official Website: https://www.mailerlite.com/
Ghost is yet another powerful platform built to help creators build their audience while also getting paid. WIth Ghost, you can access advanced tools that will help in creating websites, mailing newsletters, publishing and paid subscriptions.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Ghost:
- Dynamic embedments such as gifs, images etc.
- Many integrations
- Fourteen days free trial available
- Detailed editor built to suit the needs of professionals
Top 5 Features of Ghost:
- Certified Ghost experts to help
- A library of interviews, guides, tips and stories
- Modern creator tools
- Simple designs
- Advanced workflows
- Native sign up forms
Limitations of Ghost:
- No comment functionality
- Self-hosting needs some technical knowledge
Ghost Pricing Plan/s:
Ghost provides four types of planning to its audience. A starter plan at $9/month for 500 audience. A creator plan at $25/month for 1000 members. There is a team plan at $50/month for 1000 members and with additional features. A business plan is available at $199/month for 10,000 members. All of these are billed annually. The platform has a stripe integration meaning a processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ is charged.
Check Their Official Website: https://ghost.org/
Write.as is built with the sole purpose to help you write more and manage less. With the logistics handled at the tips of your fingers, you can divert your full focus on writing your blog. This is a lightweight tool built for writing and publishing.
Advantages of Running Your Newsletter on Write.as:
- You can write anonymously or with many names. Write.as does not track you
- One-click publishing to social platform, web and subscribers
- Ad-free, hence lets you focus fully on your writing
Top 5 Features of Write.as:
- Self-host with WriteFreely
- Privacy by default
- A community of writers
- Easy-to-read newsletters
- Customized themes
- Photo hosting
Limitations of Write.as:
- Formatting is limited
- The type of content available is plain or limited
Write.as Pricing Plan/s:
A pro pricing plan is available at $6 per month, billed yearly with a fourteen day trial period. There is a Team plan available for $25 per month, billed yearly for a trial period of 30 days.
Check Their Official Website: https://write.as/
How to choose the best paid newsletter platform for your use case?
All these platforms mentioned above offer a wide range of functionalities and features. Now let's draw a comparison so that you can figure out which of these platforms is best suited for your necessities.
Let's imagine that you are charging each subscriber $10 per month, the comparison looks like this (for the purpose of calculating, an average estimate of the percentage is taken):
Besides pricing, you should also consider:
- Features: If you are new to newsletters, then a platform with minimal features would suit you. If you already are familiar with newsletters, maybe you should choose a platform with advanced features.
- Templates: According to the customization that you need, you can choose your newsletter—either minimal or advanced.
- Ease-of-use: This is one of the biggest factors. If you are a newbie it is always better to choose a lightweight platform. For a newsletter veteran, a platform with advanced features may be helpful.
- Analytics: Choosing the platform with advanced analytics tools is the most suited for a growing business. The same may not be true for an individual writer
If you are still not able to make a decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this platform affordable?
- Does it have enough features to help me grow my newsletter?
- What level of automation does this tool provide?
- Can I customize the templates to suit my branding?
- Can I track the performance?
- Will I get enough feedback from my audience?
- Is it easy to use?
Now with all the right resources at your disposal, now it's your time to choose the platform that is best suited to fulfill your needs. Hope you are now moving towards the direction of your chosen platform.
Happy choosing and happy writing!