Where to Host Your Newsletter
Newsletters are all over the place. If you run one already, you've probably thought about starting another. If you don't, I'm sure the thought has crossed your mind. Well, it has now.
Substack is essentially trying to lure popular web writers into launching paid subscription newsletters on its platform, and some have seen real success. It's simple to use and has a dedicated discovery section where top newsletters are ranked. Substack works on commission, taking 10 percent whenever a writer starts charging their audience a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
More than 50,000 people are paying to read at least one newsletter on Substack, and about 20 percent of publishers charge something for what they write (the platform’s minimum is $5 a month). Once a publisher has built up a following and flips the switch from free to paid, there’s a roughly 10 percent conversion rate.
I personally use Substack to write and send my weekly Wednesday newsletter called 'Cultivating Creativity.' It's a one-minute read which dives into the habits which help you become a better and more creative content producer. You can have a look at it here or signup at the bottom of this.
Mailchimp is a giant in the email game. They offer a free plan, with which you can send up to 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. Most of the tools and templates are accessible on this free account. They also have pay-as-you-go options, which work out to be cheaper for low-volume clients, whilst also giving you some included extras such as automation and integration options.
MailChimp is good, and their tools are useful. That's why they tend to be more expensive than other newsletter tools. If you're after good analytics and integration tools, MailChimp is for you. If you're looking for something more simple, I'd recommend Substack.
You'll find the basic pricing model below. Check this out you're in search of a detailed analysis of their pricing.
Revue is an editorial newsletter tool for writers and publishers. Revue comes with a sophisticated suite of editing tools. It's aimed more at publishing teams or “thought leaders.” It's free up to 50 subscribers and then charges a variable fee based on audience size ($5 a month up to 200, $8 up to 750, $10 up to 2,000, and so on).
It appears to focus on a select group of users, which is good news if you fall into that group. It means that the service is tailored to your needs and the experience is made for you. If you're a writer or publisher, Revue is definitely worth considering.
Buttondown priorities speed, ease of use and minimalistic design. If you're a fan of these ideas, Buttondown will be a great option for you.
The minimalist interface makes it easy for you to write great emails. Buttondown's emphasis is on speed and ease of use over complex feature sets or powerful automation. Buttondown comes with the following features:
Automatic proofing and link checking
Custom domain and API support
Write your emails in Markdown
Automatic RSS publishing
Buttondown is free for your first thousand subscribers. It costs $5 / thousand subscribers/month after that.
Different products offer different services, and the best one for you will depend on your specific goals. If you're still undecided, it's worthwhile to look at the best newsletters which you receive and find out which service those senders make use of. It's not always one of these, but in many cases it is, and seeing that might just make your decision a little bit easier.