You’re just renting your social media audience, you do not truly own them. Your email list is the audience that you truly own and sending email newsletters is the best way to interact with them.
But which email newsletter platform you should choose?
I am sure you must be confused about this at some point. I tried these 5 platforms and have written this review/comparison that will definitely help you decide which one you should go with.
There are lots of tools that provide email newsletter services, most of them are almost similar in terms of lead capturing and sending emails. However, some are free and some are paid.
Here, I have listed 5 email newsletters platforms that I have personally tested:
- Mailerlite — Ideal for starting a free newsletter (I use Mailerlite)
- ConvertKit — Ideal for starting a paid newsletter
- Ghost — For blogging and free & paid memberships
- Substack & Revue — Free for unlimited subscribers
While you cannot start a paid newsletter with Mailerlite, it’s the best in all other terms. I have been using Mailerlite to send email newsletters to an audience of 10,000 folks — the list is growing every day.
The best thing that I like the most is the excellent email deliverability and competitive pricing — it’s cheaper than all the other major players. In fact, Mailerlite is forever free for 1000 newsletter subscribers.
Some other interesting features of Mailerlite are:
- Powerful automation that is very easy to set up
- Easy segmentation using groups, segments, and tags
- Lots of eye-catching email newsletter templates
- Simple-to-use forms, landing page, and website builder
- Easy integrations with WordPress, Shopify, Zapier, and 100s of other platforms
- Email delivery by different time zones
- Rich-text as well as drag and drop email editors
I saw some people complaining on Reddit that you can’t show the newsletter archives on a page. But that’s totally possible with Mailerlite.
When it comes to pricing, Mailerlite is the cheapest.
- Free for 1000 newsletter subscribers (12,000 monthly emails)
- Paid plan starts from $10 per month (for 1000 subscribers with all premium features)
While ConvertKit is NOT cheap and might not be an ideal choice for individual content creators, it has some amazing features. The feature that I loved is paid newsletters.
You can charge a recurring fee from your newsletter subscribers in exchange for value-packed daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters emails. People have been earning tons of money by starting a paid newsletter.
Some other interesting features of ConvertKit are:
- Create custom landing pages and opt-in forms
- Email personalization and tens of newsletter templates
- Sell digital products as well as automate the sales funnel
- Automations, sequences, and broadcasts
- Segmentation and tagging features
People like Brian Dean from Backlinko and Dickie Bush from Ship30for30 use ConvertKit for email marketing and newsletters.
Here are the ConvertKit pricing options:
- Free till 1000 newsletter subscribers (unlimited email broadcasts)
- Paid plan starts from $9 per month (for 300 subscribers)
3. Ghost (Pro)
Ghost has a totally different approach for running newsletters. It’s an open-source powerful membership platform that allows people to become free or paid members of your website to access the content.
Just like WordPress, Ghost is a fully-fledged blogging platform that has newsletter functionality too. You can decide which posts can be accessed publicly and which posts only by the registered members.
Kindly note that Ghost is not an email marketing platform and you will not get some common features that you expect from a typical email tool.
Some of the interesting features of Ghost that I have experienced so far, include:
- Easy-to-use, clean, and fast blogging-like interface
- Delightful writing experience with markdown support
Ghost (Pro) doesn’t have a free plan, let’s take a look at the pricing:
- The plan starts from $9 per month (for 500 members)
Since Ghost is an open-source platform, its source code is also available for free to install. You can run a self-hosted version of Ghost on your server but that requires a bit of technical knowledge. You can easily install Ghost on a Digital Ocean droplet.
4. Substack & Revue
Substack and Revue are designed especially for managing free and paid email newsletters. They don’t have necessary email marketing features like automation and A/B testing but they are completely free for unlimited newsletter subscribers and unlimited emails.
Both the platforms earn only when you earn i.e. only when you start a paid newsletter.
- Revue takes a fee of 5% of your revenue
- Substack takes a fee of 10% of your revenue
I would recommend Revue or Substack only if you’re starting a free newsletter otherwise these take a huge cut of your earnings, especially if you have lots of paying subscribers.
If you’re trying to attract subscribers from Twitter then prefer Revue over Substack as it’s well-integrated and the subscribe snippet is shown right on your Twitter profile (as you can see in the screenshot above).
However, I have seen several people reporting that the email open rate on Revue and Substack is far lesser than other platforms like ConvertKit and Mailerlite. You can see one example in the above tweet.
If you’re starting a simple newsletter with no plan to start a paid newsletter then I would recommend going with Mailerlite because it’s a lot cheaper and the email deliverability is very high.
If you’re starting a paid newsletter then I would recommend going with ConvertKit, as it’s optimized for creators and has tons of features to make the process easier.
If I start another newsletter in the future, I would prefer these two over any other email newsletter platform.
If you have a related query, feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Also, kindly share this article with the people who you think might be interested in reading it.