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Beehiiv vs Substack: A Comparison of Two Popular Newsletter Platforms

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When it comes to building and growing your newsletter audience, there are a variety of platforms to choose from. Two of the most popular options are Beehiiv and Substack. Both platforms offer a range of features designed to help you create, distribute, and monetize your newsletter content.

One of the key differences between Beehiiv and Substack is their target audience. Beehiiv is designed for established publishers who are focused on growing and monetizing their newsletters. Substack, on the other hand, is more streamlined and geared towards individuals who are just getting started with simple subscriptions. Depending on your goals and experience level, one platform may be a better fit for you than the other.

Between the two, Substack is the by far more popular and widely used option. Here’s the interest in both platforms for the past 90 days according to Google Trends:

As you see, Substack is a much bigger player. That being said, Beehiive has garnered a lot of user goodwill, and many of their customers become strong advocates of the brand because of the great experience they provide.

Overview of Beehiiv and Substack

If you are looking for a platform to create and distribute your newsletters, Beehiiv and Substack are two popular options to consider. Both platforms offer similar core features, including content creation, management, and monetization tools. However, each platform has its own unique strengths and weaknesses that may make one a better fit for your needs than the other.

Beehiiv is a newsletter platform that offers a range of features tailored to creators, including customizable templates, SEO optimization, and a built-in CRM system. Beehiiv also provides analytics and reporting tools to help you track your newsletter’s performance and audience engagement. Additionally, Beehiiv offers a free plan that allows you to create and distribute newsletters without any upfront costs.

Substack, on the other hand, is a popular newsletter platform that focuses on simplicity and ease of use. Substack’s core features include content creation and distribution, audience management tools, and monetization options. Substack also offers a range of integrations with other platforms, including social media and email marketing tools. Substack’s monetization options include paid subscriptions, donations, and sponsorships.

Substack is free to use, but if you create a newsletter that you charge your readers for, they’ll take a 10% cut (plus some payment processing fees that third-parties they use charge, e.g. Stripe, credit cards, etc. They give an exact cost breakdown here.)

When comparing Beehiiv vs Substack, it’s important to consider your specific needs and goals. If you are looking for a customizable platform with strong SEO optimization and audience engagement tools, Beehiiv may be the better option for you. However, if you value simplicity and ease of use, as well as a range of monetization options, Substack may be the better fit.

Overall, both Beehiiv and Substack are powerful tools for creating and distributing newsletters. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you and your audience.

Features Comparison

Here’s a breakdown of how the two platforms stack up against each other in terms of content creation and management, newsletter tools, analytics and insights, integration and customization, monetization options, audience engagement and growth tools, user-friendly interface and design, pricing and plans, and their strengths and weaknesses.

Content Creation and Management

Both Beehiiv and Substack offer intuitive and user-friendly interfaces for creating and managing your content.

Beehiiv provides a drag-and-drop newsletter builder with over 150 customizable templates, while Substack offers a simple text editor with basic formatting options.

Beehiiv also allows for team collaboration and automated email design, while Substack focuses more on individual content creation.

Newsletter Tools

Beehiiv and Substack both offer a range of tools for creating and sending newsletters, including customizable templates, automated email design, and subscriber management.

However, Beehiiv also offers user authentication and paywalling, promotions and free trials, and an integrated referral program, while Substack only offers a basic subscriber management system. Beehiiv also allows much more customization in your emails.

Analytics and Insights

Both Beehiiv and Substack provide data analytics and insights to help you track your newsletter’s performance. Beehiiv offers a comprehensive dashboard with detailed metrics on subscriber engagement, revenue, and more, while Substack provides basic metrics on open and click-through rates.

Integration and Customization

Beehiiv and Substack both offer integration options for custom domains and RSS feeds. However, Beehiiv also allows for embeddable subscribe forms and more advanced customization options, while Substack only provides basic customization options.

Monetization Options

Beehiiv and Substack both offer monetization options for your newsletter, including paid subscriptions and ads. However, Beehiiv allows you to keep 100% of your revenue, while Substack takes a 10% fee on all membership charges to subscribers.

Audience Engagement and Growth Tools

Beehiiv and Substack both offer audience engagement and growth tools, such as customizable subscribe forms, integrated referral programs, and a built-in recommendation network. However, Beehiiv also provides promotions and free trials, while Substack only offers basic subscriber management tools.

What’s more, with beehiive you get advanced audience segmentation features, 1-click polls, A/B testing and custom fields.

User-Friendly Interface and Design

Both Beehiiv and Substack offer user-friendly interfaces and clean, modern designs. Beehiiv provides a more customizable interface with a wider range of design options, while Substack focuses more on simplicity and ease of use.

That said, there are lots of little things that I found surprisingly poor designed in Substack. One example is actually in their signup flow:

When you set up your profile in Substack, it doesn’t indicate that there’s a 250 character limit. Once you’ve written your Bio and it exceeds 250 characters, the little red message shows up and instructs you to shorten you bio to 250 characters or less, but it doesn’t even tell you how many characters long your current bio is.

Pricing and Plans

Beehiiv offers affordable flat-rate pricing plans, from a completely free plan to a medium plan for $42 per month, as well as a free trial. Substack offers a free plan, but takes a 10% fee on all membership charges to subscribers.

What do redditors say?

If you’re like me, you like to check out what people on reddit say, and the reddit consensus on this tread is: go with beehiiv.

Here some examples:


  • tried MailerLite, SendInBlue, and Substack, but finally switched to Beehiiv
  • More SEO-friendly
  • gorgeous UX/UI
  • delightful editor (except for one annoying quirk: if you write elsewhere and copy/paste content into the editor, it maintains the text formatting including background color)
  • great analytics
  • polls & surveys
  • growth tools


  • loves beehiiv because they always update their features, superior writing editor and analytics, better recommendations engine
  • Substack is more social, could become the YouTube of written content, and if you’re in early you benefit from huge network effects. Also, free to use (until you monetize)


  • dislikes that Substack takes 10% of monetized newsletters
  • prefers the beehiiv recommendations helpful in growing a newsletter
  • prefers beehiiv custom landing pages + audience analytics
  • beehiiv API is amazing, e.g. is completely built on top of beehiiv


  • had their Substack deactivated after two months because of an automatically determined TOC violation, which turned out to be incorrect in the end, and after an appeal he got their Substack back. Now looking to leave Substack since they don’t want to build on a platform that seems so easily be willing to shut users down.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Beehiiv’s strengths lie in its comprehensive feature suite, customizable interface, and affordable flat-rate pricing plans. Its weaknesses include a less established user base and fewer integration options.

Substack’s strengths include its established user base, simple interface, and free plan. Its weaknesses include its 10% fee on all membership charges and very limited customization options. If you want to focus simply on writing content and publishing, Substack is probably the way to go for you. If however you want more powerful ways to grow and engage your audience, Beehiiv is a nobrainer.

In conclusion, both Beehiiv and Substack offer powerful tools for creating and managing your newsletter. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

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