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Beehiiv vs. ConvertKit 🥊

Head West Team
Updated January 22, 2024
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What's the best tool to build a newsletter with?

What’s the quickest way to start a battle on Twitter? Ask whether you should start your newsletter on Beehiiv or ConvertKit. Both companies have rabid fans that will come out with pitchforks supporting one or the other. One company is venture funded (Beehiiv) and one is bootstrapped (ConvertKit). The battle has all the trappings of a Hollywood epic. Oftentimes, each sides' supporters are people with a financial incentive to recommend one or the other (e.g., the company's employees). In this guide, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each, and give our advice on which we think is better and for who.

The good news is that if you’ve narrowed your choice down to these two tools, we don’t think you can go wrong. Both are great. Since both have free plans, you can sign up for both and decide which is right for you after testing them out.

💡 Our take: We think for most newsletters Beehiiv is the best option. It will be cheaper (especially at higher numbers of subscribers), it has a better email designer, and the rate of new features rolling out is unmatched.

We recommend ConvertKit for newsletters that don’t plan to get a ton of subscribers (over 8k) and are planning to use lots of email automations to sell digital products (courses, info products etc.) 

Beehiiv is best for:

  • Those on a tight budget
  • Those who value email design (Beehiiv emails look better)
  • Larger email lists
  • Those who don't need a ton of email automations

👉 Try Beehiiv here

ConvertKit is best for:

  • Smaller, higher value email lists
  • Those wanting to do complex automations
  • Those wanting to sell their own digital products to their email list

👉 Try ConvertKit here

Why you should trust us:

For this guide we’ve interviewed a dozen newsletter operators using both Beehiiv and ConvertKit. We've also used both products ourselves to understand their strengths and limitations first-hand. We’ve spent way too much time lurking Twitter and Reddit and watching YouTube videos made by newsletter gurus. All told, we’ve done over 100 hours of research that we’ve summarized into this guide. 

Beehiiv vs ConvertKit pricing 💰

One of the first things you'll notice, and one of the top benefits of Beehiiv is that it's much cheaper than ConvertKit especially for newsletters that grow to be over 8,000 subscribers.

ConvertKit pricing scales linearly based on the number of subscribers, whereas Beehiiv pricing stays fixed for up to 100,000 subscribers. For those with small lists, who plan to lean heavily into selling their own products to subscribers, then ConvertKit’s pricing will be affordable. However, if you plan on having a larger list that you monetize through newsletter ads, then ConvertKit will get very expensive. Beehiv's top plan to support up to 100,000 subscribers will only cost you $84 a month when billed annually, whereas ConvertKit's plan to support that many subscribers would cost $733 per month!

🏆 Winner: Beehiiv

 

Email editor 📧

The Beehiiv email editor is more advanced than ConvertKit's editor. You will be able to design much better looking emails in Beehiiv than you will in ConvertKit. ConvertKit emails are typically very straightforward without a lot of imagery or design elements. This will be fine for most text based newsletters, but some people will want more control over their newsletter design. For them, we recommend Beehiiv. The one advantage of ConvertKit is that they provide pre-designed email templates that will give you a little bit of a head start when designing an email from scratch.

ConvertKit email templates

ConvertKit Email Editor

Beehiiv Newsletter Editor

🏆 Winner: Beehiiv

Segmentation & automations ⚙️

Beehiiv has recently improved their segmenting and automations, however, they still trail ConvertKit. Automations are triggered email sequences when certain actions are taken. With automations you can create IF THEN logic to trigger email sequences based on certain criteria being met (e.g., send welcome flow when a new subscriber signs up). With ConvertKit you are able to establish deep automations and flow logic. 

Beehiiv's Visual Automation Editor

ConvertKit's Visual Automation Builder

🏆 Winner: ConvertKit

Monetization 💸

When it comes to monetizing your newsletter, there are multiple paths to take. We'll break down each and see how they compare between Beehiiv and ConvertKit below.

Co-registration

One of the easiest ways to monetize your newsletter is to recommend other newsletters and get paid per active subscriber you recommend. Both Beehiiv and ConvertKit offer tools to help you do this. Beehiiv's product is called Boosts and ConvertKit's is called Sparkloop. With these you can show a popup that promotes other newsletters after someone has subscribed to your newsletter. It's a great way to offset the costs of paid promotion for your newsletter. We think the Sparkloop product is better (larger network of newsletters to promote and typically ~2x higher earnings per subscriber), but the good news is that Beehiiv newsletters can use Sparkloop instead of Boosts.

Sponsored posts

Adding sponsors to your newsletter is another great way to monetize your newsletter. Both Beehiiv and ConvertKit have marketplaces for this, but we think both are in the early days, and we don't recommend either at this point. We think the best way to find sponsors is to reach out yourself. It's more work but the earnings per send will be higher.

Digital products

Selling digital products (courses, info products etc.) to your subscribers is one of the best ways to monetize your email list. This is where ConvertKit really has an edge. ConvertKit has the integrated tools to facilitate digital product sales. With Beehiiv you will need to use other third-party tools like Gumroad to sell your digital products.

Paid newsletter option

Having a paid tier of your newsletter is another great way to monetize. You can have a free email that goes out to everyone and additional emails that only go to your paid subscribers. Both Beehiiv and ConvertKit have tools that let you quickly and easily add a paid subscription option.

🏆 Winner: ConvertKit

Integrations 🤝

You can find the list of ConvertKit integrations here and Beehiiv integrations here

Having been around for longer (ConvertKit was founded in 2013 and Beehiiv was founded in 2021) the integrations are more robust for ConvertKit. Beehiiv is adding integrations at a good pace, but they still trail ConvertKit in terms of the number of integrations they offer. 

🏆 Winner: ConvertKit

Landing pages 🛬

If you study enough newsletters as we have, pretty soon you’ll be able to identify ConvertKit and Beehiiv stock landing pages. They both come with their own distinctive look and feel. 

ConvertKit landing pages typically have more muted, ‘serious’ colors, whereas Beehiiv’s landing pages have brighter, more ‘fun’ colors. Browse both of their websites to get a sense of this. You aren’t stuck with these color palettes, but busy newsletter creators often take the off the shelf options.  

Beehiiv doesn’t give you a ton of customization options, but we think that’s okay. When you’re designing a newsletter landing page, simple is often better. You want to convey your key value prop and give the user one action to take - sign up for your newsletter. 

ConvertKit gives you more options in terms of landing page design. You can browse their template options here. As you can see, many of the templates are geared towards selling info products and their forms allow you to collect much more information than an email address. 

We think both landing page creators give you enough to get your newsletter off the ground and think in many cases the constraints they have are positive. There is a temptation to over complicate newsletter landing pages. Simple converts better.

We think Carrd is a great option for those looking for more customization options for their newsletter landing page. It only costs $19 per year and integrates with both Beehiiv and ConvertKit. 

Beehiiv Landing Pages

ConvertKit Landing Pages

🏆 Winner: Tie - both give decent options to launch your newsletter, and we recommend Carrd for those looking for more customization ability.

Analytics 📊

Beehiiv has the edge when it comes to analytics. With Beehiiv you will be able to track the Source and Medium of subscribers via UTM parameters in order to analyze subscribers by acquisition source. For example, you can compare the open rates for subscribers you acquire via Meta (Facebook) and compare them to subscribers you acquire via X (Twitter).

🏆 Winner: Beehiiv

Other Beehiiv benefits

One great benefit to Beehiiv is the Slack community of newsletter operators, which is available to those on the Growth and Scale plans. In it, people can ask questions and share advice in a free community of like minded newsletter operators. 

Beehiiv & ConvertKit alternatives:

Ghost

Substack

Medium

Mailchimp

Klaviyo

Omnisend

Gumroad

Our Overall Pick

Beehiiv

Beehiiv gives you all the tools you need to build your newsletter at a price that's hard to beat.

Best for Smaller Lists & Selling Info Products

ConvertKit

ConvertKit comes at a price premium that will be worth it for those with smaller lists who want to sell digital products.

Beehiiv vs ConvertKit FAQs

What newsletters use ConvertKit?

Ali Abdaal

Matt Bertulli

Mark Manson

What newsletters use Beehiiv?

Bay Area Times

Growth Daily

The Rundown

Superhuman AI

Houck’s Newsletter

What is better than ConvertKit?

ConvertKit is great for small email lists that are monetized through digital products, but Beehiiv is better for larger email lists monetized through newsletter ads. 

What is the difference between Beehiiv and ConvertKit?

Both Beehiiv and ConvertKit are very similar. At their core they are Email Service Providers (ESPs) that allow you to grow an email list and send emails to your list. The differences are nuanced. The main differences are in the types of newsletters that will benefit the most from each. Beehiiv is great for large newsletters that are monetized off of newsletter promotions. ConvertKit is great for smaller newsletters that are monetized from paid products created by the newsletter owner.

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