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9 Best Newsletter Platforms (2024)

Head West Team
Updated May 2, 2024
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Beehiiv vs ConvertKit vs Substack vs Mailerlite vs Ghost vs ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp vs Klaviyo vs Omnisend

Looking to start or grow an email newsletter? Great - in this guide, we'll break down our top 9 picks for newsletter platforms and share our thoughts on who should be using each.

Why start a newsletter?

Email newsletters are all the rage these days. Why are people clamoring to start them?

Connect with an audience / customers - emails are one of the best ways to connect with your audience. While social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are great, at the end of the day you are at the mercy of their algorithms. This isn’t the case with an email newsletter. The inbox is typically ordered by when an email was received. Once you have someone’s email you have a more direct connection to them.  

Build trust - sending a daily, weekly or monthly email is a great way to build trust with an audience. People are more likely to buy things from people they know. Being a presence in someone’s inbox is a powerful way to build trust over time.

$$$ - Newsletters have become a huge business. Popular newsletters like the Hustle have been sold for millions of dollars. Newsletters are inexpensive to start and have the potential to scale into hugely profitable enterprises.

What features do you need in a newsletter platform?

At its core an email newsletter is a simple proposition: collect someone's email and send them emails. You could technically do that with Gmail or any other email provider, however, todays’ newsletter tools give you many more features that will make running your newsletter much easier.

Email collection - The first step in building your newsletter is collecting emails for your email list. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can have a landing page that has a simple email collection form or you could ad an email collection popup to an existing website to collect emails from those that are already on your website. Additionally, you can embed an email collection form within a webpage. The best newsletter tools will give you options to collect emails in each of these ways.

Email design - Once you’ve collected your emails, the next step is to design an email to send to them. Nearly all of our recommended tools have drag and drop email builders that let you design good looking emails without ever touching a line of code.

Email sending - After you’ve designed your email, the next step is to send it. Today’s email tools give you the ability to schedule your email sends based on a set time period or based on the recipient's local time zone. 

Segmentation & automation - Most email / newsletter platforms will also give you the ability to segment your list (e.g., only send an email to those who have completed a certain action like attending a webinar). The tools also give you the ability to automate a series of emails for those who have taken a certain action. The most common automation is called a welcome flow and is a series of emails sent over time to people who have just subscribed to your newsletter. It can be as simple as a single email that thanks the subscriber for signing up or as advanced as multiple emails over a series of weeks.

Website - Some but not all of the email tools let you create a website where you can display your past emails or create additional content. A website is useful because it can help your newsletter be discovered by search engines and grow your list by being discovered by people who are searching for your content.

Dashboards & analysis - The ability to analyze critical metrics about your newsletter is very important. Tools should give you the ability to see the open rate and click through rate of your email sends. These metrics can help you evaluate the success of your newsletter.

Monetization - Finally, our recommended tools help you to monetize your newsletter. The easiest monetization path is offering a paid version of your newsletter which subscribers pay to receive certain subscriber only email sends. Another common monetization strategy is placing paid ads within your newsletter. Finally, you can offer paid products (especially digital ones) to help monetize your newsletter. 

Here are our recommended tools:

1. Beehiiv

Best all around newsletter platform

Beehiiv was started by Tyler Denk who was formerly the head of growth for Morning Brew, a wildly successful daily newsletter that currently generates over $100M a year in revenue and has over 4M subscribers. With Beehiiv he followed a playbook common among successful entrepreneurs. He took the tools he was building internally for Morning Brew and made them available to everyone with the Beehiiv platform.

Why is Beehiiv our best overall pick?

Nails the fundamentals

Beehiiv gives you all the tools you need to build a successful newsletter. It gives you a landing page and website builder that will give you a great looking landing page to collect subscriber emails. It also offers a popup builder to acquire subscribers on an existing website. Its email designer is one of the best in the industry and will help you easily design beautiful emails with its drag and drop builder. For sending emails it gives you a suite of segmentation tools that let you send emails to your entire list or subsegments of your list based on certain criteria (e.g., hasn’t opened an email in 2 months). 


There are a host of ways you can monetize your newsletter and Beehiiv gives you the tools to capitalize on each monetization method. You can get paid to recommend other newsletters (co-registration), you can include paid ads in your newsletter send with Beehiiv’s ad marketplace, and you can start offering a paid newsletter tier. The only monetization method that Beehiiv doesn’t excel at is paid digital products (courses, Ebooks, etc.). If you want to offer those we recommend ConvertKit or using another third-party tool like Gumroad in addition to Beehiiv.


Beehiiv recently changed their pricing to be based on list size which matches the pricing methodology of their competitors. Despite this change, they are still much cheaper than their competitors and have a better product. Best tool at the lowest price is an unbeatable combination in our eyes.


Beehiiv has raised a total of $46.5M. This is among the most raised of any competitor, and they are putting the money to good use. The rate of new feature development is unmatched. If you choose Beehiiv, you can be certain that the features available to you are only getting better.

👉 Try Beehiiv here

[💡 Use this link and get 20% off for the first 3 months]

2. ConvertKit

Best for automations / digital product sales

ConvertKit is the competitor most often mentioned when comparing Beehiiv. In many ways they are the yin to Beehiiv’s yang. Unlike Beehiiv they are bootstrapped. Their founder Nathan Barry launched ConvertKit in 2013, and they have built a strong roster of creators from Andrew Huberman and Tim Ferriss to Mandy Moore.

We think Beehiiv is the best overall platform but recommend ConvertKit in a couple of situations. Like Beehiiv, ConvertKit nails the basics of helping you build an email list and send emails to that list. Where ConvertKit excels is in their automations. They have one of the most advanced automation builders in the newsletter platform market. These automations let you create specific sequences of emails that are triggered when your users take specific actions (e.g., when a user signs up on a landing page about nutritional supplements, you can send them a series of emails all about nutritional supplements). The other area where ConvertKit excels is in helping you sell digital products. They have native features that allow you to sell courses, eBooks, and other digital products easily. We recommend ConvertKit for those who plan to lean heavily on email automations and those who want to sell digital products.

👉 Try ConvertKit here

3. Substack

Best free newsletter platform

Substack was founded in 2017 by Chris Best, Jairaj Sethi, and Hamish McKenzie and has lowered the barriers to launching a newsletter.

We think Substack stands out in its ease of use. From signing up to designing your newsletter, Substack has made it easy to launch a newsletter. If you’re looking for the easiest platform to start on, Substack is our pick. Substack is free to use for any list size. Whereas with Beehiiv and ConvertKit you will be charged based on the size of your email list. This pricing is great for those just starting out. How Substack makes money is by charging you a 10% fee (on top of payment processing fees of 2.9%) if you want to offer paid subscriptions. Substack will take 10% of your paid subscription earnings, whereas Beehiiv and ConvertKit wont charge you a fee on paid subscriptions (outside of credit card processing fees). This is important to note. If you plan to monetize your newsletter with paid subscriptions, Substack will likely be more expensive than Beehiiv and ConvertKit. Another advantage of Substack is in helping you to grow your email list. Substack will recommend your newsletter when people sign up for other similar newsletters for free. Beehiiv and ConvertKit have this functionality, but you must pay per qualified subscriber that is recommended to your newsletter. With Substack you get this for free. 

Where Substack trails Beehiiv and ConvertKit is in features. They don’t have an ad network. They lack advanced segmentation and automation features, and they don’t support digital product sales natively. Substack’s email designer is also more limited and you will end up sending very basic, text heavy emails. However, for many newsletter operators this is okay. Finally, as mentioned above, if you plan to monetize your newsletter with paid subscriptions, Substack will likely be more expensive than Beehiiv and ConvertKit.

👉 Try Substack here

Other options:

While we don’t recommend these for most newsletters, they are worth considering.

4. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a tool primarily focused on email marketing and is very popular. ActiveCampaign does not offer a free plan and their lowest price plan starts at $9 per month. They give you all the tools you need to design and send emails (drag and drop email editor) and list management tools, but they don’t give you the ability to host your content on a website. ActiveCampaign will be a better option for those that already have a blog or website and are looking to grow their email list on top of that website. ActiveCampaign also lacks features to help you monetize your newsletter like a paid ads network and paid co-registration opportunities. 

👉 Try ActiveCampaign here

5. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a user-friendly tool that is primarily focused on email marketing. They’ve been around forever (launched in 2001) and were acquired by Intuit in 2021 for $12B. While it has a strong presence in eCommerce it has a wider variety of companies using its tool than Klaviyo and Omnisend which are squarely focused on the eCommerce use case. We love how user-friendly Mailchimp is, but it lacks many of the features that platforms that are solely dedicated to newsletters like Beehiiv and ConvertKit. We think Mailchimp could be a good option for those that already have a website and business that isn’t solely focused on sending email newsletters (e.g., a Yoga studio that wants to send out weekly updates about upcoming classes and events to their email list).

👉 Try MailChimp here

6. Ghost

Ghost is one of the most interesting platforms on this list. It’s been around since 2013 and was initially developed as a WordPress CMS (Content Management System) for helping to set up blogs. It has since evolved into a tool to help in both creating a website and sending emails. Ghost is an interesting alternative if you are looking to heavily customize your website. Since it is built on WordPress it gives you almost unlimited customization potential. While this is great, it also comes with some drawbacks. It will likely be more difficult to design a basic website. Ghost’s email offering is also newer and its email designer and automations trail our recommended tools. Ghost is best for technologically savvy owners who want a lot of website customization options.

👉 Try Ghost here

7. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is an email marketing tool designed for eCommerce. While it is our recommended eCommerce email marketing platform, we don’t think it's ideal for newsletters. It is relatively complex so there will be a steeper learning curve to use the tool. Its features were designed with eCommerce merchants in mind and will be tailored to that use case. For example, it’s great for sending automated cart abandonment emails. It’s less ideal for those not in eCommerce. 

👉 Try Klaviyo here

8. Omnisend

Omnisend is similar to Klaviyo in that it is an email marketing tool that is primarily focused on eCommerce companies. It is more user friendly and cheaper than Klaviyo, but it suffers from many of the same issues that Klaviyo does when it comes to non-ecommerce use cases. It just wasn’t designed for that in mind. For those that are purely focused on building their newsletter, we don’t recommend it. We think you are better off with purpose built alternatives. 

👉 Try Omnisend here

9. Mailerlite

Mailerlite is primarily an email marketing tool, but it can also function as a newsletter platform. Mailerlite offers a drag and drop email editor to help you design emails. It also offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. Where Mailerlite trails our recommended tools is in website hosting. Mailerlite is solely focused on helping you send emails. They will not provide you with a website where you can put past emails. If you want to use Mailerlite and have a website with your content you will need to use another website development tool like Wordpress or Webflow. Mailerlite also will not offer as many features to help you monetize your newsletter like an ad network or co-registration opportunities. However, they do offer the ability to launch a paid newsletter with a 0% fee (vs Substack’s 10% fee).

👉 Try Mailerlite here

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