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Here's our take on the 5 of the best newsletter platforms for authors looking to go paid

Digital marketing can be a tricky game. It sometimes feels as though the online world is evolving at far too fast a pace to keep up with, as trends come and go in the blink of an eye. But, in this ever-changing virtual arena, there is one old reliable that marketers can always count on: email

The role that email plays in the digital marketing strategies of 2021 is arguably greater than it’s ever been. And, for many businesses, it currently plays a bigger role than that of other common strategies, including social media marketing. There’s good reason for it, too, as email marketing can be up to 40 times more effective than social media when properly executed. 

This has to do with the fact that email offers marketers the opportunity to communicate with consumers directly, and to do so using content that they really want to see. As such, its return on investment can be massive, at an average of 38:1. Email newsletters are the key driving force of such impressive numbers. 

The Problem With Email Newsletters

However, just because the stats are good doesn’t mean that your success as a newsletter creator is certain. Writing newsletters takes time, so if they aren’t high quality, consistent, or well-targeted, you’ve wasted valuable hours on something that will provide a small return. 

That’s why so many marketers and business owners turn to online newsletter platforms, which give them all the tools they need to create superior newsletters that look great, keep readers hooked, and make them money. There is a lot to choose from, too, with varying prices attached to different packages from different platforms.

Let us help you find the best newsletter platform for your business, with our roundup of five that are ideally suited to creators hoping to go paid.  

The 5 Best Newsletter Platforms 

  1. Letterhead

    We believe that the best newsletter platform is the one that gives control back to its users. So, designed for newsletter creators, by newsletter creators, Letterhead contains the tools that businesses need to easily manage their email marketing from start to finish, all while raising revenue. 

    With its intuitive authoring tool, creators can quickly put together a stunning newsletter that will catch their readers’ attention. Then, amongst top-of-the-line content, different types of ads can be easily placed and seamlessly integrated, so as to not to disrupt the newsletter’s overall flow. On top of that, users will also be able to view detailed metrics, which will make monitoring conversion rates and generated income easy. 

    But, what really makes this newsletter service stand out is the sense of community that surrounds it. Every one of its users gets access to regular community workshops and sales training, as well as helpful guides with handy dos and don’ts that could prove to be invaluable. 

    Even better is the fact that Letterhead has a tiered pricing system. So, those taking their first steps into email newsletter marketing can get started for free, while pricing for the entire toolset starts from $200 a month.  

  2. Mailchimp

    To be the best newsletter creator you can be, you will need to look for a newsletter platform that brings together both style and functionality. Mailchimp does exactly that, as one of the more popular service providers out there right now. 

    The basic version (which you can use for free) gives newsletter authors up to 12,000 free emails sends every month to up to 2,000 subscribers. With it, you will have access to Mailchimp’s drag-and-drop newsletter builder, predesigned templates, and more. Most importantly for those looking to go paid, Mailchimp offers real-time analytics and smart recommendations features. These help users see what conversion tactics are working and which need to be rethought. 

    If you require more than 12,000 email sends a month, you can opt to invest in Mailchimp’s paid newsletter platform, pricing for which starts at just $10 a month. But, while user-friendly and accessible to smaller and medium-sized businesses, Mailchimp simply doesn’t have the features for those hoping to scale their newsletter or segment their audience. 

  3. Sender

    For an email newsletter marketing platform that offers more bang for your buck, check out Sender. It has a whole host of sophisticated features that are intended to help you save time and boost revenue, and they’re available to all users for free. However, you should bear in mind that if you have over 2,500 subscribers and plan to send more than 15,000 emails a month, you will have to pay a subscription fee. 

    Using Sender’s smart automations, you can queue up newsletters to reach readers at optimum times, without having to be constantly ready to press send. Plus, each newsletter you write can be easily personalized, so that each customer’s journey feels unique to them. And, with its eye-catching design features and analytics tools for easy improvement, Sender’s newsletter platform makes maintaining engagement and increasing conversions simple. 

    The brains behind Sender also recognize that even the best newsletter creator software can run into trouble sometimes. So, they offer 24/7 customer support, meaning you’ll never have to worry about unsent emails, unresponsive design features, or inconsistent analytics ever again. 

  4. Substack

    Substack is a platform dedicated to helping independent writers make money through (you guessed it) email newsletters. By getting set up on Substack, newsletter authors can focus on the content they want to send out, while the platform itself makes design, management, and payment a breeze for every user, regardless of their level of experience.  

    It offers something slightly different from a lot of other newsletter platforms. Its focus is first and foremost on generating income for writers who want to focus on their craft rather than on the management side of email newsletters. However, that’s not to say that Substack doesn’t offer any other desirable features. 

    When you open a Substack account, you will gain access to a range of attractive newsletter design templates, easy-to-use editing software, and an intuitive subscription solution that makes managing payments easy for both publishers and readers. Plus, you’ll get a website for all your posts, too, as well as full control over what’s available for free and what goes behind a paywall on both of your platforms. 

    It’s also completely free for users who publish a free newsletter, no matter how long their email list is. But, Substack does take 10% of your newsletter’s price when you begin charging. 

  5. SendinBlue

    Another platform with additional customer relationship management features is SendinBlue. Not only does it offer more than 70 customizable design templates and automatic email sends, but it also allows users to collate and track customer details all in one place. This makes it far easier to spot patterns, segment audiences, and advertise appropriately to different demographics.

    Creators can make use of the A/B testing feature, too, to find the best ways to target readers and, in turn, improve engagement and conversion rates. Then, if things go well, successful newsletter authors can expand their digital marketing efforts using SendinBlue’s SMS marketing and onsite chat tools. All can be used to drive potentially lucrative traffic to a website or product page. 

    Once again, it’s free for starters, with the most basic version of the platform capable of supporting up to 300 emails every day to unlimited contacts. Then, there are other pricing options for larger businesses, including enterprises that require a custom volume of emails and priority sending.  

Choosing the Best Newsletter Platform for You 

There are plenty of choices out there, although that can make life a little difficult when it comes to selecting the perfect email newsletter platform. However, the good news is that all the best software providers offer a free starter package, so smaller businesses can get a foothold. Then, as users begin to enjoy growth, they can upgrade to something that will help make email newsletters a genuinely profitable part of their business. 

The key things you’ll need to think about when trying to decide what to opt for are:

  • How much control do you want to have over your newsletter design and distribution? 
  • How many subscribers are you hoping to gain further down the line? 
  • How will you use your newsletter to boost sales and, ultimately, revenue?
  • Are you planning to segment your readers and, if so, how?