Creating targeted marketing campaigns and publishing engaging content are key ingredients for growing an online business. Two popular platforms for managing these initiatives are Beehiiv and Ghost.

Beehiiv is an all-in-one marketing automation solution made for SMBs. Ghost is a modern open-source blogging and content management system.

While these tools serve different primary purposes, they have some overlapping capabilities when it comes to building audiences. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the features, strengths and weaknesses of Beehiiv vs Ghost to determine which platform may be best for your needs.

At a Glance: Beehiiv vs Ghost

Before diving into the details, here is a high-level overview of Beehiiv and Ghost and their core offerings:

Beehiiv

  • Marketing automation software
  • Email marketing and newsletters
  • Landing pages and popups
  • Contact management CRM
  • Drag and drop editors
  • Great for beginners

Ghost

  • Open source content management system
  • Optimized for blogs and publications
  • Robust theme marketplace
  • Built-in members and subscriptions
  • Easy content scheduling
  • Developer-friendly with APIs

Now let’s explore how these platforms compare for building an audience and driving marketing results.

Content Creation and Publishing

Creating and managing content is a core strength of both Beehiiv and Ghost. Let’s see how they compare.

Blog/Article Publishing

Ghost shines when it comes to publishing blog content:

  • Optimized post editor for long-form writing
  • Media embedding and management
  • Drag and drop blog template layouts
  • SEO optimizations like sitemaps
  • Post scheduling with calendar

Beehiiv lacks native blogging capabilities. But it does allow embedding content blocks into landing pages.

For managing a blog, Ghost is the clear winner.

Landing Pages

When it comes to landing pages, Beehiiv excels:

  • Hundreds of professionally designed templates
  • Drag and drop page builder
  • Layout sections for headlines, text, images, etc
  • Lead capture forms
  • SEO optimizations
  • Page analytics

Ghost offers simple one-page website layout configuration, but lacks robust landing page creation tools.

For converting visitors into leads, Beehiiv provides superior landing page functionality.

Email Newsletters

Both platforms support creating and sending email newsletters:

Beehiiv

  • Drag and drop email designer
  • Content blocks for text, images, buttons
  • Email automation workflows
  • List management and segmentation
  • Detailed email analytics

Ghost

  • Create and schedule email newsletters like regular blog posts
  • Email templates with basic customization
  • Limited analytics

For professional email marketing capabilities, Beehiiv is the leader here. Ghost offers basic newsletter creation.

Media Libraries

Managing images, videos, and other media is easy in both platforms:

  • Upload and organize media assets
  • Embed media into content with a few clicks

Beehiiv also provides:

  • Library of free stock photos and illustrations
  • Animated images and backgrounds

Ghost also provides:

  • Automatic image optimization and compression
  • File storage limits based on plan

The platforms are comparable for core media management, with some additional strengths unique to each.

Audience Building and Management

Growing and managing an audience is key for any marketing platform. Here is how Beehiiv and Ghost compare:

Email List Building

Both platforms make it easy to build an email subscriber list:

  • Collect contacts from website forms
  • View contact database
  • Segment into groups

However, Beehiiv offers more advanced list building functionality:

  • Automated welcome emails
  • Workflows and drip campaigns
  • Lead scoring
  • List management analytics
  • Higher list size limits

For email list growth and management, Beehiiv is the winner here.

Members, Subscribers and Followers

Ghost makes it easy to build an audience on your website:

  • Members with metered paywall access
  • Email subscribers
  • Social media followers

Beehiiv focuses solely on email subscribers.

For managing a broader audience across channels, Ghost has the advantage.

Analytics

Understanding your audience is crucial. Both platforms provide analytics:

Beehiiv

  • Email campaign analytics
  • Landing page visitor analytics
  • Lead and contact analytics
  • CRM-style contact timeline

Ghost

  • Blog traffic analytics
  • Member and subscriber metrics
  • Newsletter metrics
  • Content performance analytics

The platforms take different approaches to analytics based on their specialties. Integrating the two could provide complete audience insights.

Additional Features and Capabilities

Beyond core content and audience management tools, Beehiiv and Ghost each offer additional capabilities:

Beehiiv

  • Popups, banners, and website widgets
  • Contact segmentation
  • Simple social media posting
  • Basic CRM system
  • SOAP API for developers

Ghost

  • Members portal for gated content
  • Ecommerce functionality
  • Zapier and Slack integrations
  • Webhooks API for developers
  • Open source extensibility

Both platforms cater to developers with APIs. And each offer unique strengths according to their respective focuses.

Platform Comparison

Beyond looking at individual features, we should compare Beehiiv and Ghost in terms of platform attributes:

Performance

  • Speed – Ghost uses Node.js for a very fast blogging platform. Beehiiv is built on PHP and can suffer some slowdowns.
  • Uptime – Ghost and Beehiiv both maintain exceptional uptime in the 99.9% range.
  • Security – They also both leverage enterprise-grade security protections.

Customization

  • Themes – Hundreds of free and paid themes are available for Ghost. Beehiiv has limited template options.
  • Integrations – Ghost offers Zapier plus developer API. Beehiiv has SOAP API but no third-party integrations.
  • Developer capabilities – Being open source, Ghost is far more customizable for developers compared to closed-source Beehiiv.

Support and Training

  • Technical support – Both platforms offer complete email, live chat and phone support.
  • Community – Ghost has a much larger open source community. Beehiiv lacks a user community.
  • Training – Ghost offers free administrator courses. Paid training is available for Beehiiv.

Overall, Ghost edges out Beehiiv in terms of performance, customization, and community support. But Beehiiv still maintains solid fundamentals.

Pricing Comparison

Pricing often plays a large role in platform selection. Here is how Beehiiv and Ghost’s pricing models compare:

PlanBeehiivGhost
Starter$49/mo for 500 contacts$9/mo basic digital features
Mid-Tier$99/mo for 2,500 contacts$29/mo unlimited posts/pages
Advanced$199/mo for 10,000 contacts$159/mo advanced integrations

A few things to note:

  • Ghost has a free open source option for developers and early-stage sites.
  • Ghost pricing is based on features, not audience size like Beehiiv.
  • Ghost top tier plan is less expensive than Beehiiv’s mid-tier.
  • Beehiiv pricing only scales to 10,000 contacts.

For the features provided, Ghost delivers excellent value at its various pricing tiers.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is also an important evaluation criteria:

  • Learning curve – Beehiiv wins with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Ghost as an open source platform is more complex.
  • Admin experience – Beehiiv provides a simpler admin interface. Ghost has steeper learning curve.
  • Ongoing use – Again, Beehiiv is very user-friendly for executing day-to-day tasks. Ghost has more settings and configuration.

For pure ease of use, Beehiiv is the winner. But Ghost complexity allows greater customization.

Beehiiv vs Ghost: Which Should You Choose?

With this detailed comparison in mind, here are some recommendations on when to choose Beehiiv or Ghost:

Best Use Cases for Beehiiv

  • You want easy-to-use marketing automation for emails, landing pages, and forms.
  • You don’t need advanced blogging capabilities or content publishing.
  • You value simplicity and minimal learning curve.

Best Use Cases for Ghost

  • You want to launch a blog or online publication.
  • You need advanced content scheduling and site architecture.
  • You have developers for extensive customization and integrations.
  • You are building a membership model.

For most, Beehiiv would be the best choice if your primary goal is email marketing, automation and landing pages. Ghost is the superior option for operating a blog or content hub.

Using both together can provide the best of both worlds for audience engagement.

FAQ

Some commonly asked questions about Beehiiv vs Ghost:

Does Ghost offer email marketing features?

Yes, Ghost allows you to create and schedule basic email newsletters just like blog posts. But for advanced email marketing and automation tools, a dedicated platform like Beehiiv is recommended.

Can you add gated members-only content in Beehiiv?

No, Beehiiv does not have any gating or paywall functionality for content. Ghost specializes in building a members portal and paid subscriptions.

Does Beehiiv have SEO features?

Yes, Beehiiv optimizes landing pages for on-page SEO through its template design. But Ghost offers more extensive SEO capabilities like XML sitemaps.

Can Ghost be used for marketing purposes beyond just blogging?

Yes, Ghost sites can serve marketing purposes like lead generation by adding calls-to-action and lead capture forms. But the functionality doesn’t match what marketing-focused platforms like Beehiiv provide.

Is Beehiiv better suited for B2B or B2C businesses?

Beehiiv works well for both B2B and B2C. Features like lead scoring and tagging support common B2B scenarios. While automation and email are broadly applicable for any industry.

Conclusion

Beehiiv and Ghost provide complementary strengths when it comes to engaging an audience through content, email, and sophisticated marketing.

For managing complex marketing initiatives from a single platform, Beehiiv is likely the better choice for most small businesses. But Ghost stands out as a top-notch solution for operating any kind of blog or online publication.

Carefully consider your budget, technical needs, resources and goals as you determine if easy-to-use Beehiiv or customizable Ghost is the right platform for your unique needs. Both deliver excellent capabilities that can help grow your online business when applied strategically.

Author

  • Sarah Teague

    Sarah Teague brings 5 years of professional writing experience to her role as content writer for Walletminded. In this position, Sarah creates compelling articles, blog posts, and other digital content that engage readers and promote the Walletminded brand. Before joining Walletminded, Sarah honed her writing skills as a freelance writer and ghostwriter. Her work included crafting blog posts and web content for financial services, technology, and healthcare clients. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in English from Emory University, where she also served as editor of the campus literary journal. She continues to volunteer her time as a writing mentor for youth in her community. When she's not meticulously crafting content, you can find Sarah attempting new baking recipes and enjoying hikes with her dog. She also loves curling up with a good memoir.

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