Email newsletters remain one of the most effective marketing channels for engaging audiences and driving conversions. To leverage the power of email, you need a solid newsletter software provider.
There are countless email service platforms available that promise to help you create, send and optimize your newsletter campaigns. But which one is right for your specific needs?
In this comprehensive guide, we compare the top 9 best email newsletter software tools on the market right now based on features, capabilities, ease of use, deliverability, and more. We’ll help you determine which solution is best suited to manage your email newsletters and subscriber communications.
Table of Contents
Quick Comparison: The 9 Best Newsletter Software Platforms
Before we dive into the details, here is a high-level overview of the top 9 newsletter software platforms we’ll cover:
- Beehiiv – All-in-one marketing platform great for beginners
- ConvertKit – Powerful automation for creators
- Substack – Popular with independent publishers
- Klaviyo – Advanced analytics and segmentation
- Mailchimp – The classic email marketing leader
- ActiveCampaign – Automation-focused all-in-one system
- Revue – Simple and affordable email option
- Ghost – Excellent for membership newsletters
- HubSpot – Feature-rich enterprise email marketing
Below we explore what each software offers plus who it’s best suited for. We’ll cover the key capabilities, limitations, pricing, and user reviews.
Let’s dive in and determine which newsletter platform is the ideal choice for your business!
#1 Choice: Beehiiv – Our Recommended Email Newsletter Software
Beehiiv is our top recommended newsletter software for most small businesses.
Best for – Small businesses, agencies, consultants, bloggers needing an easy all-in-one marketing solution.
We believe Beehiiv strikes the right balance of affordability, ease of use and features for the majority of newsletter publishers.
Here’s an overview and capabilities:
- Email newsletter builder – Drag and drop editor, mobile-ready templates, dynamic content
- Automations – Triggers, journeys, segmentation, lead flows
- Landing pages – Hundreds of templates, customization, lead capture forms
- List management – Subscriber segmentation, sign up forms, growth analytics
- Deliverability – Spam testing, inbox monitoring, sender score
- Integrations – Zapier, CRMs, ecommerce, Stripe, Slack
- Support – Email, chat, phone, 24/7 live support
- Pricing – $49-$199/mo based on contacts
Beehiiv makes it easy for small teams to create professional, automation-driven newsletters without expertise.
It provides the essential tools most small publishers need in an intuitive drag and drop interface that’s great for non-technical users.
We suggest Beehiiv as the best place to start for new email publishers who want quick setup and an easy learning curve. The platform scales as your needs grow while maintaining affordability.
Next let’s look at key competitors and alternatives.
#2 ConvertKit – Powerful Creator-Focused Email Automation
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform focused on creators, experts and digital course creators.
Best for – Bloggers, influencers, creators needing advanced email automation.
ConvertKit excels at engaging subscribers and automating complex workflows like drips and sequences.
Here are the key capabilities:
- Segmentation – Tag subscribers and send targeted campaigns
- Workflows – Visual builder for sequences, drips, broadcasts
- Landing pages – Build high-converting pages and forms
- Automation – Based on tags, events, time delays, and more
- Analytics – Open/click tracking, unsubscribes, ROI reporting
- Deliverability – Excellent inbox placement and sender reputation
- Support – Phone, email, chat, active community
- Pricing – $29-$249/mo based on subscribers
While pricier than some competitors, ConvertKit offers superior automation tools for serious creators. It’s a powerful next-level option once you outgrow simpler platforms.
Common ConvertKit users include bloggers, podcasters, authors, video creators, and digital course sellers. It integrates especially well for membership sites.
#3 Substack – Popular Newsletter Platform for Writers
Substack has quickly become one of the most popular newsletter platforms, especially with writers and independent publishers.
Best for – Writers, journalists, individuals focused just on newsletters.
The brand has an impressive roster of top newsletter talent. Here are Substack’s key strengths:
- Reader experience – Gorgeous newsletter themes and reader webpage.
- Focus on writing – Uncluttered editor optimized for blog-style writing.
- Revenue models – Keep 100% of subscription revenue by default.
- Security – Industry-leading safety and protections for writers.
- Support – Very responsive customer support.
- Pricing – Free version. Paid plans 5-15% cut of revenue.
Substack isn’t meant for advanced automation or complex marketing functionality. But for publishers who just want a simple, elegant platform optimized for newsletter content, Substack is hard to beat.
It offers the cleanest, most streamlined writer experience in the industry while handling all the technology for you.
#4 Klaviyo – Segmentation and Predictive Analytics
Klaviyo is a leader in advanced analytics and segmentation for ecommerce email marketing.
Best for – High-volume ecommerce brands needing automation and analytics.
For growing DTC and retail brands, Klaviyo is a top choice thanks to its powerful capabilities:
- Predictive analytics – Machine learning and modeling for forecasts.
- Dynamic content – AI-driven personalized messaging.
- Behavioral triggers – Complex automations based on behaviors.
- Enterprise segmentation – Limitless custom attributes and filtering/exclusion.
- Real-time analytics – Web event tracking and CRM syncing.
- Deliverability – Top-tier inbox placement and sender score.
- Support – Technical and strategic expertise.
- Pricing – $49-$499/mo based on contacts.
Klaviyo isn’t as easy to use as some competitors. But the sophisticated analytics and segmentation capabilities are perfect for high-volume ecommerce looking to customize messaging and predict trends.
Mid-market and enterprise retailers get the most value from Klaviyo’s advanced feature set.
#5 Mailchimp – Leading legacy email platform
It’s impossible to discuss email marketing without mentioning Mailchimp. It’s the long-time industry leader.
Best for – Broad email marketing needs from startups to large businesses
Here are Mailchimp’s key strengths:
- Ease of use – Very intuitive visual email and landing page builders.
- Automations – Pre-built subscriber journeys for common scenarios.
- Integrations – Zapier plus ecommerce integrations.
- Analytics – Reports include opens, clicks, device data, unsubscribes.
- Deliverability – Excellent inbox placement and sender reputation.
- International – Localized in dozens of regions with multi-language support.
- Support – Phone, live chat, and email assistance.
- Pricing – Free plan up to 2,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $9.99 for up to 500 contacts.
Mailchimp continues to keep up with email innovations. It offers a very polished platform suitable for beginners and experts alike.
From small businesses to major enterprises, Mailchimp can scale to meet most newsletter needs which explains its broad user base.
#6 ActiveCampaign – All-in-one email and marketing automation
ActiveCampaign markets itself as an all-in-one email and marketing platform.
Best for – Growing small to midsize businesses wanting marketing automation coupled with email.
Here is an overview of ActiveCampaign’s key features:
- Workflows – Visual automation builder with triggers.
- Landing pages – Hundreds of templates and customization options.
- Forms – Build and embed forms with conditional logic.
- Reporting – Email metrics plus more advanced attribution.
- Integrations – Connect to sales, marketing and support tools.
- Deliverability – Strong inbox placement and sender score.
- Support – Phone, email and 24/7 chat.
- Pricing – $9-$229/mo based on contacts and features.
ActiveCampaign isn’t as intuitive as some competitors but provides excellent functionality beyond basic email marketing.
It offers a scalable solution for SMBs who want marketing automation coupled with newsletter capabilities all in one place.
#7 Revue – Simple, Affordable Newsletter Option
Revue focuses solely on making it easy to create and send gorgeous newsletters.
Best for – Writers, publishers, individuals wanting a streamlined newsletter-only platform.
Here are Revue’s key capabilities:
- Writing focus – Clutter-free editor optimized for readability.
- Designer templates – Professionally designed email themes.
- Analytics Lite – Track opens and subscriber stats.
- Reader sites – Shareable online version for subscribers.
- Importing – Switch providers easily.
- Support – Very responsive by email.
- Pricing – Free plan up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans $10-$30/mo with no limits.
If you just want to focus on creating great newsletter content and don’t need advanced marketing features, Revue is a great streamlined choice.
Individual writers, bloggers, publishers and teams find great value in Revue’s simplicity and affordability.
#8 Ghost – Great for Membership Newsletters
Ghost is an open-source content management system optimizes for blogs and publications.
Best for – Blogs, membership sites, publications with subscription packages.
Ghost works well for newsletter publishers who want content plus subscriptions:
- Tiers and members packages – Offer tiered subscription packages.
- Payment processing – Integrated Stripe processing.
- Metered content – Fully configurable content metering.
- Themes – Beautiful newsletters and publication themes.
- Open API – Custom integrations with webhooks and Zapier.
- Support – Helpful team and active community forum.
- Pricing – Affordable plans plus paid enterprise options. Open source version available.
If you publish gated content or sell subscription packages, Ghost is a great choice thanks to its built-in membership and payments functionality.
But it lacks advanced marketing features some publishers may want.
#9 HubSpot – Powerful All-In-One Enterprise Email
Lastly, HubSpot is a leader in the enterprise inbound marketing space thanks to its powerful ecosystem.
Best for – Enterprise businesses with complex sales and marketing needs.
HubSpot Marketing offers advanced enterprise email capabilities:
- Workflows – Create complex, multi-path automations.
- Landing pages – Highly customizable pages with built-in heatmaps.
- True personalization – Dynamic email content personalized for each recipient.
- Integrations – Connect to 200+ business apps including Salesforce, Shopify, and Slack.
- Reporting – Complete multi-channel insights and attribution.
- Deliverability – Top-notch inbox placement.
- Support – 24/7 phone, chat, and email support.
- Pricing – Mid-market to enterprise packages from $50 to $3000/month.
The HubSpot Marketing product has a steep learning curve. But for companies with large, complex needs, its enterprise functionality can’t be beat.
Marketing Hub seamlessly integrates with HubSpot’s complete CRM, sales, CMS, and service software ecosystem.
Email Newsletter Software Comparison Table
Here is a quick overview comparing the key features, pricing, and use cases across the top newsletter platforms:
|Platform||Starting Price||Key Features||Best For|
|Beehiiv||$49/mo||Intuitive editor, automations, CRM, forms||Beginners, agencies, small business|
|ConvertKit||$29/mo||Advanced automations, segments, forms||Bloggers, influencers|
|Substack||Free||Writer focused, beautiful templates||Independent writers and publishers|
|Klaviyo||$49/mo||Predictive modeling, advanced segments||High-volume ecommerce|
|Mailchimp||$9.99/mo||Established brand, automation, integrations||Broad email marketing needs|
|ActiveCampaign||$9/mo||All-in-one automation and CRM||Growing SMBs|
|Revue||$10/mo||Simple and affordable||Writers and individuals|
|Ghost||$9/mo||Membership capabilities, open API||Publications with subscriptions|
|HubSpot||$50/mo||Powerful marketing automation||Enterprise businesses|
Now that we’ve compared the leading options, let’s dive deeper into why email newsletter software is so important for businesses today.
Why Do Businesses Need Email Newsletter Software?
Before choosing a newsletter service provider, it’s helpful to understand why email software is so valuable for brands and publishers.
Here are the key reasons businesses invest in dedicated newsletter platforms:
Increase Audience Engagement
Email newsletter software makes it easy to create targeted, visually engaging content to keep your audience interested.
Emails have high open and click-through rates compared to other channels like social media posts. With newsletters, you can maintain mindshare and strengthen relationships.
Promote Products or Services
Email is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your company’s offerings.
Newsletters allow you to showcase products, content and events on your own turf with total control over the messaging.
Generate Leads and Sales
Specialized email newsletter software makes it easy to capture leads with opt-in forms, landing pages, and gated content offers.
You can then nurture those leads into customers by automating campaigns targeted at different segments and stages. This drives conversions over time.
Understand Your Audience
Newsletter software provides audience insights that are difficult to gain elsewhere.
You can see who engages with different types of content and track user journeys over time. Advanced platforms offer in-depth behavioral segmentation.
These insights allow you to fine-tune content and messaging to maximize engagement and conversions.
Unlike social media and other channels, you fully own your newsletter subscriber list. Regardless of what happens to Facebook, Instagram or other networks, you can always communicate with subscribers via email.
It provides a level of stability and continuity other mediums can’t match. Investing in solid email infrastructure ensures you always have a way to reach customers.
Enjoy Higher ROI
Statistics show email marketing provides one of the highest returns on investment across all digital channels. Newsletters are an inexpensive way to achieve steady results.
According to DMA research, email generates $42 for every $1 spent. The high deliverability and engagement of newsletters means each one sent can yield results.
For all these reasons, incorporating a quality email newsletter platform should be a priority for any business today. It provides a foundation to engage, convert and communicate with customers in a measurable, high-ROI way.
Key Email Newsletter Software Features and Capabilities
Now that we’ve covered the value of newsletter software, let’s explore the core features and capabilities modern providers offer.
Intuitive Email Editor
A drag-and-drop email editor makes it easy for anyone to create professional, polished newsletter designs without coding. Pre-designed templates provide starting points that can be customized.
The editor should allow embedding images, dynamic content, customizable layouts, contact segmentation, and mobile responsiveness.
Automate multi-step email campaigns based on triggers like time delays, user actions, date-based events, and more.
Workflows allow sending automated welcome streams, subscriptions, event follow-ups, drip campaigns, and other recurring email journeys.
Quality landing page builders make it easy to create dedicated pages to capture new newsletter subscribers.
Pre-made templates, lead capture forms, multimedia embedding, and analytics provide the tools to convert visitors into email contacts.
Managing subscriber data is crucial. The software should offer contact profiles, list segmentation, tagging, custom fields, and contact timelines to organize your audience.
Analytics and Reporting
In-depth email analytics provide opens, clicks, unsubscribes, domain performance, link clicks, and advanced engagement metrics.
Dashboards quickly summarize key performance indicators while custom reporting provides details.
Leading platforms monitor inbox placement across major email providers. They track sender reputation, spam test emails, and ensure strong deliverability.
Look for integrations with CRMs, analytics platforms, ecommerce stores, payment processors, webinar software, and marketing tools.
Zapier and API integration options also provide connection flexibility.
The software should offer enterprise-grade security including data encryption both at rest and in transit, vulnerability scanning, access controls and stringent privacy safeguards.
Responsive customer support via email, live chat, phone, and community forums indicates a strong commitment to customers. Support response times and satisfaction ratings are key.
These are the core capabilities to evaluate as you choose the newsletter service that best fits your needs and audience. Next let’s go over some tips for selecting the right platform.
How to Choose the Best Email Newsletter Service for Your Needs
With so many newsletter software options on the market, how do you determine which one is right for your specific needs?
Here is a step-by-step process for evaluating and choosing the best email newsletter platform:
Clearly Identify Your Goals
First, clarify your objectives for starting an email newsletter.
Are you focused on sales, engagement, lead generation, community building or something else? Defining goals helps narrow suitable options.
Gauge Your Audience Size
Consider the size of your current audience and email list along with expected growth over the next few years.
Certain platforms cater to specific list sizes better than others. This impacts pricing and capabilities needed.
Review Critical Functionality
Make a list of the critical email, automation and integration functionality your newsletter requires to meet goals.
This ensures the platform can smoothly support core communications and campaigns you want to execute.
Compare Core Platform Attributes
Look at overall factors like ease of use, onboarding, interface, technical support, deliverability, continuity reliability, and company reputation.
Evaluate Costs and Pricing Models
Pricing structures differ quite a bit between providers. Make sure to calculate total costs based on your projected list size and any add-ons needed.
Account for how costs may evolve as your needs grow over time.
Read User Reviews
Uncover real customer experiences by reading user reviews and talking to current users where possible. This provides insight on how platforms work for real businesses like yours.
Sign Up for Free Trials
The best way to evaluate options is to create free trial accounts and build sample newsletters and campaigns. This hands-on experience clarifies which platform feels best.
By taking this structured approach, you can zero in on the newsletter software that aligns closest to your current and future needs. Don’t be afraid to take your time experimenting with different tools.
The platform you choose will become the core infrastructure enabling all your email communications, campaigns, and audience engagement. So making the right technology investment is extremely important for any serious publisher or marketer.
Getting Started With Email Newsletter Marketing
Once you’ve selected the best email newsletter software platform for your needs, you can dive into your first newsletter campaigns.
Here is a high-level checklist for getting started with your new email marketing activities:
- Set up your account, configurations and admin settings
- Import existing email lists if you have them
- Create segments and tags to organize contacts
- Design basic email layouts and templates
- Build dedicated landing pages and opt-in forms
- Develop compelling offers and gated lead magnets
- Drive traffic to signup forms through promotions
- Welcome and onboard new subscribers
- Create interesting email content and curate past content
- Set up automations like drips and subscriber journeys
- Integrate email with your website, social campaigns, and more
- Analyze performance and fine-tune your messages
It takes consistent testing and optimization over time to maximize the value from email newsletters and achieve the highest engagement. But the payoff in customer retention, conversions, and lifetime value make this hands-on work well worth the effort.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for consistently engaging an audience. But you need a capable email newsletter software provider behind you to execute professional campaigns.
In this guide, we compared the top newsletter service platforms available based on core features, use cases, support, and pricing.
We recommend considering Beehiiv as a top choice for many small businesses given its excellent balance of affordability, ease of use and features. ConvertKit stands out for creators needing powerful automation, while Substack offers a streamlined writer experience. Enterprise brands get robust capabilities with HubSpot.
Carefully evaluate your current and future needs against the strengths of each platform outlined here. Sign up for free trials to get first-hand experience with shortlisted options.
Choosing the right technology partner ensures you have an engine driving continuous engagement, lead nurturing, and marketing growth through email newsletters and campaigns. With subscribers eagerly awaiting your next email, you can build an authoritative brand and thriving business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best free email newsletter service?
Mailchimp and Substack both offer free email newsletter plans for up to 2,000 and 1,000 subscribers respectively. These provide a great way to get started for free.
How much should I expect to pay for email newsletter software?
Quality newsletter platforms typically start between $10-$50 per month for up to 500 subscribers. Mid-tier plans for 2,500+ subscribers usually range from $50-$150 monthly. Enterprise options can be $500+ monthly.
What is the easiest email newsletter software for beginners?
Beehiiv, Mailchimp and ConvertKit are among the easiest newsletter tools for beginners thanks to intuitive drag and drop editors. They minimize the learning curve for launching your first emails.
How quickly can email newsletter software be set up?
Most leading platforms allow you to create an account, connect your domain, design your first newsletter template, and integrate with your website within 60 minutes or less. Expect a very fast setup.
What makes for a highly engaging email newsletter?
Winning email newsletters combine valuable educational content, community participation, exclusivity, storytelling, utility, and visually appealing design. Focus on creating consistent content subscribers eagerly anticipate.
How do I switch email newsletter providers?
Most platforms make it easy to import your contact lists when switching providers. Export your list from your old account, then upload the contacts when creating your new account. Configure the sending domain and restart any automations.
Should I send email newsletters daily, weekly or monthly?
The ideal newsletter frequency depends on your niche. But for most businesses, a weekly or twice weekly cadence strikes the right balance between engagement and oversaturation.