Beehiiv vs Substack

Which newsletter platform should you choose?

Happy newsletter emailing to every unicorn in the galaxy.

Heads Up, Friend:
Product comparisons are usually silly, rigged reviews designed to get the writer paid by one of the products.

The reality is that no product is perfect and most people have slightly different needs.

Here’s an objective summary comparing Beehiiv vs Substack.

We’ll compare:

  • Features & Capabilities

  • Ease of Use

  • Growth & Monetization

  • Credibility & Case Studies

  • Pricing & Costs

This website is powered by Beehiiv, but I’m not here to convince you.

If you do find this useful, you can support this site by signing up through our affiliate link.

Features & Capabilities

Beehiiv Pros & Cons


  • Offers advanced drag-and-drop editor to customize every aspect of newsletter design without coding

  • Allows modifying colors, fonts, spacing, lines, bullets and more

  • Can add multimedia like images, videos, buttons, polls and paywalls

  • Gives creators maximum control and flexibility over newsletter aesthetics


  • Website customization options currently limited

  • Only a couple templates available for sites

  • Custom domains only on paid plans

Multimedia Capabilities

  • Allows embedding images, videos, buttons, and other multimedia in newsletters

  • Enables adding interactive elements like polls and paywalls

Mobile App

  • No mobile app, but newsletters and sites are mobile optimized

Tools for Analytics & Optimization

  • Offers robust analytics on opens, clicks, unsubscribes

  • Can view data on specific subscribers like engagement

  • Includes A/B testing capabilities

Ease of Content Migration

  • Can export subscriber data

  • Newsletter content can be copied but not exported

Substack Pros & Cons


  • Provides a simple, clean, minimalist editor focused just on content creation

  • Integrates easily with other platforms like Twitter and Facebook

  • Does not require any technical skills or coding ability


  • Very limited customization capabilities for newsletters and sites

  • Users restricted to default themes and basic color changes

  • No modifying fonts, lines, images or stylistic elements

  • Website modification limited as well

Multimedia Capabilities

  • Focus is mainly text-based content

  • No clear multimedia options

Mobile App

  • Provides mobile apps for iOS and Android

  • Allows reading newsletters easily across devices

Tools for Analytics & Optimization

  • Provides analytics on opens and clicks

  • Data available on subscriber location sources

  • Lacks advanced segmentation and customization

Ease of Content Migration

  • Does not allow exporting newsletter content

  • Subscriber data can be exported

Key Takeaways

  • Beehiiv superior for creators wanting maximum creative control and customization over newsletter design

  • Substack better suited for writers focused solely on content not aesthetics

  • Both easy to use “no-code” platforms but Substack offers only basics while Beehiiv enables advanced personalization

  • For beautiful, branded newsletters matching style, Beehiiv is the best choice

Ease of Use

Getting Started Writing


  • Intuitive drag-and-drop editor simplifies writing first newsletter

  • Few distractions in clean layout lets creators focus on content

  • Can start writing in under 5 minutes from account creation


  • Very simple, minimalist writing interface

  • Easy for beginners to start creating content

Learning Curve & Technical Knowledge


  • Created specifically for non-technical users

  • Does not require any coding or development skills

  • Very little specialized knowledge needed


  • Also built for non-coders focused on writing

  • Simple and intuitive enough for anyone to use

  • No technical abilities needed

Time Spent Learning Platform


  • Dashboard and features designed for quick onboarding

  • Most functionality intuitive and self-explanatory

  • Limited tutorials needed to start using


  • Very simple and straightforward interface

  • Most users can begin creating content immediately

  • Feature set is easy to grasp without training

Key Takeaways

Both Beehiiv and Substack are designed for ease of use by non-technical creators.

The platforms enable jumping directly into writing newsletters without needing to spend time learning complicated functionality.

Beehiiv may have a slight learning curve initial for its expanded feature set, but both minimize distractions and allow creators to focus mainly on content.

Growth & Monetization

Subscriber Growth Tools


  • Referral program rewards readers for sharing and drives viral growth

  • Recommendation network connects creators with new audiences

  • Advanced analytics inform content optimization


  • Reader discovery feed to find and subscribe to new newsletters

  • Social media integration helps expand reach

  • Popular with established writers who bring existing audience

Monetization Options


  • Enables paid subscriptions and member-only content

  • Built-in ad network for selling sponsorships

  • Affiliate partnerships and recommendations


  • Focuses primarily on reader subscriptions

  • Writers pay Substack 10% of subscription revenue

  • Can sell ad space directly but process managed individually

Revenue and Fees


  • Creators keep 100% of subscriber revenue

  • No platform fees taken from membership monetization


  • Takes 10% cut of all subscription revenue

  • Additional 3% transaction fee for payment processing

  • Popular writers pay more fees as audience scales

Key Takeaways

Beehiiv offers more marketing tools to help creators grow their subscriber list, while providing multiple built-in monetization features.

Substack focuses on subscriptions but takes a portion of revenue, while Beehiiv enables creators to keep all earnings.

Credibility & Case Studies

Beehiiv Credibility & Success Stories

  • Trusted by fast-growing newsletters like Milk Road, Cult of Mac, The Boston Globe

  • Case study of Milk Road going from 0 to 100k subscribers in under a year

  • Helped the Publish Press newsletter referral program drive viral growth

  • Many examples shared of creators switching from Substack to Beehiiv for more tools and revenue

Substack Credibility & Case Studies

  • Very well established reputation since founding in 2017

  • Known for empowering independent writers and journalists

  • Popular platform where many individual creators have built large audiences

  • High profile writers like Graham Stephan have built newsletters with millions of subscribers

Key Takeaways on Credibility:

  • Beehiiv gaining trust and credibility by powering growth of major newsletters

  • Lots of examples proving the platform can scale successfully

  • Substack has benefit of strong reputation and awareness after years in market

  • Top writers have leveraged Substack's focus on subscriptions to build huge audiences

So while Beehiiv is younger, its results and case studies quickly making it a credible choice.

But Substack maintains position as a recognized market leader for individuals.

Pricing & Costs

Beehiiv Pricing

  • Free "Launch" plan for up to 2,500 subscribers

  • "Grow" plan $42/month for up to 10,000 subscribers

  • "Scale" plan $84/month for over 10,000 subscribers

  • Unlimited emails and newletters

  • Flat pricing regardless of audience size

  • Pricing details here

Substack Pricing

  • Entirely free up to 100,000 subscribers

  • For paid newsletters, 10% fee on all subscription revenue

  • Additional 3% transaction fee for payment processing

  • Popular newsletters pay much higher fees as more subscribers

  • Cost model details here

Cost Comparison

  • Substack exponentially more expensive for newsletters above 10k subscribers

  • Beehiiv predictable and transparent - pay set price no matter audience size

  • Substack appears "free" but creator revenue heavily impacted by fees

Key Takeaways:

  • For small newsletters, Substack looks cheaper and beehiiv has a cost

  • Above 2,500 subscribers, Beehiiv pricing becomes more affordable long-term

  • For newsletters planning a paid model, Beehiiv no fees means creators keep revenue

Beehiiv scales better in terms of predictable and controllable costs for creators focused on monetization.

But if you’re just getting started, Substack has no upfront price tag.

I hope this Beehiiv vs Substack analysis was helpful.

For more information visit:

-Brian 🦄