Best Newsletter Platforms in 2024

July 2023 UPDATE: WordPress launches support for paid newsletters (read more).

Miha CacicBy Mihael Cacic
July 2023
20 min read

It feels like there are new newsletter platforms sprouting every day. Each brings something unique to the table, which makes picking “just the right one” that much more difficult.

We at BigMailer know these problems all too well. After all, as an email marketing platform, we’re at the forefront of the growing newsletter industry. We talk to newsletter marketers on the daily — helping them decide if our platform fits their needs.

On our calls, there are 5 problems that we hear over and over again:

  • “Our newsletter platform is too complex!” While newsletter experts and tech enthusiasts enjoy complex platforms, teams that frequently change members (like marketing interns), particularly those who juggle newsletters as a part-time duty, always prefer something simpler and more intuitive.

  • “We can’t design good looking emails – template design is too limited!” For traditional direct response marketers, text-only design is often all they need. But those who rely on visually engaging design for brand-building, certainly need a platform with options for both – HTML support and drag & drop editor.

 “I can’t segment my list on my current plan!” If your list is small and targeted, then straightforward newsletter platforms are fine. But if you have a huge list built from various sources, then without the ability to segment audiences and personalize content your newsletter might not be relevant for everyone, leading to a lower engagement overall.

  • “My newsletter platforms doesn’t have good analytics.” This is huge if newsletters present a big chunk of your business growth. After all, what gets measured (accurately!) can get improved. This is a crucial feature for any direct response marketer.

  • “The sending is slow, gets throttled, and most of my emails don’t even get delivered!” Finally, the technical architecture of some newsletter platforms is simply not made to handle sending a high volume of emails. And for most users, this is fine. For example, small businesses that use newsletters just to update their customers on what they’re working on don’t need to have their emails go out exactly on the hour. But marketers using newsletters as a core revenue driver need this to run like a watch. Every open and click matters.

We recently commissioned Mihael Cacic, an expert SaaS reviewer, to test every newsletter platform in the industry. He signed up for every platform and used it for a month—and in this article, he’ll present his findings.

Take it away, Miha!


Best Newsletter Platforms at a Glance

Hey, Miha taking over!

My verdict on the 10 best newsletter platforms (and who they’re best for) is the following:

  • Mailchimp – best first email platform for small businesses
  • ConvertKit – for creators starting with email marketing
  • BigMailer – for high-volume senders
  • MailerLite – all-in-one marketing platform to expand your workflows beyond email
  • ActiveCampaign – for marketing experts using a lot of automations
  • Substack – for thought leaders
  • Beehiiv – lean content creators
  • Ghost – WordPress alternative
  • SendFox – lifetime deal fans 
  • Mailmodo – for interactive emails

First, here’s a comparison table that outlines the features, strengths, and limitations of each platform.

best newsletter platforms table

Last Updated: Mar 2024

Throughout the rest of the article, I’ll review each platform more in-depth, explaining their:

  • ideal use case,
  • where the product falls short,
  • effective cost per 1000 contacts.

By the end of the review, you’ll have a full understanding of which email marketing platform best fits your business needs.

1. Mailchimp — Your Best First Newsletter Platform



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Mailchimp was launched in 2001 as an alternative to the oversized, expensive email marketing software of the early 2000s. This gave small business owners access to the marketing tools to go head-to-head with the goliaths of their industries.

Mailchimp helps businesses increase customer engagement and grow their revenue with features like: 

  • Customer Journey Builder to build automated workflows that send relevant messages based on customer interaction with the brand and create unique (and adaptable) marketing paths.
  • Professional, streamlined, visually-appealing reports to impress your stakeholders.
  • AI-powered Creative Assistant to build responsive and catchy email designs to eliminate designer expenses.

Mailchimp used to have the most feature-rich free plan available for “up to 2500 contacts across all audiences in your account, and up to 12,000 email sends per month”. On 15 May 2019 they lowered this limit to 500 contacts and a maximum of 1000 monthly email sends. Although their free plan now pales in comparison to what it was, Mailchimp is still the best email platform for anyone just getting started with email marketing.


Where Mailchimp Falls Short

Even though it has an intuitive UI, it can quickly get complex. In the Free plan, you get customer support only for the first 30 days, after that, it’s no longer available. Lastly, the paid pricing tiers become expensive very quickly for users that may need a few basic features, but not a full suite of marketing tools.


Mailchimp Pricing

Mailchimp allows you to easily start creating email campaigns and gaining customer insight with its free plan. It limits monthly email sends to 1000, so you could publish your newsletter once a week to 250 contacts.

Features like predictive segmentation, custom-coded HTML templates, and pre-built customer journeys get unlocked on the Standard plan ($20/month)Mailchimp’s recommended plan. 

Only the most advanced Premium plan offers priority customer support and features like multivariate testing, and campaign comparison reports. But it comes at a steep price of $350/month.



Use Mailchimp If:

  • You’re completely new to the email marketing game.
  • You have a small subscriber list and don’t plan to grow it aggressively.
  • You have a small business—especially a brick-and-mortar company—and need more features than a simple email marketing service offers: a landing page builder, website builder, integrations with social media advertising like Facebook Ads, and maybe even SMS marketing options.


2. ConvertKit — Best For Creators New To Email Marketing



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Nathan Barry launched ConvertKit in 2013 when he needed a better way to sell his ebooks and courses via email. Since Nathan was a blogger and creator himself, he built this platform exclusively for online creators.

With ConvertKit, you can make your emails stand out with its clutter-free writing experience that has a simple UI and inline styling options — buttons, images, videos, etc. Its unlimited customizable segmentation (based on tags, custom form fields, and geolocation) helps you send targeted newsletter campaigns. Plus, the Smart Filters never let you accidentally pitch your products to people who’ve already purchased them.

This newsletter platform is a great choice for new email marketers and specifically creators like designers and authors. Basically, anyone who wants to connect with their audience and sell an info product.


Where ConvertKit Falls Short

The tool’s reporting feature misses out on tracking key metrics like bounce rate, which are important for understanding the quality of the list or email collection source. It offers limited native integrations, which means you need Zapier to integrate other systems that help you run your business. The signup forms and landing pages that are hosted on ConvertKit have unusual domains, which can look weird to your audience.


ConvertKit Pricing

ConvertKit has a free plan with unlimited landing pages, segmentations, and more for newsletters with up to 300 subscribers.

If you have more subscribers than that or if you want advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to the Creator plan (starts at $15/mo) or the Creator Pro plan (starts at $29/mo). Both plans’ price scales with the number of subscribers on your list.



Use ConvertKit If:

  • You want to easily grow and monetize a small audience.
  • You are an online creator looking to sell digital products and subscriptions.
  • You want to build a close relationship with your followers beyond blogs and YouTube videos.



3. BigMailer — Best For High-Volume Senders

BigMailer homepage


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BigMailer was founded in 2017 with a strict focus on providing exceptional ROI to high-volume senders, with lists larger than 50,000 contacts.

In this review, I’ll specifically focus on features important for sending newsletters: geo-tracking, reporting, segmentation, and templates. If you’re a more hands-on type of person, you can try BigMailer for free if you sign up with this link. And if you want a personalized walkthrough, schedule a demo here.



Optimize engagement with geo-tracking

When collecting emails with BigMailer’s webforms, they automatically capture the location (country, city, and latitude/longtitude) of the subscriber. This is done without saving the IP (the IP is detected, converted, and discarded), so you can stay compliant no matter where people are subscribing from.

You can then use the location data in BigMailer to optimize engagement rates and conversions by either a) sending emails to your contacts at the precise time they are most likely to check their email, and b) sending geo-targeted campaigns that automatically adjust offers or prices based on the recipient’s location.


Analyze campaign engagement by email domain

Engagement reporting in BigMailer is significantly more granular than in most other newsletter platforms, as you can see all your engagement stats by email domain.-,,, etc. Granular analytics like these can help you spot deliverability problems.

For example, you may notice your newsletter has a <1% opener rate on Gmail, which could be an indicator that your newsletter landed in the Promotions tab. With this info you can make improvements to your campaigns to boost your inboxing with some providers in the future. 


Advanced audience segmentation 

In BigMailer, you can segment your list(s) using:

  1. Any custom field you have
  2. Campaign engagement (sent, opens, clicks)
  3. System fields (the date the contact subscribed, or captured location)
  4. Any combination of the above saved into reusable segments

Unlike in other platforms, segmentation is available on all plans, free plan including.


Multi-brand management and customizable Unsubscribe page

BigMailer’s built-in brand management allows you to manage multiple projects, websites, or micro-sites while still having only one account for logging in.

You can also create a fully branded and customizable unsubscribe page with preferences and your logo. You can also add a custom tracking domain to use for serving of the unsubscribe page and link tracking in your emails. Some platforms refer to this as white labeling, since the email recipient can’t easily identify the platform used to send the email. 

Unsubscribe page


Drag-and-drop template editor, template library, and image hosting

BigMailer’s template library helps you kickstart the email design process with over 80 evergreen and seasonal templates. You can customize and adapt them to your needs with the super responsive drag-and-drop editor, or build your own custom templates by dragging row containers and modules. You can also just add your existing HTML template into the Classic editor. 

You can also save your templates in your personal library and share them with your other brands or projects. This unique feature can save you a lot of time on template creation if you manage multiple sites. 


Where BigMailer Falls Short

BigMailer requires verifying a sender domain before you can send your first campaign, which requires adding DNS records. But, as all experienced marketers know, this setup is ideal for email deliverability and inboxing anyway.

Requirements like these mean users need some technical know-how or help from someone technical before they can fully utilize everything BigMailer has to offer. This is also why the learning curve, at least early on, may seem slightly steeper compared to other newsletter platforms.


BigMailer Pricing

BigMailer offers unlimited brand management, web forms, templates, and image hosting on all its plans. 

It also has a generous free plan on which you can upload up to 1000 contacts, and connect to Amazon SES for sending emails. BigMailer’s paid plans offer 2 options:

  1. Connect your own Amazon SES account – $10/month for every 10,000 contacts you upload.
  2. Send via BigMailer (no SES) – $20/month for every 10,000 contacts with x10/month sending credits included.

BigMailer’s pricing is the most cost-effective and flexible in the entire industry (see the blue line in the graph below – it’s right at the bottom ????).



Use BigMailer If:

  • You are a creator or marketer who manages multiple websites or blogs.
  • You want affordable prices without sacrificing features.
  • You want the ability to optimize your email marketing with advanced segmentation and more insight into your engagement, sender reputation, and deliverability.

If BigMailer sounds like the right newsletter platform for you, sign up with this link. And if you’d like a personalized walkthrough, schedule a demo call here.

COMPARE: BigMailer vs ConvertKit | BigMailer vs MailerLite | BigMailer vs MailChimp

4. MailerLite — The Most Balanced Marketing Platform 



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Founded in 2005 as a web design firm, its founders quickly fell in love with email marketing and pivoted to launch MailerLite: a simple and powerful email marketing platform.

With a focus on simplicity and beauty, MailerLite’s intuitive drag-and-drop email editor gives you complete control over your newsletter design. It has great quality-of-life features for marketers:

  • Auto Resend to help you automatically resend important emails to the newsletter subscribers who didn’t open them the first time
  • Interactive email blocks that help you embed carousel image galleries, accordion blocks, event RSVPs, and more for high email engagement
  • Paid newsletter subscriptions to upsell those who are most likely to make a purchase

MailerLite is perfect for anyone who is looking for a good balance of features and price.


Where MailerLite Falls Short

With the free version, you’ll have to put in a lot of work designing your emails, since you get access to unlimited email templates only with the paid plans. The same goes for the custom HTML editor. Some users have also stated that navigating the design edit tools can be a bit challenging.


MailerLite Pricing

MailerLite is free for up to 1,000 newsletter subscribers with a 12,000 monthly email sending limit. 

If you’re looking for more than that, its “Growing Business” plan starts at $10/month and offers unlimited monthly sending, 3 users, unlimited websites & blogs, and more.

For list sizes above 50k subscribers, you have to go with the “Advanced” plan. At that point, the plan starts at $315/month and includes advanced features like the custom HTML editor, multiple trigger setup in automations, and the content preference center.

MailerLite is the most balanced newsletter provider for what it offers but your biggest consideration should be thinking about what you need, so you don’t end up paying for features you don’t want.



Use MailerLite If:

  • You need only basic email automation workflows.
  • You want to get your first 1000 subscribers without paying a cent.
  • You want to easily create beautiful newsletters that get delivered consistently.


5. ActiveCampaign — Best For Advanced Marketers



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In 2003, Jason VandeBoom founded ActiveCampaign with the mission to help businesses connect with their customers. Jason believes that companies could and should enhance their customers’ experiences by skillfully blending human interaction with automation.

ActiveCampaign has unlimited image uploads for all your email campaigns, enhanced revision history to store all your edits in case you need an older email, and multi-user editing so that your entire team can edit and manage newsletter campaigns remotely.

You can also track the website activity of your contacts and even keep a record of their activity on third-party platforms. This enables you to gain insights into how your contacts are interacting with your website elements, get buying intent signals, and create tailored newsletter campaigns so that you put the right emails in front of the right people. 

Since ActiveCampaign is more like a full-fledged marketing automation tool, it’s perfect for users looking for advanced features that equip them with functionalities beyond just newsletter management.


Where ActiveCampaign Falls Short

Some users have reported that ActiveCampaign offers poor and unreliable customer support: long response times and unhelpful machine-generated responses. Although it’s capable of significantly increasing your newsletter ROI, the complex workflows and conditions can make it inefficient in the hands of less tech-savvy marketers.


ActiveCampaign Pricing

ActiveCampaign’s Lite Plan (priced at $29/month, paid yearly) helps solopreneurs manage their newsletter with basic automation features, allowing them to automate some workflows with webhooks, collect user preferences via inline forms, track website activity, and get 24/7 customer support. 

For $49/month, you can build lead generation landing pages, integrate e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, identify high-quality prospects via lead scoring, and more.

If you have a team of experienced marketers, you can optimize your marketing efforts with features like split automation and predictive sending, and integrate CRMs like Salesforce and business suites like Microsoft Dynamics 365. But these advanced features come at a price of $149/month and you can add only 5 users per account.



Use ActiveCampaign If:

  • You’re a seasoned email marketer.
  • You want to use a single tool for your multi-channel marketing efforts.
  • You have grown to a business stage where you need a robust marketing automation tool.


6. Substack — Best For Thought Leaders



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Chris Best founded Substack in 2017 to enable thought leaders to publish directly to their audience and get paid via subscriptions. Its co-founders believe that independent thinkers of every background should be able to pursue their curiosity and generate income from their own audiences and on their own terms.

Substack offers a better business model for writing while providing its customers an all-in-one platform: blog + newsletter + payment system + reliable customer support + simple interface and no billing or tech headaches, helping them focus purely on creating the best-written content. It eliminates the majority of marketing work off your shoulders with the Substack network as, statistically, this community alone drives 40% of all new free subscriptions and ~12% of paid subscriptions. You can choose to charge for your writing anytime with its native support for paid newsletters

Substack is a great option for anyone who wants to start sharing their expertise for free — no technical knowledge needed.


Where Substack Falls Short

Its templated newsletter format offers limited design customization. It’s hard to stand out when almost every Substack newsletter looks the same.


Substack Pricing

Substack is free regardless of the size of your email list. It charges a flat 10% of your revenue, and it lets you set your own payment plan — monthly or annual.


Use Substack If:

  • You want to easily monetize your newsletter to convert your passion into a business.
  • You want to use an all-in-one newsletter platform without any technical know-how.
  • You’re okay paying a revenue cut instead of a fixed monthly cost.


7. Beehiiv — Best For Growth-Oriented Lean Content Creators



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Beehiiv was launched just 2 years ago by ex-Morning Brew employees. It aims to be the most creator-friendly newsletter platform while charging low, predictable prices and allowing growth-oriented content creators to scale quickly.

The tool eliminates the need of paying for a dozen different tools to build a community of loyal subscribers.  It offers an all-in-one newsletter solution with features like:

  • SEO-optimized website with features like user authentication, reCAPTCHA, attribution data collection, and more, to go along with your uniquely beautiful newsletter.
  • No-code referral program that’s fully integrated in your plan: add it to your newsletter in minutes and let it grow automatically on its own.
  • Ad network comprising premium advertisers—from Fortune 500 companies to the hottest new startups—to make your newsletter monetization quality-oriented.

Beehiiv could be the go-to newsletter platform for anyone looking for an expansive feature suite to create, monetize, and scale with ease. 


Where Beehiiv Falls Short

Although Beehiiv allows customizing your newsletter aesthetic, users looking for advanced design might find it limiting. Also, since Beehiiv is a young company, its native integrations are still lacking (but you can get around that with Zapier).

Another area where Beehiiv shows its youth is in the customer support and helpdesk department. You can reach out to them only via support tickets — a slow and outdated system compared to what other tools on this list offer.


Beehiiv Pricing

Beehiiv’s free plan quickly becomes limiting if you want to run newsletter campaigns at scale. It doesn’t include features like list segmentation, automations, forms, A/B testing, support for RSS-to-email campaigns, or HTML templates.

Above 2500 email subscribers you’ll have to upgrade to the Grow plan ($49/month) and to the Scale plan above 10,000 ($99/month). Other than those subscriber limits, neither plan’s pricing changes based on how many subscribers you have. For example, that means you’ll pay the same if you’re managing 3,000 or 23,000 subscribers — great on the higher end but annoying on the lower end.



Use Beehiiv If:

  • You are serious about building and growing a lean newsletter business.
  • You don’t want to lose out on a major chunk of your revenue by paying huge platform fees.


8. Ghost — A Modern & User-Friendly WordPress Alternative



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Ghost was launched in 2013 as an open-source publishing software to help creators and publishers turn their audience into a solid business. Being a non-profit organization, the company quickly needed more funds to hire the best talent and continue serving its customers.

And so the Ghost (Pro) was born — a paid and officially hosted all-in-one version of its free app.

Since the founder behind the platform is on a mission to empower thinkers to build a tightly-knit community, its publishing workflow makes it incredibly easy to publish and schedule content (such as blog posts), send interesting newsletters, or adopt a mixture of both. You can create multiple different newsletters for a single website, and allow your subscribers to pick one based on their preferences. Ghost also helps you increase the number of paid members via public preview dividers that give your unpaid members a peek into gated content.

Ghost is more of a content management system like WordPress than a pure newsletter-focused platform. So, it is ideal for anyone looking to launch a blog and newsletter using a single tool. 


Where Ghost Falls Short

Ghost’s pricing increases significantly as you scale your newsletter, which can discourage many users to continue using the platform. In case you want to scale your SEO efforts, Ghost makes sense only if you’re an SEO expert as it doesn’t give easy-to-follow recommendations like the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin does.


Ghost Pricing

Ghost charges 0% transaction fees on all its plans, so you get to keep all the revenue minus the Stripe charges.

Its most affordable plan ($15/month) is available if you have less than 3,000 subscribers, and you can build one newsletter using free, official Ghost themes. For professional publishers, advanced features like unlimited custom themes and integrations can be unlocked at a starting price of $25/month billed yearly for less than 3,000 subscribers. 

There are two more available plans whose cost you can justify only if you want to collaborate with more team members.



Use Ghost If:

  • You want to build a creative business via a modern and easy-to-use WordPress alternative.
  • You want to publish content on a speedy website with little to no optimization.
  • You want to launch and scale an independent online publication.



List of Tools I Didn’t Include (and Why)

Besides the featured tools, I analyzed 20 newsletter platforms altogether. Here are the 10 that didn’t make the cut and why I didn’t decide to include them.


Campaign Monitor Too expensive for just sending newsletters – cost x5-10 more than our recommendations.
Revue Shutdown by Twitter on Jan 18 ‘23.
Emma Rated average at best on software review websites like TrustRadius and Capterra. Users report awful customer support for a tool whose cheapest plan begins at $99/month.
AWeber Outdated email design and limited email marketing automation.
Omnisend Popular platform for multi-channel, but lacks features important for newsletter growth.
Benchmark Lots of users report bad customer support. Free plan limited to 250 emails per month.
Email Octopus  Outdated UI of the editor, which has also been reported to be quite buggy. Also, you can only schedule your emails and not segment or automate based on customer interaction.
ConstantContact Best for e-commerce brands, or very infrequent newsletter campaigns.
Sendgrid It is better for sending high-volume transactional emails as it misses out on key newsletter email marketing features.
Sendinblue A cheaper Mailchimp alternative; riddled with technical issues.
SendFox A barebones service with very limited functionality and a hard limit of 25,000 contacts.
Mailmodo A low value high price solution compared to those on our recommended list, with some scheduling and template building limitations.


Final Verdict

Since almost every tool either offers a free trial or a free plan to help you grow to at least 500 subscribers, I suggest you try a few before making the final decision.

Having said that, your specific use case, monetization plan(s), and expected growth rate will help you zero in on the best email newsletter platform for you. But based on my research, I recommend these three newsletter platforms for 2024:


1. Substack

Substack is a straightforward newsletter platform with one objective — helping you make money from your writing.

It’s a great option for independent thinkers, journalists, and thought leaders who want their voices heard without dealing with the technical aspects of building a newsletter.

The tool charges a flat 10% of your revenue and requires no monthly investment.

Click here to start with Substack.

2. BigMailer

BigMailer is built for high-volume senders and newsletters. Its automations, advanced segmentation, detailed reporting, and RSS-to-email support make it perfect for large-scale email campaigns. Plus, its features like geo-tracking help you achieve high engagement rates.

Pricing-wise, it’s also the most affordable email platform on the market for large lists.

Click here to sign up for BigMailer.


2. MailerLite

MailerLite is more of a marketing platform than an email newsletter tool.

It’s perfect for growth-stage startups looking to scale with robust marketing features — like a website, blog, email marketing, lead collection, and even e-commerce capabilities.

Click here to sign up for MailerLite.




Miha CacicWritten by Mihael Cacic

Mihael Cacic is an independent writer and an expert in comparative content. After graduating from Physics, Mihael left his job as a software engineer developing SaaS products and began writing about them instead. He gets a kick from writing in-depth and objective software reviews, knowing his readers will find the best software for their needs.