which newsletter platform should I use?
May 11, 2024 11:23 AM   Subscribe

A previous ask on this was focused on ethical questions, mine are more basic. What are the options, and how do they stack up for my needs?

I'm interested in knowing what's easy to use, and what's best for discoverability for my target audience (other adult women and queers with autism)? I'm not concerned about this being a money making venture or a sales funnel, so features for monetizing are not important to me.

Thanks in advance for any guidance :)
posted by wellifyouinsist to Media & Arts (1 answer total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hi I've done some of this research! Let me see if I can round it up in a useful way:

- Mailchimp (which afaict just doesn't offer monetization at all): free up to 1000 emails/mo
- Buttondown: free to 100 subs w/o monetization, otherwise competitively priced
- Beehiiv: free to 2500 subs w/o monetization, but much more expensive monetized than any of the others.
- Ghost: Expensive, powerful in ways you might not need
- Wordpress, free w/o monetization and unlimited in volume. Also the cheapest per-month cost for monetized newsletters but they take a cut of your profits. The most complicated to set up, from what I've heard

Discoverability: As far as I know, the only service that offers any active discoverability is Substack, which I do not have numbers on because all my clients are trying to move away from it. The rest would require you to market your newsletter yourself.

There are other options but those are what I have on my list. I've used Mailchimp (which is... fine? and has been around since the early 2000s at least) and one of my clients just switched to Buttondown from Substack - customer service was great and the transition has been seamless afaict. I have another friend who already had a Wordpress blog and was able to transition their newsletter to it without more than a few hours of cursing in Slack.

I would not start a new newsletter for women and queers on Substack - the downside (that they actively promote far-right writers and TERFs) is likely to be a black mark against you from the jump, and unless you're coming to it with a big audience to start, I don't think they offer enough to offset it. They're cheaper than everything else, but... it's because they're subsidizing the small users with those problematic big users. Very much a you're-the-product problem. If you do already have a large audience, then it is more of a straight-up ethical question because they do have the best discoverability.

tl;dr: unmonetized, look into Beehiiv, monetized, probably Buttondown unless you have a buddy who will help you set up Wordpress.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:56 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]

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