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7 Best Newsletter Hosting Software Tools in 2023

If you can build an email list, you can build a business. So, if you want to ensure you have strong relationships with your audience, increase traffic and sales, or collect data to improve your promotional efforts, it’s vital to use an email marketing tool that can cover all the basis of email marketing strategy.

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This article will go through the best newsletter hosting software and our recommendations on each.

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If you’re looking to make the first step of starting an email-based business, this review should help you do exactly that. And if you’re starting an email list from scratch, we’ve got you covered.

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Best newsletter hosting - Confluence.VC

Best Newsletter Hosting Software

Recommended for Small Businesses:

beehiiv

Recommended for Independent Creators

Substack

Recommended for Creators Focused on Growth

beehiiv

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beehiiv

behiiv is an all-in-one email marketing service with a dozen different tools

beehiiv has completely changed the landscape for email marketing software, and it is our favorite email tool.

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Their all-in-one solution includes a dozen robust tools to send customized newsletters, monetize your audience, and gather vital data. The same drag and drop email builder makes it easy for anybody to design an aesthetic newsletter without the need to write complex HTML code. Plus, it includes a suite of growth tools like recommendation networks, referral programs, boosts, and magic links (which auto-subscribe users with just one click).

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On top of the design and growth tools mentioned above, beehiiv also offers automation tools with an open API plus the ability to build email marketing campaigns for new email subscribers too.

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The company has built the most user-friendly hosting platform, and they ship new product features every week. This platform is designed to help your business grow, so it’s no surprise it’s become the number-one pick for thousands of startups and companies, large and small.

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Core features

  • Advanced analytics dashboard
  • Automated user journeys for new subscribers
  • Content paywalls
  • Email validation and fraud protection
  • Form builders
  • Premium sponsors
  • Gmail clipping warnings
  • Open API access
  • Popups
  • Premium subscriptions
  • Subject line A/B testing
  • Subscriber polls

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Pros

  • Built by the Morning Brew team with deep newsletter software knowledge
  • Clean email editor with the ability to design best-in-class newsletters
  • Magic links to make it easier to convert subscribers
  • Built-in referral program to supercharge audience numbers

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Cons

  • Somewhat limited integration capabilities
  • Premium product that costs more than less sophisticated options

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Pricing

beehiiv offers three plans. Launch, ideal for those getting started, is free. Grow costs $42 a month and includes custom domains, custom HTML, and API access, and Scale costs $84 and adds 3D analytics, multiple publications, and priority support.

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Substack

Substack is an email makreting and newsletter network with a free plan

Substack is a subscription network specifically designed for independent creators and writers. This tool includes mailing lists, subscriber payments, and gives you complete editorial control without gatekeepers.ย 

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Basically, if you write content and you want to make sure you own it, then Substack is an excellent choice that does most of the heavy lifting for you. You can start with a free newsletter or use the platform for your premium content using subscription fees or other models. All payments are easily managed by Stripe.

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Key features

  • Simultaneous posting to web, email, and app
  • Subscription podcasts
  • Custom domain
  • Pairs with Stripe
  • Upload or record videos
  • Website feel for your own Substack
  • Distribute to everyone or only paid subscribers
  • Comments and community threads
  • Customer relationship management
  • No ads or algorithms
  • Free plan available

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Pros

  • The platform combines blogs, newsletters, and payments
  • You always own your intellectual property
  • You can get around 40% of new subscribers directly from the Substack network
  • Substack handles all admin, billing, and tech automatically

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Cons

  • You won’t be able to address readers personally or use conditional content
  • There are no automation features available

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Pricing

Substack is free to use. As a user, you can create newsletters and access multiple editions of various newsletters. As a creator, you won’t have to pay anything until you start making money – at which point Substack will take a 10% cut.

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Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a very popularmarketing tool used by businesses around the world

Mailchimp is considered by many the number one email marketing service. With numerous advanced features, HTML email templates, and email automation abilities, this tool promises to help you target better and convert more.

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Mailchimp promises it can help you get more opens, more clicks, and more sales. This is definitely possible if you take advantage of its powerful automation features and Customer Journey Builder tool.

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Overall, if you’re a small or medium business, Mailchimp can be a good option as it can turn out cheaper for low-volume clients. It also includes various features (like appointment scheduling and even a full ecommerce store builder) and more than 500 integrations.

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Key features

  • AI analytics and tools
  • Advanced automation
  • Customer journey builder
  • Customizable designs
  • Landing page builder
  • Built-in survey maker
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Segmentation support
  • Integrations and sync options
  • Data-driven suggestions
  • Prediction tools
  • 24/7 email and chat support

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Pros

  • Includes several automation and AI-driven features
  • You can target segments and predict email campaigns behaviors
  • Newsletters are easy to build using drag-and-drop tools

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Cons

  • The subscription plans are higher compared to other email marketing solutions in this list
  • You will be charged even for unsubscribed or inactive contacts

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Pricing

Mailchimp offers a free trial that gives you access to pre-built email templates but does not support scheduling. Paid plans start at $13 a month for up to 500 contacts, with the standard plan costing $20 a month (includes custom-coded templates) and $350 a month (premium support, multivariate spam testing tools, etc.)

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ConvertKit

Convertkit is a marketing hub for creators and authors

Convertkit is a creator email marketing platform specializing in growing and monetizing audiences. It offers a good range of automation features and supports both subscriptions and digital product sales.

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This platform is committed to helping creators like musicians, writers, and artists earn a living online, so it’s an excellent choice for independent makers. It includes a good range of features, such as landing pages, sign-up forms, and link pages, as well as a few sales funnels and product marketing tools.

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Key features

  • Custom landing pages
  • Visual automation builder
  • Sign up forms
  • Intuitive email editor
  • Subscriptions and digital products support
  • Personalized campaigns
  • Automatic resend
  • Solid deliverability
  • Funnel goals
  • HTML and CSS customization
  • Welcome email series
  • Reusable templates

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Pros

  • You can experiment and iterate to find the best and most engaging content formats
  • Includes excellent landing page and opt-in templates to help you convert
  • Supports resending for people who have interacted with emails or haven’t opened them yet
  • You can use the solution as a hub for all your channels and products

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Cons

  • The platform offers limited A/B testing, as you can only split-test two subject lines
  • There aren’t enough email template options to create a truly personalized newsletter experience, although you can use HTML and CSS

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Pricing

Convertkit offers a free plan for creators with less than 300 subscribers. There is also a Creator Plan for $9 a month (which includes free migrations, visual automation builders, and automated email sequences) and a Creator Pro Plan for $25 a month (which adds subscriber scoring and advanced reporting).

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MailerLite

MailerLite is a powerful yet easy-to-use email marketing tool with an award-winning suppor team

MailerLite is an email builder with a suite of digital marketing tools that can help you prepare and send email campaigns, target messages automatically, sell digital products, and build websites and signup forms. This solution also allows you to track the results of your campaigns to see what works best for your business.

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Two things that set this service apart from other tools are its simple UI and 24/7 attentive customer service. You can also manage your campaigns on the go using their iOS app, and integrate with numerous other solutions, such as Zapier, Stripe, WooCommerce, and Shopify.

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Key features

  • Email campaigns
  • Page and newsletter templates
  • Ebooks, downloads, and digital products
  • Drag and drop editor
  • Results monitoring
  • Website builder
  • Subscribe forms
  • Automations
  • Targeted emails
  • Integrations
  • Developer API

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Pros

  • Supports newsletters, landing pages, websites, forms, and pop-ups
  • Includes a good set of templates you can customize using the drag-and-drop editor
  • You can integrate with several other solutions, including Stripe, Zapier, Shopify, and WordPress
  • Their customer support has a whooping 97% satisfaction rate

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Cons

  • If you plan on using their API, you won’t find much in terms of documentation
  • Unsubscribes are based on group only, and users can’t customize how often they want to receive emails

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Pricing

MailerLite’s free plan supports 12,000 monthly emails for one user and includes 24/7 email and chat support for 30 days. Paid plans start at $9 a month (adds the ability to sell products, use unlimited custom templates, and support dynamic emails), with an Advanced $19 a month plan (which includes Facebook integration, custom HTML editor, promotion pop-ups, and more).

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ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an effective marketing platform with many useful features

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM solution built to accompany you through the different stages of the customer journey. This platform includes a good range of features to craft newsletters, promotions, and campaigns.

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For example, it includes tools to reach new audiences (such as website tracking, email segmentation, and sign-up forms), nurture your leads (with event tracking and dynamic content), convert customers (using landing pages, CRM, sales automation, and lead scoring), and grow your business (through split testing, predictive content, and web personalization).

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Key features

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Pros

  • Includes several helpful automation to set up emails, segment contacts, and create workflows
  • Has a built-in CRM to keep your customer data organized
  • Allows you to answer customer questions, recommend products, and offer sales
  • Supports landing pages to capture more leads

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Cons

  • Although the platform includes a built-in CRM, it doesn’t have all the features you would get in a stand-alone platform like Salesforce
  • The reports can be difficult to navigate and complex to understand

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Pricing

ActiveCampaign has no free or trial options. You can start with the Lite plan for $29 a month (includes email and marketing automation, 24/7 chat and email support, and inline forms), use the Plus plan for $49 a month (adds landing pages, lead scoring, conditional content, and more), or go for the Professional plan for $149 a month (which unlocks predictive sending, split automation, salesforce integrations, and many other advanced features).

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HubSpot

Hubspot Marketing Hub is a marketing engine with several tools to help you deal with email marketing, social media marketing, landing page creation, SEO, and more. Using this platform, you will also be able to connect all your experiences, teams, and data to drive revenue and optimize your campaigns.

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The goal of this marketing hub is to help you connect your different teams, data, and customers. This is why Hubspot also includes a CRM platform and various software integrations (for example, to their Sales Hub, Service Hub, and Operations Hub).

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Key features

  • Online form builder
  • Contact management
  • Live chat and chat automations
  • Campaign manager
  • Lead scoring
  • Bulk processing
  • Marketing analytics
  • Salesforce integration
  • Dashboards
  • Custom reports
  • 24/7 customer support

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Pros

  • You can use their online form builder to generate leads from your website
  • It includes a contact management tool to keep records of all your sales activities
  • You can automate cross-functional operations and do bulk processing
  • The dashboard gives you access to good marketing analytics and custom reports

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Cons

  • Unless you want basic features, HubSpot is the most expensive option on this list
  • There are some limitations to the kind of email templates you can create

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Pricing

HubSpot Marketing Hub has a free plan and premium plans that grow as your audience does. The Starter plan, for example, costs $20 a month (paid monthly) and includes 1,000 marketing contacts. The Professional plan, used for up to 2,000 contacts, jumps to $800 a month but also includes teams, custom reporting, omnichannel marketing automation, and social media support. And the Enterprise plan, which costs $3,600 a month, adds custom behavioral events, custom objects, partitioning, hierarchical teams, and multi-touch revenue attribution.

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Final Recommendation

If we had to pick one email marketing and newsletter software option from this list, we’d go with beehiiv.

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The reason?

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This tool offers an expansive feature suite designed to help you create, scale, and monetize your content. Their free plan includes custom newsletters, a great CMS, and audience segmentation, and their paid plans still offer a good balance of functionality and price.

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There are a few things that set beehiiv apart from the other newsletter software solutions mentioned in this article. For one, this tool gives you the ability to add your own basic elements like headers, lists, images, links, and buttons to your email. If you’re on a paid plan, you can even add HTML snippets and referral programs! Beehiiv also gives you excellent granular control over your templates, allowing you to customize elements like the background, text, header, and footer. Lastly, beehiiv offers an SEO-optimized website where you can host your newsletters (on a free plan, you get a subdomain, and on a paid one, you can use your own).

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Beehiiv has everything you need to grow, and you can test it for free before committing to a paid plan.

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