The two most important platforms for email newsletter platforms are SubStack and Revue. In this blog post we dissect the two platforms across 17 categories and over 50 different features to give you a comprehensive comparison.
The purpose of this post is to provide you with information to base your decision on which platform to use. We don’t want to tell you one is better than the other. They are different platforms and suit different needs based on your own situation and requirements.
The information obtained for this blog post is from managing newsletters on each platform. We will update this post every 3 months to accurately reflect the progress and new feature capabilities of these platforms.
The best way to use this comparison is to quickly skim the features, highlight the support offered by each platform and then put a check against each feature that is important to you.
Then go to the end of the table and review the key questions that can help you decide on the right platform for your needs.
Pricing and Cost
For free newsletters, SubStack is free, but Revue charges a fee even if your newsletter is free for over 50 subscribers. For paid newsletters, SubStack charges you 10% of your Price and Revue charges you 6%.
For paid newsletters, SubStack charges you 10% of your Price and Revue charges you 6%.
|Paid Newsletter||6% of your price + per subscriber fee||10% of your price|
If your personal branded website is important to you, Revue wins. With SubStack you must host and manage your newsletter on the SubStack domain. Both platforms require you to put their logo in the footer of your email. Revue supports the ability for you to embed the subscribe button easily on Twitter and other sites.
|Support for your own custom domain||Yes||No|
|Removing logo of the provider in your content / email footer||No||No|
|About the author page, bio, and photo (Profile page)||Yes||Yes|
|Embed subscribe form on other locations||Yes||*|
|Change the color / brand of the “subscribe button”||Yes||No|
|Allow Twitter and Facebook users to sign up to newsletter in your post||Yes||No|
Analytics and Reports
|Both platforms have decent analytics but limited capability to export data for offline analysis. Neither allows you to export data for offline analysis in Excel. Revue has better engagement metrics.|
|Key metrics dashboard |
1. Subscriber Count &
3. Open Rate
4. Click Through Rate
5. Engaged Audiences
|Audience engagement metrics||Yes||*|
|Recommendations on problem diagnosis||No||No|
|Integrate 3rd party tracking pixels for analytics (Facebook, Google, etc.)||Yes||Yes|
Writing and Editing
|Both platforms are simple to use and easy to manage. Image are supported in both, but videos, tweets and Instagram photos are better on Revue.|
|Ease of use||Yes||Yes|
|Support for rich media types||Yes||*|
|Support Instagram images in posts||Yes||No|
|Support for content formatting via Markdown||Yes||No|
|Thumbnail images for curated, embedded links||Yes||*|
|Embed Tweets withing newsletter||Yes||No|
|Video embeds within newsletters||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple author newsletters as a Publisher (not just for individual authors)||Yes||Yes|
|Support for subheadings in email newsletters||Yes||Yes|
Integration with other tools
|SubStack little integration capabilities or APIs, whereas Revue is more “open”. If you care about publishing from your blog to the newsletter, Revue is better. If you want to curate links to send, Revue has options, SubStack – not so much.|
|Integrate seamlessly with Medium / WordPress and other blog platforms||Yes||No|
|Integrate with your own hosted blog||Yes||No|
|Integration with Zapier||Yes||No|
|Integration with GetPocket, Instapaper and other bookmarking tools||Yes||No|
|SubStack has better monetization options than Revue and support for discount codes, gift subscriptions and multiple subscription options.|
|Monthly payment plan||Yes||Yes|
|Annual payment plan||Yes||Yes|
|3rd (Forever) plan||No||Yes|
|Support for Sponsors||No||No|
|Support for in newsletter advertising||*||*|
|Setup special offers||No||Yes|
|Community features are important to keep your audience engaged. Overall SubStack has better community features than Revue. Revue however has feedback option for each newsletter update, which SubStack does not.|
|Reader comments & discussion threads||*||Yes|
|Feedback on each newsletter update||Yes||No|
|Although both platforms are relatively stable, users have reported fewer bugs with SubStack. Revue has strong 3rd party integrations which make them a technical person’s favorite. SubStack does not provide an API.|
|API for 3rd party integration||Yes||No|
|Scalable to thousands and millions of subscribers||Yes||Yes|
|Available and does not go down often||Yes||Yes|
|Support for 3rd party designated administrators||Yes||No|
|If you want to manage subscribers, export your list, and clean up your subscriber base, then both platforms support them equally well. Neither does a good job of segmenting your audience for A/B testing.|
|Exporting your subscriber email addresses||Yes||Yes|
|Import your subscribers via Excel, CSV, or other email tools such as MailChimp||Yes||Yes|
|Remove and clean subscribers who have not opened email for a long time||Yes||No|
|Helping you get questions answered when subscribers have question or if you have a question is important. Since SubStack is better capitalized, their support has been mentioned as better.|
Multiple Content Types
|As writers move from written email newsletters alone to podcasts, courses, and other forms of digital content, it is important to have support for those media types as well. If you want to integrate with a 3rd party course platform such as Podia, Revue is better.|
|Other digital media||*||*|
|Both platforms only support Stripe for payment management. If Stripe does not support your region or country, you are out of luck. You can do your own integration via API with Revue, but it is challenging.|
|Stripe payment platform integration||Yes||Yes|
Discovery and Promotion
|While both platforms do not have great discovery capabilities to support authors by helping them find new subscribers, Revue does a slightly better job.|
|Easy ways for subscribers to find your blog||*||No|
|If your newsletter has curated links that you share frequently then Revue has a few options to support link collection and collation, but SubStack does not.|
|Plugin to bookmark your favorite links to share||Yes||No|
|Share or save content on your Mobile phone to share with newsletter subscribers||Yes||No|
|Both platforms do a good job managing your archives and older email newsletter updates.|
|Old newsletters published and hosted for review||Yes||Yes|
|Manage and export archives to other blog platforms||Yes||*|
|Both platforms do a good job of the basics – help you onboard new subscribers, ensure double opt-in to prevent SPAM and comply with CAN-SPAM act.|
|Welcome email to subscribers to confirm subscription||Yes||Yes|
|Double Opt-in for subscribers||Yes||Yes|
|SubStack is better funded, better resourced and has multiple programs to set the stage for their success. While Revue is smaller and nimbler, they are more open and focused more on publishers and media organizations right now then individual creators alone.|
|Funding||$400K in 2017||Over $15 Million raised|
|# employees||< 10||< 25|
|# of writers / authors as customers||20,000 – 30,000||Over 30,000|
|Revenue estimates||< $1M||$1M – $2M|
Important questions to consider
- Are you going to have only a free newsletter?
SubStack charges you no money for free newsletters regardless of the number of subscribers. Revue charges you if you have more than 50 subscribers – paid or free.
If you expect to have paid subscribers, then SubStack charges you 10% of your price and Revue charges you 6% of your price in addition to their base platform fee.
- Do you care about your personal branding and owning your domain?
Revue supports your own domain and branding, while SubStack does not currently.
- Do you already publish to your blog (Medium, WordPress, etc.) and want to ensure integration between the email platform and your blog?
Revue has multiple integration capabilities, while SubStack is standalone as a platform.
- Are you technical enough to want an API that can integrate with other systems such as Zapier?
SubStack does not have an API, while Revue does.
- Do you intend to have podcasts, videos, and other content that you want to monetize?
SubStack supports podcasts and other content formats. Revue has limited support for other content formats.