The most comprehensive bake-off SubStack vs Revue


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.

SubStack Vs Revue
SubStack Vs Revue

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%.

Free newsletterPricedFree
Paid Newsletter6% of your price + per subscriber fee10% of your price
Private NewsletterYesYes
Pricing and Costing


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 domainYesNo
Removing logo of the provider in your content / email footerNoNo
About the author page, bio, and photo (Profile page)YesYes
Embed subscribe form on other locationsYes*
Change the color / brand of the “subscribe button”YesNo
Allow Twitter and Facebook users to sign up to newsletter in your postYesNo
*= limited

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 &
2. Growth
3. Open Rate
4. Click Through Rate
5. Engaged Audiences
Custom reportsNoNo
Audience engagement metricsYes*
Recommendations on problem diagnosisNoNo
Integrate 3rd party tracking pixels for analytics (Facebook, Google, etc.)YesYes
* = limited

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 useYesYes
Scheduled PostsYesYes
Support for rich media typesYes*
Support Instagram images in postsYesNo
Support for content formatting via MarkdownYesNo
Thumbnail images for curated, embedded linksYes*
Embed Tweets withing newsletterYesNo
Video embeds within newslettersYesYes
Multiple author newsletters as a Publisher (not just for individual authors)YesYes
Support for subheadings in email newslettersYesYes
* = Limited

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 platformsYesNo
Integrate with your own hosted blogYesNo
Integration with ZapierYesNo
Integration with GetPocket, Instapaper and other bookmarking toolsYesNo


SubStack has better monetization options than Revue and support for discount codes, gift subscriptions and multiple subscription options.
Monthly payment planYesYes
Annual payment planYesYes
3rd (Forever) planNoYes
Support for SponsorsNoNo
Support for in newsletter advertising**
Group subscriptionsYes*
Gift subscriptionsNoYes
Complimentary subscriptionsNo*
Setup special offersNoYes
* = Limited

Community Capabilities

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 feedback*Yes
Reader comments & discussion threads*Yes
Feedback on each newsletter updateYesNo
* = Limited

Technical Capabilities

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 integrationYesNo
Scalable to thousands and millions of subscribersYesYes
Available and does not go down oftenYesYes
Support for 3rd party designated administratorsYesNo
Technical Capabilities

Subscriber Management

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 addressesYesYes
Import your subscribers via Excel, CSV, or other email tools such as MailChimpYesYes
Subscriber segmentationNoNo
Remove and clean subscribers who have not opened email for a long timeYesNo
Subscriber Management

Customer Service

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.
Phone supportNoNo
Email support*Yes
* = Limited

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**
* = Limited


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 integrationYesYes
PayPal integration*No
* = Limited

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
* = Limited

Content Curation

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 shareYesNo
Share or save content on your Mobile phone to share with newsletter subscribersYesNo
Content Curation

Newsletter Archives

Both platforms do a good job managing your archives and older email newsletter updates.
Old newsletters published and hosted for reviewYesYes
Manage and export archives to other blog platformsYes*
* = Limited

Email delivery

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 subscriptionYesYes
Double Opt-in for subscribersYesYes
Email Delivery

Company Profiles

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 2017Over $15 Million raised
LocationNetherlandsSan Francisco
# employees< 10< 25
# of writers / authors as customers20,000 – 30,000Over 30,000
Revenue estimates< $1M$1M – $2M
Company Profiles

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.


Competitive Landscape for Newsletter as a Service (NaaS) – SubStack Competitors and Alternatives

SubStack makes it simple for a writer to start an email newsletter that makes money from subscriptions. They provide a platform to publish, distribute and monetize independent writing by paid subscriptions from readers. This is different from most media businesses which make more money from advertisers than subscriptions.

SubStack Competitors
SubStack Competitors

If you look at the competitive landscape for SubStack, there are over 24 companies you could potentially see as options, SubStack alternatives or SubStack competitors.

In fact, if you look at the SubStack pitch deck, you will find them talk about subscription-based competitors such as Medium, Button Down, Revue and Pateron, vs Head content (Social Networks).

SubStack Pitch Deck – Competitive Landscape

However, the competitive landscape is a lot more fluid and complex.

Depending on the creator’s goal – making money from their writing using newsletters, or “building a brand”, or “positioning themselves as a thought leader”, or “getting an audience for their content” – the competitive landscape narrows dramatically.

For the purposes of our discussion I am going segment creators into 3 types:

1. “I dabble in content” users – who are social seeking, want to build their brand and don’t have a large following or traffic. These users are looking for an audience for their content. They will start with Medium, WordPress, or any other free platform to being their journey.

2. “Content is my side gig” users – who want to showcase their talent, and make money from their content, but dont have a large audience yet, but are making progress towards building a fan base of subscribers who might pay for their content. A subset of these users are technically inclined and tend to invest in a blog platform such as Ghost, setup payment options with Pateron and send emails via Sendy.

3. “Content is my business” users – deep experts, reporters, journalists, authors, and writers, who have a brand affiliation (former reporters, journalists, etc.) or have a strong social media presence and want to monetize their content with a steady income stream using subscribers instead of advertising.

These users want a single platform for publishing, payments, email newsletters, and community.

They are writers first and content is their domain. They are less interested in integrating multiple platforms together. A subset of these users are technically savvy as well and will end up with a “best of breed” solution with different products for each use case and integrate them together.

SubStack Competitive Landscape

In the competitive landscape graphic above, as the creator gets more serious, they go up the scale from publishing on content aggregation platforms, to managing their own paid newsletters.

If you need a platform as a “Content is my business” user, which does the following:

  1. Help you create and distribute content while you get paid for it,
  2. Have an audience that you can start with and grow,
  3. Help you engage with your community of readers and subscribers directly instead of going through a platform,
  4. Help you monetize your content with simple payment options, and
  5. Help you build your individual brand as a content creator

If you are looking for all those things, then the options for you are limited to: SubStack, Revue, Button Down, Convert Kit, Tiny Letter and Qazy.

Since the acquisition of Tiny Letter by MailChimp, the platform as languished.

Revue has mentioned that they focus more on media companies than individuals.

Qazy is a blogging first platform with email distribution, suitable for those who want to have users to come to their site.

That leaves Button Down and Convert Kit, which really are the two other companies closer to SubStack than any of the others.

Over the next few weeks, we will dig deeper to compare each of the top competitors of SubStack, but this post was to set the competitive landscape.

If you want a personalized assessment of your potential audience, feel free to reach out to us via email at admin @ and we will respond to create a market assessment plan – absolutely free with no further commitments!