14 min read

Beehiiv vs MailerLite: a guide to pick the perfect newsletter tool

MailerLite logo and beehiiv logo featured image.

It’s time for the head-to-head of beehiiv vs MailerLite, to know which tool is the best for your newsletter.

MailerLite and beehiiv are great Substack alternatives, especially because they have better tools for beginners and professional creators.

And beehiiv and MailerLite also have very reasonable prices, so let’s see how good they are.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links are affiliates. This means that if you buy after clicking on one of those, I get a commission at no additional cost for you.

beehiiv vs MailerLite: comparison summary

Best for Pros
  • Content creation: 7.4
  • Customization: 6.9
  • Growth tools & SEO: 8.4
  • Management: 10
  • Monetization: 6.9
  • Overall score: 8.4
Best for Beginners
  • Content creation: 8.1
  • Customization: 8.1
  • Growth tools & SEO: 7.2
  • Management: 7.4
  • Monetization: 6.2
  • Overall score: 7.4

beehiiv and MailerLite are 2 platforms with different pasts that are developing in the same direction.

First, beehiiv started as a hybrid platform that combines the ability to send newsletters and blog on the same platform.

While MailerLite started as an Email Service Provider (ESP) to send newsletters and, as of late, has been adding blogging capabilities.

The main similarity between MailerLite and beehiiv is that both tools are super easy to use, have good customization, and put a lot of effort into allowing creators to make money with their content and knowledge.

I would say that beehiiv is super if you want to create the newsletter and blog in the same place. While MailerLite is a fantastic choice if you already have a website and are only looking for a newsletter tool.

These ratings are based on a formula that considers feature existence (options), how they work (ease of use), and their importance (weight). The formula is based on what I consider more important in a way that's easy to understand strengths and weaknesses.

beehiiv summary

Beehiiv is a hybrid platform that combines newsletters with blogging. This means you can use it to publish different content in the same place.

Beehiiv is a hosted no-code solution for creators that want to focus on writing without having to deal with technical configuration.

They launched in July 2021 with a team of former Morning Brew employees, and their development has impressed me a lot in their short existence.

Beehiiv's strong points:

  • Nothing to install;
  • You can do everything without code;
  • 0% memberships fees;
  • Free plan up to 2,500 subscribers;
  • Works as blog + newsletter;
  • Lots of email analytics available;
  • Amazing newsletter design customization;
  • Allows multiple newsletters in the same account;
  • Referral program for newsletters;
  • Integrations with other tools;
  • Offers and trials for membership.

Beehiiv's limitations:

  • Limited website customization options;
  • Custom domain only on paid plans;
  • No code injection (CSS and JavaScript) to the site.

MailerLite summary

MailerLite (ML) is a newsletter platform that has undergone several changes since its inception in 2005.

It started as an email marketing tool and is introducing blogging, making it easier for creators to unite their content from the blog and newsletter into a single platform.

I was positively surprised at how MailerLite performed when I tested it out, given its sometimes bad reputation for email deliverability.

MailerLite’s strong points:

  • Free plan with access to most tools;
  • Serves as a newsletter + website without code required;
  • Good newsletter templates and customization options (with and without code);
  • 0% memberships fees;
  • Email automation;
  • Good email analytics;
  • Integrations with other tools;
  • 3 different text editors to create the newsletter (more flexibility).
  • Multiple newsletters in the same account.

MailerLite’s limitations:

  • Blogging capabilities need improvement;
  • Incomplete SEO features;
  • Requires physical address to enable sending.

Other comparisons you might be interested

Substack vs beehiiv - the modern platforms for newsletters
Combining newsletters with blogs is becoming popular. But are they any good?
Ghost vs Substack - making money with memberships
A comparison between two content heavyweights. Substack made newsletters cool again. Ghost is powering independent creators to earn more.

Detailed comparison: beehiiv vs MailerLite

Now you will find a detailed comparison of MailerLite and beehiiv across 6 categories I consider essential for a creator.

This way, you can make a well-informed decision after knowing their strong and weak spots.

Starting and managing an account

Here I'm looking at how easy it is to start and create posts on each platform.

How easy is it to start using beehiiv?

Beehiiv is super easy to start an account.

It takes 2 minutes.

Enter your publication name, sender name, tags, and desired subdomain URL.

Simple as that.

The dashboard is simple. It's easy to find drafts and published posts or start creating new ones.

Like Ghost CMS, beehiiv has 3 options for publishing: (1) publish on the site, (2) send by email and publish on the site, (3) or just send by email.

This flexibility is good for keeping your newsletter intimate or posting it on the internet to get more attention.

Beehiiv is a hybrid platform (newsletter + blog) for non-technical users. Making everything as easy as possible.

Importing content step when starting beehiiv account.

How easy is it to start using MailerLite?

With MailerLite, just like beehiiv and Substack, you don’t need IT-level technical skills to open an account.

All you need is your name, email address, and password.

But you can only start emailing after submitting a physical address and getting approval.

Its clean and organized dashboard makes subscriber management and automation setup easy to navigate.

However, I must mention that I’m not happy with ML burying the blogging page in the dashboard, making writing a blog post challenging.

So, if they could include a shortcut in the dashboard, it would be much appreciated.

MailerLite also includes access and permissions for team members. This gives control and increases security by preventing unauthorized changes or email activity.

MailerLite dashboard showing the essential data for the account.
MailerLite dashboard showing the essential data for the account.

Winner for category starting and managing an account

Beehiiv wins in this category.

I say they’re flawless. Creating an account and managing content impressed me.

I was able to use the whole platform immediately, with no extra drama.

While on MailerLite, I have to overcome using a physical address, which slows down the setup process. Overall, MailerLite is okay, but beehiiv is great in this category.

Creating and writing

Now, I'll explore the process of creating content with each tool.

Editor features and writing experience on beehiiv

Beehiiv's editor layout is modern and works well.

The editor is clean, and you can focus on writing without problems.

Clicking on the plus icon from within the editor gives you access to things like:

  • Text formatting;
  • Polls;
  • Recommend other newsletters;
  • Put a paywall in the post;
  • Embed images;
  • Create a button.

On the right sidebar, you can find all the other customization options for the post, including SEO settings, post-delivery type, and preview.

However, I have some criticism about the editor.

My biggest complaint comes from the half-baked "HTML snippet" on the editor.

Embedding code opens the door to several options, but on beehiiv, you can't embed scripts or CSS, only HTML.

This is annoying and limiting to advanced users because they can't use JavaScript, which is one of the biggest advantages of this feature.

beehiiv's text editor to write posts and newsletters.

Editor features and writing experience on MailerLite

MailerLite gives a lot of versatility to its creators, offering three different editors to work with:

  • Drag & Drop Editor - this is similar to most Drag & Drop editors from major platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix, which are user-friendly and easy to use.
  • Rich-text Editor - creates a newsletter with only text, allowing you to focus on just writing.
  • Custom HTML Editor - create a newsletter from scratch exactly as you want it using code.

Although I love the Rich-text Editor, I tend to use the Drag & Drop Editor more, as it gives me the flexibility to format the newsletter to my liking in just a few clicks.

Overall, I love the flexibility that the editors provide.

But the writing experience in MailerLite is inefficient as shortcuts to select all the text (CMD +A) and the undo/ redo buttons do not work as one expects.

I must admit that my patience has been tested multiple times while writing in MailerLite for the 1st time.

It’s especially frustrating to re-type the lines that could have been quickly resolved by the undo button or directly done using shortcuts.

Winner for category creating and writing

MailerLite prevails a winner by a narrow margin in this category.

Sure, the writing shortcut issue is a hassle, but it’s workable.

But beehiiv’s is far from perfect as well.

The biggest offense is the lack of support for JavaScript in the Editor. This is a big turn-off for advanced users and something I really care about. Because of this, I can’t embed content from some tools I like.

On top of that, I noticed that the labels could also improve. For example, beehiiv don’t have a ‘publish’ button, only a ‘schedule’ (this is a small thing, but it shows their imperfections as well)


Next comes customization and design.

Customization on beehiiv

Beehiiv is polarizing when it comes to customization.

On the newsletter side, they have more customization options than top-notch email service providers.

Beehiiv is one most customizable platform for newsletters I know without writing code.

You can customize everything about the aspect of your newsletter in minutes. That's fascinating!

The problems happen when we talk about customizing the website aspect.

You can only pick from their default layouts. This means you can't buy themes or build one from scratch.

At this point, there are only 2 options, and I don't like how they look.

You can change the fonts, select colors for the buttons, and decide between light or dark modes. And that's it.

Your site will look like a cookie-cutter template similar to Substack.

Page with settings to customize newsletter on beehiiv.

Customization on MailerLite

MailerLite offers amazing customization options.

You can basically do anything you want with your newsletters.

And MailerLite’s template gallery has many templates to choose from.

It’s hard not to like at least one design!

Because ML already has several good templates, I picked the one I liked the most and customized it to my style, saving me a lot of time instead of creating everything from scratch.

This is super easy to do with the Drag & Drop Editor and allows everyone to express their creativity without effort.

I can also save the templates for future use, saving me time and effort. I love this part!

Winner for category customization

MailerLite is the obvious winner when it comes to customization.

Beehiiv may be very good at customizing newsletters, but it still needs to expand its layout options for websites to compete with MailerLite.

While on MailerLite, the customization options are limitless, allowing creators to experiment and design their newsletters and websites exactly as they want.

In my books, MailerLite gets a perfect score in this category.


Now comes the cost of each tool.

How much does beehiiv cost?

Beehiiv prices are reasonable with a generous free plan. And they don't take a percentage of your revenue!

Most free plans are capped at 1,000 subscribers, but beehiiv allows up to 2,500 subs in the free plan.

But to enable custom domains and paid memberships, you'll have to upgrade to one of their paid plans.

I'm not a fan of the custom domain being associated with a paid plan because small newsletters won't be able to afford it.

This is a case of winning on one side with a generous free plan and losing on the SEO side unless you upgrade.

Beehiiv's "Grow" plan starts at $42/month and gives team members and the API access.

The "Scale" plan ($84/month) unlocks multiple newsletters and the referral program.

For anyone that makes significant money with their newsletter, beehiiv is a good deal. Plain and simple.

They have great tools and don't take a revenue cut.

This alone makes it cheaper than a platform like Substack when you earn more than $5,000 per year.

On top of that, beehiiv has many features that, if you use other platforms, you would probably spend a lot more.

I'm talking about paying separately for a blog, newsletter, and referral program.

How much does MailerLite cost?

Like other emailing tools, MailerLite also has different plans to choose from.

In MailerLiteML, you can start off with its free plan, which is great: it doesn't have many limitations and allows up to 1K subscribers.

This is a good deal for beginners because they can start a newsletter using a great tool like MailerLite without spending a fortune (because it’s free).

And the 1st paid plan starts at only $9 per month. This will give additional features like the auto resend campaign and the option to sell digital products.

The Advanced Plan unlocks the custom HTML editor and a 15% discount on Google Workspace.

The pricing is pretty upfront and easy to understand: the more subscribers you have, the more you have to pay.

MailerLite is the cheaper I know of for the newsletter tools with tiered pricing based on subscribers.

Winner for category pricing

The winner of the pricing category depends.

On one side, beehiiv is a steal at only $42 per month for creators with a large following of more than 20K. But beginners will not be able to afford this price at the start (unless they stick to beehiiv’s free plan, which doesn’t have most of the good features).

On the other hand, MailerLite is beginner-friendly, with paid plans starting at only $9 per month. However, the cost escalates as the number of subscribers increases and can become relatively expensive.

Therefore, it all comes down to where you stand:

  • If you are just starting out MailerLite will be cheaper;
  • But if you have a large following, nothing beats beehiiv fixed prices.


Now, I'll analyze the options to make money with each platform.

Monetization options on beehiiv

It's possible to monetize on beehiiv with paid memberships and ads from their native ad network.

Memberships are probably the bread and butter of many creators.

It's a dead simple process: connect a Stripe account, select the price, and subscribers pay to access the content.

settings on beehiiv to connect to Stripe and start charging for memberships.

Beehiiv also has membership tiers. Making it possible to offer different perks to readers.

I like these tiers because more engaged readers can contribute more.

Their ad network makes it easy for creators to work with advertisers and get paid directly on the platform.

This is great because it removes the need to go and find a sponsor in other places, which is time-consuming and tiring for the creator.

But if you prefer to work with sponsors outside of the ad network, you can embed the sponsored content into the post.

However, I advise you to use a sponsored tag to avoid problems with Google.

Monetization options on MailerLite

MailkerLite has many monetization options for creators.

I would say that ML is similar to ConvertKit by allowing you to sell any kind of digital product (paid newsletters, e-books, courses, etc.). And you can sell those as a subscription or a 1-time purchase.

The most commonly used method of selling digital products is a paid newsletter, where subscribers have to pay to receive the content, similar to how it works on Substack.

However, what is noticeably missing in MailerLite, is an advertisement network.

You can still put ads in your newsletter, but you will have to be the one chasing sponsorships because MailerLite doesn't have a native Ad Network.

Winner for category monetization

Despise MailerLite allowing us to sell digital products, with or without a subscription, I give the advantage to beehiiv because I give more importance to the newsletter advertising network.

Finding advertisers for a newsletter is a lot of work, and an advertising network is essential for individual creators to get paid well.

On top of that, beehiiv also has newsletter subscriptions which allow you to earn money from your subscribers directly.

So, this round goes to beehiiv.

SEO & Growing tools

Let's see how they compare SEO and other tools.

How good are beehiiv's SEO and other growing tools?

Beehiiv's main focus is on newsletters, but I have to praise their development and the effort they put into the website.

And they are good when we talk about SEO.

On beehiiv, you'll find essential SEO features like:

  • Sitemaps;
  • Robots.txt file;
  • Custom meta descriptions;
  • Schema markup;

Most hybrid tools focused on newsletters aren't this good.

This shows a willingness to improve, listen to users, and improve on competitor flaws.

So, I have to say I'm impressed with the things beehiiv did in their short existence, while some competitors have had the same flaws for years (cough Substack cough).

On top of that, beehiiv also allows access to their API, which you can use for integrations.

This opens the other to tools like Zapier and Make that you can use to integrate beehiiv with hundreds of other tools.

You'll be in good hands regarding SEO and integrations on beehiiv.

Beehiiv has newsletter recommendations where different publications can recommend each other and grow together. The excellent part is they allow people to subscribe with 1-click, making it frictionless.

How good are MailerLite’s SEO and other growing tools?

MailerLite has a lot to catch up on in terms of SEO.

Please bear in mind that ML is only starting to develop blogging capabilities as they were only focused on newsletters for several years.

However, MailerLite still only has the bare bones regarding SEO, which is not good. The most noticeable SEO features missing are:

  • Redirects;
  • Robots.txt;
  • Sitemap;
  • Canonical tags.

But when it comes to the newsletter side of things in MailerLite, I have to say their growing tools are neat.

MailerLite has email automation that’s easy to use, A/B Testing for email subjects, and integrations with platforms like Shopify and WordPress. All those things, plus other small features, make it easier to grow the newsletter subscriber count.

Winner for category SEO & Growing tools

Both tools have different strong points here, and my checklist considers beehiiv a little bit better than MailerLite, but not something I would consider significant.

Simply put, MailerLite wins in the integrations for the newsletter, but it’s much weaker than beehiiv when it comes to SEO. But, if we break it down, beehiiv also showed good performance in its newsletter with the integrations.

There’s no doubt that if you worry about SEO, beehiiv will be the better option for you, as ML isn’t a suitable platform for blogging at this time.

But if you have a blog using another tool, you can use MailerLite without problems, as their newsletter tools are some of the best around.

Final Thoughts

Let’s reach some conclusions.

According to the 60+ items on my checklist to rate platforms, beehiiv has a higher rating than MailerLite.

Beehiiv wins this comparison because they have better ‘SEO & Growth’ tools and monetization features.

For me, SEO has a lot of weight in the comparison, so it’s not a surprise to see this result.

But to be fair, most people don’t look at MailerLite for blogging.

With that in mind, when I look only at the newsletter score, results are closer, with both tools getting a fantastic score.

MailerLite is a fantastic newsletter tool. And I recommend it for beginners with a small subscriber base because of its generous free plan and paid plans starting at only $9 per month. You can never go wrong in using MailerLite because:

  • It’s easy to use;
  • Offers great customization;
  • Prices are reasonable.

On the other hand, beehiiv will serve creators with several thousands of subscribers who want to keep their blog and newsletter in the same place better.

Beehiiv was primarily designed with professionals in mind and put a lot of focus on tools to help you grow. That’s why I recommend beehiiv to Pros.

To conclude, I recommend MailerLite for beginners and beehiiv for advanced users. Either way, you cannot go wrong!

Best for Pros
  • Content creation: 7.4
  • Customization: 6.9
  • Growth tools & SEO: 8.4
  • Management: 10
  • Monetization: 6.9
  • Overall score: 8.4
Best for Beginners
  • Content creation: 8.1
  • Customization: 8.1
  • Growth tools & SEO: 7.2
  • Management: 7.4
  • Monetization: 6.2
  • Overall score: 7.4