15 min read

ConvertKit vs Substack - big differences for sending newsletters

Tools with similar goals with a big difference in execution
Substack vs ConvertKit featured image.

Choosing between ConvertKit vs Substack for your newsletter can feel like a daunting task.

You might be stressing over the best way to monetize your content, choosing the best platform for the long term, and not spending a fortune on a newsletter tool.

Well, I'm here to help decide. Let's go! :)

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Substack vs ConvertKit summary

The main difference is that ConvertKit is better for newsletters with better customization and monetization. Substack is better for publishing different types of content (newsletter, blog, and podcast) in the same place with a free forever plan.

ConvertKit is my recommendation for the creators in the following situations:

  • Monetize content via membership or ads;
  • Already have a site using another platform and want a great newsletter tool;
  • A tool that is great for beginners and professionals.

On the other hand, I recommend Substack in these scenarios:

  • Publish different types of content on the same platform;
  • A free forever plan;
  • You give more importance to the tool being simple to use than being customizable.
Best for Newsletters
  • Content creation: 6.8
  • Customization: 9.6
  • SEO: 3.7
  • Growth: 8.6
  • Management: 7.5
  • Monetization: 8.1
  • Overall Score: 8.4
Free forever plan
  • Content creation: 5.2
  • Customization: 4.3
  • SEO: 7.5
  • Growth: 4.8
  • Management: 9.0
  • Monetization: 4.8
  • Overall Score: 6.7

ConvertKit overview

ConvertKit is one of the best alternatives to Substack and one of the best newsletter services on the market.

It was created in 2013, and ConvertKit focused on being THE email service for creatives.

As you will see, they have all the tools to run a personal newsletter, monetizing it and earn a full-time income.

ConvertKit's strengths:

  • Free plan (up to 1,000 subscribers);
  • Automated email sequences;
  • Integrations (example, Zapier);
  • Great Monetization (newsletter memberships, digital products, newsletter ads and more);
  • Low fees (0,6% + payment processing fees);
  • Analytics tools (including click tracking and subscriber engagement score);
  • Email segmentation (send emails based on tags);
  • Landing pages and form builder;
  • Newsletter referral program.

ConvertKit's limitations:

  • The landing page is somewhat limited;
  • You need a standalone website to get discovered and grow the newsletter because ConvertKit doesn't have a hybrid model with a blog included;
  • Lack of importing/export posts;
  • Finding members that canceled subscriptions can be tricky.

Substack overview

Substack is mainly a newsletter tool, but they are trying to become a place to publish all kinds of content like a blog, podcast, chat with subscribers, and they even have a Twitter "clone" called Notes.

Since the platform was created in 2017, it has significantly impacted media by popularizing paid newsletters.

Substack is one of the main reasons for newsletters becoming so popular again, as they made monetizing content easy.

Things I like about Substack:

  • Free forever plan;
  • Do everything without code;
  • Good safety record;
  • Publish different types of content (newsletter, blog, podcast, and more);
  • Easy to use.

Things I don't like about Substack:

  • 10% in membership fees;
  • Bad SEO;
  • Custom domain costs $50;
  • No integrations;
  • No email sequences;
  • Awful customization;
  • Complicated content guidelines (you have to follow their rules or risk getting banned).

Other comparison articles

Beehiiv vs Ghost CMS: the ultimate comparison
Beehiiv and Ghost CMS are great tools for creators. Read this to learn which is better for SEO, monetization, customization and growth.
Beehiiv vs ConvertKit: picking the perfect newsletter tool (detailed breakdown)
I’ve compared beehiiv vs ConvertKit to help you decide which newsletter tool fits your needs better.
ConvertKit vs Ghost CMS - monetizing with memberships
Picking between Ghost and ConvertKit will depend, for the most part, if you already have a blog or not.

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