If you are a content creator, you might wonder how to keep communicating with your audience after they become your followers.
After all, follower numbers mean nothing if you can’t monetize your effort.
Therefore, content creators use email software like Convertkit, Mailchimp, or Substack to grow their email lists and communicate with their audience.
As a solopreneur, I tried all the above-mentioned platforms, but have not decided yet which one will be my ultimate choice.
I’ve recently stumbled upon a new creator-friendly platform that might become the next go-to place to build a newsletter business.
What is Beehiiv?
It is a relatively new platform launched in 2021 by Benjamin Hargett and Tyler Denk, who was formerly a product manager at Google.
The founders claim that the primary goal of the platform is to help you easily build, grow and monetize your newsletter.
Beehiiv is positioned as “the most creator-friendly newsletters platform.” However, many other newsletter platforms have a clear UI and powerful functionality. So, what’s special about Beehiiv?
Here is how Tyler Denk, the platform co-founder, explains it:
Despite being relatively young, Beehiiv already functions as a decent newsletter platform that has the potential to become a market giant one day.
I registered on Beehiiv in May 2022 to explore its functionality, decide whether it’s worth moving my email list from Convertkit to Beehiiv and share my Beehiiv review with my readers.
Apart from its rather bizarre name (I believe the name and the logo are associated with “beehive”), the platform is easy to understand and navigate around.
Furthermore, Beehive has a wide functionality for landing page creation, blogging, and monetization that makes it much bigger than conventional newsletter software.
How Beehiiv works
Once you register on Beehiiv, you’ll be redirected to a dashboard that will look similar to this one:
The dashboard is basically the overview of your efforts for the past 30 days.
You can see the number of active subscribers (in my case it’s 1), the average open rate (the percentage of your active subscribers who opened your newsletter), and the average click rate (the percentage of your active subscribers who clicked on any links in your newsletter.)
Since Beehiiv lets you create and publish blog posts, you can also see the most recent blog posts right from your dashboard.
I experimented with a few blog posts only. That’s why you can see “New post” and “New post check now” blog posts on the screenshot above.
One of the most convenient dashboard sections, based on my opinion, is “Quick Links.”
Your signup page is directly available from the dashboard. No need to save links anywhere or navigate around the platform. You can access it anytime upon logging in.
It’s very convenient should you want to share your sign-up link on social media, blogging platforms, like Medium, or elsewhere.
It’s worth mentioning that the signup page can be customized.
You can add your headline, subheadline, call to action, and logo to hook potential subscribers.
It only takes a few minutes to create a page like this:
You can customize your URL at any time in the settings. However, the custom domain name is only accessible in the Pro version, which costs $29 per month.
If you are just starting, the free domain is more than enough. Start building and monetizing your email list first. You can get back to custom domains at any time in the future.
If your only goal is to build and grow your email list on Beehiiv, you are basically set up for success now.
Your email list will keep growing depending on your promotion effort, letting you communicate with your audience directly via newsletters.
To craft a newsletter, click on “Start Writing” in the top right corner of your dashboard. You’ll be redirected to the editor, where you can start typing a newsletter.
The functionality is intuitive. Therefore, it takes a few minutes to write a newsletter like this:
Once you are done with crafting an email, I recommend using the “Preview” option in the navigation menu to check how your email will look on desktop and mobile.
Like every other email marketing software, Beehiiv gives you two options on how you can send your newsletter to your followers:
- Hit “Publish now” and your newsletter will be delivered right away.
- Schedule your newsletter to be sent at a particular date and time.
Depending on your needs, you can either send a newsletter right away (if you want to promote a new blog post or send an update) or schedule a newsletter if you follow a content plan.
The tool is free until you reach 2500 subscribers.
That’s basically what you need to know if you want to send newsletters using Beehiiv. However, the platform offers more helpful features for content creators that are worth knowing about.
Beehiiv features for content creators
1. Import and export content and subscribers
If you want to move your email list to Beehiiv, you can seamlessly upload up to 5,000 subscribers.
If your email list exceeds this limit, the Beehiiv team asks you to contact their support. They will either help you move your email list to Beehiiv or subtly offer to upgrade to the paid plan. These are my assumptions, though.
How to do it?
By downloading a list of subscribers in the CSV format from your existing email software and uploading it into Beehiiv.
Alternatively, you can copy and input a list of emails separated by commas in the dedicated field. This solution might work if you have a relatively small email list.
Furthermore, subscribers’ names won’t be uploaded this way, which means you won’t be able to personalize your newsletters.
Beehiiv’s export data feature lets you download your existing email list and posts.
It’s an extremely helpful feature for content creators who want to export their content in bulk, repurpose and use it elsewhere. It’s more time-efficient than manually copy-paste content from Beehiiv.
2. Welcome email for new subscribers
Experienced content creators know how essential welcome emails are for building connections with their audience.
In a nutshell, a welcome email is the first email you send to anyone joining your email list.
You say hi, introduce yourself, express gratitude for joining your email list, and share how it can help your subscribers live a better life.
The beauty of a welcome email is that it can (and should) be automated.
You don’t need to manually send welcome emails once someone enters your email list. Instead, Beehiiv lets you automate this action.
Unlike many other email software, this extremely helpful feature is available for content creators for free.
It’s important to mention that Beehiiv does not offer email automation yet! It means you won’t’ be able to create email workflows and schedule campaigns.
A basic audience segmentation was introduced on May 3rd, 2022.
There are two types of segments you can create:
Static — aggregates subscribers at the time of creation and does NOT update.
Dynamic —updates frequently as new subscribers join the list.
Since the functionality has just been released, some bugs might pop up. Therefore, Beehiiv’s team encourages users to submit their feedback and help improve the platform.
Note that the following two features are still under development:
- the ability to perform bulk actions
- sending campaigns to individual segments
3. Newsletter monetization
It’s worthless to invest your time, energy, and money into growing your email list if you cannot monetize it.
People got used to consuming high-quality content on the Internet for free. However, content creators have to support themselves financially to keep producing and sharing content with the world. That’s why they often monetize their effort by selling own products and services.
An email list is an extremely helpful tool for monetization. It’s much easier to convert a loyal audience that already knows you.
Therefore, email newsletter platforms, like Beehiiv and Substack, introduced services to monetize newsletters.
It works in the following way.
As a content creator, you put some of your content behind the paywall and make it accessible to subscribers who upgrade to the paid plan only.
These people already trust you and want to learn more from you. That’s why they voluntarily support your newsletter.
I actively write on Medium and noticed that many creators charge $5-$10 monthly for premium newsletters on Substack.
Now, the same functionality is available in Beehiiv, where content creators are paid via Stripe.
4. A digital environment to host your blog posts
Besides growing your email list, you can host your content on Beehiiv.
The platform’s functionality lets you quickly edit and publish your blog post. Furthermore, you don’t need to care about hosting. This hustle is managed by Beehiiv.
It’s important to mention that you reserve the right to all content that you publish on Beehiiv. It means you can edit, delete and republish it any time you want.
There is one more handy feature that Beehiiv users will hopefully like as much as I do.
You decide how you want to share your content. You can publish it on the web, send it to your subscribers via email or do both!
Here is what the blog post will look like if you publish it on the web:
If you consistently publish new posts on Beehiiv, you’ll eventually create your personal digital space.
The layout options are rather limited on Beehiiv. There is no way to customize your page as of now. It will look similar to the one on the screenshot below.
I believe the Behiiv team might work on it in the future.
5. Embed forms for other websites
If you have a website but you store your email list on Beehiiv, you can easily create and embed the sign-up form on your website.
Beehiiv offers several types of forms depending on your needs: full width, fixed width, slim embed (email field only, without header, background, or description), and the advanced configuration with attribution tracking.
Copy and paste the code into your website to embed a sign up contact form and start collecting email addresses.
Low effort — high impact!
6. Collaboration with team members
If you want several people to manage newsletters, you’ll need to find a way how to do it.
Sharing your account’s login information isn’t the best idea. Instead, inviting new team members and controlling their access level will help you smoothly manage your newsletter.
Luckily, Beehiiv lets you do exactly this.
You can assign the following roles to new team members on Beehiiv. Note that a “company” is a so-called organization on Beehiiv that manages all your pages (also called publications.)
- Company admin — Has access to all features and settings.
- Company member — Will have access to view data, create and edit content, and send campaigns for all publications.
- Publication member — Will have access to view data, create and edit content, and send campaigns for a selected publication.
- Publication admin — Everything a publication member can do plus access to settings and user invites.
7. Referral program
Referral programs are actively used by companies and individual content creators to incentivize previous customers to recommend their products to prospects.
In simple words, if you recommend a particular product and someone purchases it, you will get a commission from that sale, usually 10% (sometimes more).
It’s one of the most popular ways of making money online these days.
Beehiv claims that it is “the only newsletter platform with a fully integrated referral program.”
Beehiiv does not incentivize you to advertise its services. Instead, they built the newsletter referral program to help you leverage your readers as a growth engine and scale faster.
As a content creator and solopreneur, I believe the newsletter referral program is a great initiative that is worth exploring.
However, there is one tiny detail.
The newsletter referral program is not available for free! The Beehiiv’s creators put it under the “Growth” payment tire, which currently costs $99.
8. RSS feed
RSS feed is one of the latest features introduced in March 2022.
With the help of RSS feed, you can display your posts published on Beehiiv on your custom website.
It’s a helpful tool if you don’t host a blog on your website, but still want to display your posts published elsewhere.
Is Beehiiv legit?
Beehiiv is a relatively new but fast-growing platform.
According to Crunchbase, the company had its first fund rising on September 30th, 2021, and raised $2.6.
Since the fundraising, Beehiiv’s founders announced that funds will be allocated in the following way:
“With the new capital, beehiiv will triple the size of its team with numerous hires across engineering, community, growth, and marketing. It will also continue to invest in growth and product development—including robust data analytics, a native referral program tool, etc.”
The fundraising and the company’s announcements bring me to this conclusion:
The company is actively growing, attracting investors, and building long-term plans.
It makes me believe that Beehiiv is legit and will most likely stay with us for a long time.
Is Beehiiv free to use?
Beehiiv has a free tier for content creators, where you can grow your email list up to 2,500 subscribers and use most of its functionality for free.
However, let’s not forget that Beehiiv is not a charity organization. It’s a company that does business. The main goal of every business is to become profitable and generate revenue.
Therefore, Beehiiv offers three more paid tires for content creators who want to offer premium subscriptions, run multiple websites under the same account, link a custom domain, and launch a referral program.
It’s worth mentioning that the costs are flat, which means they will only grow if you upgrade the tier. There are no hidden fees or extra charges.
Here is the detailed and up-to-date overview of Beehiiv’s pricing:
Exec Sum put together an illustrative table that compares the costs and benefits of Beehiiv and Substack as your revenue growth.
It turns out that paying a flat fee can benefit you more, especially once your earnings start to grow.
Have you already tried Beehiiv?
Do you think Beehiiv will outperform Substack in the long run? I am curious to learn your opinion.
Feel free to share your comments below.