6 Best Newsletter Tools in 2023 (With Prices)
The tools every creator needs to make their newsletter a success.
Remember the OG newsletter days?
Years ago, before the rise of digital newsletters, there were only physical newsletters. Back then, publishers used a variety of tools to get their newsletters out to their audience: printing press, paper, a building to store the printing press, a truck to deliver the newsletters, postage, and a variety of other tools.
Nowadays, you can build a million-dollar newsletter without any of those tools.
But while you don’t need to spend your life savings on a printing press to run a newsletter anymore, that doesn’t mean you don’t need any equipment. Instead, you need to leverage a variety of digital tools to grow your newsletter in today’s internet-driven world.
Here are the six best newsletter tools to stack in 2023.
1. Writing Collaboration: Google Docs
The heart of your newsletter is your writing. Everything you do revolves around the content you create. Hand in your Microsoft Word or Pages software for the new kid on the block: Google Docs.
Google’s cloud-based writing tool is the best app for creating newsletters in the draft stage. Not only is it free and simple to use, it’s also a great way to collaborate with other writers and editors. The tool lets you easily share documents, photos, and notes, and make suggested edits for seamless collaboration.
Plus, you can never go wrong with the Google Docs spell check tool. It’s a quick win for making initial edits.
2. Editing: Grammarly
Once you’ve completed your simple spellcheck in Google Docs, it’s time to upgrade to the big guns in the editing market: Grammarly.
Grammarly is revolutionary in upgrading your writing from novice to professional in a few simple clicks. It’s one of the greatest proofreading tools available.
Grammarly will help you beyond simple spelling mistakes–it’ll also show you where you’ve gone wrong with your grammar, making suggestions for improvements. The tool also helps you with punctuation, sentence structure, and syntax.
The best part is, Grammarly offers a robust free version, and an upgraded version for only $12/month (when billed annually).
3. Graphics: Canva
The top newsletters in the world come equipped with eye-pleasing designs. If you’re clueless when it comes to design, then you’re in luck with Canva. It can turn even the least-artistic person into a professional designer.
One of the best newsletter tools on the market, Canva offers a complete library of design templates you can use to create impressive visuals, even if you have zero design skills. They also offer several other features to customize your graphics so they’re unique to your newsletter.
Canva offers an impressive free version and a robust pro plan starting at $12.99/month.
4. Photos: Shutterstock
In addition to your graphics, you’ll need some quality photos to integrate into your newsletter to make it stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes.
If you want a free option, then you can use Canva’s stock photos. However, if you’re wanting access to endless high-resolution photos, then you might want to go with Shutterstock.
With over 300 million pictures in their library, it’s one of the biggest stock photo libraries available. Plus, their database also gives you access to video footage, 3D models, and music clips you can use. Their plans start at $25/month and allow you to purchase photos a-la-carte.
5. Analytics: Google Analytics
If you’re looking to grow your newsletter, then you need to understand what’s working and what’s not. One of the best newsletter analytics tools you can use is Google Analytics.
With Google Analytics, you can track how your audience is engaging with newsletter content on your website. The tool lets you track a variety of metrics, including:
Sessions per user
Average session duration
Google Analytics can help you understand what newsletter content is sticking with your audience so you can optimize your strategy. Plus, when paired with other tools, like beehiiv’s 3D Analytics, you can track powerful data that can turn your newsletter into a growth machine.
6. Advertising: beehiiv’s Ad Network
If your goal is to transform your newsletter from a passion project into a real business, then you need to begin monetizing. One of the best ways to start generating income from your newsletter is through sponsored ads.
One of the easiest ways to place ads in your newsletter is with beehiiv’s Ad Network. Created by the same team that developed Morning Brew’s advertising platform, the beehiiv Ad Network allows you to:
Access sponsored ad opportunities directly on the beehiiv newsletter platform
Pick and choose whether you want to accept or decline an ad placement
Plug and plug accepted placements directly in the beehiiv editor
Generate revenue on autopilot
What Are 5 Elements of an Effective Newsletter?
There are thousands of newsletters circling on the web right now. However, only the best newsletters stand the test of time. While it’s important to have the right tools in place, everything comes back to your content. Here are the five elements of an effective newsletter:
1. Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
You could have the best newsletter content. But, if your subscriber doesn’t click on your email, it’ll all go to waste. You need to start with your subject line. Craft something that will grab your readers' attention. Remember, you’re competing with dozens of other emails in your subscriber’s inbox. Here are some subject line tips to help get your emails opened.
2. Short, Engaging Copy
Your readers are busy. They might be opening up your email while on a quick coffee break at work or just before they head out the door on their way to dinner with a friend. You need to cut through the noise and get right to the point with your newsletter.
The best newsletters give value up front and write concisely to keep readers engaged. Here are a few tips:
Use short sentences. Like this.
Use short words.
Write in the second person (i.e. “You’re likely reading this right now…”).
Five years ago, I wrote my very first email newsletter. I was terrified. I looked at my email editor with dread. How was I going to convince 60-year-old women to buy quilting fabric? I knew nothing about quilting, baby boomers, or sales. When I finally clicked “Send,” I let out a sigh of relief that it was over. But, fear began to grip me once again as I imagined the newsletter failing. “What if no one opened it? What if no one bought anything? What is my boss going to say to me?”
If you’re still here, then it worked! Remember to integrate storytelling into your newsletter as much as possible. It could be something that happened in your life or simply news related to your niche that you can share with your audience.
4. Eye-Catching Graphics
The majority of email newsletters come equipped with graphics popping off the screen. Graphics are a powerful weapon you should use to keep your users engaged. Not only do they provide necessary breathing room for your copywriting, but they also help establish your branding.
Remember, even if you aren’t design-savvy, you can use a tool like Canva to create simple graphics to upgrade your newsletter’s design.
5. Persuasive Call to Action
The final element of your newsletter is your call to action. If you aren’t telling your readers what to do next, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.
Your call to action is pivotal for three reasons:
To provide more value to your subscribers
To bring your subscribers closer to your brand
To generate revenue
There are a variety of ways you can ask your readers to take action. A product recommendation is a straightforward call to action. However, you don’t always have to pitch something. You could ask your readers to follow you on social media or check out your blog post. If you want to gain some brownie points, you could even send your readers some place outside of your organization (i.e. a helpful resource, video, article on someone else’s website).
Now that you’ve got the key elements of an effective newsletter, the question is, what platform should you use to create each individual newsletter?
Let’s dive into our top newsletter platform…
Bonus: What Is the Best Program for Creating a Newsletter?
Now that you’ve got the list of the best newsletter tools, it’s time to tackle the most important tool of them all: your email newsletter platform.
When it comes to newsletter software, there are a few top players out there. You might be thinking, What is better than Substack?
Well, for many people, the top choice isn’t Substack or Mailchimp. The best app for newsletters is beehiiv.
The reason? It’s the easiest solution for creators looking to build a real business with their newsletter.
With beehiiv, you get a robust variety of built-in features to help you build an audience, create beautiful newsletters, and monetize your newsletter. beehiiv is an all-in-one platform for newsletter creators looking to establish a digital presence, build up their current business, or turn their creativity into a full time income.beehiiv is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition for one reason: the platform is designed for growth-oriented businesses, rather than simple passion projects. The intuitive platform lets you design beautiful emails, send automated emails to segmented lists, and track the performance of every email.
In late 2022, beehiiv launched two powerful features: the Referral Program and Ad Network. With beehiiv’s Referral Program, you can elevate your list growth through digital word-of-mouth marketing by using proven incentives to grow your subscriber base. With the Ad Network, beehiiv gives you access to thousands of advertisers, allowing you to place ads in your newsletters with a single click. Plus, the Ad Network shows you accurate stats on every advertisement so you can maximize your earnings.