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The 2023 Must-Have Components of an Email Newsletter Platform

Effectively engage your target audience with a top-performing email platform.

Email newsletters are making a huge resurgence as more individuals are launching their own brand or side hustle as a way to earn extra revenue. Whether it’s daily, monthly, or somewhere in between, content creators are constantly looking for ways to keep their readers engaged. This content can be anything from global political updates to investing tips to pickleball news; the most important thing is to find a topic that a publisher can write about and that readers will engage with.

A recurring newsletter is an excellent way to connect with your subscriber base and keep your brand top of mind. It helps build a loyal and engaged audience that is crucial to growing and scaling your brand.

With so many people taking advantage of this critical digital channel, it makes sense that there are so many email platforms to choose from. How do you know which one is right for you?

The answers lie within your unique needs, ranging from product functionality (segmentation, reporting, etc), to service offerings, to pricing. Every business and publisher is different, so it’s important to align the email platform you choose with your own goals and initiatives. Let’s look at a few key considerations that will help you choose the right newsletter platform.

Ease of Use

Creating a newsletter takes time and effort: researching, learning about and brainstorming content, and then of course actually writing up the newsletter with the right tone and voice. With this in mind, it’s important to use a newsletter platform that has an easy-to-use interface. The last thing you want to worry about is wasting time using an email platform that is confusing and has a poorly designed newsletter writing workflow. You don’t want to spend hours copying and pasting content, redesigning templates, and scheduling your newsletter. Rather, a best in class email platform will minimize the energy and hassle required when it comes to things like template design, segmentation, writing, and sending.

The classic example that comes to mind when thinking of easy-to-use technologies is the iPhone. One of the reasons for Apple’s massive market share is their evergreen focus on user experience. The iPhone is intentionally designed for simplicity and ease of use.

Designed with the modern content creator in mind, beehiiv is razor-focused on user experience and offers an incredibly easy-to-use newsletter writing tool. And, beehiiv has built its product around the needs of publishers with:

  • Design friendly email and web templates

  • Segmentation capabilities

  • Powerful growth tools

When evaluating different email platforms, an outdated UX or confusing messaging are red flags. More than likely, their tools and priorities are outdated and won’t align with your needs. To create a successful newsletter and brand, you need a partner that understands modern B2B solutions; not someone who operates in the stone age.

Innovative Features

Most email platforms tend to have the same basic functionality. But it’s important to look beyond these features and consider if an email platform offers any functionality that could give you an edge or take your newsletter to the next level. For example, tools to help you grow your list or monetize your newsletter (amongst many others). Being able to grow your list significantly with quality subscribers, or to start earning revenue on your newsletter, are two big steps to building your brand and business. Let’s dig into a few features that can help accomplish this:

Referral Program

Word of mouth and social proof can result in massive growth and success for your brand and email newsletter. With this in mind, you’ll want to choose an email platform that has a built-in referral program, and one that is robust enough to drive meaningful growth. A referral program allows your readers to recommend your newsletter to their network of friends and family, and in turn, each of these new subscribers will recommend you to their own network. This can quickly lead to exponential (and sustainable) growth.

Beehiiv has native referral functionality, and it takes only a few seconds to set up a referral program with multiple tiers and rewards. Once set up, you can add messaging for your referral program into all your emails. This will quickly lead to growth in subscribers. You can use beehiiv’s segmentation tool to see how many subscribers are coming from the referral program, to segment on how many referrals users have driven, and check exactly who a reader has referred. This type of tracking and reporting is crucial to building a successful referral program.


Network effects can be huge on your subscriber growth, so in addition to tapping into your readers’ networks, you should also leverage other publishers’ networks. Your readers are loyal and trust you; if you recommend other newsletters that you personally like to them, they’re highly likely to subscribe.

As you recommend other newsletters to your subscribers, other publishers may do the same for you. This allows for new readers to discover your brand and subscribe to your content, which should lead to significant subscriber growth. A good recommendation also builds subscriber trust in your brand.

Beehiiv has native recommendations functionality, allowing you to easily tap into this network and subscriber growth. You can also use the segmentation tool to see which readers are coming in from recommendations, so you can track the efficacy of this growth tactic.

Ad Tools

One way to monetize your email newsletter (covered in more detail later on) is through advertising revenue. Including sponsored content within your newsletter is a great way to earn revenue and monetize your newsletter. Most publishers have to resort to direct sales or existing connections with brands for ad revenue. This is usually the main hurdle for smaller publishers who are just beginning to think about ad revenue and who don’t have a dedicated sales team.

Beehiiv recently launched their Ad Network, which connects advertisers with publishers directly within the email platform. Their team does all the heavy lifting of finding you advertisers, providing you with all the necessary assets and ensuring you get paid so you can focus on what you do best - writing newsletters.

Easy Signup Solutions

Convenience is key, and you want your target audience to be able to subscribe to your email newsletter as easily as possible. Having to fill out multiple fields to start receiving a newsletter, or even having to type in an email address, is often too much friction and causes potential readers to exit the signup flow. A feature such as a magic link solves this problem by providing a one-click link that automatically subscribes the reader to your newsletter. This can have a huge positive impact on your subscriber growth.

This unique link auto-fills a reader’s email address, saving them the step of having to manually enter their details. Beehiiv offers a simple way to add magic links to your newsletter to cross-promote readers to other newsletters you create, or to easily support other newsletters that are promoting your brand.

These are just a few crucial email platform features for modern day publishers. For a more comprehensive list of features that your email platform should provide, check out this list.

Pricing Models

Advanced functionality and ease-of-use might be moot points if the product is priced out of your budget. Pricing is just as important a consideration as the feature set.

Thus, the email tool you choose should offer pricing options that are aligned with your business and your needs. While some newsletters offer premium subscriptions, others focus mostly on ad revenue. Some writers are creating a newsletter as a hobby, while others are using it for their main source of income.

If monetization is an important goal and tactic for your newsletter brand, you’ll want to choose an email tool that supports that, without cutting into your profits. For example, many email platforms charge a cut of the revenue that publishers earn through their platform. As your subscriber base and revenue grow, you’ll be stuck paying large sums of money to your email provider. You’ll be much better off using a platform like beehiiv, which charges a flat monthly fee, and doesn’t take any cut of your profits regardless of your size.

Check Beehiiv's pricing tiers to learn more.

You’ll also have to consider what the email platform is charging for. Some platforms charge based on the number of sends, others on the number of publications, the number of subscribers, etc. You might have a large audience, but don’t send as frequently, or vice versa. In either case, it’s important to choose an email tool that supports your newsletter strategy.

Access to Support

Most email platforms will provide some level of Support, but there can be large variations in the quality of service you receive. Having access to fast and comprehensive technical support is crucial, especially when you are first starting off with the platform. If you have any pressing questions on sending out a newsletter, or just want to learn more about the tool’s capabilities, it’s reassuring to know you have access to a team of professionals who can guide you. There’s nothing more frustrating than submitting a support ticket and not hearing back for days, or getting nothing more than an automated reply.

It’s important to note that some email providers will charge for these services. You might only have access to basic support channels with your package, and in order to get higher levels of support or help, you have to pay extra. Be sure to check this before signing up for an email provider; you don’t want to get stuck with extra fees down the road.

In addition to having a responsive support team, it’s also tremendously helpful when the email company has thorough documentation, blog posts, and even onboarding videos to help you get started. These can help you get up and running with the email platform quickly, again allowing you to focus on writing your newsletter.

Ability to Monetize

For many publishers, the ability to monetize their newsletter is their biggest priority. With that in mind, the email tool you use should support your monetization efforts, or even offer features to help you create a revenue stream from your newsletter.

Sponsored ads are the most popular way to monetize a newsletter. If you’re offering valuable content and your database is growing, other organizations will want to partner with you for sponsorship opportunities. These advertising partners could be products and tools within your industry, or other newsletters offering similar (but not competing) content.

Some email tools are better suited to support advertising efforts. One example is a tool that can provide thorough email performance data and analytics, especially around open rates, link tracking, and user attribution.

Another consideration is the tool’s email editor. A quality email editor will allow you to drop in native content as well as ads, ensuring everything looks and feels perfect.

Having a paid, subscription-based newsletter is a great way to increase revenue. While some email platforms have publishers who offer premium newsletters, some don’t, and might not support the workflow and analytics needed to set up a premium subscription. You’ll want to partner with an email tool that is well equipped to support a paid newsletter. And also one that doesn’t take a cut of your revenue!

Choosing the Right Newsletter Platform

Depending on your needs and goals, you’ll want to choose an email platform that best matches your priorities. It’s important to use a newsletter tool that provides you with the necessary features and functionality, one that supports your email strategy, and that is also priced within your budget.

As more people start to focus on content creation and building their brand, email newsletters are a key way to connect with your audience. Picking the right email platform to partner with ensures you can focus your time and effort on creating content instead of building and sending out emails.

While you’re browsing email platforms, you should keep an eye out for aspects like ease of use, pricing model, access to a Support team, and most importantly, that their functionality is aligned with your goals and initiatives.

If starting an email newsletter or switching platforms is on your horizon, click here to get started with beehiiv for free.

Start scaling your newsletter today with beehiiv

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