Substack vs TinyLetter: Difference and Comparison

Email marketing is a lucrative online business. With excellent platforms available these days, you can make a good amount of money by writing newsletters creatively.


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Although email marketing revolves around the content and knowledge behind the newsletter, it also requires an appropriate platform to help circulate the same. Two popular platforms are considered to be alternatives to both of them; Substack and TinyLetter.

Users can make use of these platforms to be powerful email marketers. Before that, let us understand the differences between them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Substack is a platform for writers to publish newsletters and charge subscribers, whereas TinyLetter is a simple email newsletter service that is free to use.
  2. Substack offers advanced features such as audience analytics and monetization options, whereas TinyLetter only provides basic email marketing tools.
  3. Substack suits professional writers and journalists who want to monetize their content, while TinyLetter is ideal for personal newsletters and small communities.

Substack vs TinyLetter

The difference between Substack and TinyLetter is in the number of free email subscribers each platform can cater to. Substack is free for an unlimited number of free subscribers, while TinyLetter has a cap on the number. You can utilize up to 5000 free email subscribers.

Substack vs TinyLetter

Substack is an online platform for designing newsletters. You can circulate these newsletters and have subscribers for the same. It is a platform that offers you, infinite free email subscribers.

Of course, the platform has paid version to it with advanced features too. The users of Substack are mainly journalists, and it also includes big media sites as well.

TinyLetter, on the other hand, is an email newsletter designing platform that helps you charge subscribers a monthly fee. Though the platform is free, it can help you circulate the newsletter to all, but there is a limit to free email subscribers.

More than 5000 free email subscriptions can incur a cost to you. It is indeed a subsidiary of MailChimp.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSubstackTinyLetter
Brand ImageSubstack has a higher brand image compared to TinyLetter.TinyLetter does not hold the brand image as high as Substack.
Importing Email SubscribersYou can import any number of email subscribers to read your newsletters.You can import up to 25 email subscribers at a time.
Domain CreationSubstack supports the creation of custom Domain.No feature as such
Free Email SubscribersUnlimited Free email subscribers5000 free email subscribers
FeaturesSubstack has fabulous features, and the team behind it constantly works to enhance it from time to time.The features are limited, and right now, there is no enhancement, and it is stagnant.

What is Substack?

Substack is a professional writing platform. It helps you circulate newsletters and invite email subscribers for your content. The good news is, you can do this for free and make money out of it too.

However, the substack charges 10% as a transaction fee once a paid email subscriber is paid for your content. You can write incredible posts for your content and can also make the subscription a recurring one. You can make informed decisions with the help of the platform’s analytics.

The best part for beginners is, writing on Substack is like writing a blog online. Moreover, there is a plan to convert Substack into an out-and-out blogging platform as well. Of course, that is in store for the future.

Substack is continuously used by top people in journalism. Moreover, this platform is used to the utmost extent by media websites to promote content as well.

You, as a writer, have the advantage of making the post free or paid. Moreover, you also have the feature to limit the users who can read. That means to say you can make it private or public.

Though the platform charges a transaction fee, the advertising scheme that makes the users aware of your posts is free. There is a whopping number of paid subscribers as of 2018 and 2019. In the year 2018, there were Eleven thousand subscribers, while in 2019, it raised to Fifty thousand.

The great news for the platform is, by the year 2020, the number of paid subscribers reached One Lakh.

What is TinyLetter?

TinyLetter is an email writing platform, just like Substack. You can circulate your posts and newsletters for free. However, there is a limit of 5000 free email subscribers that you must be aware of. TinyLetter was acquired by MailChimp, and even now, it is operated by them.

You can do business out of TinyLetter by writing quality content and introducing a paywall to your content. You can also influence the subscribers to go for a monthly subscription too.

TinyLetter was once a fabulous platform that was used for easy email newsletters. MailChimp, as it acquired the platform, has a good amount of subscribers even now. However, the platform did not see any updates in the recent past.

The features present in TinyLetter are very easy and self-explanatory too. It allows beginners to work on the platform with relative ease. You can write a newsletter, preview the same and publish it once you are satisfied.

You might also have email addresses as a contact list. You can import these contacts to your TinyLetter account. But you can only import 25 contacts at a time. And, when it is said at a time, it means you can import only 25 email addresses for a day.

Main Differences Between Substack and TinyLetter

  1. The main difference between Substack and TinyLetter lies in the free subscription criteria for the users. Substack can circulate the newsletters to any number of free email subscribers. However, the limit of free email subscribers is 5000.
  2. Substack helps the users to create custom domains too, but TinyLetter has no features like that.
  3. Substack supports various features that overpower TinyLetter. It is also observed that the latter has not shown any significant differences in the features lately.
  4. Substack allows you to import any number of email contacts to your platform, while TinyLetter has a cap here as well. You can import 25 email subscribers per day.
  5. Substack has the standard of charging a certain percentage as you transact with a subscriber, but TinyLetter automatically charges you if your email subscription limit is exceeded.

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