You might have heard about it as one of the newest and best Substack alternatives, but how good is it actually? Today, in this post, we’re going to review Beehive, a newsletter platform and see it for ourselves.
We’ll talk about its key features, pricing and see a tutorial, as well as its pros and cons.
beehiiv is a newsletter platform launched in 2021 by Benjamin Hargett and Tyler Denk.
They created it seeking to equip creators with powerful growth tools to get their message out there.
That’s why they don’t only offer a newsletter service, but also landing page creation. So, you can choose to send your content via email, publish it on a site or both!
Moreover, since they are such a young platform, they are super receptive to feedback and I can confirm they have made several positive changes lately based on previous reviews.
Although beehiiv focus on emails, they also have an online shop where you can buy their only product, a crewnew, in case you want to support them that way!
User friendly interface
They have a simple, easy to navigate dashboard with a task list to guide you at the beginning of your journey.
The editor is 100% distraction free so you can focus on your writing. It’s also very similar to Gutenbergs’ editor. You can easily add text, quotes, images, etc.
Paid tiers also let you include a Referral program button, a poll, an HTML Snippet and a Paywall Break.
beehiiv lets you create a unique, outstanding theme for your newsletter. You can change fonts, colors, spacing, backgrounds, and much more. Their levels of customization are truly unique compared to other newsletter platforms.
Advanced audience segmentation
You can segment your audience in three ways:
- Static: generated only once, at the time of creation.
- Dynamic: updated daily as new subscribers join the list.
- Manual: uploaded by CSV.
With audience segmentation, you’re able to, for example, send certain emails only to the subscribers that have opened your last post.
You can offer premium content for paying subscribers only and charge whatever subscription price you want. The content will be behind a paywall and only the premium subscribers will be able to see it.
You, on the other hand, will receive the payments through Stripe.
External subscribe forms
If you already have a website, you can embed a subscribe form to collect emails. beehiiv lets you easily create and customize subscribe forms to include whatever text, colors, fonts, and styling you prefer.
You can easily migrate your existing newsletter to beehiiv. This includes both your existing subscriptions and your content.
That’s right: thanks to their content import tool, you can move your existing content on to your site on beehiiv, without it being sent to your subscribers.
We’ll see how to do this in the tutorial below.
As well as a Referral program, beehiiv also offers a partner program where you earn 50% of revenue for 12 months for referring new paying customers to beehiiv.
To integrate with other applications, you can create API keys. Also, check out beehiiv’s integration tutorials where they walk you through how to integrate with Zapier, Shopify, and others.
Support and resources
beehiiv offers a 101 series of video tutorials to familiarize you with how the platform works. If you visit their YouTube channel, you’ll also find multiple guides and even feature updates!
However, the only way to get in touch with them is by submitting a ticket.
- Advanced analytics.
- Custom HTML in emails.
- Real-time email verification.
- Collaboration tools.
Unlike Substack and other solutions, beehiiv doesn’t take a fee of your revenue, so you’ll keep all the money you gain regardless of the plan you choose:
- Launch: free. Includes up to 2,500 subscribers and unlimited sending.
- Grow: $42 per month if billed annually. Access the API and collaboration tools, plus offer premium subscriptions.
- Scale: $84 per month. Get the integrated referral program and 3D analysis.
They also have enterprise level plans, so you can email them if you need more features.
- Sign up. Remember, you can use beehiiv for free, no credit card required!
2. Now it’s time to set up your account. Luckily, beehiiv makes it incredibly smooth. You simply have to select where you’re at in your newsletter journey:
I went with “I’m not sure if I want to start a newsletter” to see how things are for beginners.
- After a few seconds, your dashboard will be all set up and ready to get your started. This is how my dashboard looks:
Now is also the moment to confirm your email.
beehiiv will assign you a domain that you can then change only if you are in the Grow plan or higher.
Setting up your newsletter
- On the right hand of your dashboard, click on “Customize your theme” and you’ll be directed here:
You can tweak the background, footer, header, even the content breaks! Once you’ve done everything you wanted, please don’t forget to click “Save” on the left corner. Then click “Exit”.
- Back to the dashboard, the next step is to customize your website. When you click on that step, you’ll land here:
These steps are all about design and color, but don’t worry if you aren’t an expert in the field (neither am I!). You can check beehiiv’s consistency box and they will automatically make some changes to your email template to match the colors and styles of your website.
- Start writing. Once you click on “Start writing”, you’ll arrive at the editor.
Besides writing the newsletter, you can configure how it will be seen both on email and on your website.
I recommend you use this opportunity to select an advanced email capture option. For example, a popup, so you can convert potential subscribers.
- After finishing the configuration, click on the “Preview” tab to see how your newsletter will look.
beehiiv lets you see the preview for email and website, and for mobile in both cases. Moreover, if you already have subscribers and they are segmented, you can select a subscriber and see how it would look for that specific user.
- Before publishing, for further assurance, you can send a test email. Go to the “Test” tab and check the emails of the team members you want to send the email. You can even select a subscriber and receive the email just as that person will.
- To start sending your newsletters, you’ll have to verify your identity. It only takes a moment, and you’ll receive a notification from them when your account is approved.
Once you’re ready to start sending your newsletters, you can choose between publishing them right away or scheduling them for a particular date.
Migrating your newsletter
If you aren’t a beginner, you might already have a newsletter established on another platform. To migrate it to beehiiv, you’ll have to go to settings, then “Import subscribers”.
As you can see, you can input each email manually or upload the entire list. Note that, for security purposes, you can bulk import up to 5,000 subscribers. In case you need more, you’ll have to contact support.
Likewise, you can also import your content. Once you click on “Import content”, also in the settings page, select where your content is right now. If it’s not in Substack nor Revue, you won’t be able to import it, sadly. However, keep in mind, beehiiv is working to expand its support.
The process of importing your content is basically the same both for Substack and Revue: you have to paste your publication URL or your profile page URL. Then, simply click “Import”!
beehiiv Pros and Cons
- Doesn’t charge any fees for memberships.
- Includes a blog.
- Has a free plan.
- Native referral program.
- No chat supports.
- No email automation.
So there you have it, our take on beehiiv. Personally, I feel like they are an amazing tool for content creators that are just beginning with email marketing and/or blogging.
Their user-friendliness, their video tutorials and the fact they have a free forever plan, make it an excellent choice for beginners.
However, I have my doubts if it would be an equally great option for big teams. Although they have collaboration features, not having any email automation can be quite a setback.
But maybe that’s just for now and they will soon offer powerful automation features!
What is your opinion of beehiiv? Do you have any experience with it? Tell us in the comments!