Twitter recently dropped the biggest news so far in 2021. That news was that Revue has been acquired by Twitter and it's a free service now with no monthly charges. Well, that's the exact same service which Substack has been offering for years. Plus Revue offers some amazing (and important) features which Substack lacks.
Before we see the differences between both the platforms, let's have a brief introduction of what both platforms are about.
Revue is a email newsletter service whose main goal is to help writers and publishers focus on content and monetization. It's kind of a managed blogging environment which has the power to deliver content over email.
As it's more focused on content it lacks features like custom themes and email marketing tools like campaigns. All that makes sense too, as that's not the intended use of this platform. While Revue is one of the worst choices for email marketing, they are one of the best options to launch a premium newsletter. They have built a near perfect integration with Stripe which let's you charge your subscribers. Before the acquisition Revue was a paid service but now it's a free service and just takes 5% cut of whatever you charge for your users.
Substack is a very similar to Revue and practically offers the same feature set. Consider it as Medium for emails.
Just like Revue, Substack also lacks all of the email marketing features which restricts it's usage to newsletters only. Substack has always been a free provider but they do have an higher cut of 10% of your total revenue, almost double of what Revue charges now.
Let's now have a look of the key differentiating factors between Revue and Substack. We'll also understand how important those features are.
Now both of the service provider have support for custom domains, which is a good thing but Revue still wins here. You must be wondering how? This is because Substack charges you a one-time fee of $50 for enabling custom domains for your publication. Whereas adding custom domain on Revue is completely free. Revue is hands-down the winner here.
Custom Email ID
Revue and Substack are meant to send newsletters. To send, you'll have to use an email id. Generally, you would want to send email from an email id like email@example.com but the ESP needs to support that too.
Substack users are stuck with publicationName@substack.com whereas Revue gives it's users the luxury to choose between publicationName@getrevue.co and yourName@yourdomain.com which is great.
For me this is a very crucial feature (at least for me) as email id is part of a branding for every publication.
Custom Signup Form
There are times when one needs to embed the signup form on a website. To do this you require a custom code (HTML form or Iframe).
As Substack provides an iframe, you can't really control the look of your signup form whereas with Revue you can customize everything.
No code tools like Zapier have been gaining lot's of limelight due to that fact that they can make things happen which can't really be done without coding.
Out of Substack and Revue only the latter one has support for Zapier. This means that you can practically connect Revue with any app which is listed on Zapier. This makes it very versatile. As your newsletter grows, extensibility like this is really convenient.
Comments on Posts
As I said above, both Substack and Revue are newsletter tools which do have a repository of all your past issues as blog post.
Both have a publication page with past issues but Substack takes a step ahead with comments support on issues.
Commenting is important for building community within your newsletter. There are ways around this, but Substack makes it just a little bit easier.
Podcast and Newsletter have seen tremendous growth in 2020. Though both of these platforms are meant to deliver content through newsletter. Yet one takes an edge by adding support for podcasts too.
Few years back Substack announced support for podcasts which promoted it as a solution for both newsletters and podcasts. Perhaps Substack will integrate other content as well.
Integrations & API
We are living in a connected world hence our data needs to travel without any friction from one platform to another.
Imagine you are writing a newsletter and suddenly you need the link of a tweet you sent last week. Wouldn't it be very comfortable if your newsletter tool can automatically pull that?
Similarly, there are lot's integrations we need from time to time. Revue has multiple integrations which include Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Zapier, Instagram and much more which makes it very easy to produce content. On the other hand, Substack has literally zero integrations.
Substack and Revue, both are free tools but they have a processing fees (aka platform fees) if you want to run a paid newsletter.
Substack charges 10% (excluding Stripe fees) and Revue charges 5% (excluding Stripe fees). By the numbers it's very clear that Revue is considerably cheaper than Substack.
If you're running a paid newsletter 5% won't make too much of a difference when you're just starting out. Image when you start making $1k/month? That's an extra $50/month you're paying to Substack.
Revue and Substack both have a clean and intuitive editor for building and writing your newsletter. Since you'll be spending quite a bit in the editor, the easier it can be for you to use it, the less headache you'll have.
Substack's editor is basic but does have everything you need to write you newsletter. Revue, on the other hand, is has more of a playful interface to create headers, text, links, and media.
One feature that really brings Revue to the top is their ability to easily curate newsletters. With Revue's editor you'll be able to hook your newsletter to sources, such as Twitter and Facebook and pull in that information.
If you're going to be curating any type of content, then Revue really hits it out of the park.
|Custom Domain||Yes||Yes (paid extra)|
|Custom Email ID||Yes||No|
|Custom Welcome Email||Yes||Yes|
|Custom Payment Failure Email||No||Yes|
|Custom Unsubscribe Page||No||Yes|
|Comments on Issues||No||Yes|
Both Substack and Revue are great tool for running newsletters (but subpar for email marketing). Revue is a better option if you are looking for a powerful newsletter tool because it's cheaper than Substack and also packs in more feature.
On the other hand Substack provides most features along with lots of writer support in form of education and scholarship is expensive compared to Revue.
In the end there are even more options than just Substack and Revue. Here is just a small list of other platforms you can create a newsletter with. Each one we'll be covering in-depth. Be sure to subscriber to our newsletter for all of the latest updates!
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