Email

Top Tools for Newsletters That Real Writers Recommend [61+ Tools]

“A bad workman blames his tools”. 

It’s a popular saying, but anyone who uses the internet knows it’s not true.

If the tools you use to create your newsletter aren’t working, you just need to find better ones!

Here’s a complete list of all the best newsletter tools for writers and publishers. These tools have all been recommended by a newsletter publisher due to their usefulness, ability to solve a unique need, and affordability.

Check it out below!

Contents

Tools for curating content
Tools for writing newsletters
Tools for sending newsletters
Tools to create graphics for email and social
Tools that create landing pages and websites
Tools for newsletter backups
Tools that test your emails
Tools to earn money from your newsletter
Tools that run subscriber surveys
Tools for community and list growth
Tools for newsletter and website analytics

Tools for curating content

Many newsletters rely on curation tools to find and categorize relevant content at speed. 

Google Sheets 

Use Google Sheets to organize the article and information you collect while cursing your newsletter.

Notion

A second brain type note-system that has everything you need to get organized. 

“I use Notion to organize everything”

Creatively newsletter

BannerBear

Allows writers to auto-generate visuals for social media via an API.

Revue Chrome Extension

Revue’s extension that allows you to curate your newsletter interactively and save what you’re reading for later. 

Planet Pluto Static Feed Reader

A RSS reader that you can customize. Available on Github. 

Instapaper

An app that saves articles from any of your devices with one click. Great if you’re curating on the go. 

Readwise

Snyk you highlights from reading apps like Kindle, Instapaper, Pocket, iBooks all into one easy-to-grab place. 

Roam

Another second-brain note-taker. Some users report Roam as being more intuitive and easy to use compared to Notion.

Feedly

Collect a feed of all published pieces that contain content you’re interested in. Free to use for keywords, but paid if you want to use it for twitter and other sources 

Pocket App

Is also available on the play store. Pocket is a simple note-taking app that users love.

Otter.ai

An auto-transcription service useful if you want to convert voice interviews into written ones. 

Tools for writing newsletters

Gone are the days of starting with a blank piece of paper. These writing tools for newsletters will help you speed up your content writing and publishing no matter the size of your team.

Workflowy

A workflow tool that prides itself on simplicity, focus and action. Used by one of Medium and Twitter’s founders

Todoist

To-do lists that help you organize your day. 

Obsidian

A note-taking app that transforms linear folder structure and converts it into a ‘second brain’ that allows you to jump from idea to idea. 

iA Writer

A minimal interface designed to help you focus on writing and nothing else. 

Newsletter OS

An informative Notion dashboard that helps you write, plan, grow, monetize and learn. 

Google Docs

Cloud-based documents where you can write out the first draft of your newsletter

ProWritingAid

A platform that helps you focus and write in a non-distracting environment. 

Tools for sending newsletters

Choosing an Email Service Provider (ESP) is a big deal. They can make all the difference between an easy setup and a long road of custom code and deliverability issues. As far as tools for newsletters go, choosing an ESP is one of the biggest decisions for most people. The ESPs below come highly recommended by the indie community. 

MailerLite

One of the most popular ESP for newsletter creators apart from Substack. MailerLite is intuitive, easy to use, and inexpensive. 

Substack 

A platform that helps you send newsletters, attract readers, and monetize via paid membership. Free to use, 10% charge on fees when you go paid.

Ghost

Similar to Substack but without the fees. Ghost allows for much more customization whereas Substack keeps everything uniform. 

“When I set up a couple of months ago, I hesitated between Substack and Ghost for a long time, but I love the freedom that comes from self-hosting Ghost”

Looking for Wisdom newsletter

Email Octopus

A simple to use ESP that prides itself on easy drag and drop templates. 

Aweber

Features a robust automation system and other great tools to improve your conversion.

“Free, really easy to build all sorts of pages, has some neat elements like an embedly element that creates all sorts of rich media from links (that’s how I have my Twitch and YouTube embeds)”

Would You Rather newsletter

Active Campaign

Active Camaign is for publishers who are looking for a full-feature solution. Includes automations and CRM tools.  

Tools for newsletters to create graphics for email and social  

These graphics tends to be simple in nature as writing is the main focus of a newsletter. A simple (but relevant) image can be just as impactful as one meticulously designed from scratch. Used correctly, a good image can be an excellent tool for newsletters to drive more subscriber engagement.

Figma

A design tool that allows you to create mockups and professional graphics.

Fiverr

An affordable marketplace where freelancers sell design services for $5 and up. 

Procreate

Sketch on touch screens. You can create fully fledged art, or just jot down prototypes and ideas.

Canva

Design your images quickly with Canva’s free drag and drop editor. There is a paid pro option if you are looking for slightly more functionality.

Previewed.app

Quickly create mockups on various devices. Allows one free image export a week, thereafter charges a small fee. 

GIPHY

Find funny and descriptive GIFs to embed in your emails.

Tools for newsletters that create landing pages and websites

While some ESPs (such as Substack) give you a pre-build website, most do not. Even if you start off with a prebuilt solution, hosting your own domain provides a lot more flexibility and freedom. 

These tools will help you build your website, create landing pages (if you want to avoid making a website altogether), and collect signups using forms. 

Carrd

Simple landing pages that make it easy to collect subscriber information.

Webflow

Build out an entire website visually. Requires some technical knowledge to get started. 

Cove

Handles commenting for Ghost (an email sender similar to Substack) and other platforms. 

Gatsby

Create websites that load instantly with Gatsb’s open-source frontend framework. Developer skillset is recommended. 

Git-Hub Pages

Landing pages that can link directly to Git-Hub

Staticman

If you have a static site, this tool will help you turn user comments into static elements. Works well with Git-Hub pages. 

WordPress 

The most popular website builder in the world. Quick to get started and well documented.

Unbounce

Design beautiful landing pages using Unbounce’s builder. Starts at $80 per month. 

Convertflow

A tool that creates landing pages, forms, popups, surveys, and even quizzes for your website. 

Landen.co

Generates a unique website template based on your specific needs. Great if you want to create a website quickly.

Super.so

Turn a Notion page into a website with a custom domain. 

Tools for newsletter backups

Backing up your systems is an important task that many ignore until it’s too late. Get ahead of the curve and back up your website and subscriber list at least once a month. 

Integromat

Helps you connect apps in your stack and automate workflows.

Tools that test your emails

Test your emails to make sure they show correctly on all devices. Usually mail testing tools (such as Email on Acid) cost a $100+ per month – a little outside of the price range of an indie newsletter writer’s budget. Mail Tester is free to use and checks everything that needs to be checked. 

Mail-tester.com

Send a test email to the generated email address and mail-tester will check it for spam indicators. 

Tools to earn money from your newsletter

There are two sides to earning money from your newsletter; keeping track of sponsorships, and actually getting them. These tools will help you earn money from your newsletter as quickly as possible.  

Tally.so

Create forms for advertisers to input information quickly and easily.

Paved

A platform with all the tools you need to earn money from advertisers on your newsletter.

Tools that run subscriber surveys

Subscriber surveys are essential to the growth of any newsletter. They help you understand exactly what your readers are looking for. Ask your subscribers what they like and don’t like frequently so you can maintain focus and continue building a strong relationship with readers. 

Airtable 

Airtable is like a spreadsheet but more powerful. You can link cells, create surveys, store data, and more. 

Google Forms

Free and easy to use, Google Forms is great for collecting feedback from your subscribers. The only drawback – it looks a little clunky and old. 

Typeform

Similar to Google Forms but way for intuitive and beautiful for the end user. You get a limited number of surveys on the free plan. 

BackTalk

Surveys that look like a conversation. A simple but brilliant tool that gets your subscribers taking. 

Tools for community and list growth

One big mistake many writers make is to think that the work is done once a newsletter is sent or a blog is published. Here’s the thing, you still need to bring the readers. One of the most effective strategies is to join a community and share your work on social media platforms.

Twitter

Engage directly with your followers by writing clever snappy tweets! 

“LinkedIn was my primary source at first, but I got sort of lucky and got picked up by someone on Twitter who has ~50K followers, and ever since then Twitter has really picked up for me. According to Substack’s metrics, I have gotten about 8x more traffic from Twitter than LI over the past 30 days.” –

The Flywheel newsletter

Swipe Files

A newsletter that sends you information about the latest marketing ideas. 

Ayrshare 

APIs for social media posting. Built for developers, it can decrease the amount of time you spend on social platforms. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a well known network for professionals. Like Facebook, but for business exclusively. 

Instagram Promotions

Run instagram ads for your newsletter. Many publishers report success using instagram to get more followers. 

Letterlist

A great resource for training and articles about how to grow your audience. 

Tools for newsletter and website analytics

Most indie hackers are split between Google Analytics and tools that offer users more privacy. The big thing here is consistency. You want to consistently use the same analytics software so that your results are reliable. 

Google Analytics

The most-used method of tracking visitors to your website. Requires a bit of technical skill to use.

Splitbee 

A Google Analytics alternative that’s popular with people who want to protect their reader’s privacy. 

I am a privacy advocate, so removed Google Analytics from every single website I own. Honestly, analytics are not that important to me. It is great to see how many people visit my website and where they come from, so all I “need” is just a super lightweight and fast solution.

Creatively newsletter

Plausible.io

Another Google Analytics alternative that’s lightweight and simple to understand. Made and hosted in the EU. 

Fathom Analytics

Analytics focused on privacy and simplicity. Added bonus: you get rid of annoying cookie notices.

Google Postmaster

Analyze the performance of your emails from Gmail. Reports back on your spam rates and delivery errors.

Google Tag Manager

Manage website tags to improve your data. 

Hotjar

Tracks what visitors on your website are doing. Free to use with limited features. Fantastic if you want to optimize conversion on your sign up page. 

Finding the right tools for newsletters is just the beginning…

With a list this long, there’s no reason to blame your tools. The real power comes from consistently. Be consistent writing, sharing, and engaging with your readers and your newsletter list will naturally grow from strength to strength. And once you’ve built that list, you can earn money via sponsorships; sign up to Paved to find out more.

Know about a tool you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter