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Oh-a! Twitter Will Kill Revue — How to Make The Switch to An Alternative Another and Where To…

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Be prepared to migrate from Revue to another platform and grab your email list and archive of newsletters before all data will be deleted.

A few hours ago, Twitter sent out an email to users of their newsletter platform Revue informing them that they are going to be shutting the service down early next year:

screenshot official Revue mail

For most creators, this has come as a complete surprise.

Not for me.

On 22/11/2022 I already shared in the publication Better Marketing that Twitter will shut down.

How could I know about it?

Since billionaire Elon Musk cut Twitter in half (laid off thousands of employees), I’ve done a lot of research to be prepared for potential changes to the platform.

A few weeks ago, Platformer broke the news that Twitter will shut down its newsletter tool Revue according to internal documents.

Additionally, Revue founder Martijn de Kuijper tweeted on the 4th of November 2022:

Twitter Martijn de Kuijper

Why will Twitter shut Revue down?

When the pandemic started, a lot of journalists quit their jobs and started their own newsletters.

Back then, they made a lot of noise on Twitter about it to get people on their mailing lists.

It was the time of the newsletter gold rush. Paid newsletters were all the rage.

So Twitter bought Revue at the start of 2021 as an alternative business model to have a piece of the fast-growing newsletter industry.

Since Elon Musk has said one of his goals for Twitter has been to simplify the app, it’s not surprising to see Revue get discontinued.

Additionally, The New York Times asked lately: “Are We Past Peak Newsletter?”

Twitter is in good company with cutting back on newsletters

In fact, Twitter is in good company with cutting back on newsletters.

Zuckerberg from Meta will kill its publishing service Bulletin at the beginning of next year as well.

The Atlantic rolled out a program to rack up major bonuses (such as $400,000 for 14,500 readers or a base salary of $100,000) for converting readers to paying subscribers.

Since the newsletter program had most likely only made a small contribution to The Atlantic’s business in general, the company is now assessing if and how to continue the program.

Is the newsletter bubble bursting?

In their article Are We Past Peak Newsletter? The New York Times predicts that the newsletter bubble may be ready to pop.

In my opinion, everything in the news industry has its ups and downs.

Newsletters are no different.

But newsletters are still an important tool for creators and (small) business owners.

Newsletters have insane open rates and are here to stay

The whole point of building an email list is to prevent social algorithms from having control over you and your customer relationships.

Around 4 billion people globally used email in 2021.

This number is estimated to grow to 4.5 billion by the year 2025.

In general, organic visibility on social media is 2–3%.

The average Twitter user, for instance, only reaches 1% of their followers.

The average email marketer gets anywhere from 15–30% open rates from subscribers.

This means the difference in reach between a Twitter follower and an email subscriber can be over 30X.

This makes newsletters an important tool for any business.

The Revue alternative I recommend

If you’re currently using the newsletter service Revue, you’ll need to find another platform before January 18, 2023.

There are plenty of options and it might feel overwhelming to choose one.

The conventional wisdom in the marketing industry is:

Start on Substack, migrate to Ghost when you get bigger.

So let’s first have a look at Substack and then check out Ghost.

Substack

Substack positions itself as a leader in the creator economy, describing its goals to build a better future for writing.

I happen to have the most experience with Substack.

Substack was where I launched my newsletter in October 2022 from scratch to 284 subscribers.

Substack stats Kristina God

I might be a little biased, but it’s my clear favorite because it has done a great job of simplifying the task of creating a newsletter.

Why?

Because it’s newsletter-only and writer-centric.

Additionally, your newsletter is discoverable via the Substack platform and I love my open rates of 30–60%:

Substack stats Kristina God

What you also should keep in mind is that Elon Musk announced that he’s open to buying Substack:

Elon Musk Twitter

Pros:

  • no-frills platform that makes it super simple to start a newsletter
  • it’s 100% free (no matter how many subscribers you have)
  • offers a wide variety of writer community support initiatives (case studies, writing hours, Office Hours, group sessions)
  • you own your content
  • you can easily switch from free to paid members
  • potential subscribers can discover you via the Substack platform
  • it’s a well-known brand
  • Substack is evolving, growing, and adding new features such as Substack podcast, chat, cross-posts, and mentions (and video in beta)

Cons:

  • it’s *only* a newsletter platform, you can’t set up a landing page, blog, or website
  • if you gain paying members you have to pay a fee of 10%. Imagine if you grow a subscriber base that brings in $3,000 a month — you’ll be paying $300 of that to Substack.
  • it has a single design with basic settings
  • the data Substack is sharing is very limited to key data such as open rate

Bottom line:

Substack is super if you want to focus primarily on writing, growing your email list, and building a stronger connection with your subscribers.

Import Revue subscribers to Substack and grab your archive of newsletters:

I already imported my Revue subscribers to Substack.

To import your Revue newsletter to Substack simply enter your Revue API key and use this form:

Import your publication to Substack

Request access to your Revue API key at the bottom of this site:

https://www.getrevue.co/app/integrations

Ghost

I don’t use Ghost but I know the platform from my over 15 years of marketing experience for different companies, brands, and personalities.

It’s Substack’s main competitor.

Whereas Substack is known as a newsletter service, Ghost is known as a blogging platform and goes beyond Substack.

I love that it’s an all-in-one platform. You can create a website, blog and newsletter.

Pros:

  • you can manage a website, blog, and newsletter all from one place
  • you can completely customize everything
  • you can start for free
  • you can monetize your blog right out of the gate
  • has a great community forum
  • it’s like a self-hosted WordPress blog: anyone can download the software for free and install it on their own web hosting
  • you can integrate third-party services such as Zapier (to connect to another email marketing service such as MailChimp)
  • you can add Google AdSense and monetize your content
  • you can automatically give Patreon subscribers access to premium member-only content
  • zero ongoing commissions for paid subscribers
  • it offers a wide range of data insights

Cons:

  • you have to pay for the service — it starts at $9 per month ($108 per year) for 500 members
  • you have to be at least a bit tech-savvy

Bottom line:

Ghost is super if you want more than just a newsletter.

Import Revue subscribers to Ghost and grab your archive of newsletters:

If you want to switch to Ghost you can easily do this by going here and entering the Revue API key (as shown above, see Substack)

Migration Revue to Ghost

I don’t like Substack and Ghost. Are there any other alternatives?

You don’t have to go with the big names in the email newsletter business.

Other alternatives could be:

Beehiv, Gumroad, Podia, MailChimp, Buttondown, ConvertKit, or Medium (when you own a publication).

What should I do with my Revue subscribers?

No matter whether you want to switch to Substack or Ghost or go with another alternative platform, my recommendation is to export your Revue subscribers as soon as possible:

Here’s how I migrated my email list off Revue:

First, head to the subscribers' tab and go to Options > Export Your Subscribers.

Kristina God Revue

You’ll get an email where you can download your active subscribers in a .csv file.

Kristina God email Revue

You can now import it into any email platform of your choosing.

You can delete your Revue account if you want, or you could leave the posts up with a note to subscribe on your new platform — I’ve seen newsletters do both.

Either way, you’re now free of Revue.

If you currently run a paid Revue newsletter, please keep this in mind

If you use Revue to run a paid newsletter, on December 20th Twitter will set all paid subscriptions to cancel at the end of their billing cycle.

“This is to prevent your subscribers being charged for Revue content after the point where it is no longer possible to send newsletters from Revue.”

Bottom Line

Now it’s official.

Twitter will axe Revue in the mid of January 2023.

I would export my subscribers as soon as possible and switch to another publishing service.

My recommendation is Substack because this platform makes it super easy to create newsletters and it’s a lot of fun.

Additionally, Musk could really buy Substack as Twitter is working on a long-form text tweet that will lead to monetization for content creators.

Substack and Ghost are the big players in the newsletter space.

However, you don’t have to go with the big names in the email newsletter business. There are other alternatives too.

Newsletters are still a very important tool for creators and (small) business owners, so definitely make use of this tool in 2023.


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