Patreon Memberful subsidiary adds paid newsletters to its membership platform

Memberful, a subsidiary of creative platform Patreon, is expanding its membership platform to include a new feature – paid newsletters – reports TechCrunch. Acquired by Patreon in 2018, Memberful offers customizable membership programs for creators, allowing them to develop their own membership plans, complete with payment processing, membership management, and dashboard analysis. The company’s free and Pro plans include the Memberful brand, similar to Mailchimp and other services, but the Pro plan allows creators to use their own brand. Paid newsletters will be a new feature that will allow Memberful to compete with similar services like Substack.

“The Memberful team has been busy working on a new way to communicate directly with your members from within Memberful itself. You no longer need to leverage one of our third-party integrations to send and publish content. We always make it easy for you if you need more control, “Memberful’s Andy Leverenz said in an October 11, 2021 blog post.

“Now you can use our newsletter creation and distribution tools to send newsletters directly to your members at no additional cost. These are all included when you sign up for Memberful from day one. Hit send and start earning immediately, ”Leverenz added. “As an added bonus, you can publish your newsletter content via email and on the member’s website. That way, there is always a place your members can log in to.

Member subscribers can choose to use Memberful newsletter tools, or they can integrate with popular email marketing services such as Campaign Monitor, Drip, Mailchimp, and Mailerlite. The integration will automatically sync their members with their subscriber lists and of course the creators own their lists.

Membership fees vs sub-stack and review fees

The newsletter functionality is included in Memberful’s Pro and Premium plans at no additional cost. The membership platform offers a Free plan, a Pro plan at $ 25 per month + 4.9% transaction fee, and a Premium plan at $ 100 per month + 4.9% transaction fee.

While posting to Substack is free, the newsletter platform charges a 10% fee for paid subscriptions plus credit card fees charged by Stripe, their payment processor. It is also free to publish a newsletter on Revue, but when sending paid newsletters, Revue charges a fee of 5% plus a payment processing fee.

Image courtesy of Memberful

The competition

Substack is the leader in paid newsletters to beat. The service was started by founders Chris Best and Hamish McKenzie in an attempt to replace the failed, ad-supported model of journalism that was not working in the digital age. Their mission was to simplify the start of a subscription publication. Over half a million people subscribe to a publication on the platform, and the top 10 publishers make over $ 15 million per year. In April of this year, Substack raised $ 65 million in Series B funding to expand its platform. They also invested $ 1 million in the local Substack initiative to support local news.

Twitter acquired the Revue newsletter platform in January, and the company is in the process of testing newsletter signups on participating user profiles. This option is currently only available for a limited test group, but the goal is for the service to be an editorial newsletter subscription service where creators have the option of posting free and / or paid newsletters.

Facebook Bulletin and Google Museletter are other players that could accelerate simply because of the size of their platforms. Facebook is currently testing Bulletin, which is separate from the Facebook platform, with selected creators, including top creators and influencers like Malcolm Gladwell, Mitch Abom, and Erin Andrews. Google is also testing Museletter which will work in conjunction with other Google tools, including public profiles and Google Drive.

In August, Bloomberg reported that The New York Times plans to compete with paid newsletter services. The traditional media organization currently produces around 50 newsletters that reach 15 million readers every week. Eighteen newsletters, new and existing, will be placed behind a paywall. The newsletters will cover a variety of topics, from politics and economics to technology and lifestyle. Some newsletters will remain free. While these newsletters compete with other content platforms, they don’t seem open to creators who want to launch their own service.

Insider take

This seems like a no-brainer for Memberful and, of course, for Patreon. They were already providing a membership platform for their subscribers. The fact that they added the paid newsletter service at no additional cost was a huge bonus for their existing customers. This will likely help them attract new customers, especially since they are able to offer flat rates for their platform.

Harry L. Blanchard