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How to migrate from Substack to ConvertKit

Learn how to recreate your Substack profile, import your subscribers, migrate a paid Substack newsletter, and more.

Updated over a week ago

Make the switch from Substack

ConvertKit is a great platform for running a newsletter, especially if you’re planning on monetizing it. So, if you’re bringing over your newsletter from Substack, let’s get you set up!

We’ll cover these steps for migrating a free/paid Substack newsletter to ConvertKit:

Recreating your Substack profile

Recreating your Substack profile in ConvertKit

When you use Substack, you have a main newsletter landing page with an email form for collecting subscribers. You can recreate this page by setting up a Creator Profile in ConvertKit:

Access your Creator Profile settings by clicking Grow in the top navigation in ConvertKit, followed by Creator Profile.

Customize your name, profile picture, and bio in your Creator Profile to tell people who you are and what your newsletter is about.

Visitors to your Creator Profile will be able to subscribe to your emails and automatically get added to your ConvertKit subscriber list.

They can also view your previous newsletters you've published to the web.

Last but not least, you can customize your Creator Profile's URL for easy sharing in your social media bios.

Everything you need to know about setting up your Creator Profile can be found here.

Once you’ve set up your ConvertKit Creator Profile, don’t forget to replace the links to your Substack newsletter with that for your ConvertKit profile!

NOTE: Want to set up a simple landing page to collect subscribers instead? Here’s how.

Migrating your Substack content

You can feature your past Substack newsletters on your Creator Profile's newsletter feed, too!

To do so, you'll need to:

  • Recreate your previous newsletters in ConvertKit as new one-off emails, also known as Broadcasts.

  • Published the Broadcasts to the web (because only Broadcasts published to the web can appear on the Creator Profile).

  • Change your Broadcasts' publish dates to match your newsletters' original publish dates.

Importing your Substack subscribers

Go to Substack and export all your Substack subscribers as a CSV file. If you have paid subscribers, export those as a separate CSV file as well.

(Don’t worry about having duplicate subscribers in both CSV files. We’ll merge any duplicates we find as you import your subscribers!)

In ConvertKit, click Subscribers under the Grow tab in the top navigation, followed by Add Subscribers.

Select Import a CSV, and then import the CSV file containing all your Substack subscribers.

If needed, you can add your subscribers to Forms, Sequences, or Tags when importing them.

Importing your paid Substack subscribers

From the Subscribers page, create a new Tag to help you identify your paid subscribers. You can call the Tag “Paid subscribers” or similar.

After that, repeat the import process above to import your CSV file of paid subscribers to ConvertKit. Be sure to add your paid subscribers to the “Paid subscribers” Tag before clicking the Import Subscribers button.

Writing newsletters in ConvertKit

To write a newsletter, create a new Broadcast by clicking Broadcasts under the Send tab in the top navigation.

Click the + New broadcast button to start writing your newsletter!

For more information on Broadcasts, visit our full guide to creating, sending, and publishing Broadcasts.

Sending a newsletter to only your paid subscribers

If the newsletter you’re writing is for paid subscribers only, there are two extra things you’ll need to take care of.

1. Select your paid subscribers as your Broadcast recipients

First, under the Send email option, you’ll need to set up your Broadcast to send to only your paid subscribers.

For example, if you have tagged all your paid subscribers with a “Paid subscribers” Tag, then add a filter to send your Broadcast to only subscribers who have that Tag.

2. Make the newsletter a paid post

Next, under the Publish to web option, toggle the Only display for paying subscribers setting on.

Doing this will allow only paid subscribers to access the newsletter from your newsletter feed.

Migrating your paid Substack newsletter

Creating a new paid newsletter in ConvertKit

To migrate your paid Substack newsletter, you’ll create a new paid newsletter product using our ConvertKit Commerce feature.

The first step is to set up payments for your ConvertKit account if you haven't already done so.

After that, follow the steps in this guide to creating a paid newsletter in ConvertKit to set up your paid newsletter product.

Importantly, select the “Subscription” product type for your paid newsletter product so you can set a recurring pricing plan for it.

When you’re done creating your paid newsletter product, click the Publish button at the top right of the product builder.

You’ll then see options for either sharing a link to your product or embedding your product into your web page.

Migrating your paid Substack subscriptions

At this time, there is no convenient method of migrating your paid subscribers’ subscriptions (with their payment details) to ConvertKit.

A workaround would be to:

  • Cancel all your paid subscribers’ subscriptions in Substack, and then

  • Ask your paid subscribers to re-subscribe to your paid newsletter once you’ve set it up in ConvertKit.

We also recommend informing your paid subscribers of your migration plans in advance.

This way, they won’t get a rude shock when their paid Substack subscriptions are canceled on their behalf. You’ll also have time to sort out any refund requests you receive as you switch platforms.

Need help with migrating your Substack newsletter to ConvertKit? Contact our migrations team, and they’ll be happy to assist!

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