How to migrate from Substack to beehiiv

In order to successfully migrate from Substack to beehiiv, you’ll need to do 2 things:

  • Migrate your subscribers
  • Migrate your newsletter content

You can follow the step-by-step instructions for each below. Due to the nature of these processes, we strongly recommend reading through this entire article before proceeding, ensuring a clear understanding of the necessary actions you should take.

The instructions vary based on whether your Substack content originates from free accounts, premium accounts, or a combination of both account types. Refer to the chart below to determine which parts are relevant to your needs. 

Migration Type Subscriber Migration  Premium Subscriber Mapping Free Content Migration Premium & Combo Content Migration
Only Free Subscribers & Content X   X  
Only Premium Subscribers & Content X X   X
Both Free & Premium Subscribers & Content X X   X

Subscriber Migration

  1. Log into your Substack account and export a CSV list of all your subscribers.

 

  1. Log into your beehiiv account so you can import your Substack subscribers. From the left hand panel, go to Settings > Publication > then click on the Import Subscribers tab.

  2. Depending on the amount of subscribers you need to import, you’ll choose accordingly. 
    • To import 2,500 subscribers or less, under Import Subscribers, click on the black Start Import button. 

    • To import up to 10,000 subscribers, you’ll first need to be verified by our payment partner, Stripe. 
      • Under Raise your import limit, click on the pink Start Stripe Identity Verification button. 
      • Then, after you have completed the Stripe verification process, click on the black Start Import button.
    • To import more than 10,000 subscribers, you’ll need to go through the Stripe verification process and then contact our support team for further assistance. (You can also refer to this article on why we set import limits.)

 

  1. After clicking on the black Start Import button, you’ll be prompted to choose an import method. Select Upload a CSV file and then choose the CSV file that you want to import.



    If you have a welcome email setup or an automation active in your beehiiv account, you can choose those options or leave them blank. You can also select or skip the email validation.

  2. Review your selections and click on Import Subscribers.

  3. A confirmation message will pop up where you will need to confirm that the contacts in the list have knowingly opted-in to receiving emails from you. Click on Import to confirm.



  4. Next, you’ll be able to start mapping out the fields (tags) from the CSV file as custom fields within beehiiv.

    For additional guidance, you can refer to this this tutorial video.



  5. When done making your mapping selections, click on the Import button.

  6. Once completed, you will see how many subscribers were accepted.


  7. You can then view the subscribers by navigating to the Audience section of your account.



  8. To see the newly imported custom fields, click on an individual subscriber’s name and navigate to the Custom Fields section. 


Premium Subscriber Mapping

Before you embark on mapping your premium subscribers from Substack to beehiiv, please note the following:

  • All beehiiv premium subscriptions require a Stripe account.
  • You will need to have the premium offerings set up in your account here.  
  • When mapping premium subscriptions from Substack to beehiiv, it's crucial to maintain both the subscription price and the original currency because you will not be able to alter the price or the currency during the migration process.
  • After you've successfully added your premium subscribers, you can watch this video to learn about setting up premium subscriptions and adding premium offerings to your beehiiv account. 

Additionally, you can refer to this video tutorial covering the premium subscriber migration process.

  1. Log into your Stripe account and navigate to where you can review the current customers and products that you have been offering your premium subscribers.



  2. When you are ready to start the migration, log into your beehiiv account and go here to Stripe Migrations, then click on the Get Started button.



  3. You will need to map your previous Substack subscriptions to the new beehiiv subscriptions.

    Select your source product (Substack) and map it to the beehiiv product that you previously created.



    Once you have done the mapping, click Next.

 

  1. The system will automatically find the new premium subscribers and then you will have an option to review the customers that will be migrated to make sure everything is being done correctly.
    Premium Subscribers_Step 4.png

  2. Review all of the subscriptions details to make sure they are as you desire, then click on Start Import to begin the process.

  3. The progress bar will let you know when the import is completed .



  4. Once done, you can verify this by going to Audience > Subscribers in your account where you will see your migrated premium subscribers included in your list.



  5. After you have mapped your premium subscriptions into beehiiv, go back to your Stripe account and verify that those Substack customers now have a beehiiv subscription plan assigned to them.

    Look out for the following:
  • You should see two subscription plans under each customer, one from Substack and one from beehiiv. (In the example below, both show as canceled subscriptions but you should see them as active.)
  • The beehiiv plan should have the same renewal date and/or trial ends date as the Substack plan.

    Premium Subscribers_Step 8 crop.png

Important Note: You will need to cancel or pause your Substack account before the renewal date or your premium customers will get charged twice, once through Substack and once through beehiiv.

Additionally, if you  prefer to cancel your Substack account, then instead of pausing your subscriptions in Substack, you will need to cancel the subscriptions in Stripe, be sure to issue no refunds, and then disconnect your Stripe account from Substack. Please reach out to Substack Support for assistance.
  1. Log into your Substack account and pause the premium subscriptions that were migrated to beehiiv. Or, see the note above if you prefer to cancel your Substack account.



  2.  (Optional) For additional verification, we also recommend going back to your Stripe account and verifying that the new beehiiv subscription plan is registered to the right customers.

 


Free Content Migration

  1. To migrate your free Substack content into beehiiv, you will need your Substack Publication URL, which you can copy from your Substack account.



  2. From the left hand panel in your beehiiv account, go to Settings > Publication > then click on the Import Content tab.

  3. Click on the Get Started button and select the Substack import option.



  4. Enter/paste your Substack Publication URL found under Step 1 on the form, then click the Import button.

  5. Depending on how many posts you are migrating it might take some time, so you may see a “pending” message while the import is going on.

  6. When import is complete you will see a “complete” status with the number of posts created.




Premium & Free Content Migration

  1. From your Substack account, go to Settings > Exports and click on the Create new export button. 



  2. A new export will launch and when it’s ready, you will receive an email from Substack with a zip file that you can download.​​
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR SAFARI BROWSER USERS: Please ensure your browser settings do not automatically unpack your zipped content — which is often a default setting in Safari. Make sure that the 'Open “safe” files after downloading' option is unchecked to prevent Safari from automatically unpackaging your zipped premium content. This precaution is necessary as you'll need to submit a zipped file in your beehiiv account.




  1. After you have your Substack premium content exported and saved as a zip file, from the left hand panel in your beehiiv account, go to Settings > Publication > then click on the Import Content tab.

  2. Click on the Get Started button and select the Substack import option.

  3. Enter/paste your Substack Publication URL found under Step 1 on the form.

  4. Under Step 2, click on Select File and choose your exported zip file from Substack, then click the Import button.



  5. Depending on how many posts you are migrating it might take some time, so you may have a “pending” message while the import is going on.



  6. After your import is complete, you can view the status and see how many posts have been imported into your beehiiv account.


 

You can view them in the Posts section of your beehiiv account. Or additionally, you can verify on your beehiiv blog that the content is for premium members only. 

Here’s an example of a Substack premium post that’s been migrated to a beehiiv premium post.

 

Known Limitations

In our commitment to ensuring a seamless migration process, it's essential to acknowledge specific constraints while transferring content from Substack to beehiiv. Our content importers, although considered advantageous features, typically function effectively for the majority of our customers. Yet, achieving complete accuracy poses challenges due to the dynamic nature of third-party platforms, often subject to changes beyond beehiiv's control.

Current limitations include:

  • Videos will not be migrated 
  • Podcasts will not be migrated
  • Previous paywall placements will not be migrated
  • Tags will not be migrated 
  • Photo galleries will not be migrated
  • Comments will not be migrated
  • The categories structures of your content will not be migrated
  • Code blocks will get migrated in plain text, so then you will need to recreate them within beehiiv using the HTML Snippet option in the text editor
  • Embeds will not be migrated 
  • Author’s will not be migrated
  • Block quotes will get migrated but the actual style might vary in beehiiv then what you have had in Substack. 

Use a beehiiv Services Partner

You always have the option to access our internal services partner to help you and your team with any migration efforts from Substack to beehiiv. Please reach out to K. Patel for assistance

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