How do I use the subscriber dashboard on Substack?

As your publication grows, you may find yourself wondering who your audience is and how your audience is growing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through your subscriber dashboard, including how to: 

Subscriber charts

The subscriber dashboard tells you about who’s in your Substack audience and how it's growing over time.

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  • All subscribers: Includes free and paid subscribers.

  • All followers: Your publication's total Substack audience, including the combined unique followers of all public admins and your subscribers who are followers by default. These readers follow you in the Substack app and on Substack.com and can see your notes and activity in the Notes feed.
  • Paid subscribers: The number of paying subscribers on your list. This includes gifts, complimentary, and free trial subscriptions. To see a more detailed breakdown, click the "Paid subscribers" tab on the graph, which will show you paid subscribers, comps, gifts, and free trials.

  • Gross annualized revenue: How much money you make per year, before Substack’s fees and credit card transaction fees (charged by Stripe). This figure is annualized, meaning that we look at your revenue at any given time and figure out what it would look like over the course of 12 months, assuming the mix of monthly and annual subscriptions remains constant.

Customize your dashboard

To access your subscriber dashboard, go to https://yourdomain.substack.com and click on the Subscribers tab.

We display a few basic columns by default, but you can add more information to your dashboard by clicking the “Columns” button and checking the columns you’d like to see.

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 If you’re not sure what a column means, hover over the title and a description will pop up. Here are a few descriptions of common columns:

  • Subscription type: free, paid, founding, gift, or comp. Also includes subscription intervals like monthly or annual where applicable.
  • Activity: represents how actively the subscriber has used your publication in the last month; this includes email opens and web views
  • Revenue: how much money the subscriber has paid for your newsletter, not including any money refunded.
  • Email opens (last 7 days, 30 days, 6 months): Number of times emails sent to this subscriber have been opened in the last X days or months. If the number is large, it may be because the subscriber is forwarding emails to other people.
  • Subscription source (free): A tag explaining how a subscriber arrived at your publication before becoming a free subscriber (e.g. from the Substack app or Google).
  • Emails opened (last 6 months): Number of emails opened by this subscriber in the last 6 months.

You can also click any column’s header to order your subscriber list by that column, ascending or descending.

Filter and segment your subscriber list

By default, we display your full subscriber list. If you’d like to view a subset of your list, you can add a filter. For example, you can use filters to produce a list of only your paid subscribers, subscribers who are active commenters, or subscribers who have opened your emails more than 10 times over the last 30 days. 

To create a filter, click the “Filter” button, then fill in the relevant parameters. Click “Add a filter” to add another filter. When ready, click “Apply” to update and display the segmented subscriber list. To remove the filters, click “Filter” again, then click the “X” next to a specific filter or “Clear all” to remove them all. 

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After selecting a subscriber set, you can take several actions to interact with them:

Send a targeted email

To email your filtered subscribers, click the box next to where it says "Subscriber" above your results. By default, this will only select the first 50 subscribers, but clicking “Select all X” will select all subscribers who match the criteria. Then click the “Email” button that appears above the list.

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When you send out a targeted email with the subscriber dashboard, we won’t create a post on your Substack publication–these are direct emails.

Learn more here on how to send a targeted email.

Remove them from your list

You may want to remove subscribers if you believe they are spam or acting inappropriately or if you don’t want them to interact with your publication anymore. 

Start by filtering and selecting a segment of your subscribers. Click the three dots in the top right, then click “Remove.” If they are paying subscribers, this will cancel their subscriptions and issue a pro-rated refund.

Give a complimentary subscription

You can also use the subscriber dashboard to give a complimentary paid subscription to a subset of your subscribers. 

Filter and select a group of free or paying subscribers. Then, click the three dots in the top right and click “Comp.” You will see a popup allowing you to select how long to comp their subscriptions for. If you comp an already paying subscriber, it will add time at the end of their current billing cycle.

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Export your list and data as a CSV

Click the “Export” button to export your list as a CSV file. If you have filters on, you can choose to export statistics for your entire email list, or just your filtered list. Select whether to export all columns available on Substack or only the columns you've selected. Select "Export" and then you can download the list as a CSV file by clicking “Download last export”.

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Understanding individual subscribers

You can also use the subscriber dashboard to view activity from individual subscribers. You can remove or comp individual subscribers by clicking on the three dots at the far right of their row.

Click an individual subscriber’s email to view their subscription details, recent activity, and detailed stats. You can also edit that person’s subscription (comp, remove, or refund) from this page.

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If you're looking for a particular subscriber, you can use the search bar in the Subscribers dashboard by entering their name or email address. If no results are found it's possible that:

  • They've created a Substack profile with a different name.
  • They mistyped their email address when subscribing to your Substack publication.
  • Your import list may be under review.
  • If you've manually added their email address or imported them as part of a list, they may require verification to receive emails. This setting prevents writers from adding an individual reader to an email list without their permission. Substack will email the reader to confirm whether they'd like to subscribe to the publication.
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