How do I publish a free preview of a paid post on Substack?

On Substack, you can publish and send a free preview of a paid post to your free readers. This feature is flexible meaning that the placement of the paywall within the post is 100% up to you.

How do I get started?

1. Within the post editor, you can add a paywall directly from the tool bar:

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2. Once the paywall is automatically embedded in your post, you can drag and move it between paragraphs.

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3. To send the preview as an email to your free readers, make sure the box next to "Send a paywalled preview to free signups" is checked on your Publish page.  

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Note: If you switch the post from paid subscribers to "Everyone" or "Only free signups", the paywall will be removed.

Can I customize the paywall?

Yes! You can customize the header for free preview emails. 

1. On the post editor, click on "Edit email header and footer".

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2. Click on "Edit" in the "Free preview of a subscribers-only post" section.

Note: Customization is limited to only free preview emails and won't appear on the web post.

What does the paywall look for free readers?

Free readers can view a preview of a paid post in their email or as a web post. 

  • Emails will have a Subscribe button, your customized free preview header (if you've set that up), and a list of subscription benefits.

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  • Web posts will display "This post is for paying subscribers" and a Subscribe button.
Tip: To see what the paywall looks via email, head to your Post Settings and enter your email address in the "Send test email" section or use the Preview tool.
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