A guide to Substack metrics

On your Substack publication, there are four main places you'll want to check to see how your publication is doing: Home, Posts, Subscribers, and Stats

Home

The Home page offers a high-level overview of your Substack publication including subscriber growth and engagement, gross annualized revenue, recent post performance, and strategic guidance.

For all publications, this section will show your subscriber count, publication views, and open rate.

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  • All subscribers: The total number of subscribers to your publication. The number in green or gray reflects the net number who have subscribed or unsubscribed to your publication in the last 30 days.
  • 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.
  • 30-day views: The sum of all views to your publication across platforms in the last 30 days. The number in green or gray reflects a change from the views during the previous 30-day period (60-30 days ago).
  • 30-day open rate: The average open rate of posts in the last 30 days. The percentage in green or gray reflects the change from the open rate during the previous 30-day period (60-30 days ago). Upon publishing an email newsletter, this percentage may appear low while the numbers adjust.

If you have payments enabled on your Substack publication, you'll see additional data in the Overview.

  • Paid subscribers: The total number of paying subscribers. The number in green or gray reflects the number of new subscribers who have started paying or existing paying subscribers who have cancelled in the last 30 days. 
  • Gross annualized revenue: Your publication's current ARR. The number in green or gray reflects a change from the last 30 days.

Learn more here about your Substack Home.

Posts

The Posts page tells you about individual posts you've published and where your readers came from.

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Curious to see how a post is performing? Click on a post and you'll see a detailed summary of metrics such as total views and open rate.

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  • Total views: The number of views on your post, similar to page views. They include both web, email, and the Substack app. 
  • Free subscription: The number of people who subscribed to your publication from that post.
  • Paid subscription: The number of people who signed up for a paid subscription from that post.
  • Recipients: The number of unique people who received an email or Substack app notification about this post.  
  • Open rate: The percentage of people who opened this post after receiving an email or Substack app notification about it. If one person opens your post five times, that counts as one open.
  • Link clicks: The percentage of openers who clicked a given link in your post and the total click count.
  • Traffic sources: The top traffic sources that readers found a post from.

Learn more about your Posts statistics: Guide to your Substack Posts page

Subscribers

The Subscribers dashboard tells you about who’s signed up to your publication and how it's growing.

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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. 
  • 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.

Stats

The Stats page displays metrics for up to five categories: Traffic, Emails, Pledges, Subscriber report, and Network. The Unsubscribes tab is only visible for paid publications. 

Traffic

The Total traffic section tells you about the sum of all visits to your publication across platforms on a specified time period you can pick in the date calendar.

Top sources shows where visitors came from and and how many subscribed. 

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  • Visitors: The number of visitors who've been to your Substack (includes any post, not just your homepage).

  • Source: Where your visitors came from, also known as referral traffic. 

Under your referral traffic, if you see "about" or "post" in parentheses, such as "facebook.com (post)", it means your visitors came to that type of page on your Substack (e.g. your About page or a post you’ve published). Other websites can pass their own referral information through links, however, so not everything you see in parentheses is something that we track.

Emails

The Emails section provides a table of data for every post you send out, including the title, send date, audience, number of email deliveries and opens, open rate, free and paid subscriptions in 1 day, likes, comments, and shares.

By default, the table is sorted by most recent posts first, but you can sort it by different criteria  by clicking on the relevant column header. For example, to see your posts with the highest open rate, click the “Open Rate” header and it will sort from highest to lowest. Click the same header again, and you will see your posts sorted from lowest to highest open rate instead. 

Unsubscribes

If you have paid subscriptions, the Unsubscribes section provides you with a list of reasons why previous paid subscribers chose to unsubscribe from your publication. Your unsubscribe stats also include their emails and unsubscribe dates.

Subscriber report

On your Subscriber report tab, you’ll see dashboards for:

  • Subscriber retention
  • Paid growth rate
  • Audience Insights

These metrics can provide insights into the health of your paid subscriptions by helping you understand how your paid audience is growing, the rate that they're staying as paid subscribers, and where your Substack is read.

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Learn more here on what your Subscriber report shows.

Network

The Network section tells you how many of your subscribers came via the Substack network. The Substack publication and payment ecosystem makes it simple for readers to find and subscribe to their favorite publications.

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If you have payments enabled on your publications, the chart and table break down your paid subscribers into four categories based on how they came to your publication:

  • Substack platform features: Readers who subscribed as a direct result of Substack’s platform features, such as leaderboards, recommendations, or promotions.

  • Substack saved credit cards: Readers who could subscribe to your publication in only one click because they already had a payment method on file with Substack.

  • Substack existing accounts: Readers who could more easily subscribe to your publication because they already had a Substack account.

  • Imported accounts: Readers who you imported.

  • New accounts: Readers who came directly to your publication.

Reader sharing

This tab can show the power of your subscribers sharing your posts. For each subscriber who shares your posts, you'll see how many visitors, free subscriptions, and paid subscriptions were generated from their shares.

To see the performance of reader sharing for a certain time period, select the "Time range" button and select the from and to dates.

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If you'd like to email any subscriber from this list, check the box next to their email address and an Email button will appear.

Note: This tab only displays the performance of reader sharing from January 2022 onwards.

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