What to do About Platform Sameness

Technology sameness

Current subscribers will remember at some point I was looking into platforms (see tools) for the future of the letter. Things I'm considering are: fees per number of subscribers, ease of use and communication, community component. To that list I'm adding easy ways to pay.

It still feels like many of the platforms I looked into are in flux.

When/if you consider a move from one platform to the other, think about the back-end, too. Anne Libby made a few, and she can tell you to watch out for integrations. If you ever wondered about the role of integrators: painkiller. 

Chris Garrett has a short article Should you show features or benefits? (Extra points if you can figure out the paint company he quotes. I couldn't.) What would you want to know next to decide?


Could you tell which statement belongs to which provider? 

“Company is the smartest and most intuitive platform for growing businesses. Thrive digitally as we guide your business with the right marketing & sales tools.”

“Start a newsletter. Build your community. Make money from subscriptions. Publishing is free, with no limits. We only make money when you do.”

“Create your newsletter even easier and faster. Test out new email editor and design professional newsletters in less than no time.”

“Join 150,000 people like you using the #1 Customer Experience Automation platform. This month only, get started with 50% off when you sign up for a Company plan.”

“Build a loyal audience. Company makes it easy for writers and publishers to send editorial newsletters — and get paid.”

“Conquer/Create/Grow/Optimize/Automate/Sell with email marketing your way. Take email marketing beyond the inbox with advanced tools made easy. Enjoy award-winning live 24/7 support along with all the features you need to succeed.”

“The creator marketing platform for your collection/album/book/podcast/newsletter. Whatever you make, make it known with Company.”

“Reach your customers at all the right moments. Get advanced automations that stay in touch with customers and encourage them to make purchases—available with our Standard Plan."

“Launch your own Company. Turn your audience into a business.”


Get more specific

At this stage, with at least nine companies competing for my share of mind, it's hard to talk about positioning. But you could still reflect your strength in the lead statement. For example, which advanced tools? What's the company's direction?

Without the names, I could not be sure which would be a better choice. Going back to the four areas of focus: attention, content/design, payment, deliverability, I need to dig deeper. In my case, I started looking at in depth reviews by people I trust.

We've long known that reviews have an impact on buying. Hence why fake reviews have become a thriving business. There are ways to interpret customer reviews. As I wrote in that article,

Consciously and/or unconsciously we use decisions as a way to show and confirm to ourselves who we are. And our identity is connected with our behaviors, but our answers depend on context.

By now we mostly understand that there is a trade-off between being connected, staying informed and our privacy. but that trade-off comes with strings attached —we expect more from organizations and brands.

People bring their whole selves to experiences, and their tribes as well.

Hence this article is a high level summary for someone else looking at which platform to use. In a maturing market, recommendations and ease of specific use go hand in hand. Customer support becomes more important a little later.

You can copy software, but you can't copy as easily the ways you do business and you build the business.

Culture reflects on the brand.

This is especially true when people are stressed out.


Also, careful not to over-promise and under-deliver. Integration involves other companies. For example, Stripe for payments. Here's where things could get hairy and as the customer-facing company, you are highly visible while not having all the data. That would be with the payment technology.

I understand the resistance to being specific. But it really does help orient customers and avoid disappointments down the road. Those do leave a deeper mark than first impressions.


[image via Pixabay]

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