Plaxo Basic and Plaxo Premium

by Maskil on July 16, 2008

I attempted to post the comments below on the Plaxo Premium Forum this past weekend. For some reason, the topic has still not appeared on the forum, despite my having queried it with the forum’s Moderators, redgee and plaxomachead. (No response from either as yet.) Although my remarks are somewhat critical, they are not disparaging. I see them as constructive or positive criticism or suggestions; just the kind of feedback companies pay good money to get through customer attitude surveys!

Have a look and judge for yourself:

LinkedIn Sync not mentioned on Plaxo Premium Services page

Having tried it for a couple of days, I’m one of those who don’t really see value in Plaxo Premium Services at the current rate of almost $50 per annum.

Just something that you may want to bring to the attention of your marketing team, however:

Nowhere on the “home” page for Plaxo Premium Services does it mention anything about the LinkedIn Sync feature! To my mind, this would be one of the main “selling points” for Premium Services, yet it doesn’t even merit a mention on the main Plaxo Premium Services page!

Plaxo Plaxo Premium Services

If you’re aware of it and search for it, it is covered on other help pages, e.g. the article below, but the casual user will probably not dig that deep.

Plaxo Help Center

I would strongly suggest that the above page be updated to include mention of LinkedIn Sync!

Just my 2 cents worth, but I also think the Deduper should be part of Plaxo Basic rather than exclusive to Plaxo Premium. I don’t see this as a value-added feature, but as an essential feature. If your contacts are spread over more than one address book, Plaxo is pretty much a crippled product without it. You may convince some users to fork over the $50 to have the use of it, but most will resent it, including those who don’t pony up.

Although Plaxo continues to have something of a bad rap out there for its past sins, I still see it as a valuable (probably unique) product or service. No other product that I’m aware of allows you to synchronise your address book, calendar and task list across multiple workstations and the Web in the way that Plaxo does. In addition, no other product has as many “connectors” (sync points) to allow you to synchronise those same assets between your various Web-based e-mail accounts. Yes, some of those connectors are only one-way, but that doesn’t appear to be Plaxo’s doing, rather that of the other party.

This, to me, is the core of what Plaxo offers. I am now starting to get a lot more value from the Pulse features, broadening and deepening connections and turning my plain old address book into a real network. The address book synchronisation is still core for me, however.

Regarding Plaxo Basic and Plaxo Premium, my opinion is that the differentiators should be service/support (and here I’ve heard quite a few criticisms regarding the Plaxo Premium service levels) and volumes, rather than features, e.g. the absolutely essential Deduper.

As regards pricing, I think what Plaxo fails to understand is that many of us subscribe to a variety of these premium services. Generally speaking, they are priced at a level where making the decision to go ahead doesn’t need a second thought. At $50 per annum, however, Plaxo Premium draws the wrong kind of attention. As much as I would like features such as the Deduper, LinkedIn Sync and Plaxo eCards, I simply can’t justify it. At $10-20 per annum, however, it would be a no-brainer. Even at our 7 or 8 to 1 exchange rate, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach for the plastic.

(What I particularly like about Plaxo eCards is that the complete eCard is delivered to the recipient’s Inbox within the body of an e-mail message, with an optional copy to you. No link to a dodgy flashing, blinking, pop-up infested site requiring an unintuitive sign-on,and no concerns about whether your adware and spyware protection are up to date.)

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