You Get What You Pay For

Apparently that is the chant being issued by the PrinterPresence staff on the floor of Graph Expo. We overheard a prospect mention that very phrase while holding a PrinterPresence brochure in his hands. I would counter that you don’t get what you pay for with Printer Presence. If they can’t compete on the objective merits of the product then they must resort to competing on subjective items as implied by the “You get what you pay for” comments.

Considering that WebsitesForPrinters.com provides a better product for less money, I’d say that claim is on very shaky ground. Consider this: WebsitesForPrinters.com has sent out over 200 issues of the e-mail newsletter Printer@Work on behalf of our clients. It’s a powerful tool that allows printers to connect with their customers; it’s included with each website at no additional charge. We provide the content, the printer doesn’t have to do a thing … it just works!

Contrast that to the product offered by PrinterPresence … it seems their e-mail tool costs extra and doesn’t include content. That means more work for printers to create content. (edited)

There’s more … but I’d rather rest up for the last big day of Graph Expo. Many more people to meet and more shoulders to rub!!!

4 Responses to You Get What You Pay For

  1. Ryan Erickson says:

    More like “You pay more for what you get!”

  2. Brian Wheeler says:

    This is ironic….You “claim” to be Christian and then bash people on the same webpage, quite hypocritical of you ask me (and seems this way to alot of other potential customers reading this blog) I think someone missed the bible verse, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, or maybe Dave, you just thought it didnt apply to you. All I have to say is grow up, and its sad that you guys are going to a new low point fueled by jealousy to “bash” your competition. Also, Tawnya and her staff must be doing something right for your company to present a staff member of yours in Chicago as the “Tawnya Starr of Websites for Printers” Sad to say Dave but Websites for Printers has and never will have someone as innvoative as Tawnya Starr. Tisk-Tisk Jealousy is such an evil thing

  3. davehultin says:

    In response to Brian Wheeler’s comment…

    First, let me say that you are correct … I do claim to be a Christian. If I have not presented my claim in a way that brings honor and glory to the name of Jesus, then that is truly my biggest regret, and I will publicly apologize if my words and actions have dishonored the name of Jesus.

    After thoughtful consideration of the counsel of five fellow Christians I have decided to edit one part of the post that could be considered to be an inappropriate comment.

    However, I will not apologize for my presentation of verifiable, factual truth. I have taken great care to ensure my posts … including the one you have commented on … present only the truth. Later this week I intend to post a followup to expound on these truths.

  4. davehultin says:

    I would like to continue the thoughts that developed on the “You Get What You Pay For” post above. The post reflected on a Graph Expo 2008 attendee’s comments assumed to be directed at WebsitesForPrinters.com. The post was also commented by a blog reader who challenged my claims to being a Christian, and my claims in response to the “You get what you pay for” comment.

    I have thought long and hard about how (and if) to respond. I was going to just “let it go” … but I believe doing so would ignore truth, and I simply can’t let that happen. Now, let’s dig into the details. This could take a while. Ready? Let’s go…

    Let me lead off by saying that Brian Wheeler and I briefly exchanged a few private e-mails after his comment was published. Those e-mail conversations will remain private, with the exception of this paragraph from my opening communication to Brian:

    First, let me say that you are correct … I do claim to be a Christian. If I have not presented my claim in a way that brings honor and glory to the name of Jesus, then that is truly my biggest regret, and I will publicly apologize if my actions have dishonored the name of Jesus. However, I have taken great care to ensure my posts … including the one you have commented on … present only the truth.

    I am presenting the above communication to “stake my claim” as a Christian, and a presenter of the truth in a competitive market. Now it’s time to analyze the post and the claims, and further disclose the truth.

    Truth Disclosure #1: This is certainly not the first time we’ve heard the “You Get What You Pay For” comment. We’ve heard it enough for me to suspect that it is a talking point developed by PrinterPresence to counter the questions raised by prospects considering both WebsitesForPrinters.com and PrinterPresence.

    Truth Disclosure #2: In the original post I said:

    Considering that WebsitesForPrinters.com provides a better product for less money…

    This comment refers to the complete suite of services offered by WebsitesForPrinters.com and PrinterPresence. Granted, “better product” may be considered to be very subjective, but there are several measurable and quantifiable aspects of our services that allow me to make this claim with confidence.

    I usually save disclosing these differences for the personal calls with prospects comparing our two services, or with PrinterPresence customers considering making the switch to WebsitesForPrinters.com, but most of these differences have been around for so long that I suspect PrinterPresence already knows about the differences if they are doing their homework. (I know they are, they’re smart and tough competitors.) The rest of this post will concentrate on the measurable and quantifiable differences.

    Truth Disclosure #3: In the original “You Get What You Pay For” post I compared the WebsitesForPrinters.com built-in e-mail newsletter (Printer@Work) to the new e-mail marketing tool provided by PrinterPresence. As previously stated, WebsitesForPrinters.com has sent out over 200 issues of the e-mail newsletter Printer@Work on behalf of our clients. While each printer may customize their own issue of Printer@Work if they choose to do so, WebsitesForPrinters.com has always provided the intial newsletter content, ready to use by the printer. In fact, the printer doesn’t even have to hit the “Send” button if they don’t want to. The content simply appears and is distributed automatically.

    In referring to the new e-mail product offered by PrinterPresence, I was very careful to use the words “it seems” in the following sentence:

    Contrast that to the product offered by PrinterPresence … it seems their e-mail tool costs extra and doesn’t include content.

    (italics added for emphasis)

    I based my comments on two items:

    Previous detective work which indicated that content was NOT provided by PrinterPresence
    Product information provided by PrinterPresence at http://www.printerpresence.com/product/services/email_marketing_pricing.html.

    Please note this quantifiable difference. WebsitesForPrinters.com provides the Printer@Work e-mail newsletter (and more importantly, the content!) as part of our basic website website package. There is no additional startup charge, and no additional monthly charge. The page listed above says that the PrinterPresence setup fee is $250, and the monthly fee ranges from $30 per month to $575+ per month.

    After the original “You Get What You Pay For” post was made available I have been told that PrinterPresence offers a free newsletter service to their clients that includes content. I have not had an opportunity to verify this for myself, but because of the pricing information published by PrinterPresence I have a hard time believing the “free” part of that claim to be true. By extension I will also continue to have a hard time believing the newsletter content is provided.

    The first three Truth Disclosures address items directly from the post. The Truth Disclosures that follow are being presented to add more measurable and quantifiable credibility to the claim that WebsitesForPrinters.com provides a better product for less money.

    Truth Disclosure #4: Less money. With the exception of the bare-bones package offered by PrinterPresence, WebsitesForPrinters.com will come in as less expensive, even when PrinterPresence is on sale! We have a prospect currently participating in the WebsitesForPrinters.com 60-Day Live Trial program; shortly before launching his website with us he received a special promotion e-mail from PrinterPresence, and his due diligence led him to question our pricing. It didn’t take long for me to show him that even with their promotional pricing they were more expensive. It was an e-mail too long to present here, it may end up being presented as another comment to this post.

    Truth Disclosure #5: E-mail capabilities. We provide as many e-mail accounts as our clients need. Each account is automatically protected from spam and viruses, may be accessed by either POP or IMAP protocol, and is accessible on the road via a web browser (mail.WebsitesForPrinters.com).

    With PrinterPresence spam and virus protection cost an extra $15 per month (http://www.printerpresence.com/product/features/spam_protection.html), and last I heard there is no web access to e-mail accounts.

    Truth Disclosure #6: Variable Data Documents. With the VersaDoc system from PrinterPresence the only way to add variable data documents to a customer portal is to have PrinterPresence build them for you (for a fee). With WebsitesForPrinters.com you have a choice. We’ll build the document for you (for a fee) or allow you to build the document on your own at no charge (other than a one-time charge for the software required to build the document.)

    Truth Disclosure #7: Customer Portals. We both have customer portals, but there’s a big difference in the definition. With PrinterPresence, the customer portal must be set up in advance (by the printer) before it is available to the printer’s customer. With WebsitesForPrinters.com the customer portal is set up automatically (by the website) when the printer’s customer does business on the website. Which leads to…

    Truth Disclosure #8: Order History. When a customer portal is created (automatically!) on WebsitesForPrinters.com, the portal will start tracking all web-related activity right from the start. As the customer does more work through the web an order history is created. To the best of my knowledge there is no order history at all in a website from PrinterPresence.

    Truth Disclosure #9: Innovation. This can edge to the subjective, but here is one of several examples where WebsitesForPrinters.com is the innovator and PrinterPresence is catching up. One of the PrinterPresence announcements at Graph Expo 2008 was “Springboard,” and one of the features they touted was “user-friendly drag-and-drop content management.” (http://www.printerpresence.com/company/press.html?article=20081026-01) This is nothing new to WebsitesForPrinters.com … we’ve had “user-friendly drag-and-drop content management” for quite some time now (well over a year).

    Other examples could also be presented, but it would be unwise for me to “tip those cards” at this time.

    Truth Disclosure #10: Focus. WebsitesForPrinters.com builds websites ONLY for the printing industry. Our focus is ONLY on websites for printers. That’s our name, that’s what we do.

    Along those lines, I find it interesting that PrinterPresence lays claim to over 3,000 clients (see the bottom of any Press Room article, such as http://www.printerpresence.com/company/press.html?article=20081026-01). A few years ago I wanted to order a pizza from Happy Joe’s here in Fargo. I went to the Happy Joe’s website to check out the menu, and the style looked very familiar. A quick whois lookup confirmed my suspicion … Digital IMS! (That was at the time the name of the parent company of PrinterPresence, now called Firespring.) It appears that HappyJoes.com is no longer being maintained by Digital IMS / Firespring, but at the time it got me thinking about how many other non-printing websites they are spending their time on. Here are a few, all verified by a WHOIS lookup to be hosted by Firespring (name servers reported under the former name of digitalims.net) at the time of this writing:

    http://www.nebraskachildren.org/, Whois lookup

    http://jjwire.biz/, Whois lookup

    http://thecfsgroup.com/, Whois lookup

    http://culinaryenterprises.com/, Whois lookup

    http://nebraskaclcnetwork.com/, Whois lookup

    http://africandanceworks.com/, Whois lookup

    http://www.ptpfranchise.com/, Whois lookup

    http://gfifoundation.com/, Whois lookup

    http://charleslea.org/, Whois lookup

    http://cys.org/, Whois lookup

    http://independentequipment.com/, Whois lookup

    The websites listed above are just a very small sample. So … when I see Firespring also claiming over 3,000 clients (“Firespring has nearly 3,000 clients…” on http://www.firespring.com/about_us/careers_detail.html?ci=61) it seems fairly obvious to me that the 3,000 clients claimed by PrinterPresence includes all the non-printing websites claimed by Firespring (and other vertical markets under Firespring’s control: http://www.firespring.com/what_we_do/industries.html).

    I have no problem with Firespring having other interests … I just think it’s not right to present the complete collection of Firespring’s 3000-ish clients as all belonging to PrinterPresence.

    So now the big conclusion. I have made every effort to always portray the truth in the posts on DaveHultin.com. I will always be willing to defend the truth, as I have done in this followup post. WebsitesForPrinters.com has a handful of competitors. We go head-to-head most often (by a longshot!) with PrinterPresence. When both companies are in competition for the same customer WebsitesForPrinters.com will fight for that customer based on the truth of the products and services offered, and presenting the truth is what I hope to have accomplished with this post.

    Sincerely and respectfully submitted,
    Dave Hultin
    Managing Partner, WebsitesForPrinters.com

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