Marketing Automation Review: SharpSpring

In this second post in our series of marketing automation platform reviews, we review SharpSpring and put it head-to-head in a grueling series of challenges to see who comes out top of the tables.

SharpSpring marketing automation review

We have discussed SharpSpring, its granular unsubscribe and its dynamic email option in more detail in previous posts. If you have any further questions or particular questions, feel free to contact us. You can also join our SharpSpring Experts group on LinkedIn where you can be part of a professional community, ask questions and share expertise.

SharpSpring is based in Florida, USA. It’s model is to sell largely to agencies, but over recent month they have also introduce more direct sales channels. SharpSpring is significantly smaller than its competitors, but that comes with a benefit – it is also significantly cheaper. It is an all-inclusive cloud-base platform. It offers the most essential tools: CRM, sales team automation, help desk, call tracking and customer service support. It also includes its own light-weight blogging and landing page tools.

We recommend SharpSpring primarily for small businesses. It works well in a variety of industries including advertising, healthcare, software, finance, etc. With limited social media integration at this time, the platform is currently more generally suitable for B2B purposes.

Email Marketing

SharpSpring is not a tool for email blasting. It’s more about sending information to leads at the right time and the appropriate stage of the buying cycle. It also notifies the sales team so that they can act when interesting prospects become active. Forms are easily created by dragging and dropping in fields, creating new formats and publishing them into individual landing pages.

The platform boasts an amazing deliverability rate due to the efforts they make to keep the shared IPs clean: thus, the emails are more likely not to end up in the SPAM folder. The Email editor is very easy to use. It allows you to customize virtually any aspect of the newsletter and to personlise every piece of information you have available for the lead. It’s dynamic content capabilities are particularly powerful, enabling you to create multi-lingual mailings or target individuals with different personalised messages.

Landing Pages

SharpSpring has a dedicated Landing Page Builder tool that enables the creation of aesthetically pleasing landing pages. And guess what – no coding required. The builder is easy to use and anyone from your marketing team can use it. It comes with a selection of pre-built template for you to choose from, or you can add your own. You can also easily add dynamic content, tracked forms, track calls and calls to action. No HTML required.

Lead Management

SharpSpring provides everything you need for successful Lead Management. The platform’s lead nurturing and scoring tools allow your sales team to see which leads are ready for a call by tracking page visits, demographics, and engagement. The Visitor ID, lead scoring and campaign tracking make staying up-to-date with leads easy.
The platform itself is very user-friendly when it comes to lead nurturing: it keeps prospects engaged through intuitive and personalized drip campaigns. You can easily check on a lead: see what did they see, for how long and from where. No, this is not considered stalking. It’s just part of the sales cycle. There is no progressive profiling, but hey, nobody is perfect.

CRM Integration

Managing your clients from one tool and syncing their information back to SharpSpring is easy with a customisable CRM integration. The platform integrates with Zapier and also provides a native connector into Salesforce CRM.

SharpSpring is universally CMS-compatible so you can keep your existing CRM, use SharpSpring’s or install another one.

Another awesome feature is the fully integrated call tracking: it shows a full picture of the entire sales process. Incoming telephone calls are instantly added to the CRM and the other tools like list segmentation, drip and nurturing campaigns. The Visitor ID helps identify anonymous site visitors through their IP address, showing the site, name, email and phone number. This helps you increase the amount of valuable leads your sales team can collect.

Analytics

SharpSpring provided enough detail when it comes to analytics. As with most tools, it enables you to check email statistics for hard bounces, opens, clicks, unsubscribes, etc. You can also check upon visitor data including: page views, total views, unique clicks. Finally, campaign analytics and ROI data will give you a lot of valuable information about the performance of your campaign so that you can justify the cost of programmes in front of the C-suite.

Social Integration

Social integration within SharpSpring enables you to share newsletters on all your favourite social media platforms. It also allows you to pull lead information based on their email address and follow the leads to Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. If a phone number is provided, you can make direct calls.

Unfortunately, there is no social publishing and no SEO recommendations for blogs. So as far as content is concerned, there is still some functionality to be developed.

On-boarding

Onboarding is provided by SharpSpring or through reselling agencies. Typically, a dedicated on-boarding specialist will work with you for around 60 days and train you and your staff. The platform is user-friendly so you and your crew will quickly be ready to use it on your own.

Pricing

SharpSpring’s is priced very competitively and starts at around $450/month.

Here comes SharpSpring’s best selling point: the price. Starting at around $450/month, the platform is priced very competitively. Long gone are the days when only large corporations could afford a marketing automation platform. SharpSpring brings a good quality system at a very good price. For more information, go directly to the source.

To conclude, SharpSpring can help you save money and yet still provides sufficient capabilities to fulfil almost all your marketing needs. It does have APIs and is well integrated with other tools. However, the platform lacks some of sophisticated tools and tighter 3rd party integrations that other vendors provide. Nevertheless, the SharpSpring support team is incredibly friendly, helpful and always there if you need them.

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