Everything you need to know before you buy.
Introduction to SharpSpring
SharpSpring, founded in 1998, is headquartered in Gainesville, Florida is a complete sales and marketing automation platform. Unlike some of the other tools we’ve reviewed, SharpSpring differentiates itself by offering a fully rebrandable platform that agencies can offer to their clients or use to manage services for those clients.
SharpSpring includes email automation, tracking, CRM, and over 700 third-party integrations to extend the functionality of the software. SharpSprings pricing is far more competitive than some of its competitors like Pardot and Marketo and includes many of the same high-end features that you’d expect to find with an automation tool of that caliber.
In this post, we will examine SharpSpring and review it’s pricing, features, strengths and weaknesses. After reading this post, we are confident that you will have all the information you need, to decide whether SharpSpring is a good fit for your organization.
As a bonus, if you’re currently using another tool and are considering a migration to SharpSpring, we’ve included a number of checklists at the bottom of this post to help you make the transition.
However, if your current setup is complicated or cumbersome, and you’d rather have an team of experts plan and execute a migration for you, reach out today so we can setup a time to speak with you about how we can help.
For the time being, let’s dive into the considerations to make before choosing SharpSpring as your MOPs solution.
Why Use SharpSpring?
SharpSpring is not only a marketing automation platform, but also includes a built-in CRM at no extra cost, and not all marketing automation tools offer this feature. With advanced tracking features, a strong landing page system and an advanced set of integrations, you can align both sales and marketing with ease.
While SharpSpring markets to SMB’s and Enterprise organizations as well, it seems to have the strongest reputation as a favorite among agencies that need a robust solution, capable of handling many on-going clients.
Let’s take a look now at how SharpSprings pricing and features compare to other marketing automation platforms.
SharpSpring Pricing & Capabilities
Unlike some of SharpSpring’s competitors, the pricing for this platform is significantly more affordable with plans that start at $550 per month. Each of their pricing plans include the same capabilities with the only differentiators being the contact limits. A built-in CRM is another strong capability that comes with any of the SharpSpring subscriptions.
|$550 p/month||$850 p/month||$1250 p/month|
|1500 Contacts||10,000 Contacts||20,000 Contacts|
|Unlimited Users||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Users|
|Unlimited Support||Unlimited Support||Unlimited Support|
|Full Marketing Automation||Full Marketing Automation||Full Marketing Automation|
|Campaign Tracking||Campaign TrackingI||Campaign Tracking|
|Behavior-Based Email||Behavior-Based Email||Behavior-Based Email|
|Blog Builder||Blog Builder||Blog Builder|
|Dynamic Landing Pages||Dynamic Landing Pages||Dynamic Landing Pages|
|CRM & Sales Automation||CRM & Sales Automation||CRM & Sales Automation|
|Dynamic Form Builder||Dynamic Form Builder||Dynamic Form Builder|
|Reporting & Analytics||Reporting & Analytics||Reporting & Analytics|
|Anonymous Visitor ID||Anonymous Visitor ID||Anonymous Visitor ID|
SharpSpring Pros & Cons
Now that you know a bit more about SharpSpring, its features, and its pricing tiers, let’s break down the specific pros and cons to help you decide if this is the right tool for you.
Built in CRM
Similar to HubSpot, SharpSpring is designed to align sales and marketing with a CRM and Marketing Automation in one easily accessible spot. For some, this combination amounts to a monumental savings in time, resources, and money.
Another strength for SharpSpring is that you get much of the same capabilities as other tools, for a lower price point and the option to pay monthly as opposed to an annual contract. With that being said, it’s still more expensive than tools like Constant Contact or Sendgrid. However, with those tools, you don’t get a comprehensive marketing automation tool with campaign tracking, automated pipeline workflows, and social listening capabilities.
Robust Integration Library
We also love the huge selection of integrations that SharpSpring offers, with over 700 options, SMB’s, and even Enterprise organizations can easily align sales and marketing in this one platform. It’s worth noting here that SharpSpring has a native integration with Salesforce and Piesync, a third party integration tool.
Less Intuitive Interface
One of the downsides to using SharpSpring is that it’s user interface is not built for non-marketers. We’re a marketing agency, so it works just fine for us. But for other organizations, who don’t have a marketing staff yet, and are maybe just breaking into marketing automation, may have a difficult time navigating SharpSpring. That being said, SharpSpring does have a great knowledge bank to help clients get up to speed on how to use the platform and we have successfully helped many clients to train in, and adopt SharpSpring fast.
Falls Short on Enterprise Features
While SharpSpring does have a lot to offer, we don’t feel that it may be the best option for large Enterprise organizations or those with complex sales cycles. For businesses at scale, it is likely they will need a separate tool for sales operations like Salesforce.
Strict Email Compliance Team
Many have noted frustration with SharpSpring’s email compliance system. However, we want to take this opportunity to defend this con because it shows that they’re making sure that their system’s deliverability isn’t compromised due to black hat practices. It also means, they often end up restricting those companies that have decent email collection practices, but maybe have old data, which is a vulnerability that a lot of us face.
What to Consider Before Migrating to SharpSpring
Inventory and Cleanup
Migrating to a new marketing automation platform can be tricky. You really want to take a full inventory of all your assets so that nothing is left behind or accidentally discarded during the migration process.
This is also a great time to do a little “spring cleaning” with your database. You can take this opportunity to cleanse contacts and tighten up your file structure and conventions and make a fresh start in SharpSpring.
Archive Valuable Items
Beyond cleaning, you may be unsure of what you should migrate or what you should archive for potential use later down the road. So here are a few considerations to review as you plan your archival process.
- HTML Templates
- Emails & Landing Pages that may be needed later
- Smart lists
- Campaign workflows
- Form submission data
Planning & Timeline
It’s important to note that your migration can take several weeks depending on the size of your database and content. Many of your assets can’t be transferred and will need to be re-created, so be sure to create a project management plan for your migration and set a reasonable timeline.
When it comes to your automation sequences and triggers, make sure you test everything before you cancel service with your current provider. This ensures that you can “retrace your steps” and pinpoint any by comparing your new campaign to its predecessor.
Ready to Migrate?
Use Our SharpSpring Checklists!
Now that you have a good understanding of SharpSpring, it’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll have to decide if moving to this platform is the best for your organization. If so, we welcome you to use our customized checklists to help guide your transition.
Don’t have the bandwidth to commit to a migration effort? Worried that assets might fall through the cracks and campaigns won’t function properly once in SharpSpring? Let us help!
At Interrupt Media, we are automation experts and we provide a white glove approach to migrating your database from your current automation tool to SharpSpring.
Reach out today and let’s setup a time to chat.
Topics: Marketing Automation