Written by Ria du Plessis - Digital Marketing Expert
What Is SharpSpring?
SharpSpring is a comprehensive tool for a wide range of business needs. Marketing and sales automations, customer relations and analytics are all rolled into one so that you can conduct all your sales marketing needs in one place.
SharpSpring Pros & Cons
- Included training and onboarding - Adopting a brand new platform for organizing and automating various aspects of your business can be a big leap. So having access to unlimited free training on every plan as well as free onboarding is a very welcome addition
- All-in-one platform - Being able to conduct all your tasks in one place definitely beats having to switch between different pages and apps. It also means different teams can be automatically notified and take control of a customer’s journey when they change their status. Like when getting a prospective sale from an email campaign
- Tools for building - This platform comes with a range of possibilities when it comes to controlling your brand image. An email designer, landing page and form creator, a tool to design blogs, all this allows you to create a uniformed image and consistent branding across multiple aspects of your business
- Unlimited users - Unlimited access to multiple users given to you at all levels makes this an appealing platform for large organizations with dedicated teams to work on sales and marketing. It means that you can get different departments working together seamlessly for a more fluid workflow
- Only an all-in-one platform - SharpSpring is marketed as an alternative to Hubspot, and while it may be a little bit cheaper, it doesn’t offer the same flexibility you’d find elsewhere. With this, you don’t get the option of choosing which parts of the platform you want to pay for. It’s an all or nothing deal
- Strict sending policies - This could actually be a pro or con depending on what you want from an email marketing campaign. Maintaining high deliverability means your email needs to be trialed before you can fully utilize their service. Not ideal if you want to get started ASAP
Who Is SharpSpring Recommended For?
I’d recommend this if you’re all in for a fully integrated platform containing tools to help across many business functions, not just email marketing.
If you need high deliverability, the strict sending policies in place here will ensure you won’t be held back.
Who Is SharpSpring Not Recommended For?
SharpSpring doesn’t give you the option to choose which parts of their product you want to pay for like some other alternatives do. It’s either everything or nothing, which can price out those with tighter budgets.
Strict sending limits mean this service isn’t ideal for those with large sending needs wanting to get going straight away.
Contact for pricing
Contact for pricing
Pricing is split up into 3 main categories for small businesses, enterprises and agencies, named accordingly. Each plan is scalable with the Small Business plan available for up to 20,000 contacts. Any more than this and you’ll need to contact SharpSpring directly for a custom price based on your demands.
Private IPs are available on Enterprise and Agency plans, with expert help and priority support afforded to you on the Agency plan.
Cancellation / Refund Policies
SharpSpring provides no information in their terms and conditions about any policies around refunds or cancellations, which leads me to assume they deploy a no refund policy.
There are plenty of possibilities here to help you streamline processes and workflows. With features covering marketing, sales and customer management, this platform makes it easier to conduct all your business from one place.
· Quality Customer Service
With a focus on providing a quality of customer service that goes beyond what you’d usually expect, you’ll be up and running in no time with the help of experts. This service is provided on all price plans to take away that initial burden of a large learning curve. Time = money, and with this feature, you’ll be saving a whole lot of time!
· Lead Scoring
This feature will get you targeting the most valuable leads in your contact list in no time. You can set your own points system for certain interactions with your brand and translate that info in a quick overview so you can pick who’s ripe for that next sale.
· Email Designer
Dozens of pre-populated and empty block templates are available for you to start designing emails optimized for any screen size with an HTML editor also available for coders. Reformatting and trying to rearrange blocks can be a bit awkward though and could do with some improvement.
Not just onboarding, but free onboarding included with every plan. Having a dedicated live specialist team help you set up takes a big burden that comes with adopting a new system. They’ll first establish what you want from the software, before enacting a plan for a platform truly catered to your personal needs.
· Mobile App
Being able to access your business analytics on the go is a handy feature if you find yourself constantly hurrying between meetings. It lets you view and edit your contacts, view campaign reports and lead scores, and set notifications. However, the app is currently only available on iOS.
· App Marketplace
An internal store housing all the integrations available to you as a SharpSpring user makes setting them up a doddle. With the menu split into 3 categories, API, native and Zapier, you’re able to see how they integrate straight away. Within each app, you get useful information on how it could benefit you.
· Form Builder
A simple customizable form creation tool lets you capture new leads to integrate with your CRM and build your contact lists. Assign custom fields to arrange in the easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface and gain insights into how they’re performing so you can optimize your forms for best delivery.
FEATURES SCORE: 4.5/5
SharpSpring Automation Features
Email marketing automation - The visual drag-and-drop builder lets you build journeys for your customers which will differ depending on the various filters and triggers you assign. The automation trees can branch out into a number of possibilities giving you different ways to funnel sales and re-engage drifting contacts for a better ROI.
You can even create filters within marketing campaigns to push customers who have certain characteristics down different paths. For example, you could set up a campaign that gives better discount codes to loyal customers.
Contact lists will also automatically update with any new data.
SharpSpring Software Integration
This presents itself as one of the more flexible platforms in this market with the number of external services and apps you’re able to communicate with.
You have over 30 different categories to pick from in the app marketplace, split up further depending on whether it’s an API, native, or Zapier integration. This makes it so much easier to find and sync with other software that you already have. If you don’t already have other systems in place, then you know there’s always the option to build on your capabilities later.
SharpSpring Alternative Brands
HubSpot - Offering a very similar service to those on offer in this review, HubSpot is a platform where you can provide all your marketing needs from one central “hub”. With flexible pricing, you’re able to pick and choose which tools you want for pricing and functionality tailored to you.
Sendinblue - A budget-friendly email marketing solution for small to medium businesses. This platform comes with an intuitive email builder to create effective emails that’ll stand out, as well as a built-in CRM tool to help you organize your workflows.
Constant Contact - A solid alternative for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to grow their brands. Whether you want to conduct email campaigns, generate more leads, build your own website, establish a social media presence, or all of the above! This platform will let you do it all from one place.
SharpSpring provides you a great alternative to some of the market leaders for all-in-one marketing platforms.
You’ll be getting an array of very capable tools all in one place which should help you take your brand to the next level. And all without having to pay the hefty price tag associated with some of the other heavy hitters.