SharpSpring, Making Marketing Automation Accessible To All Levels Of Business
Overall Satisfaction with SharpSpring
We were looking for a marketing automation system to be able to deliver more benefit to our clients, we looked at most of the larger, more well established providers on the market, and finally settled on SharpSpring.
It fit our needs in a number of ways, firstly, it has a license model that gives our agency a single license to use in house, which is effectively free, then there are 5 sub licenses that we are able to sell to our clients. This white label sub-license is totally controlled by us, and as such we can set the pricing as high as we can easily sell it.
Internally, our marketing department use this for our own automation needs, across 5 sites that we generate leads from, and then our client managers will work in the sub-license with the client. For us the major consideration, especially as we are a Thailand agency that deals with Asian clients, was cost. The lower cost of SharpSpring was one that can be justified in the Asian market far easier than the higher priced applications.
- Managing multiple client accounts, from within a single, brandable, instance makes the process very streamlined when dealing with customer enquiries.
- They have a well documented API, that will allow us to build to any other CRM that a client used. This was put to the test recently with a real estate build of Salesforce. Getting all the essential info from SharpSpring to Salesforce was essential, their API allowed us to build this within a few days. I believe that this can be applied to ANY other CMR on the market. There is an internal CRM, however some clients do not wish to switch away.
- Anonymous visitor ID and contact tracking I find is really exceptional, we have been able to identify a number of potential leads, then connect with them on LinkedIn (through SharpSpring). I am endlessly impressed with this feature, and its customizations.
- Email/Tasks and workflow management is very well addressed, with a simple folder based system. We have 50-60 email templates that we use, and this simple feature makes their management very fast. Its a simple thing, but sometimes the simple things are the best.
- As a Thai company, with Thai clients, it was essential to get Thai currency, when we came on board, it was not a standard feature, just a simple email to support and that was included in the following update. Again, simple things make this software better than most, customer service and adapting to customer needs is a real strength for this company.
- The CRM is ok, we did switch from Base to the inbuilt CRM and sales funnel management tool, however I find that it's just a little clunky. That may be because I am used to more full featured applications. However, I still think that it has room for improvement, and believe that there is an iPhone/iPad/Android CRM application being released soon.
- As a heavy user of tablets, I find that the the lack of mobile responsiveness in the application a source of frustration, not enough to move to another platform, but enough to be frustrated. I would love it if there was more emphasis on mobile within the user dashboard.
- There is no landing page builder which is a real shame, their drag and drop email builder works very well, and I feel that this is a let down as well. Again, its not enough to move to another platform, as their SharpSpring form builder, makes building forms that will just work with the system very easy. The css on the forms can be trying at times as well, as its an iframe form. You can just track native site forms however with a few lines of code. This lack of a builder though, means that you must have an understanding of html/css or have access to someone that does.
- There is a frustration with reporting for form fills and managing multiple sites and leads. Being able to filter leads collected from a site, month to month can be a little tricky, however I feel that this is an area that SharpSpring is working on improving now, as I see regular updates to this function often.
- Tracking potential clients across multiple sites is a massive help, knowing what product they move from and to, gives us huge leverage when trying to close a sale.
- We are new to marketing automation, so there was an investment in time and money when we started using this platform, that investment has paid off however as we have been able to learn as we use it and now have multiple clients paying monthly subscriptions for the software. That helps the bottom line and also, gets a far deeper relationship with our customers.
- We are also now able to work on more advanced marketing strategies, like content marketing, even though we were doing a lot of blogging and content creation, for our clients and internal products, we now see that there were so many potential opportunities wasted due to not being able to follow up effectively at scale. This realization and action taken have resulted in an increase in qualified leads and enquiries across the board for us.
Also for the money, Sharpspring had all the features that would have required multiple products, such as a CRM and so on, this again keep the costs down against other services.
Small to medium marketing agencies can get great benefit form SharpSpring, as this is a brandable platform that they can use to deliver international standard marketing automation services for their clients, that will in turn deliver more benefit. They can also add another product to their current suite, and indenture themselves further into their customer relationship.
Also, the flexibility that SharpSpring gives the agency to manage the costs, that are either absorbed for each client with a license, or charge, gives another revenue stream to any agency, and the low cost, means that it can be sold into many levels of business with great ease.
For a business, you can get access to an excellent and very scaleable suite of marketing automation and CRM tools that can improve the business to no end. Compared to the other services on the market at the moment, I think that SharpSpring's features, like call tracking, visitor id, automation and built in CRM, put it at a massive advantage over other tools that require the use of multiple systems. This last point was a major decision point for us to use it.