An up and coming contender in the marketing automation space.
September 12, 2016

An up and coming contender in the marketing automation space.

Jared Loman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review

Overall Satisfaction with SharpSpring

Sharpspring allows my agency to offer a set of tools that previously could only be afforded by a select group of businesses with hefty marketing budgets. It allows even the "little guys" to have an opportunity to automate some of their marketing efforts, and track and engage their website visitors. With the recently introduced features such as the Blog Builder and Landing Page generation system Sharpspring now is looking more and more like a viable feature per feature replacement for many of the higher priced alternatives which makes this a very attractive offer for those already using similar offerings.
  • The Agency focused business model is incredibly valuable to a smaller agency like mine. Sharpspring labels its relationship with agencies a "partnership". I really feel like this is authentic and not just a marketing gimmick.
  • Customer communication and responsiveness to feedback is very good in my experience. They take the time to reach out and are very willing to have a conversation regarding your needs.
  • Support...although not until recently has really stepped up their game. After changing their internal process of feeding all support requests through an Account Manager to sending requests directly to the support team, I've had the opportunity to experience what seemed to be an almost instantaneous reply. The reply was well thought out and directly addressed my concern. It was obvious that the support representative was knowledgable and that he looked in to the specific situation.
  • The price point is obviously a major pro... comparable software is going to cost 10-20x the price. This allows my agency to offer not only the software but also full implementation for around the same price as the competitive software on its own.
  • There is a lot of room for more extensive documentation of the API including their tracking code and form code. It also lacks real world examples of things you would expect to be common use cases (such as an exit-intent opt-in form). There are many times that I feel like I could have quickly figured something out if I just knew what type of response to expect from the API. Although it isn't necessarily hard to log the response and figure it out...good documentation just makes this simpler.
  • Managing data from within the contact manager requires exporting out of Sharpspring and re-importing. I haven't put this process to the test yet but it scares me to even try it. Importing and overwriting seems to be a recipe for disaster... but with the lack of an internal method to bulk manage contacts that is what I'm stuck with.
  • Every once in a while I get a slight feeling of disorganization from within the company. My very first automation campaign was a complete disaster due to some internal changes that added a utm tag to all email links. To fix it, I had to manually add the utm tag to my automation trigger and resend the campaign. I still don't know if this is fixed or how it should be handled, but this should have been something that the end user doesn't have to think about. My account manager at the time was able to figure it out, but apparently he wasn't even aware of the change so the possibility for disaster scares me a bit as this for my first impression of using Sharpspring.
  • Every once in a while I find myself scratching my head at a missing feature that is seemingly so rudimentary and wonder how the software was brought to market without it. One example would be that there is no ability to sort products to my knowledge... they are in there in whatever order you put them in there and you are stuck with that. If you have only a few products or services, this isn't an enormous issue but if you have even a small list of products this can make creating your opportunities miserable and time consuming while scrolling through a completely disorganized list. Even if it was just sorted alphabetically I could live with that but for now this will live on as a feature request that will likely disappear until enough people bring the issue up.
  • ROI can easily be achieved at the price point and is pretty much entirely in the hands of the agency. Sharpspring takes a very anti-competitive stance with agency partners and allows them complete pricing control.
  • Originally licenses had to be purchased in packs of 5 but this has since been changed to allow single license purchases after the initial 5-pack which further increases the ability to quickly achieve and maintain a high ROI
  • Along with the base license pack Sharpspring allows agencies a "bonus" license to use for themselves. This allows agencies to take advantage of everything that they offer clients for themselves and have real world experience but implementing strategies for their own business.
Sharpspring offers an excellent package that sits somewhere in between ClickFunnels and HubSpot and is quickly becoming directly comparable to the big names in the field. It combines the best of a lot of great tools at a price point comparable to just one of the services individually. If your clients are outgrowing their ESP/Landing Page/Lead Gen software then Sharpspring is probably the perfect next step to opening up new opportunities and a cohesive experience.

Sharpspring really fills a gap in terms of a price point/feature set that you simply won't be able to acquire without spending more money elsewhere.
By their own assessment Sharpspring isn't designed to be an enterprise grade solution. Although it seems to be very capable, contact/lead limitations and monthly email limitations restricts this offering mainly to the smaller business.

Sharpspring is growing and appears to be actively developed but due to the infancy of the product it makes it most suitable for those just entering into the marketing automation arena. The feature set although comparable on a line per line basis appears to be quite appealing but for anyone with experience or an existing setup in other software may find many things missing in the details that aren't so obvious in the feature to feature comparisons.

For those with an existing solution that feel overwhelmed or have relatively simple needs (such as automation only) Sharpspring could be an excellent way to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars while providing a potentially better service.

SharpSpring from Constant Contact Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
10
Dynamic content
9
Ability to test dynamic content
8
Landing pages
8
A/B testing
6
Mobile optimization
9
Email deliverability reporting
10
List management
7
Triggered drip sequences
10
Lead nurturing
9
Lead scoring and grading
9
Data quality management
9
Automated sales alerts and tasks
10
Event/webinar marketing
Not Rated
Dashboards
8
Standard reports
7
API
10
Role-based workflow & approvals
5
Customizability
8
Integration with Salesforce.com
10