Goodbye MailChimp, Hello SharpSpring

If you’ve been following our blog lately, you’ve probably come across a few shoutouts to SharpSpring.

We really love SharpSpring; and with good reason. Not only has it changed our relationship with our clients for the better, it has allowed us to give them more value by helping them make the most of their own relationships with clients through marketing automation.

Before we started using SharpSpring, we relied on MailChimp for a lot of our marketing automation and lead nurturing efforts. But while it did serve us well for a long time, we ran into scaling issues once we started focusing more of our energies on business growth.

Here’s why we bid goodbye to MailChimp and started using SharpSpring instead.

Weighing MailChimp’s Pros And Cons

If you’re dipping your feet into the world of marketing automation for the first time, MailChimp is a great way to get started. On the market since way back in 2001, it handles over a billion marketing emails per day, making it one of the most popular automation platforms around.

Here are some of the things we loved about MailChimp:

  • an extensive database of materials to help plan lead nurturing campaigns and make sure they succeed;
  • A/B testing, which allowed us to try out different approaches, see what worked best and tweak accordingly;
  • email segmentation, so we could categorize our mailing list and send more relevant messages to different groups of clients;
  • website behavior tracking, invaluable for us to understand where we were losing visitors so we could make the necessary adjustments.

MailChimp also has a wide variety of templates you can use to customize your email campaigns. It’s quite easy to set up. And, at $80 a month for 10,000 contacts, it’s super-affordable.

So, What Went Wrong?

MailChimp is great for basic data tracking and email marketing, but it lacks the more powerful features that help you make the most of marketing automation.

As Go Left Marketing grew, we started feeling that we could do so much more with marketing automation, if only we had access to better tools, data and analytics.

Here are some of the issues we faced:

  • limited lead scoring capabilities;
  • you can only send out emails one list at a time, which became frustrating once our list started to grow and get more segmented;
  • fiddly forms that were time-consuming to get just right.

That’s when we finally decided it was time to move on.

Why SharpSpring?

We settled on SharpSpring because it’s powerful but also very affordable. At $1000 a month, it’s far cheaper than other comparable marketing automation platforms. By way of comparison, Marketo’s most basic iteration will set you back $1,995 a month.

But that isn’t the only pro. Here are just a few things we love about SharpSpring:

  • Visitor ID, which allows us to identify unknown website visitors and has greatly increased the number of leads we have to work with;
  • being able to prioritize our sales efforts depending on how warm a lead is;
  • personalized, trackable emails at every stage of the buyer’s journey;
  • It’s easy to create branded forms and optimize them for conversions, for instance by auto-filling fields for repeat visitors.

The Results

Since we’ve started using SharpSpring, our business process is much smoother. Less time on admin means we have more time to focus on our clients’ needs. More to the point, we’ve seen tremendous growth in a relatively short span of time.

Having a better understanding of our leads and where they’re at on the buyer’s journey has allowed us to provide them with timelier, more relevant content, which keeps them engaged. SharpSpring’s ‘life of the lead’ feature is especially nifty, because it gives us an easy-to-follow timeline of how each user interacts with our website. We’ve also been able to optimize our forms and make them more user-friendly.

The result? Our nurturing efforts are more effective. And our communication with leads and clients has improved. So much so, that we’ve switched completely from one-off projects to a retainer-based model with long-term engagements.

But that’s not all. We’ve also learned to harness the power of SharpSpring, so that we can help you reap the rewards of marketing automation too.

Looking to convert more of your website traffic into sales? Let’s talk!

susan aldea go left marketingSusan Aldea spent the first half of her working years in customer service for multiple industries including food and beverage, apparel and cinnabons (mmm). At that point it was all about optimal product positioning and carrying a smile even if she was exhausted from school. The second half of Susan’s career was entrenched in the anatomy of a multimillion dollar real estate development, optimizing a large real estate database and assisting Realtors with a multitude of real estate marketing campaigns. Even though she prefers to stay behind-the-curtain, her presence is always known and felt around the office.

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