SharpSpring Vs Hubspot : Which Email Automation Tool Should You Use

Running a small-medium business?  A large one? Or any enterprise at all?

If you are, then you’ll recognize the names HubSpot and Sharpspring immediately!

Currently, they are the leading providers of marketing automation and CRM software in the world, both vying for the top position in creating top-notch marketing campaigns, along with other competitors like Marketo and Pardot.

And if you are new to this and confused about what they are, their functionalities and whether you need them, this guide should be a godsend for you!

This guide has been created for you to pinpoint which software among the two, HubSpot and Sharpspring, which would suit your needs the best!

HubSpot

HubSpot is marketing automation and sales software that specializes in lead generation, lead nurturing and closing customers. You can use the software for a plethora of tasks, a few of which are to host web pages and landing pages, create blogs and email marketing sequences and analyze customer interactions.

The software has separate tools for different jobs- Marketing Hub, CRM, Sales Hub and Service Hub.

Sharpspring

Sharpspring is right alongside HubSpot when it comes to providing marketing automation software with multiple functionalities.

It can be a handy tool for email marketing campaigns, lead generation, lead nurturing, and customer upselling.

Also available are hosting features- blogs and landing pages and superior attributive reporting. Both of these are marketing automation software which has CRM facilities as well.

There is a general consensus that these two terms are interchangeable- marketing automation software and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

But this isn’t the case. Though the functions largely overlap, they are separate and used for different jobs in the marketing funnel.

What is a marketing automation software?

This software overlooks the entire digital marketing campaign. Right from lead generation to improving the ROI, the marketing automation software overlooks the whole process. It is a must-have for every inbound marketing campaign!

And you are spoilt for choice- HubSpot, Sharpspring, Marketo and Salesforce are the leading ones.

You have to calculate your budget and check the features which you just cannot do without to finally settle upon a final option.

What is CRM software?

This software is employed entirely to maintain a record of contact information and activity. It gives us a more in-depth insight into the mind of the customer- on which you can model your marketing campaign.

Features of HubSpot and Sharpspring

HUBSPOT SHARPSPRING
Marketing automation Behavior based email automation
Smart content Smart emails
Blogs and content creation Lead nurturing
SEO and content strategy Track Leads
Social media Custom Deal Stages
A/B testing Point-and-click WYSIWIG editor
Landing pages Call tracking
Video hosting and management Campaign tracking
Website traffic analytics Multiple Device tracking
Campaign tracking Dynamic forms
Attribution reporting Lead scoring
CMS membership Dynamic web content
Single sign-on Daily VisitorID email
Custom reporting Third party CRM integration
Ad retargeting Landing page funnel
Dynamic forms Behavior tracking
Email analytics

Similarities between HubSpot and Sharpspring

Features common to both HubSpot and Sharpspring marketing automation software:

  • Campaign management
  • Interaction tracing
  • Lead Capture
  • Lead Distribution
  • Lead scoring
  • Lead segmentation
  • Pipeline Management
  • Prospecting tools
  • Source tracing

Pros and Cons of Using HubSpot 

Pros:

  • Blog hosting

Hosting a blog on HubSpot is easy and enhances SEO for your blog. Further, these blogs all use the HubSpot CDN, which helps in speedy loading of the page and mobile optimization.

Further, you can make a variety of designs on the page and without any need of coding experience!

  •  In-depth Reporting

HubSpot wades through all digital channels to trace the lead. The source, the channel or even marketing campaign which led the lead to your page will be detected in mere minutes.

  • Smart CRM

HubSpot’s CRM tool is world-famous with all top companies using it. It helps boost engagement with leads, prospects and customers over website content, social media and email marketing campaigns.

  • HubSpot Academy

HubSpot has a whole dedicated portal for courses and certifications, which gives it brownie points when it comes to winning over budding marketers and new enterprises.

  • Easy Automation

Nurturing leads becomes a piece of cake with HubSpot looking out for you! The software is so well-designed that the user behavior itself triggers a follow-up email and updates the status of the deal.

Cons

  • It is way too pricey!

If you have a company with over 1000 contacts, then you have to burn a deep hole in your pocket to afford HubSpot!

The regular deal with only a 1000 contacts costs $50, but the Pro membership costs $800 a month. For a large business, the Enterprise membership costs $3200 a month (ouch!)

And all the extra features are ridiculously costly!

Want to host your website on the HubSpot CMS? $300 per month.

Want additional reporting? $200 a month.

  • Upfront payment

HubSpot only allows for upfront annual payment. And if you think about the prices, paying all that at once can be quite a difficult choice to make if you are strapped for cash or just starting out as an enterprise!

  • No third party integration

This is a significant con in its features, which gives Sharpspring a big upper hand!

Since Oracle and SAP integration can’t be used, we can’t use the platform to its fullest potential!

Unique Selling Point (USP)

But guess what trumps all the pros and makes us go gaga over HubSpot? Smart Content.

The content, the landing page and even the call-to-action for the particular lead is specially decided after looking up their membership and deal status.

Genius!

Pros and Cons of Using Sharpspring 

Pros

  • Email marketing automation

Email marketing is the pillar holding up the inbound marketing campaigns.  And Sharpspring scores higher than HubSpot in this extremely crucial aspect!

Lead activity like email open rates and link clicks dictate the lead nurturing sequence in this software.

  • Smart CRM

The CRM is a complete ninja at monitoring and optimizing lead activity. It will track the web pages visited, and the emails opened to calculate how far along the lead is in the marketing funnel.

On top of this, it records all contact data and streamlines lead tracking.

  • Third-party integration available

Oracle and SAP integration is allowed, allowing the local CRM to extract data from the external CRM, leading to far better utilization of resources and better optimization of the data.

  • Attribution reporting

The attribution tracking feature is top-notch and provides the enterprise with a good view of what campaigns or channels are working well.

The URL tracking feature directly contributes to pointing out the exact pages or social media channels where the lead has come from.

This helps to calculate the end-to-end ROI of a campaign!

  • Greater customization

This is best for small-medium businesses which need greater customization and more tools. Unlike HubSpot, Sharpspring brings all it offers to the table at once.

All the tools, all the customization features- and at no extra cost!

Cons

  • Blog and landing page hosting

Sharpspring allows you to host marketing blogs, landing pages and even thank you pages, but it is not as easy to do as HubSpot.

Though all functionalities are the same between HubSpot and Sharpspring hosting, you need a little bit of time to get the hang of it.

It is not as user-friendly as we’d like, but a few tries on, it’s easy and doable!

  • Social media scheduling

Social media is where Sharpspring needs to up its game a little.  It does not have the feature of posting to all platforms simultaneously.

  • Reporting

Sharpspring reporting is a little hard to read. All of it is there- website analytics, reports and even funnel dashboards.

But learning to find all the data may take a little time and getting used to!

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Sharpspring’s trump card is undoubtedly its cost! It costs almost 1/3rd of what its competitors are charging for the same features.

For enterprises that are starting out, it is hands down the better option! Also, no upfront payment!

It is far more convenient if monthly payments are allowed. And this is precisely why many small-medium businesses root for Sharpspring- the considerate pricing and payment plan.

Difference between Sharpspring and Hubspot

Here are the significant differences between the two.

  1. Cost

HubSpot

This is obviously the costlier option.

The CRM and marketing automation software comes at $800 per month for 1000 contacts and a whopping $3200 per month for 10,000 contacts.

Sharpspring

The more affordable option with no dearth of features. $450 per month for 1000 contacts and $650 for 10,000 contacts (a fifth of what HubSpot charges)

  1. Payment Plans

HubSpot

An upfront annual payment is the only option, making it difficult for those enterprises that are just starting out and wouldn’t be able to shell out such a massive amount at once.

Sharpspring

Monthly payment option available (yes!). This is one of the top reasons that contribute to Sharpspring’s popularity and affordability.

  1. Customer Support

HubSpot

The customer service is excellent, and when a ticket is raised, they will answer your questions and solve your problems. But they seldom go beyond that.

Sharpspring

The customer support is famed! All users have said that they feel entirely secure and protected with Sharpspring! It has the best customer support in the marketing automation business.

It is organized, and they will keep following up until the problem wholly disappears!

  1. Blog Design

HubSpot

Hosting blogs and landing pages on HubSpot CDN is simple, and you can create several designs to improve the UI/UX of the site. No code is required at all, and you can do the design by yourself.

Sharpspring

You can host blogs and landing pages here as well, but the design is a bit difficult to do on your own. Innumerable tools are there to provide quality design, but a little bit of code is required.

If you are trained in basic coding, you may do it yourself. Or else, for best results, you may want to hire a developer to design the site.

  1. CRM

HubSpot

It offers some essential free CRM services for free- like contact records, contact activity on website and deal pipelines.

It has recently started offering pop-up CTA and forms for free on your blog too!

Sharpspring

Sharpspring is mainly reputed as one of the best marketing automation software, even though it does offer CRM services to clients. But there is no free option for customers to use this facility.

Summary – HubSpot vs Sharpspring

Feature HUBSPOT SHARPSPRING
Cost $800 for 1000 contacts

$3200 for 10,000 contacts

$450 for 1000 contacts

$650 for 10,000 contacts

Payment Plan Annual, upfront Monthly
Third party integration Not allowed Oracle and SAP integration allowed
Blog hosting Available Available
Attribution reporting Easy to read

Detailed

Not very user-friendly

Detailed

Smart Content Content pushed depending on deal stage and place in marketing funnel Not available

Conclusion

HubSpot has been a pioneer in the digital marketing domain for a while. But in Sharpspring, HubSpot has fierce competition, even though Sharpspring is the newest kid on the block!

Sharpspring has all the features HubSpot offers with its plans, and at less than a third of the price!

Most of the SMBs need large contact limits, email automation features and several consecutive campaigns for them to really take off.

And for these uses, Sharpspring has the most affordable plans and of course, NO UPFRONT PAYMENT!

But if you want a more elaborate proposal and pitch to convince you to opt for Sharpspring, we have a speech in mind!

Just give Seattle New Media a call, and we’ll let you know what wonders Sharpspring and Seattle New Media can do for your enterprise!