The Top SharpSpring Alternative For Agencies and Consultants

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If you are looking for an all-in-one marketing automation platform for your small business or agency, there is a good chance you’ve heard about SharpSpring.  

Founded in 2012 in Gainesville, Florida, SharpSpring quickly became a well-respected and established player in the crowded marketing automation niche. In fact, it got so much traction that it was acquired by Constant Contact, one of the original email marketing pioneers, in 2021. 

However, as is often the case when a company is bought out by a large corporation, the speed of releasing new and innovative features drops off.  SharpSpring continues to be a great tool for the right user but is not the best for agencies as this post will portray.

If you are an agency looking for an all-in-one platform or an online business looking to switch off of SharpSpring, we will take a closer look at a newer SharpSpring alternative for agencies and consultants. 

Marketing Automation 

Similar to Keap and ActiveCampaign, SharpSpring is a great solution if you are mainly looking for basic CRM functionality, email marketing, and marketing automation features to power your small business or agency’s sales and marketing efforts.  

However, many SharpSpring customers mention needing to spend time and money setting up and integrating additional apps to handle lead generation tasks, like call tracking, website visitor tracking, social media marketing, review management, and 2-way SMS communication. These are all things that you can do natively on other platforms, like HighLevel.  

Ease Of Use 

Whenever you have an “all-in-one platform” with tons of features,  it is normal to have an adjustment period where you spend a day or two getting used to the platform. 

However, if you spend even a few minutes looking at SharpSpring’s customer reviews, one of the biggest complaints is overall usability. When you are an agency, time is money, and if you spend 10 minutes searching for how to find something in your marketing platform every time you use it, that adds up quickly. 

For instance, in SharpSpring, you need to know how to code in order to create high-quality landing pages and drip campaigns. That’s different when using no-code business software like HighLevel, which makes it easy for someone who doesn’t know how to code to spin up a decent landing page or email template for a new marketing campaign.  

White-Label Capabilities 

Both SharpSpring and HighLevel have white-label capabilities. However, the biggest difference is that HighLevel is designed to be white-labeled.  You can even build out your own SaaS-like revenue stream without having to write any code!  

On the other hand, agencies can white label SharpSpring, but they are more likely to need workarounds and/or run into unexpected issues, namely related to pricing.   

Pricing  

While SharpSpring is significantly cheaper than HubSpot and Salesforce, it is much more expensive than comparable all-in-one agency platforms like HighLevel.  For instance, SharpSpring’s lowest tier plan begins at $449 per month for 1,000 contacts. This price includes unlimited users, unlimited support, and a full set of features. If you need more contacts, you can move up to the next plan for $999 per month. This includes the same support, features, and unlimited users but has 10,000 contacts instead of 1,000.

In contrast, HighLevel’s agency unlimited plan is $297 per month and doesn’t have any limits on the number of accounts/contacts or users.

Pro Tip: It is worth noting that SharpSpring does have a dedicated agency plan. However, you need to contact sales in order to determine pricing. 

SharpSpring bills on a monthly basis for their customer-facing plans, so you aren’t trapped in a contract. 

The Real Opportunity For Digital Agencies & Entrepreneurs

SharpSpring has some great features, most notably related to its marketing automation and CRM capabilities. However, it is simply not designed as an all-in-one, cost-effective marketing solution for marketing agencies and consultants.  

You are going to need to buy additional apps to supplement key features that aren’t in SharpSpring, like SMS capabilities and call tracking. 

As one of the best Constant Contact alternatives (and SharpSpring alternatives) on the market, HighLevel is an all-in-one marketing automation software specifically built for agencies. Every feature is designed through the lens of what an agency owner might need to drive revenue growth and deliver more customer value, including but not limited to: 

  • CRM and lead management 
  • No-code landing page builder 
  • Surveys & web forms  
  • Unlimited sales funnels and automated workflows
  • 2-way SMS marketing 
  • Email campaigns 
  • Appointment booking 
  • Online courses, products, and membership sites 
  • Reputation management 
  • Analytics / Reporting including around sales pipeline and business operations)
  • White-labeling 
  • A mobile app 

In fact, more than 15,000+ agencies are currently using HighLevel. For example, Bo Ray switched from SharpSpring to HighLevel and said, 

“I switched from SharpSpring a couple of months ago because they didn’t seem too interested in setting up a text solution, and my clients were asking for it. That and I needed to use 3 different software platforms (SharpSpring, CallRail, and a review platform), costing me well over $2,000 a month total for what HighLevel did.”

Plus, the best part is you get unlimited accounts at $297/per month, so you can spin up new client accounts in minutes, and you won’t be charged extra for it. 

Ready To Supercharge Your Agency With HighLevel? 

In sum, SharpSpring is a great solution for small businesses that mainly need basic email marketing and marketing automation features.   

However, for fast-growing agencies, it doesn’t scale well. You’ll need to buy a lot more software and could easily end up spending $2,000 or more per month. 

If you are an agency or consultant, there is really only one option, no matter what size you are or what size you want to be.