How can marketing automation using SharpSpring support SME business growth?
In this Insight article, we look at SharpSpring - our marketing automation partner of choice
“The SharpSpring integration has enabled us to set up some excellent email nurturing sequences, which we’ve had great success with and it has boosted our brand awareness too.”
Stephen Aldridge, co-owner, Numeritas.
We’ll cover how it can drive leads and convert sales, explain what tasks you can automate, investigate how it can help consultancy businesses, and share how one of our clients has been using it to save time and boost their sales cycle.
SharpSpring is a marketing automation tool and can form a valuable part of any inbound marketing campaign. Inbound marketing includes any activities that pull enquiries towards your company. There are many marketing automation tools to choose from, but as we’re SharpSpring partners, this article will focus on the benefits of SharpSpring as a tool. It has been used to great effect, with companies reporting a ten times return on investment and 100% increased revenue.
“Marketing automation is the vehicle that drives the inbound marketing machine.”
Marketing gold – driving leads and converting sales
Marketing automation is all about making the most of your content marketing and sales funnel. The SharpSpring tool encompasses marketing automation, email, CRM, sales engagement, social media and adverts in one platform. All of this is really beneficial if you’re a small business, a marketing team that’s short on time, or an organisation without a dedicated marketing or sales function. Everything is in one place and helps you deliver a seamless journey for clients and potential clients.
“Delivering powerful returns and now boasting new tech to automate communications, tracking and further optimise for results, marketing automation and email marketing are perhaps the most powerful duo on the digital stage at present.”
What can you do with SharpSpring?
There are many tasks you can automate using SharpSpring, but the reason we chose it was because we wanted to offer clients a low cost, easy-to-use option that helped them save time. With SharpSpring you can:
- Generate and track leads and engage them at critical points in the buyer journey
- Nurture leads with hyper-personalised email and web content
- Build powerful landing pages that transform visitors to leads
- Connect to third-party platforms or build new integrations
- Interact on social media and turn conversations into sales
- Collect real-time analytics to capture and prove end-to-end ROI
- Convert leads faster with content.
SharpSpring has really been making a mark with the SME sector: it’s used by over 10,000 businesses and is the number one fastest growing platform for digital marketing agencies. It allows clients to segment users – putting them into a specific audience list – based on their actions on the website. These contacts can then be given a lead score based on their interactions with your organisation, which can activate tasks and send notifications to the sales and marketing team.
SharpSpring can help your consultancy business
We’ve used SharpSpring ourselves for four years and it’s really had a positive impact on our website design and development business. We’ve also implemented it for consultancy Numeritas (more on that below), GSA and we’re introducing it for Paradigm Norton.
We chose SharpSpring because it seamlessly integrates with WordPress – our CMS of choice – and Elementor, the website development platform we use. Elementor helps speed up the development process and gives clients more flexibility to edit and maintain their sites. It also integrates with Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, Shopify, Google Ads and Twitter, among others.
“Lets a small marketing team do the job of a large marketing team for only a fraction of the cost.”
There is also a huge range of resources and support including events and webinars, blogs, case studies, comparison guides, ebooks, infographics and white papers.
Reducing the sales lead-time for Numeritas
Preface Studios has worked with financial modelling company, Numeritas, for three years. We’ve designed and developed a lead generation WordPress website and have evolved the website along the way. It was during phase two of the development that we introduced co-owner, Stephen Aldridge, to SharpSpring.
Stephen had previously used HubSpot and although it was well integrated, the price doubled after the trial period ended, which meant that it was not cost-effective for a small company. After also trying Leadpages and Drip, Stephen could see that SharpSpring allowed for more integration with the website and Numeritas’ CRM system, Pipedrive.
They now use a large amount of the SharpSpring functionality, especially the forms, to facilitate the sharing of gated content, promoting webinar content and using LinkedIn to highlight content. Given the longer sales lead-time in the business, the automated follow-up sequences sharing valuable content have been very successful:
“We have seen some really good metrics on the email nurture campaigns and can easily see the best download conversions and who has downloaded content. We also have manual trigger sequences for contacts that have received a proposal, or people we’re in detailed conversations with. This is a great way of keeping us front of mind in the timeframe from enquiry to sale.”
Preface Studios moved all the landing pages to SharpSpring in an Elementor design, which gives huge flexibility. It allows for better lead nurturing through email marketing and improved campaign metrics. It integrates well into the website and all employees have a login included as there are unlimited users: this is something that wasn’t available in other marketing automation systems and is important when there is no dedicated sales team or a dispersed sales function. Using smart emails also means there is a lot of content set up in SharpSpring that the consultants can draw on to share quality content and provide added value.
“All of our work using SharpSpring means that we’ve seen shorter lead times to close a deal. We’ve improved brand awareness, we can monitor increases in engagement, and use lead scoring, which reduced spam overnight and means our leads are higher quality. SharpSpring offers great potential for anyone using a content-led approach.”
The life of a lead is connected to the SharpSpring cookie, which means when someone has visited the site and accepted the cookie, once they download a piece of content, we can see where else they’ve looked on the website. Using the SharpSpring lead score feature, Stephen can see which contacts and leads are interacting with content the most. The higher the score, the more “hot” a prospect they are.
The Numeritas team finds that the ease of use and support is also a plus point, considering it’s such a big system, with lots of functionality. They also use the calendar function to allow users to book a time to talk.
Our team worked closely with Stephen to integrate SharpSpring into the website and ensure it all worked well together. This included functionality that allows people to only unsubscribe from particular sequences, enabling Numeritas to be more targeted.
From our work with SMEs, we understand how important it is to achieve the best results at the right price, which is why we partner with SharpSpring. SharpSpring pricing is accessible for SMEs with costs starting at £150 + VAT p/m for 1,500 contacts when you join through Preface Studios. We also offer ongoing support retainers to help you make the most of SharpSpring and maximise the results of your inbound marketing. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.
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