Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and SharpSpring allow businesses to design, send, and track email campaigns. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to determine which platform is the best fit for your needs. This article provides an in-depth comparison of Mailchimp and SharpSpring, examining the pros and cons, pricing, ratings, features, integrations, and customer support offered by each platform.
With over 15 million users, Mailchimp is one of the most widely used email marketing platforms. Founded in 2001, Mailchimp offers an intuitive drag-and-drop builder to create campaigns, automation features to send emails based on user behavior, and detailed analytics. SharpSpring, founded in 2011, is a less well-known but highly-rated alternative. It offers robust functionality like CRM integration, lead scoring, and call tracking.
This article will dive into the key differences between these two platforms across a range of factors. Whether you’re looking for an easy-to-use option or advanced analytics, this comparison will help you determine if Mailchimp or SharpSpring is the best email marketing solution for your business.
Overview of Mailchimp
Mailchimp is a widely used marketing automation platform and email marketing service that helps businesses and individuals manage their email marketing campaigns, create landing pages, and automate various marketing tasks. It was founded in 2001 and has since evolved into a comprehensive marketing platform.
Some of Mailchimp’s key features include:
– Audience targeting to help segment and personalize emails
– Lead nurturing workflows to guide prospects through the sales funnel
– Email automation to trigger messages based on user behavior
– Landing page creation to capture leads
– Analytics tracking to measure campaign performance
– Social media integration to expand reach
– Mobile optimization for emails that look great on any device
– Mapping customer journeys to understand the path people take before buying.
With Mailchimp, users can:
– Create and send email campaigns
– Automate messages based on subscriber actions
– Track performance with reports
– Integrate with e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
The platform makes it easy for small businesses to design professional emails using drag-and-drop editors and pre-designed templates. Mailchimp also offers marketing CRM features to organize contacts and track interactions over time. Overall, it’s an affordable, user-friendly solution for growing an email list, segmenting audiences, automating workflows, and driving sales.
Overview of SharpSpring
SharpSpring is a powerful marketing automation platform that’s worth considering for small businesses. With SharpSpring, users get access to robust tools for contact management, email marketing, lead nurturing, sales automation, and more. Some key features include customizable reporting dashboards, drag-and-drop email templates, integrated social advertising, and in-depth campaign analytics.
SharpSpring also offers flexible integration options to connect with popular apps like Salesforce, Shopify, and WordPress. Users praise the platform’s ease of use along with its comprehensive feature set tailored to the needs of small to midsize businesses. While it may not offer the same level of sophistication as some enterprise solutions, SharpSpring provides an affordable way for small companies to leverage marketing automation.
Like a swiss army knife for email marketing, Mailchimp equips small businesses with an arsenal of tools to craft targeted campaigns, automate workflows, and track results – all without breaking the bank.
Mailchimp shines for its generous free plan, ability to use custom domains, and library of mobile-optimized email templates. Users praise the intuitive drag-and-drop editor for building emails, setting up automation workflows, segmenting contacts, and scoring leads. Robust analytics provide insight into email performance, subscriber engagement, and campaign ROI.
Key features include:
|Use your own domain instead of mailchimp.com
|Hundreds of free, customizable templates
|iOS and Android apps for managing campaigns
|Trigger emails based on subscriber actions
|Organize subscriber data into segments
|Track prospect engagement to identify hot leads
|Detailed reporting on opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and more
With its generous free tier and packed feature set, Mailchimp hits the sweet spot for small business email marketing. Users love the intuitive interface, mobile apps, automation, and robust analytics. While some advanced features require paid plans, Mailchimp gives small teams tremendous email marketing capabilities without big costs.
On the other hand, Mailchimp has some limitations around contact management, segmentation, and marketing automation compared to more advanced platforms.
- Data privacy issues: Mailchimp has faced scrutiny over data privacy practices like selling user data to third parties. This has led some customers to question their commitment to privacy.
- Spam filters: Aggressive spam filters can sometimes block legitimate emails, hurting deliverability. Mailchimp has less control over deliverability than some ESPs.
- List management limits: Features for managing large or complex lists are more limited compared to CRMs. Segmenting and targeting options not as robust.
- Deliverability issues: Deliverability rates tend to be lower compared to more expensive ESPs. Less inbox placement optimization.
- Reporting limitations: Standard reports are decent but more advanced analytics require add-ons at extra cost. Lacks multivariate testing.
- Interface complexity: The interface can be overwhelming for beginners. Significant learning curve to master all features.
- Automation limits: Workflows and segmentation options are simplistic compared to dedicated marketing automation platforms.
- Support responsiveness: Support response times can be slow, especially for free users. Reliance on community forums for help.
In summary, Mailchimp is a great entry-level email marketing platform but struggles with more advanced functionality like automation and deliverability optimization. For sophisticated needs, it pays to upgrade or switch to a more robust ESP. But for basic email campaigns and list management, Mailchimp remains a popular choice.
SharpSpring strikes at the heart of marketing needs with robust automation, flexible segmentation, and surgical deliverability optimization. SharpSpring’s marketing automation platform empowers businesses to track leads, engage website visitors, centralize data, and drive ROI through marketing analytics.
|Create custom journeys to nurture and convert leads by triggering emails, SMS, and actions based on lead activity.
|Assign points to interactions to identify hot leads ready for sales.
|Connect SharpSpring with your CRM to track lead source and activity through the sales funnel.
|Build custom reports to analyze campaign, lead, account, and sales performance.
|Design, send, and track email campaigns while optimizing deliverability.
|Create customized landing pages and forms to capture more leads.
|Schedule and publish social posts across multiple platforms.
|Provide exceptional customer experiences by unifying communications.
Though SharpSpring strikes swiftly, its talons may grasp too tightly for fledgling businesses with its complex interface and steep learning curve. SharpSpring offers limited customization options compared to other marketing automation platforms. The pricing can also be complex, with multiple tiers and add-ons that may confuse new users. Additionally, SharpSpring has limited automation capabilities and slower load times than some competitors. The platform is also known for having limited integrations with other software and being somewhat buggy. Overall, the unintuitive interface and steep learning curve present challenges, especially for small businesses without dedicated marketing staff. While SharpSpring packs power, its complexity may overwhelm those still spreading their wings.
Limited customization makes it hard for users to tailor SharpSpring precisely to their needs. With predefined templates and workflows, companies have less flexibility to create truly unique experiences. This lack of customization extends to landing pages, forms, and emails as well. For users wanting maximum personalization, SharpSpring leaves something to be desired.
The pricing structure can also be frustrating for some users. There are multiple tiers, add-ons, overage fees, and upcharges that can make costs unpredictable. For small businesses on a tight budget, this complex pricing may create unwelcome surprises. Larger enterprises may fare better with the costs, but overall SharpSpring’s pricing is not the simplest.
Mailchimp Pricing Plans
While SharpSpring’s complex pricing and limited customization can frustrate fledgling businesses, Mailchimp offers more straightforward pricing plans tailored to companies at various stages of growth.
Mailchimp provides four pricing tiers: The Free tier encompasses a monthly allowance of 500 contacts and 1,000 sends, with a daily sending cap of 500. Essentials starts at $4.60/month for up to 500 contacts, adding features like automation and reporting. Standard ($6.87/month) comes with more customization, while Premium ($137.34/month) offers advanced features and 150,000 email sends.
When comparing plans, businesses should analyze pricing models (flat-rate subscriptions versus pay-as-you-go), feature differences (automation, customization, reporting), and value based on company size and needs. While Mailchimp’s pricing is more transparent than SharpSpring’s, both offer free trials and volume discounts. Overall, Mailchimp provides predictable, scalable pricing tailored to growing businesses, with transparent upgrade paths as contacts and needs expand.
By offering tiered subscription plans with clear billing options, feature comparisons, and growth-oriented pricing models, Mailchimp simplifies cost analysis for small businesses seeking email marketing and CRM tools. The plans accommodate companies at each stage, from fledgling startups to established brands managing tens of thousands of contacts. While pricing is just one factor to weigh, Mailchimp’s approach aims to provide value and scale along each step of a business’s journey.
SharpSpring Pricing Plans
The intricacies of SharpSpring’s pricing plans reflect the complexity of its marketing automation platform, which may overwhelm small businesses but provide robust capabilities for larger enterprises. SharpSpring offers three standard pricing plans, in addition to two custom pricing options: Agency and Enterprise:
- 1,000 contacts: $449 per month.
- 10,000 contacts: $999 per month.
- 20,000 contacts: $1,449 per month.
Add-on modules like CRM, call tracking, and chatbots have separate fees. Unlike Mailchimp which has simple monthly plans, SharpSpring requires annual contracts which include onboarding, training, and support. Customers have to pay additional fees for data migration, custom development, and extra training. The implementation timeline can take 2-3 months for complex requirements.
While SharpSpring provides phone, email, and chat support, customers report mixed experiences – larger clients get white-glove treatment but smaller businesses struggle with inadequate support. The knowledge base and community forums supplement official training but may not be enough for non-technical users.
The customer satisfaction ratings for Mailchimp reflect its ease of use and affordability, making it accessible for small businesses yet powerful enough for larger companies.
Mailchimp is highly rated for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design. The drag-and-drop email builder makes creating professional emails simple, even for those without design experience. Users praise the quality and variety of email templates, which can be easily customized.
The mobile app allows users to manage campaigns on the go. Mailchimp also provides robust analytics through its dashboard, enabling users to track opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and more. The segmentation tools and automation workflows allow for personalized, targeted campaigns based on subscriber data and behaviors.
With an emphasis on usability, Mailchimp earns strong reviews for delivering email marketing that is both accessible and feature-rich.
Overall, Mailchimp is a leader in email marketing and marketing automation software, consistently receiving high marks for its user experience, design quality, and breadth of capabilities. While it may lack some advanced features of higher-end solutions, Mailchimp offers an optimal balance of power, ease of use, and affordability that appeals to a wide range of businesses and budgets.
The high customer satisfaction underscores Mailchimp’s success in making sophisticated email marketing accessible without sacrificing key functionality.
When it comes to email marketing software, SharpSpring offers advanced features and integrations tailored for small and mid-sized businesses seeking sales-focused automation. SharpSpring is highly rated for its comprehensive reporting features, sales and marketing automation, and easy integration with CRM platforms.
Customer feedback indicates SharpSpring provides excellent sales automation and campaign tracking capabilities. However, some users find the platform less intuitive than other email services. Reporting and analytics are considered top-notch, with detailed insights into email performance, lead engagement, and ROI. While powerful, SharpSpring may be overkill for users just needing basic email marketing features. But overall, it’s a top choice for data-driven teams focused on capturing and converting leads.
An easy-to-use email marketing platform packed with automation and integrations, Mailchimp helps small businesses design beautiful campaigns, segment contacts, and track performance with robust analytics.
Mailchimp offers a comprehensive set of features for email marketing including email campaigns, landing pages, contact management, lead nurturing, email templates, automation workflows, reporting analytics, and customer segmentation.
With Mailchimp, users can create and send a variety of email campaigns such as regular broadcasts, RSS-driven automation, and drip campaigns for lead nurturing. The platform provides pre-designed email templates that can be customized, making it easy for users to create polished, branded emails. Users can upload contacts, organize them into groups, and leverage customer segmentation tools to target campaigns.
Mailchimp also enables users to build landing pages, capture leads with forms, view campaign analytics, and set up automation based on subscriber behaviors. Its automation workflows allow users to send emails when contacts complete or don’t complete specified actions. With robust reporting, Mailchimp provides insights into email performance, subscriber engagement, and campaign ROI. Overall, Mailchimp equips small businesses with a feature-rich email marketing solution.
Like David battling Goliath, SharpSpring enters the arena with an arsenal of marketing automation tools aimed at toppling the email marketing giant Mailchimp. SharpSpring offers several key features for small to medium businesses looking to level up their digital marketing strategy:
- Custom Forms – Easily build custom forms to capture leads from your website, social media, email campaigns, and more.
- Landing Pages – Create beautiful, mobile-responsive landing pages that convert visitors into leads.
- Lead Scoring – Automatically score and nurture leads based on their interactions and behaviors.
- Email Marketing – Design, send, and track email campaigns that drive engagement and sales.
- Sales Automation – Streamline your sales process with built-in CRM, lead assignment, and nurturing tools.
In addition to robust email marketing capabilities, SharpSpring also provides landing page creation, lead nurturing, marketing analytics, contact management, and more. The platform aims to be an all-in-one solution for small businesses to automate their entire marketing and sales process. With its competitive pricing plans, SharpSpring presents a viable alternative for those seeking an affordable Mailchimp alternative. While it may lack some of Mailchimp’s brand recognition, SharpSpring strives to deliver enterprise-level features tailored for growing SMBs.
Integrating with other tools expands Mailchimp’s capabilities, allowing users to connect their email campaigns with e-commerce, CRM, analytics, and more to create a comprehensive marketing ecosystem. Mailchimp offers over 700 integrations with popular apps like Shopify, WordPress, Salesforce, Facebook, and more.
Some key integrations include:
– Shopify: Sync online store data to segment contacts and trigger abandoned cart emails.
– WordPress: Embed opt-in forms, display targeted content, track site analytics.
– Google Analytics: Track email campaign metrics like opens, clicks, and unsubscribes.
– Facebook: Sync ad audiences for targeted campaigns.
– Salesforce: Sync contacts, and track campaign influence on deals.
Integrations allow users to combine email marketing with other critical functions like e-commerce, CRM, website analytics, social media marketing, and more. This expands capabilities and unlocks more targeted, optimized, and effective campaigns. Users can connect the dots across channels to gain deeper insight into subscriber behaviors and preferences. Overall, Mailchimp’s vast integration options make it easy to create a seamless, comprehensive marketing and sales ecosystem.
With so many integrations available, most users can connect Mailchimp to the other tools they already use for various functions. This saves time switching between platforms and consolidates data into a central dashboard for streamlined reporting and analysis. The integrations also eliminate tedious manual data entry between systems. Automated syncing ensures accurate, up-to-date information flows between connected platforms. This further optimizes campaigns and workflows.
In contrast to Mailchimp’s vast integration ecosystem, SharpSpring offers hundreds of integrations to expand marketing automation capabilities by connecting with essential tools like CRM, email, analytics, e-commerce, and more.
SharpSpring provides robust integration options to connect disparate systems and data sources. Its open API and webhooks allow for custom integrations with third party apps not included in its native integration library. This supports advanced marketing automation workflows for lead scoring, dynamic email templates, landing page personalization, sales tracking, and more.
With its focus on marketing-sales alignment, SharpSpring shines in integrating sales and marketing processes through workflow automation. Its native integrations with leading CRM, email, and e-commerce platforms provide seamless connectivity out-of-the-box. While Mailchimp offers more integrations overall, SharpSpring provides deep integration capabilities purpose-built for marketing automation.
Mailchimp Customer Support
With its vast knowledge base and helpful support team, Mailchimp provides exceptional customer service to guide users through every marketing challenge. Mailchimp offers multiple channels for customers to get support, including phone, email, live chat, and an extensive online knowledge base.
Users consistently rate Mailchimp’s customer service highly for its quick response times, knowledgeable agents, and effective resolution of issues. Mailchimp prioritizes clear communication and takes the time to fully understand each customer’s needs. The support team is available 24/7 to provide guidance on using Mailchimp’s features, troubleshooting problems, and optimizing email marketing campaigns.
Mailchimp also offers webinars, videos, and other helpful resources in its knowledge base to empower customers to find answers on their own. Overall, Mailchimp’s exceptional customer service and readily available help resources make it easy for users to get the most out of the platform.
SharpSpring Customer Support
Like a guiding star in the night sky, SharpSpring’s customer support illuminates the path to marketing success with knowledgeable agents, an extensive knowledge base, and multiple access points for getting help.
SharpSpring offers several channels for customers to get the assistance they need:
- Phone support with quick response times and skilled agents
- Email ticketing for detailed documentation of issues
- Online knowledge base with searchable articles and how-to guides
- Webinars and training resources for self-service learning
SharpSpring prioritizes customer satisfaction through effective issue resolution. Agents are well-versed in the platform and adept at troubleshooting problems. The company manages support tickets closely to ensure timely responses and keep communication open.
With multiple access points, knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to resolving customer pain points, SharpSpring’s stellar support provides the guidance businesses need to fully leverage the platform’s capabilities. The customer service experience aligns with the product’s aim of empowering data-driven marketing success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key differences between Mailchimp and SharpSpring when it comes to ease of use?
Mailchimp is known for its intuitive drag-and-drop builder and simplified workflows, making it easy for beginners to create campaigns. SharpSpring has a steeper learning curve with its more advanced features like dynamic content and complex automations. However, SharpSpring may suit more experienced users looking for robust CRM and marketing automation capabilities.
How do Mailchimp and SharpSpring compare in terms of deliverability rates and avoiding spam filters?
Both Mailchimp and SharpSpring utilize advanced deliverability techniques like authentication methods, inbox placement testing, and complaint rate tracking. However, SharpSpring offers more robust email deliverability features like ongoing sender reputation monitoring, advanced list cleansing, and multi-touch engagement metric comparisons. For best inbox placement and spam filtering avoidance, SharpSpring may be the preferable choice.
For a small business just starting out, which platform would be easier to learn and use – Mailchimp or SharpSpring?
For a small business just starting out, Mailchimp would likely be easier to learn and use compared to SharpSpring. Mailchimp offers a simple drag-and-drop builder to create email campaigns, landing pages, and forms without needing to know code. It also has an intuitive workflow builder for basic automation. SharpSpring has more advanced features but can have a steeper learning curve.
What type of business or industry would benefit more from Mailchimp versus SharpSpring?
Mailchimp is better for small businesses like retail, ecommerce, nonprofits, and local companies hosting events. SharpSpring is ideal for B2B lead generation, agencies managing clients, software companies offering demos, and consultants nurturing leads.
Between Mailchimp and SharpSpring, which platform provides better analytics and tracking of email marketing campaigns?
Mailchimp provides basic analytics and campaign tracking. SharpSpring offers more in-depth analytics and advanced options like lead scoring, automation flows, landing page builders, email segmentation, dynamic content, and mobile optimization. So SharpSpring is better for businesses wanting robust analytics and tracking.
In conclusion, both Mailchimp and SharpSpring have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to email marketing and CRM software. Mailchimp is easy to use and budget-friendly, while SharpSpring offers more advanced features for larger businesses. When choosing between the two, businesses should consider their size, budget, feature needs, and desire for customization. Though different, both platforms aim to help companies grow by building stronger customer relationships. The Mailchimp vs SharpSpring comparison shows that the “best” platform depends on an organization’s unique needs and goals.