Why We Chose SharpSpring, Guest Blog from SharpSpring Partner Mike Stanczyk of Wallfrog Marketing Agency
At Wallfrog, our passion is helping businesses get out of a rut before it’s too late. We’ve seen too many companies go out of business because they did not embrace change or use the tools they had available to help make them successful.
Over the years at our agency, we noticed a trend of business owners who had the motivation and drive to reach their goals but didn’t know how to get started. These are the types of clients we gravitate toward at Wallfrog because they are willing to listen and they have the resources to make it work.
Before inbound marketing and marketing automation (and before we chose SharpSpring), we did everything manually and piecemeal. We had procedures to keep us on point and over time those programs helped automate parts of what we did, but there was no simple “out-of-the-box” solution to prove what we were doing was working. From there we decided to grow our agency from a project based model to a retainer based model that was results driven.
The Evolution of Wallfrog
From the time Wallfrog launched in 2006, we have watched the industry go from customers not having an email address to customers who understand and expect real ROI. Our business model was project-based with the exception of providing hosting plans to those that couldn’t do it themselves.
We started as a local web design company for small businesses in Central Connecticut and over the years we were able to grow our presence nationwide. As of now we’re a digital marketing agency focusing on helping clients get started with marketing automation as well as providing overall branding and website design expertise for small to medium sized businesses with a specialization in engineering and manufacturing industry.
How HubSpot Came, Then Went
In the early days, the Wallfrog team was scrambling for ways to close the loop on our marketing efforts because clients wanted to see that the money they were spending with us was actually resulting in more sales. At the time it was hard to prove — there was no way to justify where a lead came from or how it got there.
Clients would just spend money foolishly and at the end of the month hope they’d made more than what they spent. They would purchase ads for billboards, phone books, magazines, newspapers and digital and at the end of the day they’d always blame the internet because they still had an old school mentality.
At that point we didn’t even know if there was a solution in the pipeline, we just knew there was a problem. We started hearing about a company called Hubspot. We looked into it and the platform had the solutions we were looking for but it was very expensive — especially for a company that had 8 employees at the time chasing project based work.
We decided to take out a loan to pay for the huge Hubspot upfront costs, training program and annual summit. We were at ground zero and needed to learn everything very quickly to set it up and then figure out how to sell it to our clients without really knowing if they could afford it. Once it was set up, we pitched it to a few prospects and they simply couldn’t justify the cost. Business owners and managers couldn’t wrap their heads around how Hubspot worked and what it would do for them — and they ultimately tended to default to their old ways.
Long story short, a year after paying for the monthly costs and achieving no clients we had to cancel with Hubspot. It just wasn’t affordable for an agency our size. Shortly thereafter, we received some fun root beer bottles in the mail from a company called SharpSpring. And although it was a bad time for Wallfrog and we had exhausted what we had to spend and certainly couldn’t jump right into another marketing automation company, we still never forgot about that root beer.
Why We Chose SharpSpring
So, why did we ultimately choose SharpSpring? Well, soon after we decided to move our company to Florida, the dust was getting settled and we were in the market again for an automation solution that tasted as good as a cold root beer. We realized we were very close to SharpSpring’s headquarters in Gainesville so we set up a meeting and a tour. And the rest is history!
To this day, the biggest takeaway I can share is that every time I have a clever idea on how to approach a marketing task, I can find a way to do it in SharpSpring. The platform is so straightforward and intuitive it is hard to believe. The functionality is very organized and even as they constantly add features the placement is always well-thought-out.
Our clients really enjoy the fact that they can see their prospects swimming around their products or services online in real time — they also love to watch them take the bait and hook those big fish!
SharpSpring has been the catalyst for Wallfrog’s future and we’re proud to be an Agency Partner. Not only is the service affordable and effective, being a part of a team that is passionate about what they do on a day-to-day basis makes us want to continue to work hard and succeed, as well.
Every SharpSpring team member we have talked to or met exceeded our expectations and treated us as part of the family. We are truly grateful for the culture they created and the authenticity they live by. When clients are stuck on a plateau and we are able to use SharpSpring to amplify their sales — there is simply no better feeling than to know we are helping people reach their business goals.
Whether or not your agency is ready to accept it, marketing automation is here to stay. For whatever reason you may be reluctant to start, I’d recommend putting that hesitation aside. Just know that in time you’ll become familiar and fluent with automation tools and you’ll realize how important they truly are to growing your business.
It’s never too late and it is always better late than never! Automation is designed to make your job easier, and without it there is no way to perform internet marketing efficiently while providing real ROI for clients. With SharpSpring in your toolbox, you’ll have technical support you only dreamed about and a team of professionals willing to help you make the most of your marketing plan.