Letter to:
Rick Carlson
Founder/CEO SharpSpring

Hi Rick

I am contacting you to let you know directly of my deep frustration in the way your company has handled the migration of Graphicmail customers into the SharpSpring platform.

To establish our level of understanding here is a bit about my company. Our primary business is web development. We have a range of clients from small businesses through to government agencies and sector leading international organisations. About 25% of our work involves handling e-newsletters for our clients. This work is central to my business and is crucially forms around 60% of the work we do for one of my most important clients. I have recently been asked to look at API integration with a CRM  for another of our other high value clients. They currently use ACT! Which I am sure ou are aware has serious limitations – particularly in email automation. Consequently the acquisition of Graphicmail by SharpSpring has interested me.

Unfortunately this very interest has perhaps revealed to me a major flaw in your expectation that your newly acquired Graphicmail customers could somehow seamlessly transition into the (partly finished) SharpSpring platform.  The requirements being met by Graphicmail until recently are very different that being provided in SharpSpring through email automation. I can see the superficial logic here – you get a whole load of new customers which justifies the development work required to expand SharpSpring’s email capacities through the new Mail+ module.

Great! …If it worked and if it met the requirements being already handled (if not perfectly) by Graphicmail. But…

1.    The Mail+ system is so poorly implemented it is impossible understand what/how simple tasks managed by Graphicmail can be replicated

2.    The system is often so slow it either grinds to timeout errors or we have to give up trying because the waits are so tedious that no commercial workflow would ever accommodate it

3.    Our account was migrated but although I have been told that there are no “credits” as such in SharpSpring this is what we were notified with after a test send. (I have not managed to get a meaningful response and test since because the support is so vague and unhelpful) “An email send job was recently blocked from sending.: Insufficient email quota remaining”…

4.    An example of just one part of the intermittent support conversation is attached. This was based on a specific request for help regarding the dynamic list – we just need to be able to create a form and populate one of several lists that the user selects in a form (each list has a checkbox). I do not understand the logic in choosing one of the many triggers/filters/workflows & actions and needed a proper explanation of these. The response was: “Reason for lists not building: We had a look at your Form and it is not tracking. You need to place the Form’s embed code on your website.”

5.    As far as I can see and partly because of my recent work looking at email automation I believe that the problem is that you are trying to shoehorn list management & newsletter users into a system designed around the requirements of email automation. If this perspective was properly understood then the expected workflow would be more like Graphicmail than the convoluted logic that exists currently in SharpSpring Mail+

6.    Currently the Mail+ system cannot allow us to collect newsletter signups as I have described above and then send newsletters to those lists. We cannot send newsletters manually because of issue 3 above and worryingly the test we were able to send all were marked as spam  I spoke to Ben about this and he was aware of the spam issue and said currently there was no resolution and that you were looking at DKIM. Neither are we able to use Graphicmail. We are stuck between a non-functioning heritage system and a non-functioning replacement

7.    This is the bit I have a particular frustration with. We have around $900 of credits in Graphicmail (705,015 to be precise). These are credits we have paid Graphicmail for and consequently it is a liability we are holding. Unless SharpSpring is able to fulfil the same level of usability and functionality as Graphicmail we have to look elsewhere for a provider. I have asked now several times for a refund. I have had the response that various people in SharpSpring are reaching out which is plainly insulting because I have not received any meaningful contact apart from when I post in Twitter, and then invariably the conversation deteriorates to telling me that someone will “reach out” to me…

8.    I did get a call from Logan at Graphicmail in SA today – whilst he at least understood the frustrations we are experiencing he could not provide any realistic insight into when SharpSpring would be working bug free and somewhat tellingly, he did not know how to use the triggers/filters/workflows & actions either!

I would appreciate your response by return as obviously this is substantially affecting my business.