Emerging from the crazy year we’ve all experienced in 2020 has businesses around the globe scrambling to compete against one another in brand new ways. With more innovative technologies than ever on the horizon, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the business trends and developments that are sure to be big in 2021.In this article, we’ll discuss artificial intelligence (AI), email automation, mobile marketing and much more. Keep reading to see what to expect in the upcoming year.

Artificial Intelligence

One of the major business trends for 2020 was the expansion of AI technology, and that will only grow in popularity in 2021. What was once thought to only be something out of a science fiction movie, AI is a key driver for companies as they seek to compete in the digital age. From chatbots to automated customer service, there isn’t much that an AI system can’t do.

Many businesses are using AI to respond to customer inquiries on social media platforms, emails and even phone calls. These aren’t just your average, run-of-the-mill chatbots anymore. Using behavioral tracking and data collection with analysis, these AI programs have become more intuitive in predicting where a conversation with a customer may go.

Trigger words that drive the conversation into a more complex discussion have been added to many AI programs. This means that customers are able to get answers quickly and efficiently without having to speak to a person.

For businesses, this is time- and money-saving. Instead of spending hours answering questions each day, turning this task over to an AI system can be very freeing.

Email Automation

Another growing tech trend for businesses is email automation. Yes, emails are still highly relevant and growing in popularity! In fact, interactive email campaigning was one of the biggest marketing trends in 2020. Here’s why:

  • 61% of consumers want to receive emails from their favorite brands
  • 59% of consumers are influenced by an email to make a purchase
  • 49% of consumers want to receive weekly promotions and offers

All of these factors point directly to email automation as a major business trend in 2021. With email automation, you can craft customized messages and schedule them to go to your recipient list without having to send them out one-by-one. This will save you and your marketing team a lot of time, and it will allow you to track the success rate of your email campaigns.

By utilizing email automation, you will be able to monitor the delivery, open, click-through and bounce rates of every message that goes out. This will enable you to tweak your email marketing strategy to suit your target audience better .

Here are a few tips for creating more effective emails:

  • Keep it clean with a minimalist design style
  • Condense images and graphics for a faster email load speed
  • Include a clear call to action and make it the focus of the email
  • Personalize the messages to cater to your customers
  • Be sure that the messages are mobile-friendly
  • Make the email interactive to encourage engagement

Interactive emails can help set your brand apart from all the others. If you run an online clothing company, you can make your messages interactive by including a “Try On” feature. This allows the recipient to click through to a fun program that lets them virtually try on clothes before making a purchase. With its game-like qualities, the recipient will spend more time on your website clicking through your clothing selection. This boosts engagement and allows you to collect data about what styles this customer likes. You can then turn around and use that information to retarget them in later email campaigns.

Mobile Marketing

This trend plays into both AI technology and email automation. More people are opening emails on mobile devices than ever before. It’s a fast and easy way to comb through any promotions and keep up with the news. Increasingly, people are also using AI programs like their smart speakers on a daily basis. So, mobile marketing makes sense as one of the major business trends for 2021.

The first thing you can do to improve your mobile marketing efforts is to begin accepting mobile payments from different platforms. This will eliminate the tedious step of inputting contact and payment information in order to make a purchase. Some potential customers may abandon their shopping cart if they can’t checkout quickly.

You can also create an app for your business. This will enable you to send out promotions and newsletters as well as gather important data about your customers. You can also incorporate a loyalty program in your app to encourage your customers to use it more often.

Automated text messaging is another form of mobile marketing. Once the customer agrees to receive text messages, you can send them announcements and promotions periodically. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard because they will unsubscribe if they feel annoyed by the number of texts they are receiving. One very simple way to get them to agree to text messaging is by offering a 10% discount to those who signup.

Finally, another advantage of mobile marketing is geo-targeting. This type of data collection allows you to send out targeted ads to people near your establishment.

Wrapping Up Business Trends for 2021

With technology changing constantly, staying on top of trends can seem overwhelming. However, if you are clever in your usage of AI, email automation and mobile marketing, you will be light years ahead of many of your competitors. For more information on marketing and email automation, you can request a free demo from SharpSpring today.

Naseem Shah