What should you do if your email has been ignored?

We all use emails as a way to connect with our teams at work, I’m sure. But maybe this sometimes happens to you. In response to your email, not hearing anything back — even though you’ve followed up politely. What deal is it? You know you have the correct email address, as you have previously successfully corresponded with this person. You assume that he or she is expected to purposefully leave your messages unanswered.

First of all, just relax. There may be several explanations why this has arisen, and if you can find out which one, you may have an opportunity to increase the response time.

  1. It is just too lengthy.

Time is money. A long, text-heavy message is only going to stop people from reading it. 48% of emails that tend to take longer than 5 minutes to read are deleted on average. It needs to be brief, succinct and to the point. Those that contain between 50 and 100 words are the most effective emails. The vocabulary used is another factor here. Clear, well-structured and straightforward messages are more likely to elicit some sort of response, rather than complex ones.

2. Irrelevant/long subject line

Subject lines are critical as they are the first impression that your reader gets, especially if your company is not familiar with them. A short, clear and particular subject line can stand out and get the attention of the reader, regardless of the material or subject matter. I confess that I used email like a stream of poem of consciousness, writing a lot of phrases to get thoughts out of my mind and at the same time make sense of them. Those emails were horrible! It is obvious when I read them again that I said too much to cover the fact that I just didn’t know what I was thinking or asking for. How do I expect someone to know how to support me if I do not know what I need?

3. Sent to the incorrect person.

You need to ensure that you reach the right person with your message while spending time in developing a powerful and impactful email. It would be a total waste of time to send the email to the incorrect person as they would not feel the need to reply. But you ensure that you are targeting someone who is part of the decision-making process, if not the decision-maker, by studying who is the best person to answer it.

4. The email had gone astray.

Your sales email may not have ever been seen by your prospect, because it ended up in the junk or spam folder, for example. Or maybe even to email heaven. Another argument is that mailboxes are blocked by so many emails (121 emails a day on average) that it’s easy to lose your account. To prevent this it is best to send test emails to find out which time of day is efficient in terms of opening and reading your email. Around 5 and 6 am is according to HubSpot, the best time. As a general guide, on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, it is best to refrain from sending emails.

5. Prospect forgot about responding.

Occasions occur when people fail to respond to emails. It’s not really a sign of disinterest, though. It is possible to miss the mail during busy times. Duties and obligations will inevitably take precedence and it won’t be at the top of their to-do list to respond to a sales query. This is where it’s important to follow up. It will act as a reminder and retain their attention by sending a series of follow-up messages.

6. What do you want me to do?

As it nudges the prospect of reacting as indicated within the post, a call to action (CTA) is important. The absence of a CTA would only confuse the prospect and, justifiably, cause your email to be overlooked. If you want to make sure that they have received the text, just check! Try to conclude your emails with a clear yes/no question or call to action, like “does that work for you?” or “reply with a thumbs up if you’re interested and I can send more info.” Try to make it as simple as possible for the receiver to respond to you. Human beings are lazy, make it quick!

Know that people are busy, and you certainly aren’t their priority number 1. When you don’t hear back, what do you do? Really easy. The best thing you can do is just send an email to follow up.

Check out my related post: When is it too late to reply an email?

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