You may think you’re the only one this happens to. You’re not alone.

People just don’t answer your emails!

Writer and performer, John Leguizamo, whose first marriage ended when his wife asked him by email for a divorce, said this in a recent news article. “When people don’t answer my emails, I always think maybe something tragic happened. Maybe they got hit by a meteorite.”  

You’re too kind, John.  However, that’s probably the healthier response… that there’s an issue with them instead of the mental trap I sometimes fall prey to… there’s something wrong with me.

Then there’s Betsy Rapoport, editor and life coach who says, “I don’t believe I have ever received an answer from any email I’ve ever sent my children, now 21 and 18.”

Well that’s settled then… it’s them, not you! In fact, my favourite was not 1, not 2, but 3 emails sent over 2 weeks to a very good friend of mine to respond to an important project with the deadline looming. No response… no response… and no response… until the day after the deadline, a short apologetic email simply stating, “It was my birthday!”

I near pulled my hair out with that one! Celebrating for 3 weeks just didn’t seem correct.

Oh well, you say to me, “Oh well?!”

If you think this was funny, this one’s just hilarious! British linguist David Crystal said his wife recently got a reply to an email she sent in 2006! Now what would you do with that one?

How about you? Do you have some examples of being ignored? Do you think you are being legitimately ignored or the other end simply doesn’t consider the effect that not responding has on the sender?

Digging a little deeper, an Edmonton Journal news article posted that an etiquette expert and author of Choosing Civility, P.M. Forni, says, “The internet is something very informal that happened to a society that was already very informal. We can get away with murder, so to speak. The endless amount of people we can contact means we are not as cautious or kind as we might be. Consciously or unconsciously we think of our interlocutors as disposable or replaceable.”

To tell you the truth, I agree and disagree.

Having a subscriber list is a testament you have to consider the individual who is relying on you to provide quality information, story to keep the interest, and a smidgeon of advertising to entice to additional programs, courses, products and information. And you’re not really expecting them to reply, or are you?

Of course you are! Business is business. You would love for every single person on your list to open your emails, send you a little note exclaiming, “Wow, that was exactly what I needed to know. Thank you!”

What’s more, you would love to have a percentage click through and buy something from you! I know I sure would.

So really, there’s not that much difference having an online business with a subscriber list or sending an email to get a direct response from someone. They still don’t open or reply!

So why wouldn’t they? They subscribed to learn more in the first place!

Research has shown that people will not open emails if they are used ONLY to sell. In addition, people get bored if you give them too much content, not enough, republish the same content, don’t listen to their audience, and don’t break away from the norm.

Here a few tips for your newsletter/emails.

  • Content should be at least 40% of your newsletter
  • If there’s too much content, you’ll lose their readership
  • Content educates and activates but relationship is the glue to solid readership, referrals and loyalty
  • Content should be at least 1 actionable step per issue
  • Actionable steps can be: Write something down, think different, post on my FB wall, tweet me your thought, make a chart, make a commitment, and create a plan.

This is what REALLY makes people pay attention, continue to read, and be loyal.

  • Pictures
  • Recipes
  • Funnies
  • News clips from days gone by
  • Stories

Now let’s take a look at the other side of this email coin.

Maybe you’re the recipient of an email request and you decide to procrastinate the reply. Yes? Maybe?

Experts state that if an email request has you to take some sort of action before replying, you will postpone. Maybe not indefinitely, but certainly a couple of weeks! Isn’t that interesting? Yup. And the art of NOT responding has nothing to do with age!

All in all, emails, phones calls, letters, it’s still all about communication. It’s about communicating in a manner that reflects how you want to be perceived.

My take is this.  You have a tremendous opportunity to discover how you respond or react to non communication. You have an opportunity to search inside whether you have patience or expectations.

I love the remark that a monk at the Shasta Abbey in Mount Shasta, California was quoted about technology. He said that the computer industry’s perennial promise of faster and faster service is a “delusion”! Now that hit home!

I hope you enjoyed the content, visit me on my Facebook page to share your experiences, and great job today!




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