Sunday, April 11, 2010


Why Don’t People Reply to Business E-mails?
February 24, 2010 by Judith
Filed under Business E-mail Etiquette, Essentials

Because they lack business savvy? Because they don’t realize the importance of promptly responding to business e-mails? Because they do not realize that answer business e-mails in a timely manner is basically a customer service issue? I could go on…

At least a couple requests come in each day inquiring about what a person is to think when they don’t get a reply to their e-mails. The natural inclination being “they are not interested in my e-mail” or “they are ignoring me.” That’s not necessarily the case — their lack of reply may have nothing to do with you, more so it has to do with them!

We live in a me, me, me – busy, busy, busy world. I see this mentality increasingly carrying over to business communications to the exclusion of proper business practices risking perception. The idea that you can get to e-mail when you want, reply to only those you deem important can be an attitude that you’ll eventually regret. Regret that will kick in when those contacts, associates or partners stop sending you e-mail!

What I do, when I run into those who don’t respond to e-mails, is to step back and think “outside of Judith”. Most are not into this whole “e-mail etiquette thing” like I am –many time to their detriment. Some even thinking I invented e-mail etiquette (yeah, I was right next to Al Gore when he “invented” the Internet). So I always try to look at their motives, or lack there of, before I assume. Maybe they are out of town, crazy busy, having business crisis. But, if they are habitual non-repliers — I stop e-mailing.

Let’s face it, it is simply good business to take the time to e-mail those who take the time to e-mail you (of course not including obvious spam). So, how do you handle non-repliers?

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