9 reasons why your sales email is being ignored

Dec 6th '19

Email is the leading method of communication despite the popularity of social media and the continued use of the telephone. Although people still prefer to be contacted via email, that is not to say that it is always an effective tool. In three out of four cases, your sales email is being ignored by the recipient. Time and effort are spent in writing and editing an email before sending it with the expectation of a positive response, only for it to be deleted. So, what could you be doing wrong?


The following reasons could be why prospects are ignoring your emails.


  1. Irrelevant and/or long subject line

Subject lines are important as they are the first impression your reader gets, especially if they are not familiar with your company. Regardless of the content or subject matter, a short, simple and specific subject line will stand out and get the reader’s attention.


  1. It is too long

A long, text-heavy message will only dissuade people from reading it. On average, 48% of emails that appear to take more than 5 minutes to read are deleted. It needs to be short, concise and to the point. The most effective emails are those containing between 50 and 100 words.


Another consideration here is the language used. Simple, well-structured and straightforward messages rather as opposed to complex ones are more likely to elicit any form of response.


  1. Sent to the wrong individual

When investing time in creating a strong and impactful email, you need to ensure that you are reaching the correct individual with your message. Sending the email to the wrong person would be a complete waste of time as they would not feel the need to respond. But by researching who the correct person to address it to is you are making sure that you are targeting someone who is part of the decision-making process, if not the decision-maker.


  1. Email went astray

It is possible that your sales email was not actually seen by your prospect because, for example, it ended up in the junk or spam folder. Another point is that mailboxes become clogged with so many emails (on average 121 emails per day) that it easy for your email to get lost. To avoid this, it is best to send out test emails to find out which time of day is effective in terms of your email being opened and read. According to HubSpot, between 5 and 6 am is the best time. As a general guide, it is best to refrain from sending emails on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.


  1. Not the right time

Timing is key in business. If your email is not acted upon by the recipient, it may be that they are not in need of your product or service at this time. Perhaps they don’t have the budget for it. But it is also possible that they currently have a solution which meets their needs and so are not considering other options.


  1. Prospect forgot to respond

There are occasions when people forget to respond to emails. But this is not necessarily a sign of disinterest. During busy times, it is easy to overlook the email. Duties and responsibilities will take priority naturally and responding to a sales email will not be at the top of their to-do list. This is where a follow-up is crucial. Sending a series of follow-up messages will serve as a reminder and maintain their interest.


  1. Too general – not specific to a target audience

Some people ignore your email only because they are not in your target. Therefore, the most important aspect of securing your campaign is getting your target audience right. The broader the audience, the lower the click and conversion rates. However, a targeted approach means tailoring your message to your audience’s specific needs and so utilising your resources efficiently and effectively.


  1. Not personalised

People don’t like to receive emails which are obviously automated. Generic messages are meaningless and boring – they discourage any form of response and just get deleted. Personalised communications, on the other hand, show that you have researched the recipient and their company. Segmentation can help personalise your emails to prospects with the potential of delivering better results. The promise of a more personalised sales experience will differentiate your company from the competition.


  1. No call to action (CTA)

A call to action is imperative as it nudges the prospect to respond as indicated within the message. The absence of a CTA will only confuse the prospect and, justifiably, lead them to ignore your email.


Cold sales emails are not easy to send and obtain a response. When receiving so many emails daily, people don’t look forward to reading them all. For that reason, email may be ineffective. The popularity of tweets, texts and social media messages means that people prefer fast and easy communication. However, that is not to say that email doesn’t work. Maintaining a follow-up procedure will ensure that you don’t miss out on a lost opportunity amongst new prospects.


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