In a little over a decade we can’t live without our e-mail. And to think a mere 15 years ago when I was all excited about CompuServe and opened my little Internet Studio on the IL/WI border, everyone thought I was nuts!
Fast forward to now and we want it now! E-mail should be in the inbox of the recipient within moments after we click the Send button! Those we send to should stop the presses and any other responsibilities they may have and answer our e-mails now! Not later, not in an hour, NOW, NOW NOW!
Our expectations have become unrealistic. There will be times when e-mail takes longer to get to the other side due to unknown network or geographical issues. And, believe it or not, not everyone you e-mail is sitting in front of their computers 24/7 waiting for your e-mail so they can respond. I know that is hard to believe, but it’s true.
Before assuming someone is ignoring you or not responding as fast as you believe they should, here are some issues you should consider:
- Was there anything spammy in your e-mail that may have caused it to be blocked? This happens all the time with all the spyware, adware and spam filtering going on. Check out my article: How To Avoid Looking Spammy. I know I find e-mails in my Webmail spam blocker all the time. I only check my Webmail when I have free time — which isn’t as often as I like. Do something spammy and a response from me will be delayed.
- Keep in mind that folks have other responsibilities and may be away from the computer. They may be in meetings, on the phone, out in the yard — away for the day. Rare are those that provide instant responses or who are online all the time when your e-mails come through. If something is that important that it can’t wait for you to do an e-mail follow up the next day, pick up the old fashioned telephone and give a call!
- Computer and software crashes happen all the time deleting files and e-mails. When following up the next day, ask if your e-mail was received and ask politely when you can expect a response before assuming you are being ignored. The fact is that in most cases you are not being ignored — you just are assuming how the other side should respond/react. You know what happens when you assume?
The above issues require you think about the other side — not just that you sent an e-mail that you want a response to now. So my friend it will behoove you to keep your expectations in check!