Okay, first let’s look at the formal definition of “ignore:”
To refuse to pay attention to; disregard.
The definition in of itself does not indicate that the ignoring is personal. In most cases, if it is any consolation, your email is not the only one not being replied to.
Your Email First
First, let’s assume your email is typed properly and includes business email best practices. Why would your email be ignored and your communication disregarded? Could be several factors:
- Is your email unsolicited?
- Was your email self-serving?
- Did you check your junk/spam folder to see if their reply got misidentified as spam?
Let me share my experience with you. Every day I receive quite a few unsolicited requests from those with self-serving motives. I ignore them. Some because they are clearly templates or a mass email.
Others because the topic being inquired about, if they read my site, they would have the answer to their inquiry. They would discover that my answer would be “no” to what they are asking about. Not reading my site tells me they feel their time is more important. Therefore, I don’t take my time to respond.
That’s just one situation that could cause your emails to be ignored.
Intentional or not?
Concerned emails from site visitors ask about why they are not receiving responses to their emails. They are being ignored and they don’t like it. They think it is rude — and they are right. At least when it comes to basic communications that have to do with doing business with established contacts.
I get that frustration. You have business to do, you need input, information, a file or the other side to just answer a few questions. Crickets. I hate when others make me inefficient. I bet you feel the same, right?
Speaking from experience, there are those who do not respond intentionally. You may hear “I don’t have enough time…” or even “Yes, I choose to ignore some people and don’t care if they like it or not!” Yeah, that’s a great way to run a business.
Most times it is nothing personal. They are too busy doing whatever it is they feel is more important than taking a moment to acknowledge your email. Unfortunately, we cannot choose our contacts or those we need to email in our daily business activities.
If it’s not you; what then?
Increasingly, we live in an “all about me” culture. Common courtesies where contacts would take time to consider how their actions (or lack thereof) may affect someone else have gone right out the door. On and off-line.
You just want to do a good job and you have contacts that make your job downright difficult. What are you to do if your business emails are not being responded to? You be the professional and don’t take it personally or get upset. Pick up the phone and give them a call! If you need information or are doing a follow-up, a personal phone call can do wonders to build your relationship and to let your contact know that you are efficient and conscientious.
For those who do the ignoring, you can rest assured that your business relationships may be reconsidered by those you choose to ignore. If you are doing so intentionally because you are not interested in ongoing communications or business dealings, at least have the courtesy and professionalism to let the inquirer know.