Ever since its emergence in the nineties
as an inexpensive and easy way to communicate - e-mails have quickly
gained popularity and replaced most paper-based communications.
However, extremely large number of e-mail communications has created
many problems - lack of response being a major one. Why people do
not respond to e-mails ? In previous issue - we examined 3 scenarios
and 15 cases. In this issue, we examine the first one: Scenario
- A with 6 underlying cases.
Scenario - A : John receives your e-mail
but does not respond..
If John is on vacation and does not set vacation mail autoresponder
in his mailbox - there's not much you can do. Important point is -
consider this as a possible reason for non-response - do not jump
to a conclusion on John's attitude. Perhaps a telephone call may be
the right way.
- Case 1 : John decides not to respond
- Case 2 : John is undecided or waiting for something he will
- Case 3 : John feels your e-mail does not deserve a response
- Case 4 : John is on vacation
- Case 5 : John deletes your mail without reading, thinking it
to be another spam or virus
- Case 6 : John receives your garbled e-mail and decides its too
much taxing, deciphering your mail (perhaps you sent html formatted
mail that John's mail client read as plain text)
If John is undecided or is waiting for something - sending a reminder
after 2-3 days may yield immediate response.
That leaves us with two choices - John does not respond or he deletes
There are many reasons why John may delete your mail without even
reading. We shall discuss that later.
For cases 1 and 3, - there's not much you can do if John deliberately
does not respond for some special reason or thinks poorly of you.
However, it may as well be your e-mail - its style and content - that
did turn John off !
Style and Content - How professional is your
Internet is borderless, anyone is free to surf web-sites
in any part of the world. It is also free - the surfer need not
reveal his/her identity to anyone. This anonymous feature has done
wonders to nurture free thinking without fear of identity loss and
reprisal - necessary elements for democratic society. It has also
given small and medium business enterprises a level playing field.
However, this anonymous nature of Internet has also helped scamsters,
con artists and cheats to operate globally under anonymous or fake
cover. At the very least - the sender may exaggerate his/her position
in domestic market or make false claims - there's not much the recipient
in a far away land can do to check the claims physically.
In such circumstances - communication style plays a significant
role. In the virtual world of cyberspace, often the only means your
customer has to evaluate you is your communication - your language,
presentation and style. Your e-mail/web-site/ presentation etc.
are your faces to the world - and these must inspire sufficient
confidence in your customer to transact business with you or at
least take you seriously. This is a marked difference from traditional
business and you should be aware of this feature of e-commerce.
You may be a leader in domestic market - but your overseas client
may not know that. A badly written letter with lots of typos does
not convey a positive image and mostly go un-answered.
What makes an offer professional or get distinguished as serious
? The hallmarks of a good communication are precise and relevant
content, pleasing format/style and professional presentation.
We shall discuss elements of format, content and style of professional
communication in next issue.
Happy and Productive Surfing
Dr. Amit K Chatterjee
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 5, Issue 5
; August 27' 2004
Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various
capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development,
MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce
venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of
his own. He may be reached at email@example.com