When you don’t get a response to your email

It’s frustrating when you email someone a couple of times and don’t hear back from them. But before you take it personally, consider the possibility that your email was never received. There are all kinds of spam filters and blockers out there just waiting to steal your message.

If you don’t get a response from your message, your next step will depend upon the urgency of the situation and the politics (for lack of a better word) surrounding it. Your actions will also take into account what your previous messages said.


For instance, it would be terrific if in the original email you wrote, “If I don’t hear back from you in two weeks, I’ll give you a call.” That gives you every reason to be comfortable picking up the phone to follow up. Even if you never mentioned a call, it's still important to quit emailing and get to a telephone.

Presume that your message was never received. Place a call.

Hi, Ms. Williams. This is Sasha Howard. You emailed me a few weeks ago expressing interest in commissioning a piece for your birthing center. I responded twice, but I’m afraid you never received my messages and I don’t want you to think I was ignoring you. I’m following up by phone just in case a spam filter grabbed my email before you saw it.

I always give someone two weeks to respond to me in order to account for vacations, illnesses, and overflowing inboxes.

Many people (like me) much prefer email to the phone, but email will never equal the phone for dependability. If it’s a very important opportunity, I’d pick up the phone from the get-go. Of course, that’s easy to say in hindsight.

Image ©Sasha Howard, Universal Prayers for Peace

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5 thoughts on “When you don’t get a response to your email”

  1. Wow. This just happened to me today. I had sent an email about a pending sale and didn’t hear back. I followed up and in fact the person hadn’t gotten my email. The sale went through. Glad I didn’t listen to the “don’t bother her” voice.

  2. Two things…Links in your signature block can cause emails to be blocked…The other is more subtle…Someone emailed me about paintings for purchase…I responded with a direction to a website with pictures & a few prices…End of communication…Then I remembered who this person was, a collector from 10 years ago…& I also realised that they were probably wanting to spend the exact same amount, though 10 years had gone by…I emailed photos of paintings in the right pricepoint…Ahhh! Not only an answer, but later, we sold two works…(a price on the front of my website was scaring people…)

  3. Pingback: Following up with a gallery submission — Art Biz Blog

  4. Pingback: Facilitate payment for the sale of your artwork — Art Biz Blog

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