3 Reasons Your Sales Emails Aren’t Being Read


According to recent studies, email is still 40 times more effective for sales than Facebook or Twitter.

40 times!

Even in the face of Gmail’s inbox tabs and applications like Unroll.me keeping your mass emails at a distance, email for salespeople isn’t going away anytime soon.

However, the more we (at Populr) work with sales professionals, the more we realize that very few people have mastered the art of using email to turn a prospect into a customer.

So, let’s talk about 3 reasons your sales emails are being ignored.


According to studies, the average recipient will spend no longer than 20 seconds reading your email. This means that you have 20 seconds to either inform and direct them or bore them into becoming just another failed statistic.

Here are a few suggestions to immediately catch their eye and hold their attention:

  • • Captivating subject lines
  • • Readable in 15 seconds or less
  • • Direct calls to action | For more info, read Increase click-thru rates.

Of course, a shorter email often means you can’t say everything you need to say. And, as we are about to find out, attachments aren’t going to help either.


You’re not the only one that may be sending your prospective client an attachment. So is every spammer. And unfortunately, your prospect’s email provider doesn’t always know the difference between your sincere note and a spammer’s cheap one – and often resorts to filing both of your emails away in the Spam box.

The other hurdle your well-intentioned attachment is going to encounter is the terrible combination of mobile connection speeds and the average attention span of a third grader. Very few people are going to waste their time downloading your PDF.

You would know that your files are being ignored if you had intelligent email analytics beyond just open and click-thru rates, which brings us to our next order of business.


Outside of a few very expensive apps, most email marketing software only offers basic insights, such as open rates and click-thrus, into recipient behavior. Here’s the problem.

  • • Email open rates tell us how effective our subject line is, but nothing more.
  • • Email click-thru rates tell us how effective our email content is, but nothing more.

So, what about conversion? Did the click-thru end up purchasing, calling, sharing?

Your emails aren’t working because you’re not optimizing. However, more likely than not, you’re not optimizing because there’s limited software to do so.


At Populr, we recently had a customer that understood the challenges of attachments and had built several POPS as prospecting pieces to link to his emails. However, after concluding that people simply don’t click on links in emails, he contacted us to cancel his account.

Our previous experience has told us that people do, in fact, click on links, so we asked to see the emails he was prospecting with.

As I anticipated, his emails were five paragraphs talking about him and his company with a quick four-word invitation to click this link at the very end.

Fortunately, our customer let me test our theory with him and help with his next set of emails. Here’s exactly what we changed: 

  • • We asked exactly what he did. He was a commercial furniture salesman.
  • • We asked what his customers care about the most. They wanted interior design help to figure out what furniture went best in their space.
  • • We then suggested he create a POP with the top five tips on choosing the best furniture for your commercial space.
  • • We had him write a lightweight email that said: “Hey, my name is John Doe, I help business’ choose the right commercial furniture for their space. I was wondering if you would like to talk. Regardless, I thought you would find this interesting because choosing the right furniture to fit the commercial space is always top of mind for our customers.”

His email went from 0 clicks to 60% of his cold touches clicking on that article. He was able to then watch their specific behavior patterns on the POP, via his Populr analytics, and follow up with them.

The way we communicate is changing. At the end of the day, you have salespeople sending out emails with PDF’s and marketing messages thinking they’re busy. But if they are not able to track the engagement of their prospects and modify their behavior to fit, they, -unfortunately- will get left behind.

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